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.

Haunted HotelLittle 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.

~ by omgrey on May 6, 2011.

33 Responses to “The Ghosts of St. Anthony”

  1. I might have to visit this place someday.

  2. Was the bell captain in 1983 at St Anthony. It had just reopened after being remodeled. Only thing I witnessed was a loud bang on wall of a guest room bathroom that I was the only person inside. Can’t remember room # or floor. There was a room service waiter that had been working there for 25 years at that time. He talked about haunted areas of the property. Also, he had stories of John Wayne who stayed there on several occasions. And a poignant story about Elvis Presley who performed in San Antonio during the last year or so before he died.

  3. […] weekend for Aetherfest, Texas’s oldest Steampunk convention at the historic (& haunted) St. Anthony Hotel. Other guests include the fabulous Unwoman, DJ Doctor Q, Marquis of Vaudeville, Master Bones […]

  4. it isnt haunted i stayed on da 8th floor for like 3 nights its just really old thats all pretty expensive hotel dont know how we managed to stay here seems pretty expensive hotel we are poor from detroit but ya

  5. Stayed there this past weekend in room 429. I had the best sleep ever the two nights we were there. The only noise I heard was what my husband determined was the elevator. He and my son absolutely hated it because of it size and it missed the mark television and the awkwardness of the commode. I loved it! However I wish I would have read this prior to our stay.

  6. Just had my daughter’s wedding here. We used the Pereaux Room for the ceremony, Peacock Alley for cocktail hour and the Anacacho Ballroom for dinner and dancing for our 170 guests. It was lovely. However, after the wedding we loaded the car with flower centerpieces, decor and the bride’s bouquet only to have the bouquet go missing when we unloaded everything at home. Four people remember it leaving the hotel to be loaded in the car in the valet area near the Ballroom. My husband remembers carrying it out and our friend remembers placing it in the front seat. The curb and ballroom were checked before my husband drove away. There was nothing left. We have looked everywhere for the bouquet. It just disappeared. There were no passerbys since it was almost 1am. The odd thing is that there was an old broach (40 years), hanky (50 years) and silk flowers from my bridal bouquet (32 years) incorporated into my daughter’s bouquet. I was told that a jilted bride walks the balcony of the Anacacho Ballroom during weddings. Seriously, I can have no other explanation.

  7. Here’s a continuation to the bride’s bouquet story. I asked the photographer if he had a picture of the bouquet since it went missing. He said he did and then began to tell me a story. He didn’t want to tell anyone because he didn’t think anyone would believe him. When my daughter who was holding the bouquet walked down the spiral staircase in the lobby of the St. Anthony for the groom’s first look, he saw another bride come from the other side and walk next to my daughter. At that point his video camera had a memory card error. Luckily the other videographer was rolling. He changed the memory card and battery and continued to film. When the first look was over he put the original battery and memory card back into the video camera and it was fine. He said in 10 years with this very expensive equipment it had never happened. Guess which room they and the equipment were staying in? Yes, room 1080. Also, the groom’s watch stopped sometime after midnight. It was a new watch with a new battery. Seriously, can this all be possible?

  8. My family and I went to San Antonio for a day from Austin to visit the river walk. We parked our car on Jefferson next to st Anthony hotel. We came back around 9 pm to head back to Austin. As I settled into the back seat of the car something called my attention to look out towards the hotel and my eyes fell directly on a window on the first floor where the glass was painted white and scratched in capital letters where the words HELP ME. I wish I could post the picture I took with my phone. It was way too creepy. After we told some employees they should call the police I started googling the hotel and come upon articles telling it is actually a haunted hotel.

  9. I stayed at the hotel for 2 nights and had never heard of the ghost stories prior to my visit. As soon as I entered the hotel, it took me back in time, and I instantly became scared because I could feel that it was haunted. Traveling alone for work, I stayed on the 6th floor. I put HBO on loud so that I wouldn’t be scared. I stayed near the end of the hall, across the stairway, and although I did not hear anyone walking in the hallway (the walls are quite thin), I kept hearing children laughing. I got pretty scared, increased the tv volume, and had heard a male and female child laughing. It seemed like the children ghosts were walking throughout the halls, with an older ghost figure, maybe a parent. Lets just say my gut instinct about the hotel was right, and I had trouble falling asleep both nights, but was glad when I left.

