The Baker Hotel is a 14-story brick giant looming over the town of Mineral Wells. Built in 1929 and opening its doors just two weeks after Black Monday, the hotel boasted 280,000 square feet, 450 guest rooms, and a whole floor dedicated to spa treatments. It was billed as a resort hotel, offering mineral water treatments touted to cure ailments from rheumatism to insanity. The hotel now stands in near ruin, inhabited only by a few spirits. The Baker Hotel register book was graced by such famous names as Bonnie and Clyde, Judy Garland, and Clark Gable, yet it seems to be the local ghosts who have stayed on. Hotel magnate T.B. Baker, who built the hotel, haunts the Baker Suite, a lavish apartment on the 11th floor. Tour guides knock on the carved oak door before entering, and often his cigar smoke lingers in the air. Small items go missing from purses while ghost tour groups visit this room; occasionally, a tour guide will find the missing item at the threshold to the suite when closing the building up hours later. Probably the most famous ghost in local lore is Virginia Brown, mistress to T.B. Baker. She kept a corner suite on the seventh floor, and while in these rooms, people have reported the smell of lavender perfume, soft touches on the shoulder, and even seeing the old windows rise and fall of their own accord. Virginia is rumored to have committed suicide from the bell tower of the hotel in despair over her illicit love affair. On moonlit nights, locals say that you can see the form of a woman in white leaning over the edge of the bell tower, and they have reported seeing a soft glow in her window, as if she were holding vigil there. In the basement of the hotel, a young bellhop met an unfortunate death. His name was Douglas, and he was trapped in the elevator cage as it was rising. He was severely crushed at the midsection and died several hours later. There is a rumor that his death was no accident, but rather a way to hide illicit knowledge about gambling and prostitution. Whatever the intent behind Douglas’s death, the air is colder at the base of this elevator shaft, and on occasion the lucky observer can witness the cage doors sliding open with no physical aid. Maybe the saddest and strangest ghost of the Baker Hotel is that of the Unnamed Prostitute. She was suffocated to death with her own pantyhose, and when found, no one was willing to volunteer her name. Hotel management had her body embalmed and displayed her in the lobby under glass, hoping someone could identify her. A week went by, and no one claimed her. She was buried in a local cemetery, but her spirit can be heard crying in the hotel lobby on quiet nights.
Written by — Kira Connally Paranormal Investigator, Mystic Ghost
THE BAKER HOTEL
201 EAST HUBBARD STREET
MINERAL WELLS, TEXAS 76067
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