Investigation Report

Location: Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas
Date: 05 August 2001
Weather Conditions: Clear
Humidity: 56%
Geomagnetic Storm Activity: Unsettled
Temperature: 102
Number of Photos taken: 420
Number with possible targets: 34
Average EM Readings: 20 mg
Average M fields Readings: 4 nt
Average E Field Readings: 3 vpm
Cold Spots detected: Yes (25)
Hot Spots Detected: None
Olfactory Phenomena: sweet chocolate smell, perfume
Visual Phenomena: None
Type of Investigation: Ghost Hunt

All information and photos Copyright 2001 to 2005 by Cody Polston, Bob Carter and SGHA. All Rights Reserved.

Location Description and History

The Baker Hotel was always at cross purposes with time.

It opened at a point when time seemed to stand still, just before it jerked backwards. T.B. Baker threw open the doors of his 14 story, 450 room pleasure palace two weeks after Black Friday, the stock market crash in October, 1929.
But then, for the next 40 years or so, the hotel was ahead of its time.

The Baker Hotel was glamorous, indeed. Baker, a hotel entrepreneur, designed it in the Spanish Renaissance style after the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Ark., another Southern city, like Mineral Wells, renowned for the curative abilities of its water. It was only the second hotel in the United States to have its own swimming pool.

Now, even in disrepair, the regal digs evoke wonder. Even cloaked in suffocating heat during a recent visit, standing in the wasted lobby it was easy to imagine Will Rogers shuffling up to the check-in desk, Gen. John J. Pershing marching down the stairs, or Marlene Dietrich sashaying in the grand entrance. They were just a few of the rich and famous who came here to “the South's greatest health resort.“

The whole second floor of the air-conditioned hotel - that was still a novelty in 1929 - was reserved as the bath-and-massage floor. Private elevators allowed guests to discreetly go to and from treatments in robe and slippers. And “patients” came from all over the United States, as doctors everywhere prescribed week long stays in health resorts, in those days before pharmacology caught up to demand.

By the late 1940s, modern medicines had replaced mineral water as cures for ailments such as rheumatism and eczema. The magic of the waters of Mineral Wells had faded. Not that the Baker Hotel was left high and dry. In the 1950s, the hotel turned to business conventions and non medicinal vacation packages for its main business.

The Baker Hotel advertised its baths to “overworked, stressed out executives,” according to the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce, which notes that some 80 percent of the hotel’s business came from Dallas and Fort Worth businessmen and their families escaping the city. In the early days of the Dallas Cowboys, when the games were blacked out in Dallas, people rented rooms at the Baker to watch the games on a television station out of Wichita Falls, the chamber notes.

The hotel stayed busy. It was so popular it got the attention of the federal government, which made it quit advertising the mineral water as a cure-all. There began the beginning of the end.

Time, suddenly, was passing the Baker Hotel by.
By the 1960s, health resorts all over the country were losing business. Earl Baker, nephew of the founder, let it be known that he would get out of the business when he turned 70. In 1963, he did, and some Mineral Wells businessmen bought it shortly after - but the Baker's enchanted era was over. The hotel closed its doors for good in 1972.

The balcony of the hotel.

The west side entrance.

Reported Phenomena

Paranormal activity that has been reported in the hotel centers around several major areas. These include the ballroom, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th floors, the Brazos room and the lobby.

Lights turn on and off by themselves in the Brazos room and the sweet smell of chocolate, similar to "Milk duds" can be easily detected at times. The smell also seems to accompany the presence of orb phenomena.

The sound of someone walking in high heels can be heard in the lobby. A possible apparition has been seen in the windows of the 7th floor. Also on this floor, a paranormal investigator was molested by a "friendly" feminine presence, until a female investigator showed up, then the presence became "angry".

Other interesting facts about the location include:
The area under the Olympic sized pool is open, supported by huge columns.

The parking garage for the Baker is across the street and is accessed by driving into a tunnel and underneath the pool and street. The tunnel is now sealed before it reaches the street.

The Baker also generated its own power. Two huge generators are located in the basement which supplied the hotel with all of its power requirements. It should also be noted that the hotel has certain areas that allowed unseen access to rooms and other areas by the employees.

There are several interesting stories about the hotel itself. One concerns Mr. Baker's mistress, who lived on the 7th floor. She committed suicide and her ghost is said to still roam the hotel, but especially the 7th floor. The feminine presence there is said to be hers.
Another story tells of a intoxicated woman who tried to jump into the swimming pool from the ballroom balcony, on the 12th floor. Naturally, she was killed.

The gangsters Bonnie and Clyde have also been rumored to haunt the Brazos room and Ballroom.

The Investigation

This ghost hunt was an initial survey to determine if the Baker Hotel was worth bringing an entire team to Mineral Wells to do a full investigation.

We started on the ground floor and then moved to the ballroom. From here we worked our way down to the lobby. Both investigators heard voices on several occasions, mostly on 7th and 10th floors. In the Brazos room we smelled a very strong scent that was reminiscent of "Milk Duds". We discovered later that this was one of the phenomena linked to a particular ghost that haunts that area.A porter who worked there during the 1950's and 1960's was the first known to witness the ghost of the woman on the seventh floor. She was possibly the mistress of the hotel manager. Distraught from her affair she jumped to her death from the top of the building. The year of the incident has not been verified but the room she stayed in, apparently quite comfortably, was a suite on the southeast corner of the seventh floor. We were also told a variant of that story in which the woman was murdered by an unknown assassin by Baker himself.

Here we also heard another story relating to ghostly activity in this room. A W.W.II veterans group and their spouses had rented the room for an evening. As the group entered the "Brazos Room" on the first floor, which was the main dining room and dance area, a couple suddenly stopped. The woman looked at her husband and asked, "Do you hear that?" He replied, "Why, I certainly do". About that time several other people in the group began to hear sounds of dishes and silverware clanking as well as people talking with orchestra music in the background. Most of the people there reported this event.

Photographs

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