Lawrence is a city located in northeast Kansas. There are a lot of places to visit here like the Spencer Museum of Art, which is composed of both contemporary and indigenous art, the KU Natural History Museum, the Baker Wetlands, the Clinton State Park, and the Clinton Lake. There are so many other areas to visit if you are in the city and you will surely have a blast going out and about Lawrence.
Downtown Lawrence, Kansas. (Link: https://unmistakablylawrence.com/explore/visit/neighborhoods/downtown/)
If you love ghosts and haunted places, Lawrence also offers that. Be sure to stop by the Eldridge House Hotel and maybe you can encounter the ghost that haunts it.
A photo showing the outside of the Eldridge House Hotel. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eldridge_Hotel)
History Of Eldridge House Hotel
The Eldridge House Hotel was originally built as the housing area for the immigrants who were transported to the Kansas area. Accordingly, when the building was constructed, the Kansas-Nebraska law regarding anti-slavery immigrants being brought to the area was just passed. Hence, the need for a temporary housing for the immigrants. It was originally identified as the Free State Hotel.
An illustration of the Free State Hotel. (Link: https://www.kshs.org/index.php?url=km/items/view/90253)
However, the Free State Hotel was burned down by a Douglas County Sheriff named Samuel J. Jones on May 21, 1856. He was pro-slavery and together with his large group of men, they caused the destruction of the building.
Colonel Shalor Eldridge, the person from who the building was named after, built a new hotel. This is the now known Eldridge House Hotel. The hotel was present until August 21, 1863. It was again burned down when Confederate irregular leader William Quantrill and his raiders attacked the city.
Colonel Shalor Eldridge in an undated photo. (Link: https://accessgenealogy.com/kansas/biography-of-shalor-winchell-eldridge-col.htm)
Eldridge once again built a new hotel and it was fully constructed by the year 1866. It was renovated by the year 1925. The hotel was in operation until the 1960s but eventually had to close down because motels started to open in the area. In the year 1970, the Eldridge House Hotel became an apartment complex.
The city, however, wanted to reopen it as a hotel. Later, investors raised a total of $1 million dollars and the city of Lawrence likewise gave $2 million so that the Eldridge can be a hotel again but the plans did not materialize. By the year 2004, the hotel was purchased by a group of investors and was completely renovated to restore it to its original beauty. By 2005, the Eldridge House Hotel was once again open for business.
A sign outside the Eldridge Hotel. (Link: https://www.stephensre.com/home-matters.html?start=48)
The Ghost At The Eldridge Hotel
With the rich history of this hotel, it is expected that there will be paranormal activities happening here. Accordingly, the spirit that causes these things to happen is Eldridge himself.
Believers claim that because Eldridge is so attached to this hotel, his spirit still lurks in the area to this day. The most prominent area where Eldridge makes his presence known is room 506. Some of the paranormal activities that take place here include breath marks on mirrors that were just cleaned, lights turning on and off on their own, bags being shaken without anyone in the room, doors opening and shutting, and many more.
David Longhurst, an assistant general manager at the Eldridge Hotel, claims that Eldridge might just be too dedicated to keeping an eye on the guests of the hotel. After all, he was the one who persevered to have the hotel built twice after they were burned down. Longhurst shared, “He’s looking out for the guests. He was committed to Kansas coming into the Union as a free state, and he was committed to dignity and respect for everyone.”
Usually, around Halloween, visitors specifically ask to stay at room 506 to hopefully see the ghost of the Colonel. There was one time, however, that a man who requested to stay at room 506 wanted to switch rooms in the middle of his stay. On the second night, he could not take it anymore. He claimed that the bathroom door kept slamming shut while he tried to sleep. He went to check it and on the third time the bathroom door slammed shut, he put a towel to prevent that from happening. Still, he heard the door shut and saw that the towel was thrown in the bathtub.
It is believed that room 506 has the most activity because inside the wall of the room is one of the cornerstones of the original building.
One of the rooms inside the Eldridge Hotel. (Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Hotel_Review-g38836-d92366-Reviews-Eldridge_Hotel-Lawrence_Kansas.html)
The ghost of Eldridge seems to also clean his chair. Somewhere in the hotel, his chair is located but no one but the staff is allowed to go inside. Accordingly, the room where the chair is located is filled with cobwebs and dusts but the chair of Eldridge remains spotless. A bellman reportedly saw an elderly man sitting in the chair with his pipe.
The Ghost At The Elevator
Another ghost is said to be guarding the elevator. Allegedly, when people are near the elevator, their cameras experience unexplainable technical difficulties. This spirit also reportedly likes to open and close the elevator doors.
A Guest Felt Being Caressed
One guest wrote on a travel site that when she visited the Eldridge House Hotel, something happened although she stayed at room 510. She noted that she could not sleep at all because the room was too hot or too cold although she kept on adjusting the temperature. She also noted that she saw a glow around the door way and she heard high pitched sounds in the halls as if people were talking. However, the creepiest experience happened at around 3 A.M. She shared, “I felt the weight of a body in bed with me and had the feeling that I was being ‘caressed!’ I slapped what ever it was and it disappeared. I took a chair and shoved in under the door handle. I regret I did not get out my camera. I believe I was alone on that floor.”
She swore she was not drinking and was fully sober when the incident happened as she had a job interview the next day.
Guest Claims She Heard A Lot Of Creaking Noises
Another guest went to the reception area one morning after a night’s stay at room 506. She asked if it was possible that someone went inside her room while she was sleeping. When asked why, she said that she felt someone was in the room because her floor creaked a lot. They told her it was impossible that someone would be there and the creaking sounds are also impossible because the floor is made of concrete.
The reception area at the Eldridge Hotel. (Link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/us/lawrence-701-massachusetts-street.html)
Aside from these prominent spirits and activities, cold spots are likewise reported by guests throughout the hotel.