The Ghosts of the Hotel Lawrence

on Wednesday, January, 05 2011 @ 08:54:00 pm (653 words)
In Uncategorized [ 117067 views ]


Located at 302 South Houston Street (on the corner of Houston and Jackson) in Dallas, Texas, the Hotel Lawrence was initially opened in October 1925 as the Scott Hotel by a hotelier named George C. Scott (who also was the owner of hotels in Houston and Waco). With 160 rooms originally, the ten-story edifice chiefly served the lodging needs of train passengers who stopped across the street at Union Station. The historic Lawrence is adjacent to the West End District, across Houston street from Union Station, across Jackson Street from the George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building, and three blocks from the Dallas School Book Depository and Kennedy Sixth Floor Museum.  Besides accommodations for travelers, the establishment for decades has also been claimed to be the haunt of others disinclined to move on.

The name and ownership of this downtown hostelry has changed many times over the years. It became the Hotel Lawrence in the late 1930's. By the mid-1970's the building had deteriorated to a point that the city considered its potential as a minimum-security jail; however, a resurgence of the economy for the vicinity brought new ownership and renovations. The Kerr Companies of Minneapolis, Minnesota, purchased the hotel and reopened it in February 1981 as the Bradford. The Edward J. Safdie Group next purchased the hotel and completed further renovations in time for the 1984 Republican National Convention. Dallas Hotel Associates bought the establishment and changed the name to the Paramount. In October 2000, Big D Hotel Associates of Annapolis, Maryland, purchased the hotel, initiated a $4 million makeover, and on September 1, 2001, re-dubbed the concern the Hotel Lawrence.

Containing 118 guest rooms and suits, the Lawrence is touted as a European-style boutique hotel. While room furnishings are contemporary there is an art deco feel to the overall decor of the hotel.

At least three ghosts (a woman, a murder victim, and a gambler) are believed to haunt the Hotel Lawrence. The large number of odd occurrences reported through the years, however, would seem to indicate the presence of several. Four deaths due to accident or violence are said to have occurred on the premises, and some or all of these unfortunate individuals may be the spirits whose forms or actions have been witnessed. The common denominator in all of these deaths has been the tenth floor.

A man alleged to have been a congressman is said to have resided on the tenth floor before his death by suicide at the hotel.  Stories also tell of a man named Jack "Smiley" Jackson who was murdered in room number 1009 (some renditions of the tale  say 807).  It is said that unless you ask politely or address him by name (for example,"Move over, Smiley!") he will not allow you to enter the room. A later murder happened in the same room, when the throat of a man named Brookshire was slit. In the 1940's a woman either jumped or fell from a window on the tenth floor.

Laundry carts have been said to move "by themselves" in the hotel basement, where also doors seem to open and close unaided by mortal hands. Footsteps as though made by high-heel shoes are reportedly heard in the hotel lobby late at night. It is said that the staff often receives calls from rooms in which no guests are staying, and the cleaning staff has claimed that their cleaning materials go missing.  During the 1920's and '30's a gambling casino was housed within the hotel on the second floor. There the apparition of a dapper gentleman in clothing of that era is sometimes seen walking in the hallways. Cold spots, disembodied voices, and feelings of being watched have been frequently experienced by guests and staff. In rooms and hallways of the tenth floor patrons have seen shadows and heard crying.

Though situated ideally to accommodate convention-goers and historians, the Hotel Lawrence is an interesting tourist destination in itself. Would you consider a room on the tenth floor?



