When you think about haunted places, what comes to mind? Hospitals? Sanitariums? Hotels? At the Emily Morgan, you don’t have to choose.
The Emily Morgan Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in the US — most recently, it took No. 4 overall and No. 1 in the “demonic” genre (a la “The Exorcist”) in a Hotels.com list. Let’s see if you have have what it takes to last the night.
Once upon a time
Before the Emily Morgan was anything, its plot adjoined a battlefield where 600 men lost their lives in the Alamo’s Long Barracks.
The building began its life in 1926 as the most advanced medical facility west of the Mississippi. It had a morgue in its basement, and a psychiatric hospital, surgery, and crematorium on higher floors.
Designed for ghosts
The Medical Arts Building (the former name of the Emily Morgan) wasn’t just the most advanced medical science facility west of the Mississippi in its day — it was the tallest skyscraper in the West, if briefly.
Gargoyles look down from the hotel in the New York Gothic style. Reflecting the building’s original purpose, the monsters are twisted in agony from various medical conditions, from toothaches to stomach bugs.
Did these architects know that they were setting up for an uber-haunted hotel? Unlikely, but their creativity wound up paying off big time.
Rumor has it
These days, the building is a Doubletree Hilton — but if you believe, you might find remnants of its grim past.
Residents + staff report mysterious phone calls, rattling sounds, and antiseptic smells. On the seventh floor, some have seen a woman in white, fleeting shadows, or a rickety gurney.
We’ve even heard that the swimming pool is lined with the old surgery’s steel tables. And that the elevator might just lock you in and send you to the morgue, where you’ll hear whispering voices. (We can’t confirm these last two, though.)
Business is boo-ming
How has the hotel dealt with its supernatural reputation? Well, the “Room With Your Boo” package lasts until the end of October, where you can receive a special Halloween gift + a boo-berry pancake breakfast in bed.
Let’s face it: ghost stories are meant to draw us in, not keep us away. As the saying goes, “If you build it” — “it” being a hospital-turned-hotel on the site of an 1830s battlefield — “they will come.”