Haunted in the Basin: Hotel Settles

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Hotel Settles

BIG SPRING, Texas (Nexstar) – Hotel Settles is an iconic hotel in Big Spring. Famous for it’s height, history, and ghosts.

The hotel opened in 1930. At the time, it was the tallest tower between El Paso and Dallas which attracted high-end guests, from movie stars to presidents.

The hotel closed it’s doors in the 1980’s, remaining vacant until it was revitalized in 2012. Despite being closed for nearly 30 years, visitors and employees claim some guests never left.

“They report glasses flying off of shelves, things breaking when there’s nobody around. We have both employees who work here and guests who stay here who report seeing a couple different children. One is a little girl with a ball in the basement, the other is a six or seven-year-old boy,” said Shonda Folsom, co-founder of the Big Spring Ghost Tour.

Folsom says it’s still unknown why exactly the hotel is haunted. She says it’s possibly because of the hotel’s long history and large number and guests. As one of the tallest buildings in West Texas at the time, it was also a place where people would go to commit suicide.

Folsom’s partner for the Big Spring Ghost Tour, Camilla Strande, says downtown Big Spring in the early 1900’s was always hectic.

“Downtown was such a vibrant part of Big Spring for so long and I think there was just so many things going on whether it was just shootouts in front of the saloons or whatever and I think that’s a lot of what’s led to that ghost activity,” said Strande.

While many people claim they’ve seen and heard things around the halls of the Settles, Amanda Morrow, a former Mixologist for the hotel, actually took a photo which she believes captures a ghost in the hotel lobby.

Courtesy: Amanda Morrow

At first, it looks like an ordinary photo of the lobby, but if you look in the upper right hand corner, you can see what appears to be a blue male ghost.

“It is a full ghost. From head to toe. I’ve never taken a picture like that before or anything. He’s got a full beard, you can tell he’s looking down, he’s got a tux and you can tell it’s an old-timey tux,” said Morrow.

Courtesy: Amanda Morrow

She also said there was paranormal activity in the judge’s chambers.

“A lot of action has happened down there, like doors slamming, or you would hear somebody when you would walk in somewhere and you’d sit down and you’d expect to hear them leave, and they wouldn’t and you’d come out and nobody would be there,” said Morrow.

While the thought of sharing the halls with ghosts may frighten you, Morrow says there’s no need to be alarmed.

“You know they’re just cool stories, they’re experiences, but it still spooks me, so I’m not gonna stick around for anymore experiences when it does happen. But so far it’s been more positive and it’s just like they’re showing their faces to say ‘Hi I’m still here’,” said Morrow. 

For more on the history behind Hotel Settles click here.

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