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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

The Elms Hotel

Do you believe in curses? At one time, it may have crossed the minds of those living in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The Elms Hotel and Spa burned down twice. Thankfully, no one was hurt in either fire. But lets start at the beginning.

The Elms didn't become a twinkle in someone's eye until after a local farmer used the healing mineral waters to cure his daughter's incurable tuberculosis in 1880. Word of her miraculous recovery spread about the country and people began to descend on the location in hopes of curing their own ailments. A pastor named John Van Buren Flack and a landowner named Anthony Wyman saw it's business potential, forming Excelsior Springs.

Excelsior Springs Company was created to bring the town pavilions, parks and The Elms Hotel. The hotel opened in 1888 and guests enjoyed the mineral water baths, gardens and luxurious parties and balls. Ten years after it open its doors, the first fire burned the wooden structure to the ground on May 9, 1898. Another ten years went by before the second Elms Hotel was completed. It reopened its doors on July 31, 1909. However, guests were only allowed to enjoy it for a little over a year before burned down again. Again there were no fatalities.

Third time was a charm for The Elms. The structure seen today was completed and opened on September 7, 1912. It continued to advertise and sell it's healing waters, experiencing success in the 1920s. Was even nearly converted into a sanitarium. All good things come to an end at some point. The hotel may have aided in the good health of its guests but couldn't survive the Great Depression. It filed for bankruptcy in 1931. New owners were able to revive it, attracting a variety of famous guests including Harry S Truman, Jack Dempsey and well known criminals such as Bugsy Moran and Al Capone.

The Elms saw many changes in ownership over the decades. Even experienced a second bankruptcy and a couple of renovations but managed to keep it's doors open to guests. So why is The Elms be labeled haunted?

Many believe one of the spirits tied to the hotel was from it's speakeasy days during Prohibition. This particular ghost hangs out in the basement, enjoying the lap pool. This area of the hotel use to host all-night gambling events and a popular hiding place for liquor brought by gangsters. Another spirit is that of a woman, searching for her child. They say she has been known to pull a person's hair and throw objects.


Sources:
The Elms Hotel and Spa
Only in Your State

Remembering 9/11

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The White Lady of Frio River

There is a lot of fear that surrounds ghosts, particularly those who had a violent life. It's always good to come across one who is good and gentle in nature. The life of Maria Juarez may have ended tragically but she spends her afterlife as a protector of children in Uvalde County, Texas.

All Maria wanted was to marry and start a family of her own. She was very close to her older sister. Even cared for her children. However, her constant presence in her sister's life came with a price. Her sister's husband Gregorio fell in love with Maria. She being the good honest person that she was refused him. Unfortunately, he did not want to take no for an answer.

The day came that Maria almost received her wish. She met a man name Anselmo. They fell in love and were about to marry. Upon learning of this news, Gregorio became enraged. If he couldn't have her, he wasn't going to let anyone else either. Maria went to meet Anselmo but came face-to-face with Gregorio instead. He pulled out a pistol and shot her in the heart.

He fled but was later captured. He confessed to the murder and spent many years in prison. Maria was buried in an unmarked grave wearing her wedding dress.

Many who visit the Frio River have seen a white mist in the shape of a woman. It is believed to be that of Maria. She's also known to be a guardian of sorts for children at night. Even covers them with blankets when it's cold.

Sources:

Wide Open Country

HauntedPlaces.org

Texas Escapes


New London Ledge Lighthouse

New London Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1909 on top of a concrete pier. This Groton, Connecticut lighthouse has been tended to by keepers until 1939 when the U.S. Coast Guard took over. Then, it was converted to automated in 1987. Of course, that is not why it is being mentioned here. It's alleged haunted status began with one lighthouse keeper.

This man's name was supposedly John Randolph. Living in a lighthouse in the 1920s or '30s can be a lonely existence. Randolph's wife found ways to maintain her sanity by flirting with local fishermen and sailors until that wasn't even enough. One day, when he went ashore for supplies, his wife ran off with the Block Island Ferry boat captain and never returned. When Randolph discovered his wife had left him, he slit his throat and fell from the 65 ft tower. His body was never found. A heartbreaking story, right? Unfortunately, there isn't any documentation John Randolph even existed much less killed himself.

However, a spirit named "Ernie" seems to be active at New London Ledge Lighthouse. Reports include doors opening and closing on their own, constant smell of fish, cold spots and items in locked drawers would rearrange themselves, Tools disappear and and reappear. Sheets ripped off their beds. Strange noises and whispers. Sometimes he turns on the foghorn on clear days. Boats and ships set adrift when someone speaks ill of him. "Ernie" would only appear to women and children. This active spirit is also kind enough to wash floors and windows. Who doesn't like a ghost who does windows, right?

In 2014, ownership of the New London Ledge Lighthouse was transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard to the New London Maritime Society. It's in the process of being restored and yes, they do offer tours.

Sources:

Ledge Light Foundation

Damned Connecticut 

Haunted Lighthouses, Legends and Lore

 
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