Darlene Foster's Blog

Ghost Hotel

Posted on: August 4, 2014

During my recent trip to New Mexico, my travelling companion and I visited the St. James Hotel in Cimarron on the Santa Fe Trail. The hotel was built in 1872 by a trained French chef, Henri Lambert. Many famous guests stayed in this elegant but often violent hotel. Cimarron is Spanish for wild or unruly, which was a fitting name for this lawless town in the nineteenth century when arguments were often settled with bullets. Twenty-six people lost their lives at the St. James Hotel.



The lobby of the St. James Hotel

The lobby of the St. James Hotel

We had a delicious burrito lunch in the restaurant sitting under a huge Texas longhorn. We then wandered into the bar where bullet holes from days gone by, pepper the ceiling.




Famous lawmen, outlaws and wild west characters  stayed in this hotel. Colourful individuals such as Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Doc Holliday, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, the author Zane Grey and Annie Oakley.We wanted to look inside the rooms that are still decorated in the manner Mr. Lambert had established. With luck a friendly maintenance man agreed to show us around. The St. James is still an operating hotel but since many of the rooms were vacant we could check them out.



The Annie Oakley Room

The Annie Oakley Room

The very room Wyatt Earp slept in

The very room Wyatt Earp slept in

We had heard the hotel was haunted and were eager to learn more. Our guide told us that many guests have felt the presence of the spirits of those who have met their demise in this hotel. The staff tell stories of cutlery being moved around, a cowboy suddenly appearing and then disappearing and the sudden scent of rose perfume. Room #18 is never rented out as the ghost of a cowboy,  T.J. Wright, killed during a game of cards, resides there. The St. James Hotel has been featured on a number of television shows.

The card room where the guest of #18 was shot

The card room where the guest of #18 was shot

A peaceful sitting area outside with murals, a waterfall and a bear about to steal a freshly baked pie is a good place to escape from the eerie feeling inside.

Peaceful outdoor seating

Peaceful outdoor seating








This was a great place to visit, full of wild west history and ambiance. I’m sure there are many stories contained in those walls. But I’m not sure I would want to spend a night.

More great pictures of the hotel and the rooms here

40 Responses to "Ghost Hotel"

I’m a big chicken ~ I wouldn’t want to spend the night either. 😉

It was great to visit (in the daytime) though. I’m a bit of a chicken myself.

I was thinking it looked like a movie/TV set, then you mentioned it has been in several shows. Great pictures, and I probably would stay there because I don’t believe in ghosts … yet:)

I like to think I don’t believe in them either but I sure felt strange while I was there. I’d rather not find out. Good story ideas though!

Wow—-that is a really neat place and I love the Texas Longhorn, of course. What an amazing history this place has and how wonderful that they have kept it alive after all these years.

It is cool that they have kept it as it was. I could almost see Wyatt Earp striding along the hallways or Zane grey scribbling away in his room. It made these people seem more real to me.

This is a wonderful history lesson, Darlene. Your photos tell the story in glorious detail.
blessings ~ maxi

Glad you enjoyed it maxi. I love history and historic places.

Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures, but nothing like being there I suppose. This is my favorite post. Love the charm of the old days, so well-maintained and preserved. I’d love to STAY there. 🙂 Ghosts or otherwise.

It was very charming and many people do stay there. You never know who you may meet in the middle of the night! Glad you enjoyed this post.

I love going visiting with you! I was only in New Mexico once (Albuquerque), so clearly I missed some local sites! Thanks for the pictures and seeing your smiling face.


New Mexico is an amazing state with so much to see and do and a very colourful history. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Come visiting with me any time!

Putting it on my bucket list! 😉

You would love this place; so full of history and interesting characters.

Jasmine, Caleb and Adwin love nothing better than a good ghost story. The death of T.j.Wright prompted quite a discussion.

They would love to visit this hotel. Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa will take them one day!

What a fascinating place to visit (or stay – though I’m not sure I’d sleep very well there either!).

It was indeed fascinating. I’m sure you would love it.

A lot of history there.

Tons of interesting history for sure.

Lovely pics but I also wouldn’t want an overnight stay!

Pleased you liked the photos. I think a daytime visit is best.

Bullet holes in the ceiling? Now that is authentic! What an interesting history whether there be ghosts or not.

Those were real bullet holes from cowboys shooting their guns off in the saloon. Great history!

Thank you for sharing the photos, Darlene. I do believe in ghosts, and I’m too susceptible to stories about them, so if I had to stay there, it would be torture.

My imagination would go wild I’m sure. It was OK during the day time but at night I would have a problem.

This sounds such a fascinating place Darlene! I would love to visit….in daylight hours!

You would love it I’m sure! Thanks for stopping by.

We’ve been here, Darlene! But I didn’t get the wonderful pictures, so I appreciate you sharing yours. Especially the Wyatt Earp room; we didn’t even see that one.
We saw the hotel in daylight, too. I would not want to spend the night there.

My aunt had been there before but she said it was definitely worth visiting again. We got to see a lot because of the maintenance man so generously showing us around. He had worked there for many years and had been involved in the restoration. He had many stories to share as well.

Very eerie – love that bear painting.

It was very spooky. I loved the bear painting too. It looked so real!!

[…] Head over to Darlene’s blog and finish reading the post and seeing the great photographs of the hotel’s famous guests, such as Annie Oakely: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/ghost-hotel/ […]

What a great experience, Darlene. I love the Southwest. Lived in Aztec, NM for a year and didn’t want to leave. If I ever stay at the St. James, it will be in the Annie Oakley room. I named one of my cats after her ~ Phoebe Ann Moses 🙂 ♥

New Mexico is an amazing state. You were fortunate to live there for a year. What a cool name for your cat! Thanks for dropping in.

We lived just minutes away from the Aztec Ruins. What a pleasure to be able to visit at the drop of a hat 🙂

That would have been amazing! Lucky you.

Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
Hello Darlene,

I’m a wild west nut and love ghosts so just had to share this! Thank you so much for sharing this yourself.


Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reblogging!

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