    • Creepy!!!!

      That’s a great, albeit scary, story! Glad you’re okay!

      I didn’t know about it being haunted until I got there, too. Interesting how you felt it as soon as you walked in.

      If only we could leave to trust out gut more often. 🙂

  10. I’m staying in room 1080 right now… This better be fake…

  11. My now husband and I stayed there in 2009. It was a brilliant hotel. We stayed on the 9th floor. I am sensitive so from the minute we walked into our room I was uncomfortable but chalked it up to the nostalgia of eras past. The first night we stayed in and my husband was acting strange…..I told him it must be the ghost….and as he entered the shower he said “screw those ghosts” instantly the water turned Scaulding hot and burnt areas I’d rather not say. That evening we explored the hotel and went to the 6th floor to find the pool……a side elevator that was out of order (it was not the main elevator for the floor) opened on its own with a creepy red light….we ran like little kids. As we went to bed that late that night I had images of a male soldier and a dark long haired woman in pantaloons drinking out of a whiskey bottle…..over and over….I awoke at 3am to the sound of time period music that would not stop……next morning at breakfast I told the manager about it and he looked at me and said……yes….long story short he confirmed everything that happened to me and that is was legit. Even the man and woman which he went a little white because the man murdered the woman at the hotel and took her underground through a tunnel to the Emily Morgan hotel …..can’t wait to go back!!!!!

  12. My parents and I stayed here on one of our many weekend trips to San Antonio. My mom and I were really excited to stay here as it was a new hotel for us to stay in and it is close to the Boardwalk, one of our favorite places to go. We knew that it was an older hotel but had seen from the reviews on the hotel’s website at the time that the hotel was extremely well-kept and provided a unique stay experience. We checked into a room on the same floor as the pool and as we were walking down the hallway, I remember thinking how excited I was to see the room’s interior and literally could not wait to get through the door! Naturally, I was the first to run in… I threw my bag down and jumped on the bed. As I turned to face the wall dividing the room and the bathroom, I saw a man with a tophat on. He had on an old-fashioned coat and looked exactly like he was from a movie. Seriously, he looked like he was being projected on the side of the wall with a projection screen. I tried screaming in between all the thoughts racing through my head but all I could do was stare. I originally thought that we must be in the wrong room and then quickly realized that it didn’t matter since whatever he was, he was not human nor alive (as provided by the lack of a bottom half) and he could wander wherever he wanted anyways. Before I was able to say anything or come back from my dumbfounded stoop, he disappeared. My dad had walked straight into the bathroom upon entering and my mom had been talking to my dad complaining of how it smelled so musty as she was opening the closet that was to the right as she walked in the room. So there was no chance that anyone else would have been able to see it when I did. I was scared to say that I had seen anything and was still in disbelief at the time, but when my mom looked at me after walking closer towards me, she knew that something had definitely happened. As stupid as it may sound, we shook it off and decided that we would not let it ruin all the fun we had planned on having. Throughout the rest of the weekend, the following occurred:

    We all thought I might be crazy for claiming to have seen what I claimed I saw (and yes, I meant to include myself in this conclusion).

    My mom continuously woke up from the little sleep she was getting and complained of knocking, bumps on the walls, and the loud “people” in the hall at all hours of the night/morning.

    We all three could smell the distinct smell of cigar smoke in the bathroom, particularly when we would take showers and when we would get back to the room from doing whatever we had been doing. (Even my dad was able to smell this and agreed that it was strange.)

    We all decided that maybe I wasn’t as crazy as what we originally thought and my encounter started sounding a little less far-fetched.

    I went to get ice a few times by myself and loved walking to the pool, mostly to prove to myself I was not afraid, and each time I made those little ventures, I felt like I was being watched like a hawk. Thus, my crazy meter increased a little more.

