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