Four stories high and 77 years old, the Von Minden Hotel towers over the other buildings in downtown Schulenburg. It’s the last standing combination hotel/ theater of its kind. Like most hotels that have been around for a while, this one has seen its share of death.
One room, dubbed the “Jumper’s Room,” belonged to a paratrooper from World War II who lost his leg and was badly disfigured when his plane was shot down during military service. On his way back home, he stopped for a night at the hotel. Upon his arrival, he was given a batch of letters written by his girlfriend, now known as “Miss Polka Dot,” so named because of the polka-dotted dress she was last seen wearing. One of the letters was a “Dear John” letter. Although she had changed her mind, the veteran read that particular letter out of sequence. Dismayed, he jumped to his death from his fourth-floor window. Miss Dot showed up the following afternoon hoping to reunite with her lover. Since that time, there have been reports of the Polka Dot lady wandering the hallways looking for her man.
In another room, a railroad worker died suddenly while standing behind his door, effectively blocking it so no one could get in when they discovered what happened. A skinny hotel worker climbed over the transom above the door so he could get inside, move the body, and unlock the door.
One of the current owners, Garret Pettit, tells the story of his mother’s ghostly experience one night. “This particular night,” Pettit said, “Mom finished cleaning up the theater and turned off the lights. She was making her way up the dark aisle by trailing her hand across the seat backs when her fingers brushed against the hand of someone else. She knew without a doubt she was the only one left in the building. She also knew without a doubt she’d just brushed the hand of a ghost.”
My husband, Chris, and I have investigated the hotel several times with excellent results. One night we were in the lobby talking about the former deceased owners, and as soon as their name left our lips, Chris’s EMF meter began chirping loudly. A photo later revealed a good-sized orb above his left shoulder while the light on his meter flashed.
One morning, after a long night of strange noises and occurrences, Chris and I gave up on sleep and wandered down to the hotel lobby. I relaxed in a comfortable chair hoping for a catnap while Chris snapped random pictures. The atmosphere suddenly seemed to feel “heavier.” A photo taken at the time showed a very faint round orb next to my foot. In the middle of the orb is a tiny, brilliant spark of bright blue light.
Subsequent visits generated more paranormal photos and video. We’ve even orchestrated a very successful ghost conference there. Many guests had their own ghost stories to tell after that hauntingly fun weekend!
Written by — Ginger Pennell Co-Founder, Spirit Quest Paranormal
THE VON MINDEN HOTEL
607 LYONS AVENUE
SCHULENBURG, TEXAS 78956
TEL: 1 (979) 743-3714
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