THE ELMS HOTEL & SPA

401 Regent Street, Excelsior Springs, MO

(816) 630-5500

Status: Historic Resort; Paranormal and Haunted History Tours are Available

Website

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History

The first Elms Hotel was built on this site in 1888. On May 9, 1898 it was completely destroyed by fire. A second hotel was opened May 31, 1909 but also burned down; this time right after a large party in the ballroom.

Despite both of these hotels being massive – the second one having 300 rooms – and fire safety being nothing compared to today the 'official' history says there were “no fatalities or injuries”.

The current hotel – built with native stone by the Elms Realty Company – opened on September 7, 1912.

In the 1920’s and 30’s the hotel did very well as a Speakeasy – with nearby Kansas City was a center for organized crime – and hosted famous guests like Al Capone.

The hotel was sold in 1922 and 1925 respectively and then went bankrupt in 1932 when the American Medical Association declared that there were no benefits to mineral water – abundant in the local springs – despite numerous claims by local businesses.

In 1948 President Henry S Truman spent election night at the hotel and was woken with the news he had won. Earlier that same year the New York Giants had used the hotel as their training camp.

Sheraton bought the hotel in 1956 then quickly sold it and then re-bought it in 1960 when it went bankrupt again. The hotel was renamed the Sheraton Elms Hotel at this time.

In 1968 it bought by Gotham Hotels as Sheraton sold off some their old properties. In 1971 it went bankrupt again and was left empty until 1977 when local citizens bought it.

In 1991 the hotel was bankrupt again but continued to operate and in 1998 it got a $16 million renovation in 1998. In 2011 it was closed and under went another massive renovation before opening in 2012.

It is now owned by Hyatt.

 

Paranormal Activity

The hotel is very open about it’s paranormal activity and even offers both ghost tours and haunted history tours.

The room in the basement where the lap pool is now is where the speakeasy used to be.

In this basement room the ghost of a gambler – who is said to have been shot to death in one of the room’s corners – is said to be active. His apparition has been seen sitting in the corner he is said to have died in.

 A young child in the lap pool itself is known for grabbing people by the ankle who are swimming by. There is at least one review on the net that mentions being were grabbed in the pool by something unseen.

Phantom laughter is also heard in the lap pool area.

A maid, in 1920’s attire, is seen on the third floor apparently still fulfilling her duties.

Also, on the third floor the ghost of another woman – said to be a former guest – is seen wandering the halls. She is always in an extreme distressed state and many people report she looking for her lost baby. There are also a few reports that if you get to close her – or her to you – she will throw things and has pulled the hair of the living.

In the ballroom the chandeliers move on their own and the wispy forms of women in white gowns and men in server’s clothing are seen.

A multitude of unexplained sounds are heard in the hallways including: animal growls, heavy breathing, a woman screaming and something that sounds like electrical feedback.

The apparition of a blonde woman wearing modern clothes is seen but always sticks to the shadows so she is barely visible.

People have reported disembodied moans in the spa.

The doors in the lobby open and close on their own.

One guest reported the feeling as if an unseen baby had crawled into bed with them.

There is a report of door handle which can only be moved by someone inside the room slowly moving back and forth while the room was empty.

People have been pushed by unseen force on the deck of the outdoor pool.

Other Reported Activity: apparitions; disembodied voices; luggage and clothes being moved around while the room was empty; handprints of both children and adults appearing on windows; unexplained sounds from whispers to loud bangs; loud sounds of glass breaking but no broken glass can be found; electrical disturbances; light anomalies and feelings of being watched.