Haunted Journeys

St James Hotel & Restaurant

St James Hotel & Restaurant

617 S Collison Avenue
Cimarron, New Mexico
87714 USA

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Cimarron, NM is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, The St James Hotel & Restaurant. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

Originally called the Lambert's Inn, it was built by Henry Lambert in 1872. Before Henri made his way to New Mexico, he was the personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln, upon the recommendation of Ulysses S. Grant. He continued to hold the position until the president was assassinated in 1865. Before long, Henri made his way west in search of gold. Finally settling in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, he opened a saloon and restaurant instead of finding gold.

The St. James Hotel, sitting right on the Santa Fe Trail, was the scene for numerous intense shootouts during the Wild West days in the Southwest! The evidence is pretty obvious that the Hotel was in the midst of the action, with 22 bullets wedged on the dining room's ceiling.

Not to mention that the hotel is in the heart of Cimarron and has held the only liquor license as well. The saloon was wildly popular with cowboys, traders, miners, and the many travelers of the Santa Fe Trail. The saloon did so well that Henry added guest rooms in 1880, and the hotel was soon considered to be one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi River This is where Train robber Blackjack Ketchum, and outlaws Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid stayed during its heyday. If you stay, select the room that honors each of these bad boys!

When the railroads came through, the Santa Fe Trail died. This, of course, took the glitter out of the gold in this area. Cimarron’s population began to dwindle and the elegant St. James Hotel fell into disrepair.

When Henri Lambert’s sons, Fred and Gene, replaced the roof of the Lambert Inn in 1901, they found more than 400 bullet holes in the ceiling above the bar. The saloon was precautious, adding a double layer of heavy wood between the upstairs rooms and the bar, preventing fatal accidents with those sleeping upstairs. Today, the ceiling of the dining room still holds 22 bullet holes.

Henri Lambert died in 1913. His wife, Mary E. Lambert died in 1926. Through the years, the old hotel was, at many times, uninhabited and passed from owner to owner. However, in 1985 the St. James Hotel was restored to its former luxury.

Yes, still today, this is the only bar in Cimarron, holding the only liquor license!

The Hauntings

This is a hotbed for the supernatural, having sustained over 26 murders. All these souls are still wandering through the hotel! And this historical hotel is not shy about it! both the owners and the guests of the hotel will plainly tell you that it is haunted by many unexplained experiences. Several psychic mediums have visited the hotel and have met and validated three of these spirits. But this does not include the shy ones, at least with the gifted ones.

The most active area has been identified as the second floor. Here you will hear stories of feeling unexplained cold spots. Folks will also smell the aroma of a cigar burning in the halls, even though smoking is prohibited at the hotel! A previous manager once saw the apparition of a pleasant-looking cowboy standing behind her in the mirror on the front of the bar.

Want a thrilling night over? Ask for Room 18. Unfortunately, it is typically kept locked and unavailable. It is supposedly haunted by T.J. Wright's nasty phantom. He was a gambler who murdered after a winning hand. He was killed, shot from behind, at his door just after winning the rights to the hotel in a poker game. Apparently he staggered into his room and slowly bled to death. He is still a temperamental and malevolent spirit. Let it be understood, he does not like mortal company. A previous owner was actually pushed down while in Room 18. You may see a ball of angry orange lights floating in the upper corner.

Even if you convince them to unlock the door and let you rest in the room, it would be quite difficult. The room holds only a bed frame without a mattress, a coat rack, a rocking chair, and bureau which has been made a shrine to the Old West. Sitting atop the bureau is a Jack Daniels bottle, a basin and pitcher, a hand of cards, an Ace Copenhagen tin, and several shot glasses. On the wall is a bad painting of a half-naked woman. Keep in mind, there are strong rumors that when the room was rented, several mysterious deaths occurred there. They are just protecting you!

For a more calming experience, ask for Room 17. This is where most of the sightings of Henri's second wife, Mary Elizabeth, are reported. She is said to be there, protecting the hotel. Mary gave birth to her children in the hotel and died there herself in December 1926. Allegedly, Mary’s rose-scented perfume can often be smelled in her old room. Sometimes, an insistent tapping is heard when the window is open and will not stop until the window is closed. On other occasions, a milky transparent woman can be seen in the hallways.

Let's not forget the old man, that appears like a dwarf. The staff at the hotel have nicknamed him "Little Imp". Apparently, he is a bit mischievous and a trickster, caught sometimes laughing at the employees. One time, his action was not quite funny. He was said to have stuck a knife into the floor between two owners of the old inn. Fortunately, he typically will make things disappear mysteriously, later to be found in places that they absolutely would not ever be.

It's hard to summarize the intensity of haunts here at St James, but let's try. Other unidentified entities are also said to lurk the hotel, creating a bit of havoc with things constantly falling off walls and shelves. Sometimes electrical equipment at the front desk behaves unpredictably. Many folks have reported cold spots throughout the historic inn. Lights will mysteriously turn on by themselves. Oh yes, there's always a feeling of being watched by unseen eyes. Be aware, your camera may suddenly not work inside the hotel but chillingly will return to normal after leaving the St. James.

If you are afraid of ghost (and why would you be?) they have the Annex, better known as the "Sissy Hotel", for those that want to not meet the phantoms of the famous St James Hotel!

The St. James Hotel was featured on a few episodes of the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, My Ghost Story, Haunted Collector, and Ghost Ghost Prophecies.

Read more about Haunted New Mexico...

Enchanted Legends and Lore of New Mexico: Witches, Ghosts & Spirits Paperback – April 8, 2012 by Ray John de Aragón (Author)
     Haunted Hotels and Ghostly Getaways of New Mexico (Haunted America) Paperback – September 10, 2018 by Donna Blake Birchell  (Author)     New Mexico Ghost Stories Volume I (Volume 1) Fourth Edition by Antonio R. Garcez  (Author)


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Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit.

If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jun/06/2020 | Last time updated: Jun/14/2021

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