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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gran Hotel Viena

Ghost Hunters International is back on Jan. 6th with an all new investigation. This time the team heads to the Gran Hotel Viena in Miramar, Argentina. The history of this structure begins with a German named Max Pahlke in 1904. They traveled to Argentina in search of work. Max met and married an Austrian woman named Melita in Uruguay about ten years later. The couple had two children, Max Jr. and Ingrid.

His wife Melita suffered from bad asthma and his son Max dealt with psoriasis. Seeking relief from their ailments in Europe was rather dangerous due to World War II. Doctors suggested they visit Laguna de Mar Chiquita due to their curative baths and mud applications. The family took a trip to this location in 1938 and stayed a couple of weeks. They participated in healing treatments, balneotherapy, and mud therapy. After returning to Buenos Aires, that winter, Max noticed an improvement in his wife and son's health.

Max was in good economic standing due to being the CEO of Mannesmann company and decided to invest in Miramar. Thus began constructing, done by a German company, the first of several stages of the 5-star luxurious Grand Hotel Vienna, named after his wife's home country, in 1940. The hotel contained 84 rooms, a medical facility equipped with doctors, nurses and massage therapists, a library, bank, dining room that sits 200, granite floors, walls lined with Carrara marble, bronze chandeliers, wine cellar, slaughterhouse, bakery, only hotel with air conditioning and heating system in each facility, a large pool divided in to saltwater and freshwater (that is if you didn't want to visit the lagoon), electricity generating plant, garages with their own fuel supply and food warehouse. It was completed in December 1945.

Argentina declared war on Germany 10 days before it surrendered. Because of the victory, Max was asked to leave his position in the Mannesmann Company. This along with several cases of abuse associated by the employees of the hotel forced Max to close down the hotel and move his family in March of 1946.

After Pahlke's departure, the hotel continued to be under his ownership. Max Jr. continued treatments there until 1963 when his parents mutually agreed to reopen the hotel. Max Jr. or Dr. Pahlke refurbished and added on to the hotel with Dr. Koloman Kolomi Geraldini as service and administration manager. It remained opened that is until the mid 1980s after a series of floods damaged the Grand Hotel Vienna along with other parts of the village. Since then, the waters have receded, exposing the hotel and other buildings that weren't demolished before the flood. The Pahlke family are currently in the legal process of reclaiming the hotel.

It is allegedly haunted by flood victims, and a former caregiver.

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