Over the years I have been to the St. James Hotel at least two dozen times investigating the paranormal claims there. These are photos taken during …
One of the most famous ghost stories in New Mexico is the ghost of Room 18 at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. According to the story a man named T.J. Wright wins the hotel in a poker game and is shot after he leaves the poker room. He crawls back to his room and dies there. His ghost now haunts the room and doesn't like it when people enter. Two other ghosts are rumored to haunt the old hotel, including Mary Lambert, the wife of the hotel's founder.
The St. James started out as a
saloon first built in 1872 by Henri (later Henry) Lambert, who was the personal chef to President Abraham
Lincoln. Lambert moved west and settled in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, with
hopes of making a wealthy strike. When he found little gold, he opened a
restaurant and saloon. At this time, Elizabethtown, Cimarron, and much of the
surrounding area was owned by Lucien B. Maxwell and was a part of the vast
Maxwell Land Grant. Maxwell enticed Lambert to come to Cimarron, after that he
founded the Lambert Inn (later to become the St. James).
Built during a time when law and order were non-existent, the saloon quickly gained a reputation as a place of violence, where it is said that 26 men were shot and killed within its adobe walls.
First of all, and most importantly, T.J. Wright did not die at the St. James Hotel as the legends have suggested. While the 1880 census does show …
Photographs taken inside the locked door of room 18. The room is actually very small with only a small sink, nightstand, a chair, and a bed frame inside.
ore detailed information, including the final results of my investigations at the St. James Hotel can be found in my book. Included in this book are the drawings of Fred Lambert showing where each of the shootings at the hotel occurred.
The book also contains additional historic photographs as well as a detailed history of the building.