Opened to the public in 1984 the building has become a landmark in its own right. In an area that draws tourists from all over the world keen to steep themselves in the history of the Texas Revolution, the haunted Emily Morgan Hotel has become an attraction in its own right.
A Brief History of The Emily Morgan
Built in 1924 as the Medical Arts Building, the thirteen story structure functioned as a working hospital until closing its doors in 1976.
Used as office space for the next eight years, it was then re-imagined in its current incarnation in 1984 when it opened as a hotel. Standing on The Alamo Plaza the hotel casts a protective shadow over the historic mission where so many laid down their lives for Texas.
How appropriate then that it was named after one of the heroines of the Texas revolution. Born Emily West in the early 1800s, this beautiful young woman took on the surname of her employer Colonel James Morgan.
Captured by the Mexicans she took full advantage of her looks when she had the opportunity. Knowing that the Texans were about to charge, Emily is said to have distracted the Mexican Captain Santa-Anna, long enough for him to fail to organise a response.
Immortalized first in the song ’The Yellow Rose of Texas’, the self -styled official hotel of The Alamo, now proudly bears her name.
The Ghosts of The Emily Morgan
Said to be the third most haunted hotel in the U.S.A, the Emily Morgan Hotel is perhaps not an obvious choice for restless souls. Even so non-believers who arrive as skeptics are said to depart the hotel convinced that they have had a supernatural experience.
Perhaps the answer lies in the medical background of the building. As well as being concerned with medical research, the building had surgical and psychiatric wards on the upper floors.
Another explanation is that the powerful paranormal energy of the nearby haunted Alamo Mission permeates the hotel’s walls drawing in ghosts and poltergeists.
Reports of paranormal activity began to circulate almost as soon as the hotel opened. Staff would report telephones ringing constantly, with nobody on the other end, lights switching themselves on and off and elevators stopping and starting on their own.
One live-in member of staff returned to her room one night to find her bathtub had been filled with water. When she looked again the water had changed colour and was now a deep shade of blue.
Those living through these strange experiences began to detect a pattern. It soon became apparent that the 3rd, 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th floors were the most active.
3rd Floor: The 3rd floor is said to be haunted by a small child. Guests have reported being awoken by the sound of humming and a child singing.
One female guest reports waking up and finding a little girl sitting on the end of her bed. The happy little girl asked the woman if she would like to join her in a song before disappearing before the woman’s eyes.
The next evening the little girl returned again, slipping silently into bed next to the terrified woman and taking hold of her hand.
7th Floor: Dark shapes and shadow people are said to wander and flit about this floor. Suddenly caught in the corner of the eye, they will disappear almost immediately. One unfortunate family witnessed a full body apparition which disappeared through a brick wall.
9th Floor: A family staying on the ninth floor endured a very disturbing weekend. Noises coming from the guests in the next room kept them constantly awake. Doors continually slammed.
The sound of the toilet seat being repeatedly lifted and dropped down with force was heard over and over. Coffee pots and wine bottles were upset and spilled for no apparent reason.
As they checked out of the hotel, the family quite rightly complained, only to be informed that they were the only guests staying on the ninth floor.
11th Floor: One of the most frequently seen ghosts appears on the eleventh floor. An older lady wearing a hospital nightgown is sometimes seen sobbing in the hotel corridor. People also swear that they hear the sound of a hospital gurney being pushed along the corridors.
One guest on this floor reports being woken up in the night by the sound of a trolley being pushed past her room. When she opened the door, the corridor was clear.
The same guest took the elevator down to the 10th floor the following day to get some ice. When the elevator doors opened the guest and another witness found an elderly lady in her nightgown sobbing uncontrollably.
When all attempts to comfort the lady failed, the guests reported the incident to staff. Enquiries soon established there was nobody matching the lady’s description staying at the hotel.
On another occasion a terrified chambermaid felt herself surrounded by a group of ghostly children. The children laughed and teased the chambermaid until she dropped the towels that she was carrying and ran away.
12th Floor: The twelfth floor was once used for operations. Guests who stay on this floor complain of being touched or the sudden smell of alcohol in the air. Both this floor and the fourteenth are said to smell strongly of medicine or chemicals.
14th Floor: Like a lot of suspicious hotel owners, the current proprietors of the Emily Morgan have chosen to rename the thirteenth floor. This doesn’t pose much of a problem unless you are allocated room 1408.
Go in search of this room between 1407 and 1409 and you will find nothing. Add up the digits of the room number and you may find the explanation.
Another floor where the pungent smell of chemicals often makes people feel nauseous. Guests on this floor have reported hearing a male voice growling at them, lights are said to flicker and electrical equipment cuts out.
The Elevator: Lots of activity is said to surround the elevators at the Emily Morgan. Despite being well maintained they sometimes appear to have a life of their own, moving constantly between the 6th and 7th floors.
Strangely, the elevator telephones are used to call down to Reception. When staff pick up the phone, nobody is there.
Another unique feature of this building is that it once housed a crematorium on the 14th floor and a morgue in the basement. The elevators are said to travel to both of these floors of their own volition, before the doors open and you are invited to step out.
The Alamo: The hotel directly overlooks the Alamo Mission where many people lost their lives. Built on the Santa-Anna Battlefield it is an excellent viewpoint for the historic building below.
Many guests looking out of their windows late at night have reported seeing shadowy figures and strange lights moving around the mission.
Strange noises, orbs, unusual smells, electrical interference, mischievous children, sobbing women and elevators with a life of their own, just some of the paranormal phenomena occurring in this wonderful building.
If you are looking for peace and quiet then perhaps a stay at this hotel isn’t for you. For those who want to take a step back in time and celebrate the history of Texas, there couldn’t be a better hotel.
The haunted Emily Morgan hotel may have a few extra guests but if you don’t mind a peppering of paranormal spicing up your vacation, this official Alamo hotel is well worth a visit.