posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 02:30 PM
The Jefferson Texas Experience
By Scott Lenig
Traveling through east Texas as a teenager my dad and I had the pleasure of staying in a small town called Jefferson Texas. At first glance Jefferson
is very quaint. It is filled with antique shops, bed and breakfasts and even an old fashioned general store. Everybody knows everybody else, the crime
rate is nil and in its own charming way it could be compared to the fictional town of Mayberry.
Many of the buildings in Jefferson have been around and in use since the mid to late 1800’s and that only adds to the charm of this fascinating
little town. However, all things considered, looks can truly be deceiving. Most driving through the town of Jefferson Texas would never even suspect
that it is widely believed to be the most haunted city in Texas.
Heading down Austin Street, my first destination is the Jefferson Hotel, which is believed to be filled with many ghosts. The Jefferson Hotel was once
known as the Crystal Palace where Travelers would stay and gamblers would come to win and often lose a fortune. Today things are quiet though. Our
room was Room 18, which we were informed was up stairs and in the back.
Walking up the stairs you get this odd feeling, almost as if you are walking into the past. Old antique chairs and cabinets line the hallways as I
walk to my room. I unlocked the door and entered my room. I had this odd feeling as if I was being watched, but I was the only one renting a room, and
the employees were downstairs.
After I got settled I went back down to talk with the employees and ask about the different ghost stories and experiences they have each had. It is
clear they each had stories they wanted to share. One told stories of doors opening and closing repeatedly as he was trying to lock up, another told
of hearing her name whispered into her ear one night when she was alone.
After swapping stories, I went back up to my room to get ready for a bit of exploring. As I was walking to my room I saw that the room next door, room
19, is wide open. I looked in and no one was there so I decided to go in and look around. This was a very spooky room. I recall that the spooky lamp
shade cast a human shaped shadow onto the wall and There was a strong feeling like someone or something did not want me in there.
Eventually I headed back to my room and unpacked my bags. After I was through I went back down stairs and I saw one employee left and he looked as if
he was getting ready to leave. He told me that the employees do not stay there at night, then handed me a key to the front door “incase I need to
leave in the middle of the night”. After that he left. I was very surprised as I had never been in a hotel where there were no employees. It was
going to be just me and just me all alone in what is supposed to be a haunted hotel.
In the lobby to the left was a small restaurant that was closed down for the season although the doors were open. I never did go in there as I had a
very strong feeling that if I did, something was going to happen. I never was quite sure what that something was but I knew that I was not about to go
All alone my dad and I decided to roam the halls to see what we could see. All was calm. Spooky, but calm. At about midnight we decided to go to bed.
We lay in our separate beds and turned out the lights. Approximately 15 seconds later a woman whispers in my ear “Scott, Scotty!” Instinctively I
reach for my camera and snap a picture in the direction the voice was coming from. (After getting the film developed there seemed to be nothing out of
the ordinary in the picture.)
I asked my dad if he heard it, as he did not seem to react and was wondering why I snapped a picture. He said he had not heard a thing. I told him
what I heard but he did not believe me. He was convinced I was just trying to scare him, but I wonder if the one trying to do the scaring was the
woman who whispered my name right into my ear.
After that, things were pretty uneventful at the Jefferson hotel, until the day, we checked out to go stay in the hotel across the street. As my dad
was paying and getting everything set, he told me to go get the bags and he handed me the key to the room.
I went up stairs and got to our room. I put the key in the door to unlock it but the key would not turn. We had not had any problems what so ever
with the lock before so I took it out thinking maybe I put the key in upside down or something like that. I didn’t. I put it back in and tried to
turn it but it just would not budge. I let go of the key with it still in the lock trying to figure out what to do.
I tried one more time. This time as I turned it, the key broke right in two with one part still in the lock and the other part in my hand. I could not
believe it. They key bent and broke in half as easily as if it had been a piece of clay!
I had my pocketknife with me. It was one of those that folds out into a pair of pliers. I took them out so I could pull out the broken part of the key
still in the lock. I said, Oh come on. And before I could put the knife to the lock I heard a click. The door had unlocked it self. I pulled the
broken key out, opened the door and looked in. I did not see a single thing. It was just our room and our bags. Hesitantly I went in, grabbed the bags
After I got back down stairs I told what happened and the cashier, told us that the exact same thing happened to the people who stayed in the room
next (room 19) about a week before we got there. So we gathered our things and went on our way to the Excelsior House Hotel across the street.
Upon walking in I noticed something strange about this place. When you walk in there is this weird feeling I got as if I had just stepped back in
time. It was almost dizzying. This place was beautiful though. Just like the Jefferson Hotel there was antique furniture galore. The only clue that we
were still in modern times was a laptop sitting open on the front desk.
There was a woman standing in the corner and she was getting ready to give a tour, so we joined the group. First stop was the ballroom. She pointed
out a beautiful chandelier that she claimed was originally from the Buckingham Palace.
She then took us upstairs to have a look at a few of the rooms that a few famous people have stayed in. Most named after the person that stayed there.
The Rutherford B. Hayes room, the Ulysses S Grant room and another room was named For Jay Gould, although he never stayed in that room.
