The Old Baker Hotel
Posted 20 February 2005 - 08:50 PM
I arrived at the old hotel about 90 minutes before Sundown with my Sony Digital Cybercam, my Sony Handycam 8 and a Sony microcassette tape recorder.
I did a 360 around the old building trying to find a way onto the property. As luck would have it, I was able to get over a low brick wall and go around to the "car turnaround". I was astonished at the condition it was in. Most of the windows from the first 3 or 4 floors were all broken. I clicked away then looked around some more until I came to a jagged hole in one of the exterior walls. Taking great care not to step on any exposed nails from the old wood lying inside and outside of that hole, I peaked through. What I saw was some kind of interior hall or maybe even a loading dock. I stepped through cautiously and made my way across the debris laden floor. It was then that I saw an open door. I squeezed through and looked around and suddenly discovered that I was inside the hotel proper.
I walked through what I am sure must have been a truly grand ballroom in its day, but as I walked across this ballroom, I saw evidence of dried vomit, rat droppings and lots of dust. There was a stage which had a huge mirror on the wall, a mirror broken into fragments long ago, but a good portion of which still remained on the wall. I must have jumped 3 feet in the air when I saw my reflection.
After collecting myself (and thanking God silently that I had gone to the bathroom before I started my trip), I proceeded through into the Lobby. The floor was the first thing that I noticed. One of the carpets was partially rolled up, the other was flat. I looked at the ceiling and was amazed at the intricate design of the tiles and also the electrical fixtures. I took about 20 pix and then walked up to the Front Desk. Behind it was the Switchboard and also the little boxes which held the keys to the rooms and would also hold mail. 460 little boxes. All of them were empty.
I proceeded on my tour and went into or through several inner rooms (Ante-chambers?). One of the rooms that I wandered into was an office or Document Storage area of some sort. Drawers where all pulled out and documents littered the floor here and there. I bent over and examined one document and it appeared to be a Lunch Menu. It was dated March 12, 1966. I was sorely tempted to take it, but a gut feeling told me not to.
I went into a bathroom and I don't even want to talk about the stench that was in there. I went, gagging, back out into the main corridor and found the steps to the second floor. It had a grand view of the lobby and the Ballrooms below. For a moment, I could almost imagine it filled with people in their evening finery, going hither and thither about their lives as guests in the hotel.
I came to the Elevator bank and frowned, knowing that they were non functional. Thus, I looked around for another way to gain access to the upper floors of the hotel. There had to be a service stairway. Eventually, I found one, but the way was blocked by extremely heavy shelves and metal objects that I wasn't able to move. For some reason which I can't explain, a thought kept coming into my head consisting of four words: "The Way is shut."
Disappointed, I went back downstairs and seeing that it would be full dark soon, I left the way I had come in.
What follows are pictures that I took while outside and inside the hotel.
Posted 20 February 2005 - 09:07 PM
People are afraid to have it torn down because if it was imploded, the resulting explosions and the fall of the building would damage the shops and buildings around it. And Mineral Wells is a small town. Thus....."it might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there...walked alone."
Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:03 PM
And I haven't a clue what is being said in the EVP. What do you think it is saying?
Posted 22 February 2005 - 08:07 AM
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