Before moving to Dallas, I was told about many buildings: Reunion Tower (which reminds of me a lollipop), the bright green Bank of America Building, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (it looks like a soccer goal), the Omni Hotel, whose lights can mimic images such as the Texas Longhorn, etc. However, there was one Dallas landmark I had never heard of, until I had driven past it while going downtown.
The Stoneleigh Hotel in Uptown Dallas. This historic building turned 90 October 11, 2013. The hotel (which has always been a hotel) was built in 1923, and at the time was the tallest building west of the Mississippi river.
Although the hotel has, of course, been renovated, many of the old fixtures still remain. The columns and the front desk in the lobby are part of the original structure. Sadly, the hotel is being renovated once again, and the front desk will no longer remain. The Penthouse level (the 11th floor) is still home to the original wood, sent from overseas, and many of the old rooms remain. Many people, guests and employees have claimed to hear ghosts in the hotel. It’s not surprising, given it’s age, but many are still skeptical.
The hotel is supposedly home of the spirit, named Margaret, who was rumored to be the hotel manager’s mistress. On the 11th floor, you can see cracks in the wall that reveal doors that were secret passages the housekeepers had to go through to clean the building. Stories say the mistress would travel from her room on the 2nd floor to the 11th floor to see the manager. She supposedly fell one night, from the top to the bottom.
The Penthouse suite is on the 12th floor of the hotel, and it’s outside terrace can be seen from the street. In the 1960s and ’70s, it was home to a club that required a secret password to enter. Another story says, in a small storage door next to one of the many penthouse entrances, a man was found bludgeoned to death and stuffed inside. The 13th level, which doesn’t house any rooms, is also a place many workers have heard Margaret (or other spirits) singing. They flicker the lights, run through the halls, pace the floors, and throw things.
Lastly, people hear ghost in the spa area. Someone saying “hey”, doors closing, etc. Most recently, a guest claimed he heard a child crying on the 9th floor, and also a man’s voice. However, when looking down the hall, he didn’t see anyone. It’s possible that it was just a guest and his child. Right?
A new employee also heard voices, as she worked over night, but whenever she returned to the desk, no one was there. She stated that the voices seemed to be coming from the top of the stairs of the 2nd floor. She believed a group of women were on their way down, but no one showed. Also, at one point, the outside doors to the Wolf Street side of the hotel and the walkway towards valet opened on their own. However, the doors on the Maple Ave side remained shut. (The Wolf St. doors and Entrance doors face two separate directions).
There are many stories from five years ago, as the hotel went under major renovations. With the new lobby, bar, and Terrace Ballroom (a large meeting space where many weddings are held), how unhappy will the spirits be?
Ghosts or no ghosts, it’s a beautiful hotel, and if you’re interested in history, a tour of the 11th floor will quench your curiosity thrist. Many celebrities from Tom Cruise to Elvis Presley* have stayed there. Personally, I can’t stay at the hotel at night. I’m easily creeped out.
*The 7th floor is dedicated to him. In the suite he stayed in, there is a plaque on the wall with his name, and there’s also a mural on the wall that you’ll see once you exit the elevator. There is also a suite with a plaque for Judy Garland on the 4th floor.