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Step aside Stephen King, Alaska’s Mary Ann Poll is here to spin new tales of the super-natural and the ungodly, as her heroes and heroines take on the forces of evil on 'The Last Frontier.' ~Jeff Babcock

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Haunted Destinations: The Emily Morgan Hotel (San Antonio, Texas)

The Emily Morgan Hotel sits only a few hundred meters from The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. It is known as the “official hotel of the Alamo” and is part of the Alamo Plaza Historic District.

(As a note: The Alamo is almost 100 years older than The Emily Morgan Hotel. Being so close to the infamous battle at The Alamo in 1836, where hundreds of people died, some hauntings might be spirits of the fallen from that bloody battle.)

In 1924, J.M. Nix and architect Ralph Cameron drew up plans to build San Antonio’s first state-of-the-art medical facility. It not only achieved renown as the best medical facility west of the Mississippi but also as the city’s first skyscraper.

This new medical arts building accommodated hundreds of doctors. It was known as one of the best hospitals for decades and operated until 1976, when it became an office building. In 1984 it became The Emily Morgan Hotel.

One of Texas’s folk heroines, Emily Morgan, is the namesake of this hotel. Born a free woman of color in Connecticut, she came to Texas to complete time as an indentured servant, as many mixed-race freedmen (or women) were obligated to do. Posthumously, her name became Emily Morgan. She worked for James Morgan, who many believed her to have married. She became a hero because, either by accident or design, she distracted the Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at a critical time in the battle. Kidnapped along with other servants and workers by the Mexican Army, Emily caught the general’s eye and was in his tent at a crucial time. The Battle of San Jacinto, a decisive conflict in the Texas Revolution, occurred when the general had his attention on Emily. The Mexican Army was defeated in eighteen minutes.

This hotel is a paranormal hotspot. Being so close to the battle of the Alamo, not to mention being a medical facility and hospital, makes it ripe for spiritual activity. The most haunted floors are said to be the basement, 7th Floor, 12th Floor, and 14th Floor.

In the basement, staff members report seeing glowing orbs floating around and hearing disembodied voices, some yelling in pain. The smell of burnt flesh, mixed with the heavy humid air, makes most people nauseous upon entry.

The 7th Floor is said to be the most haunted. Many guests and staff report seeing a ghost bride, though no one knows why she is stuck on the 7th Floor. A sighting of this ghost sends terrified guests to the lobby late at night. Some people are awakened at three a.m. to bloodcurdling screams. Others describe seeing the bride’s apparition in their rooms—appearing and then disappearing through walls at random.

The 12th Floor originally housed the operating rooms of the Medical Arts Building. It is now the site of the Emily Morgan’s swimming pool. People report hearing hospital stretchers moving up and down the hallway, seeing apparitions of nurses and doctors working as if it were still a hospital, lights and bathroom faucets turning on and off on their own, and even doors opening and closing randomly.

The 14th Floor is, in reality, The Emily Morgan Hotel’s 13th and final Floor. (Like most skyscrapers, the building doesn’t ‘officially’ have a 13th floor to avoid ‘bad luck.’) The hospital’s smell lingers around this level, home to the most luxurious suites. Guests report the odor of medicines and ointments. Some guests have reported seeing scenes from the old hospital out of the corner of their eye; then, when turning to look, the image is gone.

Is The Emily Morgan the most haunted hotel in Texas? Some say so. If you visit, please let me know where you rate this gothic-style building on the haunt-o-meter.

Until next time,  





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