The Haunted Railroad Hotel of Piedras Negrasby
The railroad bridge
joining Piedras Negras with Eagle Pass.|
TE photo, 5-04
of the few remaining 19th Century buildings in Piedras Negras can be found a literal
"stone’s throw" from the southernmost abutment of the railroad bridge that joins
that city with Eagle
Pass. Owned by the city of Piedras Negras, the two-story former hotel was
thought to have been built in the early 1900s until Eagle
Pass Historian Al Kinnsal found an ad for hotel dated 1888. The building’s
convenient location - a mere 500 feet from the railroad depot - guarantees that
it has seen legions of guests over the years as well as more than a few dignitaries.
The current exterior condition of the building is deplorable - that
is to say it's about the same as thousands of small town Texas buildings. Pigeon-infested
with broken staircases and fallen chimneys, the once wide veranda now has railings
that look like termite-eaten cork with decking of brown Swiss cheese. There is
no cornerstone visible nor any emblem or device that would show ownership by the
state, railroad or family.
The haunted railroad hotel in Piedras Negras
TE photo, 5-04
agenda the day of our visit did not include the hotel. But, after photographing
the railroad bridge, it was necessary to turn around near the (still-in-use) depot
and that's when we spotted the hotel. As we took photos against a blazing sun,
a uniformed policeman appeared. But instead of asking our business he walked past
us through what is now the hotels front door. “Looking for the ghosts?” he casually
He didn't merely ask "Looking for ghosts?" he asked "Looking
for the Ghosts?" - which made it a question that couldn't be ignored. We asked
for a few minutes of his time and he stepped back outside, smiling that we had
taken the bait. Courtesy and graciousness are abundant in Mexico
(especially when both parties are pedestrians) and these virtues are freely dispensed
in a country that could teach the world a thing or two about time management.
Having a city employee living in an otherwise vacant building is a practical
arragement. He gets free rent, the city gets a live-in guard, the building doesn’t
get set ablaze by vandals and the ghosts get someone to torment - or at least
officer stated that he hadn't yet seen any headless robed figures, grotesque horned
beings or women in long white gowns carrying their heads. The spirits evidentl
haven’t felt any need to materialize. They’ve contented themselves to moving things,
mumbling at night and occassionally suspending articles a few inches in midair.
Perhaps they're behaving themselves since their audience is uniformed.
We didn’t ask, but the man offered the age of the hotel as “over 200 years old.”
We raised our eyebrows in appreciation since we didn't know what else to say.
When the subject came up on whether it bothered him to live in a haunted place,
the officer answered with a remark that we’ve heard before in Mexico
when the subject of spirits comes up. “I’m not afraid of the dead," he said, "
it’s the living that I fear.”
Perhaps one of the many para-normal investigators
in Texas will take the time to check out the hotel.
We'll keep our readers informed.
| || Off
Duty Piedras NegrasTaxi across from hotel.|
TE photo, 5-04