Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today I am going to introduce you to the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.
Many of New Mexico’s old hotels are said to be haunted. One of the most famous is the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. The St. James, once the Lambert Inn, was built in 1872 by a Frenchman named Henri Lambert. Lambert, personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln, decided upon Lincoln’s assassination to move west in search of gold. He first settled in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, but ended up in Cimarron where he built the Lambert Inn, a saloon for cowboys, traders and miners. The saloon became so popular that Henri decided to add guest rooms and made it one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi River.
Many famous guests came to stay at the hotel including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Lew Wallace, and famous author Zane Grey. Other distinguished guests included Buffalo Bill Cody and, one of my personal favorites, Annie Oakley. The books in my Annie Oakley mystery series do not feature Annie Oakley in New Mexico, but I suppose there is always room for another installment. Perhaps she could team up with Wyatt Earp to track down the notorious criminals and murderers that were said to have stayed at the Lambert Inn?
Back in the late 1800’s law and order were in short supply in New Mexico. It is reported that over 26 men were shot and killed within the Inn’s adobe walls. When Lambert’s sons replaced the roof in 1901, they found more than 400 bullet holes in the saloon’s ceiling. Luckily, a double layer of heavy wood prevented the guests upstairs from harm.
Many of those gunslingers are said to still haunt the place. In fact, the spiritual activity of the hotel is so well known, it has been featured on the television shows Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair. Psychics who have visited the hotel have identified the strong presence of at least three restless spirits inhabiting the hotel today.
Come back tomorrow to hear about the mysterious ghosts that haunt the St. James Hotel.
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