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 Texas : Features : Ghosts :
ROOMS WITH A PAST - TEXAS HOTELS BUILT BEFORE 1950

GHOSTS OF THE CRAZY WATER HOTEL
Mineral Wells, Texas

by Bob Hopkins

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Crazy Water Hotel and Crazy Water Crystal postcard
Crazy Water Hotel and Crazy Water Crystals

Postcard courtesy of Byran Black

Ghosts

It is quite possible that some of residents of the "good times" may not have gone on. In the early 1990's, reconstruction of the kitchen area on the first floor took place. Since that time the figure of a small child has been seen on many occasions.

Amy Harris, an employee of the Crazy Water reported that one morning in 1994, she was in the kitchen panning bacon for the residents at breakfast when suddenly, just to her left, stood a little girl in an old fashioned pink frilly dress with white stockings standing with her hands perched on the side of the table watching Amy at work. Amy said she was there for just a few seconds and suddenly disappeared. Then at Christmas, 1999, Amy was entering the kitchen area from the dining room when she was suddenly overcome with a cold chill as if something "passed right through her".

Isabel Hernandez, another Crazy Water employee stated that a little girl's spirit, who has called her "Dizzy", a nickname that only her family knows, frequently follows her around in the kitchen. On another occasion she felt someone touch her while she was serving food in the serving line. She said at first the little ghost scared her but over the years she has gotten use to it.

Another employee by the name of Walter has reported hearing the little girl sobbing in the basement and then upon investigating the cries felt a cold spot in the area where he heard the sounds originating from.
Joyce Landon, another Crazy Water employee, claims she too has seen a little girl playing in the kitchen area, as has Linda Ruiz who reported in April 2000 saw a man in the kitchen wearing a long trench coat as if he walked out of the 1930' or 1940's. He too was there for just a short time and then vanished.

Several of the employees have heard the sounds of voices and of the little girl in the basement area located just under the kitchen. Curtis, the maintenance man reported seeing the little girl near the elevators in the basement. The basement area is part of the old Crazy Water Hotel that burned down in 1925 and the old brick walls still bear the charred remains of the original building.

Who, exactly, could these spirits be? No one seems to know. The building has been here for 75 years and it is almost impossible to know all the stories that took place here but one thing is for sure, these "ghosts" have been seen by several witnesses and didn't seem to be here before the reconstruction of the kitchen area. Whatever the cause or who ever the people are it is for sure that something strange is going on in the kitchen of the historic Crazy Water Hotel in downtown
Mineral Wells.

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Crazy Water Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas, post card
The Crazy Water Hotel (c. 1927) in Mineral Wells

TE Postcard Archives

Crazy Water Hotel - Background

By 1873, the Indian depredations had all but ended throughout north central Texas opening the door for many settlers to move westward. Most of those that came were people who had nothing left back east and believed the new lands in Texas could provide their families with opportunities never before offered.

One of these brave folks was a man by the name of James A. Lynch who moved his family into a valley nestled between the beautiful hills of Palo Pinto County about 45 miles west of Fort Worth.

One day Mr. Lynch was digging a well on his property to provide badly needed water to his family, crops, and livestock. Upon completion of the well the Lynch's discovered the water to be too foul smelling to be drinkable. After some time; however, Mrs. Lynch began to taste the smelly water and claimed that it cured her arthritis.

The Lynch's discovered the water to be enriched with minerals, lending it prime medicinal value for the time. It didn't take long for the word to get out among the few locals that the waters had "healing" powers.

By 1888, a third well was dug. It was from this well that a demented woman would sometimes drink. Those who knew her claimed she had regained her sanity from drinking the miraculous water. It was at this time that a few of the local children began to call well No. 3 "the Crazy Water Well". After time the word "Well" was dropped and the named "Crazy Water" was coined and the official town of "Ednaville" was established but later changed its name to "Mineral Wells".

By the early 1900's
Mineral Wells was on its way to becoming a national health resort as bath houses and spas popped up all over the valley. People were coming by the hundreds every week to bath in or drink the healing waters.

Many accommodations such as hotels and boarding houses were springing up everywhere. In 1912 the city saw the need for a luxury hotel and decided to build one on the sight of old well No. 3, hence; the "Crazy Water Hotel" was born. The four-story structure was completed in 1914 and operated until March 1925 when a tragic fire completely destroyed the hotel.

Two Years later, two Dallas businessman, Carr and Hal Collins, rebuilt a new seven story structure on the sight of the old one, keeping the same name, the new structure had two complete bathhouses located in the basement, electric elevators, a huge and lavish lobby, 200 rooms, and a spacious enclosed pavilion of semi Moorish design.

