Location: 205 E. Houston St. San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 227-3241
Hours: Tours Available Around Halloween, Room Available To Rent
Paranormal Activity: High. Voices, EVP Audio (electronic voice phenomenon), Strange Noises, Physical Contact, Negative Feelings
The murder in room 636 of the Gunter Hotel is by far, the biggest unsolved mystery in San Antonio.
On February 8, 1965 a grisly, gruesome scene was discovered in Room 636 at the Gunter Hotel. Walter Emerick, a known criminal was checked into the room. That afternoon, a housekeeper, making her rounds, opened the door to Room 636 to a bloody site. A man, matching Walter’s description, was seen standing in the room. Blood surrounded him, on the walls, the floor, the bathroom, and the bed. He was holding a “bloody bundle”. He quietly lifted his finger to his lips, to shush the startled housekeeper. She went running down the hall, screaming for help. When she found help, and returned to the room, the man was mysteriously gone.
This began a lengthy investigation by the San Antonio police dept., led by detectives Castillon and Salas. The room was described as a blood bath. The medical examiner at the time inspected the room and declared that a homicide had taken place.
Walter Emerick, using the alias, Albert Knox, became a fugitive for the next 48 hours. He was reported, by several witnesses, in the San Antonio downtown area to be loitering around the Texas Theater, the San Antonio River, and The El Tropicano Hotel. He also stayed in the Rio Lado Motel the night of February 9th. Emerick went on a spending spree, purchasing new clothes, a suitcase, visiting a neighborhood bar, using hot checks he had stolen from his mother to purchase these items. There was one unusual purchase, he attempted to make at the Sears Roebuck store downtown - an industrial size meat grinder. Mrs. Wilson, the store clerk at Sears, could not fill his request for the meat grinder in a timely manner, as they did not have any in stock. This angered Emerick, and he left the store furious.
On February 10, 1965, Emerick checked in to the St. Anthony Hotel, off of East Travis St. He asked the clerk for room 636. This room was unavailable, so he settled for room 536. He signed in as Robert Ashley of Dallas, TX. The clerk was suspicious of the request for the specific room. San Antonio police detectives matched the hotel check in card of Robert Ashley to that of Albert Knox of Room 636 of the Gunter Hotel, and the handwriting was a match. SAPD had their man. At around 830 pm, the evening of February 10th, police detectives went to room 536 of the St. Anthony to confront the suspected murderer. When the police knocked on the door, a man’s voice stated, “Leave me alone, I don’t need service.” The police announced themselves. One gunshot from a 22 Caliber handgun went off. Police, after taking cover, realized this was the only shot. Busting down the door, they found Emerick laying in the bed, a pool of blood from a bullet hole to his head. He was gasping for his last few breaths of air. Walter Emerick had been caught.
His suicide left so many questions unanswered. What was he going to do with a meat grinder? What had he done with the “bloody bundle”? And, most importantly, “Who was murdered in room 636?” All police had to go on was a glass with lipstick on it in room 636, strands of long blonde hair, and a large amount of blood. No name, no missing persons reports of a woman came forward, and finally, no body or evidence of any remains.
For years, following the unsolved murder, there have been reports of paranormal activity, sometimes even violent activity, in the room of the Gunter hotel, of 636. The activity and legend became so controversial that The Gunter Hotel completely remodeled the room, turning it into two rooms, and renumbering them 620 and 621. Even with the changes, the negative energy and paranormal activity lingers. Mild reports of an uneasy feeling, bad dreams, negative behavior from often mild mannered people, to significant physical attacks.
Is Walter’s spirit, still in control, with violent anger still in this space?
NOTE: Enjoy this episode as Russell Rush and The Haunted Tour team delve into the history of the murder in Room 636 of the Gunter Hotel. Welcome Mr. Guillermo Fuentes, Director and founder of San Antonio Paranormal Investigations (SAPI), who has invested the last 13 years in thorough research of the story, the mystery, the paranormal investigations and documentations of Room 636 and wrote a book dedicated to the history. Interviews of former SAPD officers will be conducted, a psychic walk through of the rooms, and the team will spend three separate nights, investigating both rooms 620 and 621. Each team has a mission to accomplish on their night of the investigation. Will they find out who the woman was who was murdered in Room 636? Will the teams find out why Walter committed such a horrendous crime? And lastly, what did he do with the body?
Enjoy the episode and for more history of this mystery, check out The Murder of Room 636 (A Haunting Truth), by Guillermo Fuentes.
1. "He Snapped My Neck"
2. Gunter Hotel Room621-"You Such and Stop"
5. Gunter Hotel Bedroom- Whistle
6. Shack Hack- "Room 636"