"Darkness Falls Across the Land...the Midnight Hour is Close at Hand."
The Baker Hotel * Mineral Wells, TX
photo by Suzanne * October 15, 2011
"Creatures crawl in search of blood...to terrorize y'all's neighborhood."
The Baker Hotel * Mineral Wells, TX
photo by Suzanne * October 15, 2011
I did take the two photos above...and then I recreated them in conjunction with my 'mind's eye'. Karo and I decided to take a long drive out of Fort Worth, about 50 miles west into Mineral Wells, TX last Saturday. We had both been there before in the 1980's and early 1990's, but not in some years until now. I bet you can guess why! I'm ALWAYS after a story!!! And they stay backed up in my head, so I have to jump on them when the time is right-and the time is right for this one!
This Halloween, I wanted to do a story on a 'haunted' place a little closer to home. I had been by the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells a few times, and you can see it off in the distance as you head into town from Millsap and other small neighboring towns. Man! It sticks out like, not a sore thumb really...let's just say, you can't miss it! Mineral Wells is the home of Fort Wolters US Army Camp from 1925 to 1946. After years of changing statuses from Air Force base in 1951 to US Army Primary Helicopter School in 1956, Fort Wolters is now used as an industrial park, a Texas Army National Guard training center and summer camp, and accomodates a branch of Weatherford College.
Ok, Ok...enough about that.
This is it! The Baker Hotel!
Look anything like my opening images? NAH!!!
photo by suzanne * October 15, 2011
So, can you take a little history? I promise, I'll try to be brief.
The Baker Hotel was a magnificent and huge hotel-built by wealthy hotel owner, Theo Baker. The construction took about 3 years, completed in 1929, at a cost of $1,250,000.00. Quite a chunk of cash, eh? There were only about 7,000 residents in the town of Mineral Wells-what was he thinking? There were 460 rooms, two complete spas, and it is reported that it sported the first Olympic-size swimming pool in the United States. We weren't able to get a photo of the pool, but we captured the old fountain in front of the pool.
Fountain with pool behind at left
photo by Karo * October 15, 2011
And here is an old photo of the entire
pool and fountain. The fountain on the right spills out into
the large pool. Fabulous!
This hotel generated much revenue and employment opportunities to the city of Mineral Wells. And, it was guested by many celebrities to boot!
You can see a more detailed list of guests on
To name just a few:
Bonnie and Clyde were said to have
stayed at the Baker Hotel
Lawrence Welk performed early in his career
at the Baker
President John F. Kennedy
And, yes my dears...even the Three Stooges!!! haha
Now, we must move on...so much to do, and so little time.
"You hear the door slam and realize there's no where left to run...
You can feel the cold hand, and wonder if you'll ever see the sun."
Oh, Man! Get a load of this!!! What the...?
You know, I had to touch the wall and the scroll work
around the door-this is the original stuff!
This was around back, and, yet, they didn't scrimp on the decor!
these 2 photos by me * october 15, 2011
Incinerator? is that how you spell it Laura? Or....?
I felt an eerie warmth in this area, and detected a
slight aroma of coal. Karo said they could have used
coal to heat this hotel with. Yeah...OK!!!
"And grizzly ghouls from every tomb,
Are closing in to seal your doom."
By the early 1940's, with the growth of Fort Wolters, which was the largest infantry replacement base in the country, The Baker Hotel flourished-a 'resort', if you will, right in the middle of town. The hotel enjoyed military guests along with celebrities and civilians. One of the big attractions to The Baker was the mineral water and baths. You see, earlier, in 1914, a hotel was built over a mineral spring in town. It is said that an emotionally challenged woman (known around town as the 'crazy lady'), would drink from a mineral spring, and it made her feel better, thus re-arranging her behavior. They built a hotel over this spring and called it the "Crazy Water" Hotel, that burned to the ground in 1925...they did rebuild it, and it still stands today.
