Investigation Report

Location: St. James Hotel, Cimarron, NM
Date: 19 August 2000
Weather Conditions: Clear
Humidity: 17%
Geomagnetic Storm Activity: Inactive
Temperature: 85
Number of Photos taken: 124
Number with possible targets: 1
Average EM Readings: 6 mg
Average M fields Readings: 1 nt
Average E Field Readings: 1 vpm
Cold Spots detected: None
Olfactory Phenomena: None
Visual Phenomena: Moving chandelier
Type of Investigation: Ghost Hunt

All information and photos Copyright 2000 to present by Cody Polston, Bob Carter and SGHA. All Rights Reserved.

Location Description and History

The Saint James Saloon and Hotel was built by Henry Lambert, a former cook of General Grant and President Lincoln, during a time in New Mexico's history where law and order was unheard of, until 1903. While many well-known people, such as Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Cody,General Sheridan, Wyatt Earp, Zane Grey & Bat Masterson, stayed at the Saint James, so did many of the criminal element, who considered New Mexico a haven from legal justice.

It's not surprising then, that the Saint James had a raucous, violent history, with 26 documented killings and many other undocumented ones. Gunfights, brawls and knifings took their toll on the living, and explains why there are so many restless spirits still checked in as residents of the hotel.

The notorious gunman, Clay Allison, allegedly danced naked on the bar, once part of the present dining room which still has bullet holes in its pressed tin ceiling. If you look closely at the ceiling of the dining room, 22 bullet holes still exist. A double layer of heavy wood prevented the killing from spreading up to the sleeping clients upstairs.

The building was last remodeled in 1985. There are no air conditioners, phones or televisions in the rooms, and some rooms lack private bathrooms. Several of the 14 rooms have seen better days, with plaster and wallpaper peeling off, but others have been restored to their original grandeur.

Reported Phenomena

The St. James Hotel is said to remain host to several restless spirits.  Both the owners and the guests of the hotel will tell you that it is haunted with many unexplained events.   Several psychics have visited the hotel and specifically identified three spirits, as well as many others who just pass through to relive their experiences. 

The second floor of the hotel is the most active, with stories of cold spots and the smell of cigar smoke lingering in the halls. A prior manager said that "you never see them, but you do feel and hear them."  The spiritual activity of the hotel has been featured on the popular television shows Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair.

Room 18 at the hotel is kept locked because it houses the ghost of an ill-tempered Thomas James Wright, who was killed at its door just after winning the rights to the hotel in a poker game.  He obviously doesn't like company. One former owner said she was pushed down while in the room and, on another occasion, saw a ball of angry orange light floating in the upper corner. The room holds only a bed frame without a mattress, a coat rack, a rocking chair and bureau.  Sitting atop the bureau is a Jack Daniels bottle, a basin and pitcher, a hand of cards, an Ace Copenhagen tin, and several shot glasses.  On the wall is a bad painting of a half-naked woman.  Respectful of the spirit, the room remains un-rented. He is unfriendly, very angry, wants to be left alone and gives off evil vibes. He has been known to knock over unwanted people who come into room #18, and has spun his chandelier, which is hanging in room #18, around and around to let the living know that he is still there. So, the owners give this spirit what he wants.

The second floor is haunted by Mary Lambert (wife of Henn Lambert). Her presence is marked by her strong perfume, which waifs through the hallway by the upstairs guest rooms. If the living want to sleep in her old room, the window must be kept shut completely as Mary wants it to be safe for everyone. She will tap and beat on the window if left open, waking up the hotel patrons sleeping in that room, and won't stop until the window is shut. She perhaps is still looking after her hotel and her guests.

A mischievous "gnome-like" old man, named Little Imp by the owners, plays tricks on the living, annoying many, especially new employees. He once appeared on a bar stool, and laughed at the young man hired to clean up the dining room. He is also the one who took a steak knife from the holder in the kitchen and stuck it in the floor between the two owners of the hotel. More evidence points to him as well, when lamp shades and glasses crack all by themselves, and objects disappear and reappear in other places.

The Investigation

The Poker Room

We arrived just after sunset and procured a room in the hotel. We talked with the manager and he gave us a quick tour of the hotel pointing out any areas where suspected paranormal activity has occurred. After the tour, we proceeded to the bar.

Buck began sweeping the area with electromagnetic detection equipment and discovered a static field in the center of the room. This is interesting because there are not any possible man-made elements that can explain the field itself.

We then went upstairs to the “poker room”. We began sweeping the area for suspected phenomenon using various EMF detectors and infrared cameras. The room itself seems to emit an electromagnetic field of six milligauss. Once again we were not able to determine if the field was man-made or paranormal in origin. However we did an extensive search of this room with the infrared camera and weren't’t able to turn up any paranormal phenomenon. The field itself is still very interesting and warrants a more in-depth investigation.