    And then we finally gave in and said that we were doing that Ghost Tour thing the last night we were in town. We figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! (Ha!) I must say, it was an extremely interesting tour. There was far more history to learn from this tour than any other. As we walked through town, the tour guide stopped at the corner where the St. Anthony was across the street and asked if anyone was staying there. We kind of waited for someone else to raise their hand first as we had that “oh, shit” moment. Sure enough, a lady and her two kiddos who were around the same age as me at the time raised their hands and so I went ahead and raised mine along with them. Then the stories began about all the sightings and encounters of previous guests. The tour guide mentioned that if you ride the elevator to (some number) floor and then look to the far left corner immediately after you step out of the elevator, you can sometimes see the bellhop as he walks through the wall. You can bet that we rushed back to give this a try after the tour was over. On the way up, the elevator randomly stopped on a different floor and no one ever got on. We kept on going to whatever that floor number was and as soon as we got to the floor, we all peak our heads around the corner towards the left and at the same time from the other elevator, that lady and her two kids poked their heads out and we all screamed! Talk about scared stupid… HAHA! So we all scared each other and never even saw the bellhop ghost. Once again… CRAZY!

    When we checked out of the hotel, Mom noticed that we had an additional charge for an international phone call that had been made. She told them we had not used the phone at all and told them that they would need to take this off before she paid, they were able to see the day and time that it had been made and it was during a time when we were gone. Maybe it was the housekeeper, or maybe it was man I saw… We will never know!

    One last encounter to share about this particular trip: while on the Ghost Tour, we never actually saw any ghosts or anything like that, however while we were standing on the sidewalk towards the back of the group while looking up at the Emily Morgan Hotel, my mom kept moving and almost hopped from side to side. Thinking she must now be possessed or whatever, I remember me and Dad telling her to calm it down. After the tour guide stopped talking and we continued walking, Mom finally told us that she swore that something was poking her on top of the foot with a cane or something of the sort. She said she would stand still for a bit and it would do it again like it was being pushed against and then she would move and it would stop for a second and then it would start tapping hard on her foot again.

    So there you have it, we are a family of basket-cases that were drove insane by a stay at the St. Anthony way back when!

    A few days later after we got home, my Mom handed me a printed off copy about the St. Anthony hauntings and told me that I may find some of the information interesting. After reading about a bunch of stuff that I never saw, lo and behold, several other people have reported seeing that same man with the top hat on throughout the hotel on several occasions! (HA! Told you so!) I had to share our story here after searching to see if anything unsuspecting has happened since our visit back in 2006-ish.

  13. My fiance and I stayed at the saint Anthony on Valentines day in 2013. I chose to suprise her with a an overnight stay at what I was told was one of the best hotels in San Antonio. I got there before, and I checked in. The staff was friendly and helpful. The hotel seemed to be everything I heard it was. The room was beautiful, we had a living room and bedroom with beautiful mahogony furniture, everything was cleaned and the bell boy even assisted me in setting up my rose petal and candle display for her surprise. Of all the wonderful things I had heard about the Saint Anthony I had NOT heard it was haunted. My fiance is easily frightened and little skiddish in those situations. While i was setting up balloons and flowers i heard the door to the living room close and ALL the candles i had lit where out. It was strange but I figured it was the AC i turned it down and called a friend. He made himself available to light the candles while I picked her up. While I went to get her he send me a text message reading ” You didnt warn me that ya’ll were coming Im still in the bedroom” I asked him what he was talking about he said he heard “someone open the door and muffled voices” I told him I wasnt even at the hotel…. he stated that no one else was in the room when he looked. The strange happenings didnt stop there. Later that night she left to retrieve something from our truck while i showered and got ready to go out to dinner downtown. While I was in the shower she opened the door to the restroom, She was wearing a red dress that night and though I couldnt clearly see through the steam and shower curtain it was obviously her. I stuck my arm out and said “Hey hand me a washcloth. ” I guess she didnt hear me because when I looked out she had walked out of the restroom. But I caught a glimpse of her red dress as she walked into the living room area and the door to the living room shut abruptly. I was extrememly confused and shouted “Really?? Whats your problem??” I shook it off and went back into the shower, while I was still in the shower my fiance threw the door open and asked why I had shut the door to the living room and stated she was sorry for taking so long, they couldnt find the truck in the parking garage. I was immediatly confused. I told her SHE had shut the door. That I saw/heard her shut it. I told her I saw her standing in the door way when I was in the shower. She gave me a strange look and said “I’ve been gone the whole time. since I left I havent been back once.” I immediatly assumed that it had been a cleaning lady… what else could it have been? I called the front desk and asked them who had just been cleaning our floor. I told them what had happend and reassured them that I wasnt mad, the service had been just fine I would just have appreciated that she had announced herself when coming in or knocked or something. For goodness sakes I was in the shower! She put me on a brief hold and told me the ONLY personel assigned to clean that floor had left earlier that day and the one scheduled for the night had not gotten there yet. I told her thank you and apologized. My fiance and I went out to dinner and came back and went to bed. The next morning while we were preparing to leave she asked if i had heard about the hauntings. She read several of the things people had experienced there… all which included muffled voices, doors opening and closing, a man in a top hat and suit’s reflection in their mirrors, children that werent there running laughing and running in the halls, the elevators opening on strange floors for which the buttons had not been pressed, and a woman…. a young woman in a red dress. Several sitings of this woman on our floor bring seen in their rooms, in their mirrors, standing by their windows, walking out of a door. I didnt tell my fiance about what I had seen until months later. But I knew, after hearing these stories that I had seen this woman firsthand. I knew I had experienced one of the Saint Anthony Hotel ghosts.

