Saturday, December 26, 2015

La Concha Hotel, Part ll

La Concha Hotel
In Part l of this post, I share sightings of the ghost seen most often at this historic hotel in Key West, Florida.

La Concha opened in the early 1920s and hosted many famous people in its heyday. It was renovated in the 1980s and since three ghosts have been seen.

One of these ghosts * is believed to be the spirit of Ernest Hemingway because it is seen in the suite where he stayed with his mistress—Martha Gellhorn who became his third wife-- in the 1930s.

He began writing his 1937 novel To Have and Have Not at La Concha. It pays homage to this hotel—noting “its prominence on the horizon.”

Hemingway and Gellhorn
His ghost is mischievous for he often moves objects.

One guest who stayed in the Hemingway Suite was annoyed by activity that prevented him from going to sleep. He had climbed into bed when he saw a video recorder fall from the dresser he had placed it on.

He got up and placed it back on this shelf. But once he was back in bed, the recorder once more fell to the floor. He picked it up again. He checked the dresser to see if it was wobbly but determined it was stable.

When he got back in bed—he turned the light out but watched the dresser this time. He saw a dark figure in one corner by the bathroom—it was slightly crouched down.

He saw the recorder fall once more. He got up quickly, flipped the light on but found no one else in the room. He arranged to move to another room.

It appears Hemingway doesn’t like others in his space.

* Florida’s Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore, by Greg Jenkins.

View of Gulf of Mexico
from atop the hotel.
The third ghost that is seen at La Concha is the spirit of a lawyer who was in trouble with the law in the 1980s. He was being investigated for embezzlement and fraud and knew he faced prison time.

He came up with a strange plan to commit suicide and make it look like a murder so his family could collect insurance money.

He left a rambling recording of statements that implicated his secretary in the crimes and stated that men were coming to assassinate him.

He then jumped from one of the hotel’s balconies, recording his screams as he fell to his death. But this plot to clear his name and help out his family failed.

The authorities had too much evidence that pointed to his guilt.

Since this bizarre death, many witnesses at sunset have seen a middle-aged man walking frantically back and forth on one hotel balcony.

La Concha Hotel balconies.
Several of these people have called hotel security thinking this man was about to jump. However, in each instance security guards found no sign of anyone on this balcony.

A couple sitting in a room below this balcony called the front desk in a panic. They reported seeing a body falling past the window. Afterward, no body was found on the premises.

It appears this dishonest lawyer is doomed to play out his death over and over again.

This ghost is also seen on the roof of the hotel.

The La Concha is officially called Crowne Plaza Key West today, but the old name is still used. A tour of haunted Key West landmarks starts in the lobby of this hotel.

In Part l of La Concha Hotel, read about the ghost of a hotel waiter who died in an accident on New Year’s Eve.

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