We moved on to the upstairs hallway and to room 18 itself. Buck took several EMF readings near the doorway that were within the suspected range for paranormal activity The readings on the doorway registered at 4.7 milligauss (35Hz) and seemed to be more prominent towards the bottom of the door.

It is possible this could be some sort of electrical interference from power lines running through the floor of the second-story but this is unconfirmed. We were also able to turn off the hallway lights and check out the area around the door of room 18 with an infrared camera. Nothing of particular interest was found. At this point in the investigation we had another area other than the St. James hotel to investigate.

Room 18

Therefore we stopped investigative operations temporarily. We decided to resume the investigation after 11:00 PM

We resumed the investigation at 11:15 PM in the hotel lobby. Almost immediately Buck detected a suspect field near the center of the lobby. The odd thing about this particular field was that it extended through the lobby and into the Lambert room (dining room). Under normal circumstances we would probably attribute this type of the field as being man-made however there’s something about this field that just doesn't’t seem to set right. The Lambert room itself is also very interesting. At times it seemed as if we were being watched by unseen eyes from various locations through the room.

On several occasions we heard footsteps that seemed to move in a random patterns throughout the dining room. However, because of the electromagnetic field that extends into this room from the lobby is almost impossible to distinguish if this is something of paranormal origin, at least by means of scientific detection.

We spent almost an hour monitoring the Lambert room with the infrared camera. However we were unable to obtain definite results.
At 1:00 AM we returned to the second floor and once again began an analysis of the poker room and the area around room 18. Still curious about the EMF readings we got in the lobby, we searched the upstairs corridor to see if we can register any possible fields that could be connected one we discovered below. Sure enough we did find evidence of the electromagnetic field that seem to correspond to the one that we found downstairs.

However there were certain oddities to the field that was detected upstairs. First of all it also extended along the hallway towards room 18. When we checked the same area in the hallway downstairs this field was not present. We decided to take a break and get something to drink. Cody remained upstairs monitoring the poker room with the infrared camera while Buck went downstairs to the lobby. After 20 minutes, Cody decided to rendezvous with Buck downstairs. Upon turning the corner towards the stairs he managed to capture a chandelier rapidly spinning by itself. He watched the event for approximately two minutes, all the while trying to raise Buck on the radio.

He eventually ran downstairs, found Buck and returned with him back upstairs. The chandelier was still moving, although not as rapidly as before. Together they watched the event for another two minutes before the chandelier stopped spinning. We registered EMF reading that fluctuated between 5.3 to 8 milligauss.

At this time we decided to move down towards the end of the hallway, turn off the lights and investigate the second floor hallway with the infrared camera. The videotape reveals several possible paranormal events including one orb

Another interesting photograph was taken, at the foot of the stairs, of the first floor hallway. A dark figure appears at the end of the hall. When the picture was taken, no one was present in the hallway.By 2:00 AM we went back downstairs to the bar area. We were interested in the electromagnetic field that we picked up there earlier. At first we were unable to locate the field so we moved around the first floor examining the field that runs through the lobby and into the Lambert room. While we were involved in this, Buck went back into the bar and picked up the elusive field. There are several things that are interesting about the field in the bar. First of all the reading seems to fluctuate. On top of that it also appears and disappears at random. It is important to note that during this part of the investigation the bar itself was closed. All the lights and electrical appliances were shut off. If the field was a man-made field then there’s nothing present that would indicate this.

While we were examining this field we ventured back into the hallway course lobby near the bathroom. In this area both of us distinctly smelled perfume. We searched the area with the EMF detector and picked up readings of 4.7 and 5.2 milligauss. As with the field in the bar, the perfume smell seemed to be moving about the hallway and into the bar itself. It vanished completely almost as soon as it started.

We then moved into the adjacent room located off of the kitchen area. While we were here, Buck heard the kitchen door open and close. We immediately went over towards that door when we heard the sound of footsteps coming from the bar. We detoured force the bar area only to hear the kitchen door opened and close began.

Buck stayed in the bar area, examining its four possible suspect fields while Cody went to investigate the source of the moving kitchen door. The search turned up negative results. We were unable to locate anyone on the first floor nor were we able to find any possible suspect EMF fields. We continued searching the area until 4:30 AM with no other activity to report. We terminated investigation at that time due to the lack of battery power for the video camera and we had shot up all of our still film. Another interesting subject that we discovered during this investigation was a “haunted painting” that hangs at the top of the stairs on the second floor. There is an image that is visible in the painting that was not originally there. It appears to be that of another figure similar to those already in the portrait. However we picked up nothing but normal background ratings with the EMF detection equipment.

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