The focus of our historical investigation was based on the ghost stories surrounding the hotel. The results clearly show that myth-building is a significant issue as many of the stories have no factual basis.
The Suicide Jumper
There was another Baker Hotel located in the downtown area of Dallas. The hotel had the same owners, and it is quite probable that a degree of confusion was formed when talking about “the Baker.” The Baker Hotel (in Dallas) did have an apparent suicide whose details were published through the Associated Press.
11 June 1930, Denton Record
The investigation into the death here May 29th of Dr. Clarence Moore, 50, of St. Joe was reopened today. A verdict of suicide was returned after Dr. Moore had plunged from the fifteenth floor of the Baker Hotel. T.H. Yarbrough, county attorney of Montague County, was here today attempting to establish the theory that the physician’s death was accidental.
During my investigations at the hotel in Mineral Wells, I discovered that events from the hotel in Dallas were often attributed to the hotel in Mineral Wells. This obviously affected the myth and is an essential element in the genesis of this particular ghost story. This also discredits the tale of the intoxicated “suicide” jumper story. It did not happen in Mineral Wells.
The cook and the maid
Another one of the Baker’s ghost stories involves a male cook, who was married, that got into a massive fight with his mistress, who was a maid at the hotel. When she threatened to tell his wife about their affair, he lost his temper and stabbed her to death in the pantry.
During my historical research, I only found one instance of a murder occurring in the hotel. It happened in the lobby and involved two men. There is nothing in the newspaper achieves that suggests that this event ever happened.
It appears to be a product of myth-building that was added to the other ghost stories in the 1990s. The original story came from a ghost hunting team that spent the night in the office above the lobby. They awoke to hear a heated argument between a man and a woman that appeared to be coming from the lobby area. The issue with this is that sound travels easily through the building. As a result, conversations on the street outside of the hotel can easily be heard inside and often are mistaken from originating somewhere inside the building.
The Ghost of Earl (or T.B.) Baker
The first problem with the myth is that Earl did not actually die at the Baker Hotel. Newspaper accounts state that while visiting the hotel on Dec. 3, 1967, Earl Baker was found in the Baker Suite on the floor after having a heart attack. He was rushed to nearby Nazareth Hospital but died later that day. Even if you approach this story from a “believer” angle, it still does not make sense. Earl said he would close the hotel when he turned 70 years old, and he did just that.
In a newspaper article, he was quoted as saying, “I have other financial interests in South Texas that prevent me from managing the hotel properly.”
Regardless of the reason, the hotel was closed, why would his ghost be at the hotel? How would someone know that Earl’s ghost is even there? There are no reported sightings of his apparition or any other details that would indicate that it is actually him.
The ghost of Douglas Moore
According to the legend, Douglas and one of his friends were fraternizing with the laundry women in the basement. Seeing that his boss was coming to check on them, they jumped into the service elevator, but Douglas got caught in between the wall and the closing door, causing serve injuries that led to his death. The legend states that “if you go by the elevators at night, you can see him.”
The background story is true. It was reported to the Associated Press on Sunday, January 18, 1948.
Elevator Mishap Fatal
MINERAL WELLS, Texas Jan. 17 (A.P.).-Douglas Gerald Moore, 16, was fatally injured here when he boarded a climbing service elevator at a Mineral Wells hotel and failed to get in. The operator of a passenger elevator at the hotel, Moore, was getting ready to go on duty when the accident occurred. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Moore of Mineral Wells.
The problem, however, is in the myth. Precisely who has seen him? We were not able to locate anyone who has actually seen Douglas’ ghost. The accounts only mention a sense of presence or rushes of cold air when they are near the old elevator. By themselves, these accounts are simply too anecdotal.