The Haunted Elevators at Dallas’ Adolphus Hotel | Texas

The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas, is said to house one of the most haunted elevators in the state. In fact, it is responsible for as many as eighty percent of the paranormal activities logged by guests of the historic hotel.

The ghostly activities are attributed to the numerous fatal accidents that have occurred in the elevator shaft. The earliest recorded death in Adolphus Hotel happened on October 20, 1912, when when an Italian waiter fell three stories down the elevator shaft. The waiter survived the initial impact but suffered a serious blow to his skull from the impact with the bottom of the shaft. He was pronounced dead two hours later after a failed surgery at Baptist Sanitarium.

elevator shalft adolphus hotel
Adolphus Hotel’s elevator shaft |.Image credits: Explore Dallas History

Five years later, on December 26, 1917, a 16-year-old elevator operator fell six stories to his death. He had just stopped on the floor to let a passenger go but missed his step on the ascending elevator and fell 100 feet down the elevator shaft. A local news agency reported that the young man’s skull was shattered and both his legs were broken into several pieces.O

On 22th October, 1924, a Mexican cook was crushed to his death by a descending elevator after he had poked his head into the shaft to look for the elevator car’s whereabouts.

The last elevator-related death occurred on March 15, 1971, when the hotel porter was asked to stand by the elevator to verify that it was on the second floor. He was tasked to assist a musician group to load band equipment for an upcoming performance in the evening. Unfortunately, as the porter replied “Yes, it’s here” to a witness, he stepped into thin air and fell to the bottom of the shaft; the elevator car was on the fourth floor at the time of the fatal incident.

Today, visitors of Adolphus Hotel would experience numerous inexplicable events in and around the elevators. Some of these ghostly activities include doors opening and closing at will, elevators stopping on random floors, and even the sighting of a mangled staff member in an old-fashioned uniform and standing at a corner of the elevator. Many would also report hearing a faint voice saying “Yes, it’s here” when riding the elevator down to the lobby.

History of Adolphus Hotel

Adolphus Hotel opened its doors to the public on the 5th of October, 1912. Originally called the “New Oriental, it was eventually named as “Adolphus Hotel” to recognition the efforts of Adolphus Busch, the founder of the hotel. Busch was a German-born entrepreneur and philanthropist who made his fortunes in the founding of Anheuser-Busch brewing company and Budweiser beer.

“We will build a twenty-story building which will be a credit to your city and which should turn a good interest to those who have made the investment.”

– Adolphus Busch
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Adolphus Hotel in 1922 |.Image credits: Flashback Dallas

The baroque-style hotel was designed by Thomas P. Barnett, a remarkable architect from Missouri. Upon its completion, the 22-story building was the tallest building in the entire state of Texas. The building’s facade is covered with red bricks and ornamented with stone statues which made it one of the most iconic structure in the city.

Unfortunately, Busch passed away in 1913, just one year after the inauguration of the hotel. The Busch family continued operating the hotel till 1922 when it was management of it was handed over to hotelier Otto Schubert. In 1917, a 12 story addition was made on the west of the building, adding 229 rooms to its existing collection. A third addition came just six years later in 1923 when “Adolphus III” was built.

Back then, Adolphus Hotel became more than a hotel. The first three floors of the original hotel were public rooms that included parlors, dining rooms and ballrooms. One could find newstands, cigar stands, clothing boutiques, restaurants and many other stores.

adolphus hotel today facade
Adolphus Hotel |.Image credits: Joe Mabel

Through the years, the Adolphus hotel hosted a number of notable guests including Rudolph Valentino, Babe Ruth, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindberg, and Harry Houdini. Political figures such as president Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip have also visited the hotel during its glorious days.

At present, the luxurious hotel holds 428 guestrooms and is a listee of the National Register of Historic Places. It was also ranked by lifestyle travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler as the 19th best hotel in the world under the 2020 Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards

The Haunted 19th Floor

The 19th floor of Adolphus Hotel was once a ballroom for parties and events. However, the entire floor was renovated and partitioned into rooms in 1970.

That said, a tragic story lies behind the haunted 19th floor. In 1930, an afternoon wedding ceremony was said to be held in one of the several ballrooms located on the floor. However, the groom never showed up for the event, leaving the guests and bride distraught. Embarrassed and stricken with grief, the bride was said to have hung herself on the very spot where she was supposed to share her vows.

Ever since the day, the 19th floor have become a hotspot for supernatural. Many guests who have checked in to the rooms have heard wails of a woman echoing through the walls. However, the source of it can never be found. Some have also claimed to have seen the figure of a forlorn woman in a white bridal dress walking along the hallway.

Both guests and staffs of the hotel have also felt being watched or followed on the 19th floor. Some believe that till this day, the bride is still looking for her runaway groom.

Who Owns the Adolphus Hotel Today?

In 2013, Rockbridge Capital became the owner of the Adolphus Hotel. After an extensive renovation in 2017, the Adolphus Hotel changed hands once again and became a member of Marriott’s “Autograph Collection” hotels. While the management of the hotel is now shared, ownership still belongs to Rockbridge Capital.

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