  14. I am going to have my/our field lesson there now I freakin SHITTING BRICKS

  15. I was the graveyard Bellman there from 1991 to 1993. It was my first real job, I was 18 years old when hired. I had quite a few experiences both pleasant and somewhat threatening, if you will.

    The one that stands out the most, is occasionally (on average once a month), as I delivered newspapers to VIP rooms, I would hear a small child giggle on the 3rd floor, every time I would set a paper down. The 3rd floor mainly housed meeting rooms and there were very few rooms, so it was rare a paper would be delivered on this floor.

    When this happened it was panoramic, no telling which direction the giggle came from and it was very non-threatening. It was the first in many other happenings and it was the last.

    On my last shift, after two week notice was given and ful-filled, I delivered papers to the 3rd floor for the last time hearing a giggle on the 2 papers set down. Immediately after I pressed the down button in the elevator I heard “aren’t you going to say goodbye?”

    I’ll never forget working at St. Anthony.
    It was quite an experience!

  16. I stayed at the St. Anthony for a conference for work. I didn’t get very much sleep but I did get some awesome pictures. Unfortunately, I no longer have those pictures. I don’t remember the room number but I did stay on the fifth floor. On my first night, I smelled a cigar smell in the bathroom but I just thought it was coming through a vent, but I only smelled it in the bathroom. On my second night, I couldn’t sleep so I took my phone and started taking random pictures around the room. I caught a woman’s face in the window and I know it wasn’t my reflection from the angle I took the picture. I also caught, and this was the creepiest, the shadow of death with sickle and all next to the bed post. My tv was off and only a lamp by the bed was on. Nothing could have made that shadow. It was clear as day. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that whole week. Another thing was when I first checked in there was a man in my room and I thought they had given me an occupied room. I went to the front desk to say that the room was occupied and the person at the front desk said there was no on checked into that room. I told her there was a man in my room. Another person came to help me and said there had been a mistake. Then he exchanged looks with her and I found it strange. It was that kind of look that said “ah hello it’s one of the ghosts” and he just looked at me and said we’ll go ahead and change you into another room. Needless to say, it was quite an experience….

  17. […] wandering around the hotel. Obviously….nice ghosts. Check out some stories here, here and here. Very interesting to say the […]

  18. I’ve stayed there several times and have aways had a paranormal experience. From the faint whisper of “hey” the first morning while getting coffee, 3 tugs on my shirt, 3 taps on my shoulder when I was alone in the elevator, the elevator hovering on my floor (the 5th floor) when I wasn’t getting off there (I just told the ghosts I was going to another floor to visit a friend) to capturing orbs in my room and having the lights ALL turn on and off at 3:30 every morning. Numerous other things have happened but it’s always been aa east experience

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