LOCATION - 204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX
HOURS - Operational Hotel
CLICK HERE To Visit Their Website (www.mengerhotel.com)
OWNER - 1859 Historic Hotels Ltd (Private Ownership)
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - High. Light Anomalies, Strange Noises, EVP Audio (electronic voice phenomenon), Cold Spots, Apparitions, Physical Contact
LEGEND - Built in 1859, just 23 years after the fall of the Alamo, one can only imagine who or what may have been disturbed to build this beautiful luxurious hotel. Named after the original owner William A. Menger, he built and operated this famous San Antonio hotel for many years. What began as an extension of his boarding house, and something to occupy the site adjunct to his brewery (interestingly enough, Mr. Menger used the tunnels underneath the hotel to store his beer. These tunnels are now walled up and heavily restricted), The Menger Hotel has played host to 13 U.S. Presidents, countless musicians, actors, and athletes in its more than 150 illustrious years. The Menger Hotel has always been the place to stay when you visit San Antonio. In 1870 the Menger was the best known hotel in the southwest. Over the years there have been several additions to the hotel in order to accomodate more guests.
Due in part to both probably its location, and age the Menger is also one of the most haunted hotels in the nation...boasting at least 43 different ghosts haunt the hotel - some of which are seen on a regular basis.
Probably the most famous story is of a chambermaid by the name of Sallie White. She was a very beautiful woman and loved her job at the Menger. She was also married to Henry Wheeler, a muleteer in the U.S. Army. Mr. Wheeler has an incredible temper, and was a very jealous man...two things that don't mix. Sallie and her husband would always argue as he accused her of cheating on him with hotel guests. He threatened to kill her on several occasions. One night after a huge blowout of a fight at the hotel, Sallie went to police afraid Henry was going to kill her. They advised her to stay at the police station overnight while they searched for Henry. They never found him, and against their advice, she went home. When she opened the door Henry was waiting with a gun. She opene the door, and ran out of the house, but not before he shot her three times in the stomach. She didn't die immediately, so Henry left town...she died three days later. Feeling sorry for her situation, and the fact she had no one to speak for her the Menger hotel paid for her burial, at a cost of $32.00. The receipt for her burial plot is still listed in the hotel ledger and displayed in the lobby. As much as they can figure, Sallie feels moved that the hotel took care of her as they did and so she continues her work. She has been seen by countless guests walking up and down the hall in her old uniform carrying towels. She speaks to no one, and it is said if you leave your night stand a mess, during the night she will clean it so that when you wake up, everything is in order.
Another famous resident of the Menger is and was Captain Richard King, founder of the King Ranch. Captain King was a great man who brought poor families from Mexico and gave them jobs on his ranch. He lived in the hotel, and eventually died there as well. His body laid in state in his room after his death. Even after his death Captain King isn't afraid to show himself. He is seen constantly peering over the balcony in the old lobby dressed in a tattered duster, boots, cowboy hat, with his signature beard. People staying in the King suite have reported seeing an apparition walk through the wall.
The Menger Bar is just as infamous as the hotel. The bar is the very place Teddy Roosevelt recruited and formed the Rough Riders, the first calvary in the U.S. Army that fought in Cuba and the Spanish American War. Roosevelt stayed at the hotel three times and was at times quite demanding. He had a special bell from his room to the front desk that he would ring when he wanted something. Even after he died, the bell continued to ring. They disconnected the bell and it still rang. Finally they had to completely remove the bell...and now Teddy no longer rings the front desk. The bar has quite a lot of activity, glasses fly across the room, things are moved both on the upper and lower levels.
The Colonial Room Restuarant is not only a delicous place to eat, it's also one of the most haunted parts of the hotel. Workers have actually been overtaken by spirits in this room. One worker saw a little girl being chased by two men. The litle girl touched his face and then ran through him, as did the other two men. Workers also have gone in the room late at night and had tables flip over, and chandeliers swing violently.
There are so many stories of hauntings at the Menger. Things happen sometimes that are so real you don't realize until later you may have been speaking to or seeing a ghost. Water turns on and off in certain bathrooms, faces appear in mirrors, and voices are heard. There's so much activity there's an entire book written on the place. "The History and Mystery of the Menger Hotel" is well worth the read. Mr. Ernesto Malacara has been documenting the many happenings for more than thirty years.
Investigation conducted with Mission City Paranormal...present were Russell, Bobby, Vanessa, Mike, Angelka, Beatrice, Beefcake, Dr. Simpton, Mary Ann, Mr. Malacara. We were extremly hopeful with all the reports of full body apparitions, tonight would be our night to see something most of us have never seen before. Since the Menger is an operational hotel our access was limited in the sense that we couldn't just roam the entire hotel. However, thanks to Mr. Malacara and the amazing staff at the Menger, we had plenty of access to all the hot spots. We began our investigation in the King Suite since Captain King is almost as popular of a sighting as Sallie White. We sat in a circle in the King Suite which is located in the front of the original portion of the hotel. Captain King has been seen walking through the walls and we were hoping to entice him to do just that. We started the session with the Ovalice, but it obviously wasn't making a connection as it was speaking jibberish. We had recorders running then decided to see if we could get someone to communicate with us using the flashlight. Spirits can use their energy to complete the circuit in a screwtop flashlight like a mini maglite. Initially, nothing responded to our questions. We decided to try something completely different and speak in Spanish. With Beatrice translating, we began asking questions and immediately got a hit on the flashlight. We never considered Captain King might speak Spanish, but since he brought so many families here from Mexico, it would only make sense. With one question we were able to confirm it was indeed the late Captain Richard King. After the Menger Bar closed for the night, our crew worked to set up two infrared cameras to shoot wide in the bar so as to capture everything that was happening on each floor. We left the cameras set up alone in the locked bar for more than four hours. Unfortunately, after reveiw we picked up little more than some drunks walking by the outside door and the ice machine turning on and off. While the cameras were left alone, our crew split up with Gel, Russell, Bobby, and Beefcake in a guest room on the second floor of the original building. At this point our hope was to make contact with Sallie White who is seen in this area of the hotel walking through the hotel carrying towels. With the overhead fan running we encouraged Sallie to make it stop...we watched the fan for what seemed like an eternity, but it was still running. The flashlight was turning on and off at random although we were unsure if the spirit we were talking to really was Sallie, despite her confirming it with the flashlight several times. It was shortly after this point Russell went in the other room to use the bathroom, as he was coming out he was pushed lightly from behind, freaking him out more than anything. Our crew continued invetigating until well after 7 AM in the hopes someone would appear or walk through a wall. Finally close to 8 AM we shut the investigation down unsure if we had caught any evidence at all. Our pictures confirmed otherwise. Despite not seeing or hearing anything out of the ordinary doesn't mean the Menger isn't haunted. Ghosts are said to be just like us, they can get shy from time to time around new people, they may be there, but just watching us to see what we're doing.