Building the four hundred and fifty-two room Baker Hotel in 1929 cost over a million dollars, which is extra astounding considering that was the beginning of the Great Depression! It hosted a variety of celebrities throughout its history, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Helen Keller, Mary Martin, Ronald Regan, Jack Dempsey, Judy Garland, Clarke Gable, Will Rogers, General Pershing, Marlene Dietrich, Sam Rayburn, Sammy Kaye, Jean Harlow, Lawrence Welk, and the Three Stooges. The infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde stayed there, too (under aliases and disguises, of course). They all came to swim in the two pools, go to the state of the art gym, get a massage or enjoy a therapeutic bath at the spa, eat at the on site restaurants, shop, and attend dances in one of the enchanting ballrooms.
Another reason why the hotel got so much business was because of the town mineral wells. According to legend the water was a miracle cure for intestinal and stomach problems, as well as various mental illnesses. Word got around, and sick people filled the hotel. Unfortunately, because the mineral water was nothing more than plain water, many of those people died there, and their ghosts still remain.
Is the Baker Hotel Haunted?
One psychic claimed to have spoken with a six or eight year old boy who passed away in 1933. He was dying of leukaemia, and his parents took him to the city hoping that he would be cured by the water. His spirit is always accompanied by a large shaggy dog and an unknown elderly woman. Two nameless people in wheelchairs haunt one of the ballrooms. One is a young boy and the other is an old woman who whispers over and over to herself, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do it.” Another psychic interacted with a military pilot. He supposedly died in a helicopter crash while stationed at Fort Rucker in Alabama and ended up at the Baker Hotel because it represented a glamorous, beautiful time in his life.
There are forty nine ghosts at the Baker Hotel, making it one of the most haunted places in Texas. The ghosts can be divided into two groups: spirits that know they are dead, and spirits that act like they are still alive! Ghosts that do not realize that they have passed on keep repeating their habits. This includes a young girl who goes from mirror to mirror checking her makeup like she’s preparing to go to a big band performance at the ballroom.
Like many haunted places, the Baker Hotel is home to a Lady in White. This red-headed ghost floats around the seventh floor. She was Mr. Baker’s mistress who committed suicide. Baker and his family lived on the tenth floor until 1972, and he kept his mistress in an apartment on the seventh.
Baker Hotel is famous to paranormal investigators for another reason: orbs. Orbs are coloured spheres that are believed to be spirits. Traditionally they are naked to the human eye but visible on film. Hundreds of orbs have been photographed at the Baker Hotel, especially in the basement, the fifth floor, the seventh, and the fourteenth. In those same locations, visitors have seen the lights flicker, heard people screaming, footsteps, and smelled either cigars or chocolate.