Haunted tales of a hotel

The legends that haunt Jefferson, Texas

Photo by Peyton Sims
Two rocking chairs sit on the wooden porch of the Excelsior Hotel in Jefferson, Texas. This rumored ghost infested hotel has brought in guest from all across the country.

The empty streets leave silence lurking across Jefferson, Texas. Old, abandoned buildings creek in the depth of the night. China dolls glare at you through the glass of rundown flea markets. Jefferson is one of the few places where its history can be seen by simply walking through the city. Horse carriages continue to stroll down the cobblestone streets fitting with the visuals, such as an array of different architectural buildings that remain unrenovated. 

The Excelsior House Hotel in Jefferson first started in 1858 and has hosted famous faces such as Ulysses S. Grant and Stephen Spielburg. The hotel is now one of the oldest standing hotels in east Texas and draws people in from all over the country. Rumors of ghosts circulate throughout the hotel, which intrigues even more visitors to stay the night. 

I recently stayed in The Excelsior hotel and was able to take in all of the history. The room I was staying in was President Ulysses S. Grant’s suite in the distant past. Portraits of the president covered the walls, and the furniture made you truly feel like you were living in another time period. A guest book journal sat on the dresser, full of past guests’ experiences. Numerous people stated their experiences with paranormal activity, while others said they experienced nothing out of the ordinary. 

While I was staying at the hotel, I took numerous photos throughout the building. I was hoping to discover ghostly orbs, but I I saw nothing unusual in my photos. When night fell, I was afraid I might hear voices calling out to me or hear sounds coming from the unlit closet, but I soundly fell asleep with no interruptions. Despite the lack of paranormal activity, I‘m certain that when I return to Jefferson, I’ll once again stay at the Excelsior House Hotel. 

Guests claimed that they could see the form of a soldier taking place in the oval mirror that sat in the corner of the room. Others said they heard the closet door handle rattling, keeping them up all night. Some said that the bathroom door would swing open when it would remain untouched. Whether you’re a believer or a nonbeliever, The Excelsior House Hotel undoubtedly is a place full of unexplainable occurrences. 

When the well-known director Stephen Spielburg stayed in room 215 of this hotel, he couldn’t wait until the morning to check out. He stated that he put his luggage in a chair to only have it fly back at him, and then a little boy woke him up in the middle of the night to ask if he was ready for breakfast. This made him quickly gather up his belongs as well as him team and head for the check-out desk. Even though the paranormal activity sent him running, he was able to produce the critically acclaimed movie, “The Poltergeist”, based on his experiences

Whether it’s the history or the ghosts that draw you into Jefferson, you definitely won’t regret your stay. From the iconic scenery to the breathtaking buildings, you’ll return home with an abundance of new memories shared with your family and friends. If you do decide to book a room at The Excelsior House Hotel, don’t hold back on bringing along some ghost equipment or a reliable friend that can help you fight off the ghouls in case of a haunting.