For today’s “Spooky Place in Texas” we head northwest to Mineral Wells and the grand and opulent Baker Hotel.
The Baker Hotel opened to the public Nov. 9, 1929, and proudly boasted the first swimming pool built for a hotel in Texas and another novelty: air-conditioned rooms. It rose 14 stories over Mineral Wells and was the first high rise built outside a major metropolitan area.
Dignitaries, politicians and the rich and famous traveled to the Baker for its modern amenities and the healing mineral waters in its pools. Although the Baker closed its doors in 1972, shortly after the death of owner Earl Baker, the stories of ghosts and hauntings began long before.
A porter who worked there during the 1950s and 1960s was the first known witness to the ghost of a 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 might fancy.
In the Brazos Room on the first floor, witnesses have heard the sound of music and muted conversation, and employees at a local drive-through bank across from the hotel have noticed windows open on various floors that will then be closed a few moments later, even though there was no one in the building. Many have felt an icy cold breeze while touring the building, even when the temperatures were well above 100 degrees.
The Baker is currently being renovated and promises to be an even bigger jewel than it once was. Just remember, should you check in at its completion, the icy chill you feel might not be the air-conditioning!