St. James Hotel | Cimarron, New Mexico
Out of the 5 restaurants (some within hotels) that I’ve written about so far, this one is likely one of the most famous, simply because of its former, famous guests and the more than 26 murders that occurred in the building. The guest list of famous people that frequented St. James Hotel, included Clay Allison, Black Jack Ketchum, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Wyatt Earp, Bob Ford, Bat Masterson, General Sheridan, Kit Carson, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Frederick Remington, Governer Lew Wallace, and Zane Grey (to name a few of course). And all of these cast of characters, including the other guests that passed through, definitely left their mark when they stayed: when the roof was replaced in 1901, there were 400 bullet holes found in the ceiling, and today, you can still see 22 bullet holes in the dining room of the restaurant (formerly the saloon).
Of course today, those 26 murders have led to numerous spirits that still linger around and cause mischief. Although paranormal activity has been felt throughout the establishment, it is the second floor that is the most active. People have reported feeling cold spots, smelling cigar smoke (no smoking allowed in the hotel), apparitions (very clear, detailed ones at that), objects flying off the wall and shelves, electrical equipment acting sporadically, lights that turn on and off, feelings of being watched, and guest digital gadgets ceasing to work.
Room 17 is home to a previous owner’s wife, Mary Elizabeth. Although guests are more than welcome to stay in the room, they’ll likely be greeted by the smell of roses, insistent tapping when the window is left open, and her apparition.
A staff once reported that he heard ear-piercing shrieking while working at the front desk, where two other patrons that were in the lobby, went undisturbed. Yet, another guest got invited to play poker with a round table of gentleman, that were proved to be ghosts – the person that saw the ghosts could have sworn they were flesh and blood people.
Then there’s room 18. This room is off limits to everyone. It stays locked, but houses a bed frame without a mattress, a rocking chair, coat rack, a hand of cards, shot glasses, and a bottle of Jack Daniels. This room remains locked because it is said to be the most haunted room in the building, and is where the angry ghost of Thomas James Wright resides. Mr. Wright was shot outside of this room, but stumbled inside the door before he slowly bled out. His ghost is likely uneasy, because he was shot after he had just won the hotel in a poker game, and obviously someone wasn’t willing to hand it over to him. Mr. Wright makes it very clear that he doesn’t like people to visit his room, as he pushes people to the ground when they enter and appears as a raging ball of light. It has also been rumored that other deaths have occurred in this room.