Jay Gould is an old railroad tycoon Born in 1836. He had a relationship with a 14-year-old prostitute who went by the nickname Diamond Bessie.
Nicknamed so because a few of her clients often gave her diamonds.
When she told Jay that she was pregnant, he allegedly killed her. His jury was held up in what is now known as the Jay Gould room. It is rumored that
some money was slipped to them and that is why he was found not guilty of murder.
Today people report seeing the ghost of a young woman sitting in a rocking chair in the room rocking a baby in her arms. It is almost as if Diamond
Bessie is hanging out in that room waiting for justice to finally be served.
It is also rumored that while filming “Sugar Land Express” Stephen Spielberg and crew stopped at the Excelsior for the night. Stephen apparently
stayed in the Jay Gould room but at around 2:00 am he got up in a panic and made the rest of his crew pack up and they went to stay at Holiday Inn 20
miles down the road. He has never told what happened to him that night but it is believed that his experience in that hotel served as inspiration for
his movie Poltergeist.
Considering all that I had heard about the Jay Gould room, naturally I chose that room to rent. On the way to the room there is a hallway filled with
very spooky portrait paintings, the kind with the eyes that follow you around the room.
The whole place had a not so friendly feeling that there was something or someone else there and that they were all around. The room it self was quite
large. There were two queen-sized beds, large armoires, a giant dresser and plenty of room to move around. The infamous rocking chair, that is
supposedly haunted by the ghosts of Diamond Bessie and her child sat to the right of the armoires.
After unpacking again, I decided to do a little experimenting. I had brought with me a few things that I though a ghost might like to see, play with
or look at. I had an old antique book from the late 1800’s, a hot wheels car, a few old coins from 1886 and other things of that nature. I also had
my trusty EMF detector with me at all times.
When I had a chance to be alone in the room I would ask questions, or just talk to any ghosts that might be in the room in hopes of getting a
response. I would sit on the bed and face the famous rocking chair and just talk. I never got a direct answer though. I watched to see if the rocking
chair would rock by itself as so many people reported happening during their stay but again nothing happened, until it was time for bed.
We got changed and talked for a bit before we finally turned out the lights. This place had a much more spooky feel to it so it took me a little
while to fall asleep. Sometime during the night I woke up. I was thirsty, so I sat up in bed to head to the bathroom and get some water. What I saw at
the foot of my bed has been embedded into my mind ever since. Floating at the foot of my bed was a face. One that I often refer to as a clown face. I
call it the clown face because it had those over exaggerated features you would see on a clown, big smile giant nose wide eyebrows, and the entire
thing was red, blood red.
I was terrified. I wanted to make a run for it or call out to my dad but I was afraid to do anything that might disturb this…thing. All I could do
was slowly layback down and hold very still. Fortunately for myself this thing was low enough that I could not see it when I was lying down. I stayed
awake constantly looking down to see if this thing was going to make another appearance and hoping like hell it did not.
Eventually it was morning and this “face” did not make another appearance. I told my dad of what happened but being the skeptic he is, he insisted
that either I must have been making it up to play a trick on him. The day was spent sight seeing, going to a couple museums, checking out the local
cuisine and just plain exploring.
We got back just in time to catch the cashier before he left. I asked him if he had ever heard reports of clown like faces floating around in any of
the rooms. He told me that the owners did not like letting the employees talk about that stuff as they felt it was bad publicity.
My dad and I went back to our room as the cashier locked up and left. Once again we were alone in a hotel widely believed to be haunted. After
watching the news in our room we decided to go explore. We walked through the hall with the creepy paintings that love to stare and into the lobby.
We sat in there just talking for a bit about all that we had done on our trip. After all we were leaving in the morning and we had a great time for
the most part.
While talking, in the direction of the ball room, I saw out of the corner of my eye, what appeared to be a woman wearing a fancy albeit old fashioned
dress, similar to one a woman might wear in the mid to late 1800’s. I kept seeing it go past almost as if this thing was stuck repeating this
action, like a scratched record skipping on a turntable. It never seemed to react to us or notice us at all; it just kept floating past the entrance
of the ballroom.
Eventually this figure faded away and there was no more happening so we went to bed. I was very nervous about sleeping as I was expecting to get
another visit from my clown face friend. I was glad to make it through the night with out seeing it anymore, as that thing was so scary.
In the morning the room felt especially light as we packed up to head home. We took one last look at the room and at the rocking chair. I said goodbye
to anybody who might be watching or listening and once again got no response. I guess ghosts are not always very talkative. I experienced quite a few
things during my trip to Jefferson. I saw a scary clown face, the figure of a woman floating by over and over, I had a woman whisper my name and even
had a key snap in half like a piece of clay.
Those are some really amazing things that most people never have a chance to see even once in their lifetime and I am grateful that I got to see
them. However the one thing that I saw that I found the most interesting was in the car as we were about to drive off.
In the car that we had not been in since we arrived in Jefferson was a key. A single key resting right on the console in between the driver and
passenger seat. We looked all around to see if a key had fallen off one of our key chains and even went back to each hotel to make sure that we turned
in all of our keys. We had. To this day I do not know where the key came from however I always felt that it was meant to be a replacement for the key
that was broken by one of my new friends.
[edit on 21-7-2009 by gimme_some_truth]