Most Haunted Places in America: The Eldridge Hotel
The Eldridge Hotel has a long history in downtown Lawrence, KS. The original hotel was built in 1855, when it was given the name The Free State Hotel. Settlers who came to the area from free states were allowed to stay in the hotel until their new homes were built in Kansas. This caused a lot of turmoil around the hotel and may be the root cause of all the current paranormal claims surrounding the haunted Eldridge Hotel.
The original hotel only lasted for about a year until it was burned down by Sheriff Sam Jones and his group of pro-slavery forces. It was rebuilt almost immediately afterwards by Colonel Shalor Eldridge, who requested that another floor be added, vowing that he would do the exact same thing every time it was burned down.
It was destroyed once again by raiders. They not only burned the hotel down, they killed dozens of innocent people. Eldridge kept his word and rebuilt it once again. This time, he gave it the name the Eldridge Hotel. The city motto became “from ashes to immortality”. The seal features a phoenix rising from its ashes.
The Eldridge Hotel continued to play a role in the development of Lawrence until 1925, when it was closed down. At this point, it began to deteriorate. A group of business leaders decided to rebuild the hotel due to its importance to not only the city, but the state. The group was organized by Billy Hutson, who spent his life savings on the project.
Hotel trends began to change over the next few decades, so much so that the Eldridge Hotel once again had to close its doors in 1970. The building was converted into apartments, and remained so until 1985, when it was renovated once again.
The latest renovation took place in 2005. This multi-million dollar project restored the hotel to its grandeur. In May of that year, it resumed its role as Lawrence’s greatest hotel. It occupies the most historic corner in the entire state.
The Eldridge Hotel isn’t just a building – it’s a symbol for everything the city of Lawrence stood – and still – stands for.
It’s no surprise that a site with such a rich history, much of which consisted of violence, is reported to be haunted. The fifth floor of the haunted Eldridge Hotel in particular has seen a fair share of ghostly encounters. Guests have reported everything from cold spots to doors opening on their own. Some photographers have experienced an unusual amount of technical difficulties when near the fifth floor elevator.
The fifth floor is claimed to have a portal to the spirit world and room 506 specifically has a lot of paranormal claims associated with it. Lights cutting on and off, seeing breath marks on clean mirrors and hearing the floor creaks even though they are concrete are just some of those claims.
There is one somewhat unusual place claimed to be haunted and that is the elevator. No one knows if it could be a past employee or just a guest wondering still roaming the building but the doors of the elevator will open and close unexpectedly and the elevator will move between floors on its own.
The haunted Eldridge Hotel is a great place to stay and enjoy the night in Lawrence, KS. They have great packages for you to just get away and relax. If you want a little more for your vacation, request to have a room on the fifth floor, maybe even room 506.