One of the major cities in Texas is San Antonio and it is frequently visited for its picturesque scene because the San Antonio River is located here. There are many cafes, restaurants, and shops in the area. People also visit san Antonio for The Alamo and the Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
A photo showing the skyline of San Antonio, Texas. (https://www.curbed.com/2018/10/23/18011174/san-antonio-river-walk-real-estate-development)
Another place that people who are into spooky stuff is the alleged haunted Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Do you want to know what kinds of ghosts live in this hotel? Read more below!
How the Menger Hotel looks from the outside. (Link: https://www.kayak.com/San-Antonio-Hotels-Menger-Hotel.32828.ksp)
History Of The Menger Hotel
The Menger Hotel was opened in 1859 by William and Mary Menger. The hotel was put up after William’s brewery became successful. The architect who designed the Menger Hotel was John M. Fries. The contractor was J.H. Kampmann and together with Fries, they built the two-story, 50-room building. Many people spent the night at the hotel and most of them were cattle drovers or those who would replenish their supplies. It gained a lot of attention because during the time the Menger Hotel was built, there weren’t a lot of accommodations and boarding houses in the area.
An old photo of the Menger Hotel. (Link: https://itsatexasthang.com/2017/04/23/the-ghosts-of-the-menger-hotel/)
During the American Civil War, the Menger family made use of their hotel to help the soldiers stationed in San Antonio. They closed the guest rooms to the patrons and kept the hotel’s dining room open to feed the military men. The hotel was also used as a space to care for the soldiers who were wounded from the war.
After the war ended, the Menger family resumed operations for the hotel. In 1871, however, William Menger passed away. His wife and their son, Louis William, continued the hotel business. The wife even bought another land near the hotel in order to expand Menger Hotel because they anticipated the increase of guests. Indeed, in just one year, Mary Menger hosted more than 2,000 hotel guests. By 1877, the first ever passenger train passed through San Antonio and this contributed even more to the success of Menger Hotel.
Inside the Menger Hotel in the past. (Link: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/lifestyle/article/Free-Haunted-History-of-San-Antonio-Women-event-13709127.php)
Two years later, Mary had to sell the Menger Hotel to their contractor, Kampmann, because she was already getting too old to manage the hotel and her son was not interested in the business. The hotel was sold for $118,500. Kampmann decided to renovate the hotel because there was an increase in the demand of making the hotel equipped with more amenities like adding an east wing, having another lobby, and expanding the dining room to accommodate more people. A major addition that Kampmann did was the piped water in every hotel room. This meant private bathrooms and it was one of the reasons why Menger Hotel continued to be popular because it was a growing trend at that time and only few hotels offered private bathrooms.
Kampmann’s son, Hermann, later became the manager of the hotel. He added the Menger Bar and it was frequented not only by locals but also by celebrities. Accordingly, Hermann talked to an architect to copy the House of Lords club bar in England and that was why the Menger Bar was such a hit. Hermann also added electric lights, a steam elevator, and an artesian well. He also managed to squeeze in a reading area at the Menger Hotel and this was where many early writers in the Southwest stayed to write and work. Hermann died in 1902 in an accident and because no one in his family wanted to take over the management of the hotel, all the Kampmanns had ownership over the hotel. The family decided to have the front wall renovated to become a French façade and made the lobby’s floor marble. This made the Menger Hotel more sophisticated-looking, which was popular at that time.
The Menger Bar. (Link: https://www.mengerhotel.com/san-antonio-restaurants/menger-bar)
In 1929, the hotel became much neglected. The depression in the United States made the Menger Hotel all the more spiral downwards.
By 1943, William Lewis Moody, Jr. bought the Menger Hotel. In 1944, the National Hotel Corporation and Moody made restorations and by 1948, the restorations were able to make the hotel look decent again. He also added air-conditioned guest rooms and a swimming pool. Moody, however, died in 1954 so the ownership of the hotel was given to his oldest daughter Mary Moody Northern. She spent $1.5 million dollars to add 110 guestrooms to accommodate thr tourist during the World’s Fair of 1968.
When Mary died, her nephew, Robert L. Moody, Jr. had ownership over the Menger Hotel. In 1991, the Hotel Corporation finished restoring the Menger Hotel and opened retailed spaces on the side of the hotel.
Throughout the years, the Menger Hotel had many guests like William H. Taft, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Theodore Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and many more.
The Ghosts Of The Menger Hotel
With the rich history surrounding Menger Hotel, it is believed that there are 32 different entities in this haunted building.
One of them is the spirit of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Accordingly, he frequented the bar of the Menger Hotel to recruit cowboys to become Rough Riders. History claims that Roosevelt would just sit in the bar and wait for the cowboys to come in. He would then offer them a drink or some drinks and when the cowboys wake up in the morning, they are already on their way to a camp for basic military training.
A statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside Menger Hotel. (Link: https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Roosevelt-statue-now-part-of-Alamo-Plaza-13966562.php)
Roosevelt’s spirit is said to frequent the same bar at the Menger Hotel and is usually seen having a drink.
Another spirit belongs to a woman identified as Sallie White. She was a chambermaid and she had an argument with her husband one night so she stayed at the hotel for the night. The next day, however, her husband came by and threatened to kill her. Later, he did kill her by attacking her. Her injuries were so bad that she died two days after the attack.
The halls of Menger Hotel. (Link: https://www.travelzoo.com/hotel-booking/hotel/199/menger-hotel/?=&pageId=881c1eef-bd1d-4ba7-a8c5-eab6d29a8a4b)
Allegedly, White still performs her duties as a chambermaid. She is spotted most of the time at the Victorian wing of the Menger Hotel. She reportedly wears a long gray skirt and a bandana around her forehead. She is said to carry clean towels as she makes her rounds.
The spirit of Captain Richard King is also said to frequent the Menger Hotel. When he was still alive, he was one of the patrons of the hotel that he even had a personal suite and that suite is now referred to as King Ranch Room. He is usually seen entering this room.
Inside the King Ranch Room at the Menger Hotel. (Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g60956-d99531-i238447700-Menger_Hotel-San_Antonio_Texas.html)
At the original lobby of the Menger Hotel, a woman is seen sitting quietly. She wears a blue dress and has small wire-framed glasses. She knits whenever she is spotted. Accordingly, there was one time when a staff member went to ask her if she was comfortable and if she needed anything. The woman said no in an unfriendly tone and disappeared.
The lobby of Menger Hotel. (Link: https://www.tripsavvy.com/the-best-historic-hotels-in-san-antonio-4147564)
One guest shared about an experience regarding a man in buckskin jacket and grey pants. Accordingly, this entity was having an intense conversation with someone. The entity reportedly asked thrice, “Are you gonna stay or are you gonna go?” It is unclear who this entity is or who he was talking to.
Another visitor also claimed that while they were at the bar, they saw two young boys. Others claimed that their photos were photobombed by a little girl.
Other paranormal activities at the Menger Hotel happen in the kitchen area. Accordingly, utensils float in the air and are being transferred from one place to another without anyone touching them.
The Menger Hotel today. (Link: https://www.mengerhotel.com/gallery)