Originally opened by Henry Lambert as Lambert’s Inn in 1872, the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico has provided rest and sustenance for many noted individuals during the days of the wild west including Doc Holliday, Wyatt and Morgan Earp along with their wives, Jesse James, Bob Ford, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, Clay Alison, and Zane Grey.
Before opening Lambert’s Inn, Henry had worked as a cook for both General Grant and President Lincoln.
The Lambert Inn was very popular with travelers on the Santa Fe Trail including cowboys and miners. Known as a violent place, there are 26 documented killings at Lambert’s Inn.
In 1901, Henry Lambert’s sons replaced the roof of the Inn and found more than 400 bullet holes buried in the ceiling above the bar. “A double layer of heavy wood prevented anyone from sleeping upstairs from being killed. Today, the ceiling of the dining room still holds 22 bullet holes.”
Henry passed on in 1913. Since that time the building has passed through various owners and has been uninhabited often throughout the years. In 1985, the Inn was restored and opened as the St. James Hotel.
Paranormal activity has been detected by owners and guests. The hotel has been featured on several paranormal television shows including Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair.
Cold spots and the smell of cigar smoke are reported on the second floor of the St. James.
An apparition of a “pleasant-looking cowboy” has been seen reflected in the mirror on the front of the bar.
A man was killed at the door of his room after supposedly winning the rights to the hotel in a poker game. His name was Thomas James Wright. He was shot from behind and continued into his room, number 18, where he slowly bled to death. This room is kept locked because Wright’s “angry, malevolent ghost continues to haunt the room and he does not like company.” One former owner reported that “she was pushed down” in the room. At another time, she said a “ball of angry orange light floating in the upper corner.” The staff considers this room to be haunted by an angry presence and it wants to be left alone. It is not rented out, and people are seldom allowed to enter the room. Supposedly, there were several “mysterious deaths” in the room during the time it was rented out.
Next door, in Room 17, a woman believed to be Henry’s second wife Mary Elizabeth, remains at the hotel. She died at the hotel in December of 1926. Sometimes the scent of Mary’s rose perfume permeates the air in her room. If a window is open, the occupant will often hear an “insistent tapping” which ceases after the window is closed. An apparition of a woman has been seen in the hallways near the room.
There are also reports of a “dwarf-like” male spirit nicknamed “Little Imp.” He is said to be “very mischievous, constantly playing tricks.”
Other paranormal activity reported at St. James includes items falling off walls and shelves, electrical equipment acting up, cold spots, lights turning on, feelings of being touched, screams from the lobby, and a paranormal poker game.
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