The Crazy Water Hotel was a beautiful sight during the 1920's and 1930's as over 100,000 people a year visited the city for the mineral waters. At the end of the 1940's the days of the mineral waters were numbered and
Mineral Wells would never enjoy the fabulous times that it saw earlier in the century. By the 1980's many of the old hotels and boarding houses had either burned down, fallen down, or were simply tore down but the old Crazy Water survived and was converted into a retirement center and remains so to this day.

July 2002
Bob Hopkins, Weatherford

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Author's Note: 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 explain.

I have researched about 30 north Texas haunts, many of which have never before been documented or researched. They range from the hauntings of the old Baker and Crazy Water hotels in Mineral Wells to a haunted plantation near Tyler. I have researched each as to the best of my ability for authenticity and historical accuracy. I would be more than happy to share some of my research with (your readers). Thank you very much. - Bob Hopkins, Weatherford.
Crazy Water Hotel Forum
  • Subject: Crazy Water Hotel Ghosts
    I came across this site while searching for pictures of Mineral Wells, Texas, in the 1930s and 1940s, and I love all the information I came across.

    My family is from Mineral Wells, and my great-grandmother lived there up until her death in 2002. She was a resident of the Crazy Water Hotel for several years, and I loved the feeling of the old building. Every time I would visit, there would always be a bit of playtime downstairs in the enormous lobby, and then a trip to the roof to explore.

    Downstairs, taped to the windows of a room off the main lobby, are photographs of the "Crazy Gang" and a few celebrities who had visited the hotel. I loved the old photos, and always spent a few minutes looking at them. Once or twice, while standing in the area, though on different occasions, I felt a sudden surge of cold air hit me. I remember feeling as if something had passed right through me, but brushed the thought aside.

    During one trip to the roof, I was looking out a window, down onto the street. I am not absolutely certain, but as far as I can tell, this area had been the hotel's ballroom. As I stood at the window, I thought I saw the figure of a woman in a long red, 1930s style dress. I turned, but the figure was gone. The rest of my family was outside, on the rooftop terrace at the time, ruling all of them out as the image I saw. Also, the elevators had not opened since I had been upstairs. I was certain that my mind was playing tricks on me. But who knows? Perhaps it was a ghost.

    I'm a bit of a skeptic, but with all the excitement that the Crazy once possessed, why wouldn't the building hold that spirit today? It seems reasonable. After all the past never fades completely; some how a memory of it will always linger. Perhaps a few hotel guests are just a part of the fabulous memory of the Crazy Water Hotel. - (Name withheld by request, September 22, 2004


  • I have never seen the little girl in the story. But once a few months ago, while working in the basement, I thought I saw something red pass by the doorway down the hall. I am not prepared to call it a ghost, but I was the only one there and upon checking the elevator was on an upper floor, so no one else could have been there. - Sincerely, Richard Curtis, Lead Maintenance

  • Great to come across your website. I googled you up when I became curious about the background of a framed postcard I had hanging on the office door in Jakarta, where I've lived since 1988 (UT Class of '62, Linguistics). It shows the 7-story building with a sign on the roof reading, sure enough, "Crazy Water Hotel". The "Crazy" has a cursive style like the original Coca-Cola logo. Floating in the sky above the hotel is a sinister green and white box reading "Crazy Water Crystals". I tend to doubt they are on the market any longer, alas. Great job you guys are doing. I'll be rooting around your sites some more. Would you also be kind enough to forward this note to Bob Hopkins, as an appreciation? Thanks. - Byron Black Copywriter, Media Producer & Teacher, Jakarta, Indonesia, September 12, 2002

  • Mineral Wells Hotels > Book Your Hotel Here & Save
    Related Stories & Topics:
    Mineral Wells, Texas
    Ghosts of the Baker Hotel by Bob Hopkins
    More Rooms with a Past
    More Ghosts
    Getting There
    Mineral Wells, Texas

    US 281 - 90 miles South of Wichita Falls
    US 180 - 48 miles West of Fort Worth,
    80 miles West of Dallas

    Tourist Information
    Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce
    511 E. Hubbard St., Mineral Wells, Texas 76068
    (1-800-252-MWTX)

    Mineral Wells Hotels > Book Your Hotel Here & Save
    We were glad to receive a letter from Bob Hopkins of Weatherford since we consider Mineral Wells to be one of the more under-appreciated cities in Texas. Mr. Hopkins' article provides an excellent historical backdrop for his reports on the sightings/ visitations at the Crazy Water Hotel.

    The original Crazy Water Well gave birth to a variety of businesses in Mineral Wells. There was the Crazy Drugstore, the Crazy Laundry, the Crazy Theater and the Crazy Beauty Shop (there's a joke there somewhere). Return with us now to an era of rooftop dancing and rooms that were "scientifically air-conditioned."

    Further information on Mineral Wells is found in Gene Fowler's excellent 1990 book: Crazy Water: The Story of Mineral Wells and Other Texas Health Resorts (TCU Press) - Editor
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