*** Back to the Baker ***
Entrances to the bath houses. And, can you see all the broken windows upward?
photo by suzanne * october 15, 2011
In the 1950's, mineral water cure-alls began to fade, and with it, Mineral Wells, TX popularity. Well, the FDA started cracking down on 'miracle tonics and waters', and brought into society antibiotics and other preventive medicine. As a result, people started heading for more professional methods of healing. In 1952, Mr. Theo Baker retired and left his empire to his nephew, Earl Baker, who declared he would keep the hotel working until his 70th birthday. This came to happen, and in 1963, Earl Baker closed the doors of the hotel, but a group of civic leaders re-opened it in 1965, with little success of re-vamping it's former profitableness. The Baker Hotel closed for good in 1970. Then, in 1973, the Army closed Fort Wolters, resulting in yet another setback to the economy of the town.
It has been said that there were stories of ghosts and hauntings long before The Baker Hotel closed. There have been teams of investigators visit the hotel and they have reportedly photographed hundreds of orbs that are said to be actual spirits of the dead.
the following accounts come from
*** The Woman on the Seventh Floor
A woman who stayed in a room on the 7th floor is reported to have jumped to her death from the top of the building. She is the most famous and flirtatious spirit to roam the Baker. A porter who worked at the hotel during the 1950's and 1960's is said to have seen the ghost of this woman on that very floor. It is rumored that the woman was possibly the mistress of the hotel manager, or Mr. Baker himself, and in distress from the affair, decided to end it all. They say you can smell her perfume on the 7th floor.
*** A picture taken of some high school journalism students on the 14th floor ballroom reveals what appears to be the profile of a blonde woman's head...no one in the group, nor the photographer had blonde hair, and the picture was taken in a darkened room.
*** One psychic claims to have counted at least 49 spirits in the building.
*** Another psychic said that he had picked up on "disgust and discomfort" on the west end of the 5th floor. He said the area was occupied by a large disgusting man who wanted everyone to leave. He also reports that he found suffering and disease in the area.
*** And, yet, another claim is that an old woman was seen in the southeast corner of the ballroom, sitting in a wheelchair saying, "I can't do it", "I can't do it".
*** One more ghost! A young man who worked as an elevator operator in 1948, became involved in a prostitution ring at the hotel. At the urging of his mother, he quit, only to return few weeks later, back to work. Shortly, thereafter, he died in an elevator accident...his body was cut in half! Supposedly, a couple of co-workers were cited for having involvement in this death-being paid to get rid of him. But a family member insists that it was truly an accident.
*** Was it REALLY? ***
You can find some of these stories on
They say that a most of the spirits/ghosts in the The Baker Hotel did not actually die there. They are former hotel guests who simply returned after their death, because it was such a happy relaxing adventure. Some of the spirits were employees of the building. One was a helicopter pilot who attended basic flight training at Fort Wolters in the 1960's and was killed in a helicopter crash while at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. A lot of the guests of this hotel came to drink of the mineral waters and experience the baths, in hopes of reviving their youth and possibly curing their ailments.
Well, investigations continue, and some of the town's civic groups have tried to raise money to restore the old hotel. The city plans to buy the hotel ro $2,000,000.00. And the estimates to rennovate are around $50 million. Don't think that's going to happen soon! So, in the meantime, the ghosts are safe in their luxurious environment, and, we are left to wonder.
*** A special thanks to my wonderful husband, Karo, who, even tho he wouldn't let me crawl/roll under the gates at the back to get to the old bridge, that leads to the pool, happily drove me to Mineral Wells (some call it "Miserable Wells"! haha). We really enjoyed our time there. And, yes, I felt the force!!!
Thank you Mineral Wells, TX
Thank you Yahoo
Thank you Google
Much gratitude to the following sites for information gathered
"Night creatures calling,
The dead start to walk in their masquerade."
In memory of Michael Jackson
Thank you Michael for the use of your
lyrics to your Grammy Winning "Thriller" record!
And, thank you for your outstanding contributions
to the 'pop culture' of the day.
And, now, my ghoulish readers, (I mean dear readers!), I have put together a little slide show of some more of the photos we took of the Baker Hotel for you. We actually took 102 pics, but don't worry, not all of them are on the slideshow. And, you will hear a #l, 'one-hit wonder' song that was co-written and performed by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett in 1962.
I'm sure you will recognize this peppy little tune!
Please stop by and say hello!
The Baker Hotel Slide Show
Happy Halloween from