Emily Morgan Hotel is thought to be the most haunted hotel in San Antonio. The hotel opened in 1920 as a medical facility, where some of the floors were used as psychiatric wards. I opted to stay here because of its location and gothic architecture. When I learned that it was also haunted, I didn’t waste time booking a room. People interested in the paranormal from all around the world visit Emily Morgan; skeptics leave the hotel with a newfound belief in ghosts. The most active areas are thought to be on the 3rd, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 12th floors. Guests and staff have witnessed many strange things on these floors and throughout the hotel. Below is the description written about each floor from Haunted Rooms.
This floor was used for operations when the hotel was used as a hospital. Reports are often of unexplained noises, sudden smells of alcohol, and people being touched by unseen hands.
One of the most frequent sightings occurs on the 11th floor, where the apparition of an elderly woman in a hospital gown has been seen walking along the hallway, on occasion she has been heard weeping, before walking off into one of the rooms. Also on this floor, guests often reported what sounds like a hospital gurney being wheeled along the hallway outside their rooms in the middle of the night, only when they open the door to check, the hallway is empty.
On this floor, guests have reported strange things such as wine bottles sliding off tables, as well as their toilet seat being repeatedly banged up and down in the middle of the night. Sounds from unoccupied rooms are also a frequent occurrence.
Guests and staff alike often see the dark shape of human figures walking around this floor, after being seen they are said to walk through walls or doors. One family staying in one of the rooms on the 7th floor were awoken suddenly one night when all the electrical equipment turned on followed by a dark shape gliding through the room and through one of the walls.
A guest was awoken in the middle of the night to the sound of humming and witnessed the apparition of a young girl sitting at the bottom of her bed. The young girl apparently spoke to her, asking her if she would like to sing along! The following night the guest had woken again, around the same time as the night before. However, this time it felt as though someone had got into bed with her, with her noticing the impression in the bed and the feeling of someone pushing against the side her body. On both occasions, the woman noticed a sudden drop in temperature.
Another guest staying on the 3rd floor experienced the sound of a woman singing in the very same room, waking both her and son.
It’s quite common for an elevator to pick up faults, and the vast majority of ‘haunted elevator’ stories can be put down to faulty wiring. The elevators at the Emily Morgan, however, have repeatedly been inspected with no fault being found. It’s strange then, how they seem to make calls when empty, and persistently go from 6th to the 7th floor and back again! They head past the floor that you have pressed, and inexplicably take you to the hotel basement, which was once the morgue, refusing to budge.
We stayed on the 7th floor but never felt uneasy once in the room we rested in. I heard from a staff that room 714 has had paranormal occurrences, but we were in room 709. I’d say I felt more uneasy in the hallway of the floor than our room.
We walked around the hotel at the end of the night one evening of our stay. The creepy elevator with its female humanlike voice called out “come in” and announced every floor we arrived to. This is not new to us, as most lifts do this nowadays, but it was her tone that creeped us out, like a voice from the 1920s, a real human tone to it. And with the way the elevator moved swiftly and abruptly, I was a little nervous it would get stuck or travel to its desired floor without our command like it did with other guests. Of course this didn’t happen, and we strolled through the ‘active’ floors, including the 14th floor, which happens to really be the 13th floor. Although the 14th floor is not considered to be the most active, I learned from a skeptic who stayed on that floor that she left believing from her stay, so I wanted to check out the floor for myself. On each floor there was a musty, old scent to them; but when we arrived at the 14th floor, the smell was distinct and different. It smelled like a hospital. It was strong, and Nick agreed so, too. He thought it smelled like cleaner used at the hospital. I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly, but I believed it to be a not-so-good sweet odor, combined with a rubbing alcohol scent. The smell was so pungent it was making me sick, a little nauseous; I developed a headache immediately. It was only after we left the floor that the smell dissipated and I felt better.
Besides learning from the skeptic lady that there is no 13th floor, she also mentioned there is no room 1408. I’m not certain, but it seems like the hotel is superstitious about the number 13. Not only do they call the 13th floor, floor 14, but they also took out the guest room 1408, which if you sum up the numbers it equals to the number 13. We wanted to see if room 1408 was really taken out. And despite the plaque outside the elevator indicating that there is a room 1408, though it is not present. It makes me wonder if the room was taken out before or after the movie 1408…
After exploring all of the floors, we went down to the basement. This lower level used to be the morgue. With its open space and bright lighting, it looks nothing like a morgue. This being our last stop before heading back to our room, I didn’t sense anything there. I’d say I felt a little uneasy in the elevator at times and on some of the floors’ hallways, particularly floors 12 and 14, but aside from that, neither of us experienced anything paranormal. Either way, I always enjoy the history, stories, and staying in a place rumored to be haunted.