New Mexico October 30, 2016
The History Behind One Of New Mexico’s Most Haunted Hotels Is Truly Terrifying
Given its long history, it’s no surprise that New Mexico is a pretty haunted state. You can
encounter ghosts in locations as diverse as restaurants and battlefields. Many of these restless spirits date back to the days of the Wild West; during that period, one of the wildest places in the state was the Northern New Mexico town of Cimarron.
The St. James Hotel and Restaurant, located in Cimarron, was built in 1872.
Past guests include the likes of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Black Jack Ketchum, and the Earp brothers.
At least 26 people have died in this hotel – many of them violently. In fact, there are still 20 plus bullet holes in the ceiling!
It’s so haunted, that you can’t even stay in one of the rooms because it is permanently occupied… by the ghost of a man named Thomas James Wright!
According to legend, Wright was shot in the back after winning the deed to the hotel in a bet. He dragged himself into his room where he died. His spirit is decidedly hostile and bad things are believed to happen whenever anyone enters room 18.
Don’t even think about trying to sneak in, because the door is now padlocked shut!
Fortunately, not all the ghosts at the St. James Hotel are so volatile.
A Frenchman named Henri Lambert built the hotel. Lambert had served as President Lincoln’s chef until the latter’s assassination. After the tragedy, Lambert headed west, accompanied by his wife Mary. They settled in Cimarron and Lambert’s Saloon and Billiard Hall was born. In 1880, Lambert added on to his establishment, forming the St. James Hotel.
The spirit of Mary Lambert is believed to linger in room 17, (the Mary Lambert room) which you can actually stay in.
Guests and staff report smelling a strong rose perfume here, even when no one is around.
To request a particular room, call the hotel directly.
The hotel has additional rooms in a modern annex, but it’s more fun to stay on the historic side, in the rooms named after previous guests.
This is the Bill Cody room.
The historical décor and dark wood paneling make it easy to imagine what this place was like back in the day.
It certainly sets the stage for a possible paranormal encounter.
After all, your average hotel doesn’t decorate with images of guests who’ve met their maker on site!
The 1870s were a violent decade in Cimarron. An ongoing dispute about the Maxwell Land Grant led to corruption, angry mobs, and murder.
Meet Francisco “Pancho” Griego.
Griego was upset that his relative, an allegedly crooked constable, was killed by one such angry mob. Griego entered the St. James Saloon and picked a fight with Clay Allison, accusing him of being involved with the crime. Griego fanned his hat as a way to distract his quarry while he pulled his weapon. Allison was no fool and fired first, killing Griego.
Over the years, staff and guests alike have reported strange happenings at the St. James...
...from lights that turn back on by themselves to mysterious tapping on the windows. The hotel has also been featured on several paranormal-themed television shows.
If the idea of staying overnight at a haunted hotel is a bit much, you can stop by the hotel during daylight hours and dine in the restaurant.
Be sure to pause at the old mirrored bar. Some guests claim to have seen a cowboy looking back out at them!
The St. James Hotel is located at 617 S Collison Street, in Cimarron.
Note: Ouija boards are banned at this establishment.
Have you ever stayed here or at any other
haunted New Mexico hotels?