The Ghosts of St. Anthony
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of staying at one of the finest hotels in San Antonio: The St. Anthony Hotel. Built in 1909, it has the elegance of an age long past, and it was the perfect location for Aetherfest, Texas’s first Steampunk convention.
When I walked into the lobby, I audibly gasped at its beauty. Deep burgundy carpets and upholstery decorated the lavish parlor. Chaise lounges, plush chairs, and glass chandeliers gave the entire room a level of sophistication one does not normally see in modern society. Once it was filled with cosplayers dressed to the nines in their Steampunk gear, it was a perfect snapshot of the past.
Most conventions have a floor dedicated to congoers, so that their party nature does not disturb the other guests. The St. Anthony gave Aetherfest the tenth floor, just adjacent to the rooftop terrace on which we spent the evenings dining, dancing, and socializing the night away.
Little did we know that the tenth floor is the most haunted floor of the most haunted hotel in all of San Antonio! We stayed in room 1044, and it was simply divine. With a four poster bed and cherry wood desks, this was no ordinary hotel. Perhaps it’s the power of suggestion, but once Capt. Whittaker of the Airship Isabella told me about the haunting (particularly in room 1080), my eyes darted to and fro as I tried to fall asleep that first night, listening to every creak. My husband fell asleep first, and his breathing settled into those deep sleep breaths. Just as I would start to drift off, I’d hear a door shut somewhere, and my eyes would pop back open, looking around the room for the ghost. The creepiest thing was when my husband’s breathing was echoed by another’s. Each of his exhalations were immediately followed by another, faintly. Visions of a malevolent ghost mocking our breaths of life filled my demented mind. It was so unnerving, I had to get out of bed and examine the source. It turned out to be just the gentleman in the next room, sleeping soundly. The walls, by the way, are paper thin.
Most certainly, both the Peraux Room and the Travis Room, where the vendors were located, had an inexplicable chill. Seriously, just walking from the hallway into the Travis Room one felt a twenty degree drop in temperature. At least. This severe cold, which according to the hotel staff remains present even when the AC is turned off, is one of the symptoms of that haunting.
Also, the elevators seemed to have minds of their own. The middle elevator got stuck twice the first day we were there. Pablo, the con chairman, and Jonas Meriwether, lead scout of the Airship Isabella got stuck in there for over thirty minutes! They hotel turned that elevator off after that, but the two remaining elevators acted strangely as well. They would stop on either the seventh or ninth floor without explanation. The doors would open and no one would be there. It happened to us more than once. Seems we experienced a ride with the hotel’s phantom bellman!
Read all about the legends and lore of the St. Anthony Hotel Hauntings at This Eclectic Life.
We didn’t see any ghosts in the end, but perhaps the mere suggestion of ghosts was what had me on edge. Or was it the ghostly energy of the entire place? Whatever the cause, we definitely experienced something paranormal, and it was so cool!
Have you ever had a ghostly experience? Tell us about it.