bridge from the hotel to the pool
Photo courtesy Jason Grant
I am a professional Firefighter with a degree in Fire science and
a certified Fire Investigator, therefore, I believe just about everything
can be explained if one looks hard enough. That was before I began
to research a few north Texas ghost stories that are difficult to
OF THE BAKER HOTEL
The Woman on
the Seventh Floor
The stories of ghosts and hauntings began in the Baker
long before it ever closed. A porter who worked there during the 1950's
and 1960's was the first known to witness the ghost of the woman on
the seventh floor. She was possibly the mistress of the hotel manager.
Distraught from her affair she jumped to her death from the top of
the building. The year of the incident has not been verified but the
room she stayed in, apparently quite comfortably, was a suite on the
southeast corner of the seventh floor. Many have reported smelling
her perfume and her spirit is said to be quite flirtatious with men
she may fancy.
Recently a woman, who worked as a maid in the hotel, reported that
on several occasions she found glasses in the room with red lipstick
stains on the rims. This took place at times when no one was staying
in the room.
Jane Catrett who is assisted by Ronny Walker now manages the building.
Ronny manages tours of the building on weekends when time allows and
is quite knowledgeable on the history of the hotel as well as the
reports of a few sightings of disembodied guests.
Ronny reported one night he was near the main lobby on the first floor
when he heard the distinct sound of a woman in high heals walking
across the lobby. Thinking the footsteps to be those of Jane Catrett
he yelled out her name; however, the footsteps faded away and upon
further inspection, Ronny found himself all alone. Later he discovered
that Jane had not been in the building that day.
On another occasion, Ronny reported being on the 7th floor re-setting
an electrical breaker to the Christmas lights, which continuously
tripped every night during display. As he was inspecting the fuse
box, attempting to locate the breaker switch, he heard the footsteps
of an unseen person walking up to his left - quietly - as if not to
bother him. A bit startled, he turned to look and saw no one. Ronny
spoke to the possible ghosts and assured them he meant no harm. After
that night the lights never tripped off again.
hallway of the 11th floor
Photo courtesy Jason Grant
Another incident occured during a tour of the hotel
by a group of W.W.II
veterans and their spouses. As the group entered the "Brazos Room"
on the first floor, which was the main dining room and dance area,
a couple suddenly stopped. The woman looked at her husband and asked,
"Do you hear that?" He replied, "Why, I certainly do". About
that time several other people in the group began to hear sounds
of dishes and silverware clanking as well as people talking with
orchestra music in the background. Most of the people there reported
this event. It has never happened before nor since - according to
the source - but the witnessess were sure they were experiencing
the ghostly echoes of a time long past.
the Cloud Room
Photo courtesy Jason Grant
A young woman
who worked at a local
drive-through bank in the early 1990's reported that she and other
tellers had their workstations facing the huge hotel. During slow
times they noticed hotel windows open on various floors. Later they
would notice these windows closed and others would be open. After
awhile they began to take note and count which were opened and closed.
The pattern changed.
One of the girls told the others "it must be the man who lives in
the building and takes care of it". After that, the interest ceased
and they stopped noticing. The strange thing is, no one has ever stayed
in the Baker at any time since its closure in 1970. There never was
a caretaker. So just who was opening and closing the windows?
Psychic, Nostalgic Ghosts and a Shaggy Dog
In the spring
of 2000, I spoke with a local Mineral
Wells woman who claimed to be a psychic. She has wished to remain
anonymous for fear of ridicule in such a small town and I, for one,
She told me, ever since she was a young girl, she has had the ability
to see spirits. She said she had been in the Baker
many times and had even managed a shop on the outside first floor
back in the early 1980s. She said the stories are true. The Baker
is very haunted - but not like we think. Most ghosts didn't necessarily
die at the Baker, but
returned after death because the hotel represented a wonderful time
in their lives.
She went on to say that most of the spirits in the hotel
do not want to be seen or heard with the exception of a small child.
A little boy, about six to eight years old, was the only one to communicate
with her. He told her he died in a hotel apartment in 1933 when his
parents were seeking medicinal treatment for his leukemia.
She reported a large shaggy dog always accompanied the child. He also
bounced a ball to get her attention and " he was watched by an unknown
older woman who was always near him."
The psychic went on to tell me the spirits don't necessarily look
the age they were when they died. Some were employees of the building.
One she said, for reasons she doesn't understand, was a helicopter
pilot who attended basic flight training at Ft. Wolters in the 1960's.
He was killed in a helicopter crash while at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.
He had returned to the Baker
with his body in the same traumatic state that resulted from the crash.
Page 2 - Ghosts of the Baker Hotel
Page 3 - Baker Hotel
Story - The stories of ghosts and hauntings began in the Baker
long before it ever closed.....