The Geiser Grand Hotel was originally opened in 1886 in the height of the gold frenzy in Oregon. The Grand still operates to this day even after a few reopenings and change of owners, the latest of which was in 1993.
Name/Name & Location
The Geiser Grand Hotel opened in Baker City, Oregon, which was known as the “Queen City of the Mines,” due to the Gold Rush happenings within the region. The hotel also became known as “the Grand” for short because of the advanced technology and beauty it held within its walls.
An Italianate building containing technology that was ahead of its time: an elevator, a 4th story clock tower, a 200-foot corner cupola, a 2nd-floor balcony overlooking marble floors, crystal chandeliers, Honduran mahogany paneling, and stained-glass ceilings. All of these components made this hotel a grander of its time for all the wealthy and high society figures to flock to.
The Lady in Blue was also known as “Granny” Annabelle, a beautiful Victorian woman dressed in a blue gown is one of the hotel’s most known spirits. She was a permanent character making grand entries down from her room 302 and having her own reserved chair at the bar each night.
Opened in Baker City the hotel has stood for years and in 1906 was named the “the most fortunate place in the country” by a newspaper article. Ever since it’s 1902 reopening The Lady in Blue was a prominent figure at the Grand, which lead to the first tales of ghosts roaming the grounds after her death.
Mythology and Lore
The Lady in Blue has been a staple of siting’s at the Grand, multiple people have reported seeing her descending the staircase, sitting at the bar, and disappearing into the wall through-out the hotel. She is suspected of moving guests’ jewelry and items, nibbling snacks from their rooms, or down at the bar pinch the rears of those who sit in her chair. There are other well-known spirits to call the Grand home as well. There is a saloon girl in a red laced bustier who hangs about the balcony, a cowboy who chats with bar-goers, a little girl wandering the 3rd floor, and flappers from the 1920s. Many of the guests and workers have reported wide-ranges of experiences with the ghosts of the Grand, as well as paranormal groups who investigate the hotel regularly. Ghost Hunters and Atlantic Paranormal Group (TAPS) are two teams that see the Grand regularly and continue to collect data and do studies on the building and its spirits. The Grand also does daily ghost tours at the hotel to educate and tell the tales of the ghosts that stay at the Grand.
Albert Geiser, a mining investor, purchased the property just after the turn of the century and rebranded the hotel as The Geiser Grand Hotel in 1902. In these early days of the hotel, the Grand was considered a place for wealthy men and women to make their presence known, including one Granny Annabelle, who made herself out to be a sight-to-be-seen. She would make her grand entrance from her residence in room 302, to her permanently reserved chair at the bar, from which she presided over the hotel.
Within the hotel’s basement, there are apparently subterranean windows that open up into underground tunnels that were created in the 1880s–this was during the time of the gold frenzy, and the tunnels led to brothels. They also gave passage to Chinese immigrants who at the time were not allowed to be on the streets at night, were handy during seasons of heavy snow, as well as for stashing booze during the Prohibition years.
The historic Geiser Grand Hotel of Baker City, Oregon is considered a landmark and a site of incredible paranormal activity, there have been reports of apparitions on many occasions and the hotel staff give ghost stories on Halloween. The hotel’s most famous ghost goes by the name Lady in Blue, who has been seen dressed in a turn of the century gown, walking up and down the main staircase. It is speculated that this beautiful Lady in Blue is actually Granny Annabelle, in her beautiful Victorian gown, where she forever ascends and descends the staircase before disappearing into the wall. Apparently she never had any intention of leaving “the most fortunate place in the country,” as the Geiser Grand Hotel was touted to be in 1906.
The hotel was built in 1889, destined to be extravagant living quarters for mine investors and wealthier people, the Geiser Grand hosts several apparitions on the premises. There have been several reports of a young girl, a 1930s woman wearing a purple dress, a saloon dancer from the 1920s, a former chef who appears headless, a cowboy and his girlfriend, as well as the Lady in Blue. One of the former owners, Maybelle Geiser, who lived in Room 302 is said to be incredibly haunted, with her ghost rearranging the guests’ jewelry and eating their complimentary snacks.
One visitor to the hotel reported having investigated the Geiser Grand a few times and had experienced the most activity in the bar; their report was that the overall experience was as if they had stepped directly into the 1800s, the rooms being magnificent and period-authentic. They were able to capture an EVP, experienced doors opening and closing, but was skeptical that all of the reports were true. A second guest reported having taken photographs of the entire hotel, except for their room, but upon reviewing the pictures they took found that there was a picture of their room–knowing that they did not take it themselves–and saw that there was the figure of an unidentified boy.
Paranormal investigation groups, S.P.I.G. and S.L.A.S.H. regularly take groups through the premises, where the customers were not made aware of the specifics of each haunting before they investigated the rooms. They reported having physical responses to particular rooms, including the library, and the basement, but were unable to determine the identities of any specific spirits.
The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) who hosts the television show Ghost Hunters visits the Geiser Grand quite regularly, with the sole mission of gathering evidence to back up all of the claims that have been made. In an attempt to make the process as scientific as possible, they conduct double-blind studies with reliable equipment that doesn’t incite controversy or welcome criticism. During an interview, one of the newer team members, who self-identified as a skeptic, offered up their own experiences. He believed it could have been a coincidence, but also added that it was an experience that he would never forget–during his investigation, he heard the name Wayne several times over the span of a three-hour investigation. A few days later, while researching, he found the name Wayne in a news story–an eighteen-year-old Presley Wayne–who in 1998 had been named Nashville’s Performer of the Year and touted as a rising country music star. The night after his show at the Geiser Grand, young Presley Wayne was found dead, the victim of a gunshot to the head.
Oregon resident, Amy Venezia, travels the country as a professional medium and communicates with spirits regularly. She stayed at the Geiser Grand one Christmas Eve, where she reported experiencing a dark mass floating by her bed. Recounting her story, she felt it was an incredibly frightening experience.
I’m very accustomed to spirits and not scared of much, but this was a very old, strong spirit, a different type of entity, not a typical connection … I was frightened … The spirit was like a big dog that doesn’t know its size when it pounces on you. It was too much for me then. With time though, I see it’s taken me to a deeper level, and that is good. There’s no doubt that hotel is haunted
Author. Artist. A little bit Alaskan. Mary lives with her dog in a rural cabin outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. They explore the bounty of the Alaskan wilderness during the summer and cozy up in their log cabin during the winter.
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