Comment from: Kimberly [Visitor]
KimberlyExcellent story as always. I had never heard of Hotel Lawrence. I am not sure I believe in ghosts, but I think if I stay at the Hotel Lawrence I will avoid the 10th floor.
01/05/11 @ 23:41
Comment from: Rei [Visitor]
ReiCan I do a trial stay during the day first?
01/06/11 @ 17:58
Comment from: Jessica [Visitor]
JessicaLove your blog! It?s a balance of fine, literary witticism and not-so-subtle sarcasm. I really enjoy reading all of the posts. Keep up the good work! :)
05/22/11 @ 19:10
Comment from: carrie ann [Visitor]  
carrie annI was in the hotel last night. I've never felt the way i felt when i was on the 10th floor. I felt alot of strong energy at the in of the hall in the corner by the window room 1015. I cant explain it but i felt like something was pushing me down, my legs felt weak and i was drained. 9th floor i didn't feel that same energy But,did get some messages on my evt of war,blood,gun,bullets, funeral. very weird different feeling. this place has a very strong energy on the 10th floor.
06/17/11 @ 04:16
Comment from: teresa [Visitor]
teresai am typing this from the hotel lawrence. 5th floor. it's old but has character. the staff is wonderfully accommodating and friendly and the location is just off the bustle of downtown. no creepiness for me...
01/26/12 @ 06:58
Comment from: Molly [Visitor]  
MollyIm staying in this hotel tonight and I is last night too. All night I felt like the handle was jiggling to our room and it was just creepy.
02/25/12 @ 20:39
Comment from: Kristi [Visitor]
KristiI booked a night there recently and did not know it was haunted. I was on the 7th and asked to be moved to a lower floor. Slept with the lights and TV on...did not feel comfortable.
02/27/12 @ 09:09
Comment from: Don [Visitor]
DonI'm staying here now, and it feels a little erie.
05/22/12 @ 21:06
Comment from: David [Visitor]
DavidI recently stayed at the hotel. I did not know the history, but a person who stayed the night before told me. She said she did not notice anything the night before. I did not etiher, other than a cricket that made its home in the room and chirped most of the night. Of course, only a block or so from where JFK was assasinated also!
08/08/12 @ 00:02
Comment from: mike [Visitor]
mikestayed at the hotel lawrence very recently. requested a room on the 10th floor, but found out it was the smoking floor, so opted for a room on the 7th floor. the check in person asked if we wanted "more ghosts or less smoke". haha!! anyway, he has worked there for 5 years, and denied seeing anything unusual, though he admitted to not being a "true believer". we walked the halls of floors 7-10 and the roof, with our ghost detecting apps looking for anything interesting. nothing really. the ac in the room didn't work well, and the rooms are definitely fairly beaten down. was there with wife and two teenage kids.
09/03/12 @ 13:18
Comment from: Ken [Visitor]
KenI spent 3 nights there on the fourth floor recently. I felt oddly comfortable, actually, much moreso than i usually do in a strange place. Wish i had taken my midnight walks in the hallways instead of outside.
09/24/12 @ 08:48
Comment from: james kaminski [Visitor]
james kaminski....was purchased in 1996 by 'the hotel group' and named Paramount...i was the designer hired. Yes this place is truly haunted.
10/08/12 @ 18:04
Comment from: Janice [Visitor]  
JaniceThe Ghosts of the Hotel Lawrence was posted on Facebook by You know you're a Texan when. I would love to one day stay here. The romance. The intrigue. The intesity. The fascination of the old & new.
10/08/12 @ 21:34
Comment from: Lahiere [Visitor]
LahiereHere now & tonight, so let's see
10/12/12 @ 15:38
Comment from: James L. M. [Visitor]
James L. M.I stayed at this hotel several times years ago, I think it was called the Paramount, when I first stayed there. It was always strange to me, it was ridiculously affordable at that time, $70 a night, I think. One of the things that was odd to me is the first few times I stayed there, there were no other guest in the intire place, none I ever saw anyway. But I remember hearing old time music playing somewhere on my floor. Never could figure out where it came from. Before reading this, I had no idea that it was considered "haunted." I've been only a couple of times since it was renamed and remodeled, and seemed to always have plenty of guest, not to mention a much hirer price tags on the rooms.
02/14/13 @ 22:18
Comment from: Erma Moore [Visitor]
Erma MooreMy mother worked at this hotel when it was Lawrence hotel and coffee shop from 1965-1978 or 79. If anyone remember that time or place please post. My mother has gone on to glory and that is the only job I remember her working.
03/24/13 @ 13:07
Comment from: Efrain Rivera Junior [Visitor]  
Efrain Rivera JuniorI just moved from Puerto Rico to Texas and started working for Skyline Staffing Services, and this was the first Hotel I visited. It wasn't until my third visit to the Hotel that I was told by a friend that it was haunted. The Hotel does feel old, but I didn't see any ghosts, even though I walked through room 806 (Yep, right next too 807) and had breakfast on the second floor (supposedly haunted too). I guess it would've been fun to see something or feel something weird or spooky.
05/21/13 @ 18:54
Comment from: Daniela [Visitor]  
DanielaIt is a wonderful story. Especially the part of the ghost called smiley. It's creepy but interesting at the same time. Would like to go there sometime. I love places that are considered haunted or scary. I would also like to work there to see how it feels working at a haunted hotel.
07/15/13 @ 11:32
Comment from: Terri [Visitor]
TerriBooked this hotel over a year ago for my recent stay. Didn't know at the time of booking it through Expedia that it was supposedly haunted. Once we found out we thought it would be a cool experience. First day we were there we were leaving our 9th floor room got on the elevator pushed floor 1 and the elevator doors closed. But before the elevator moved the doors opened like someone had pushed the down button from the outside of the elevator or open doors button from the inside. But these buttons if pushed were not pushed by a living human being. Nothing was there doors closed after we pushed the doors closed button. Second day we were there we had placed a flat iron hair CHI on a shelf and had left it there all day. We were gone about 6 hours returned back to our room turned on the tv and about thirty minutes later the CHI just fell to the floor. No one was near it or had been near it. Later that evening while trying to watch television, the channel changed and muted itself without being touched by the remote. The "mute" word even showed up on the tv screen. We tried to change the channel back and unmute the tv but it appeared the remote was no longer working or something not to be seen was blocking the sensor on the tv that the remote activates. After about 15 minutes the channel changed back to what we were originally watching and it unmuted itself. When we attempted to use the remote then it worked. I personally thought this was a very unique experience. Made me giggle.
07/25/13 @ 12:47
Comment from: Scott Pope [Visitor]  
Scott PopeI was the Controller for the Bradford Plaza in 1985-1986 under the Safdie ownership. They never told me these stories during those MOD weekend sleepovers! Not sure I ever stayed on the 10th floor however. Greetings to all former colleagues at the hotel!
07/25/13 @ 19:53
Comment from: Goldie Browning [Visitor]  
Goldie BrowningWe're going there Wednesday night (July 31st)and we've requested Room 807. Is this the right room for Smiley? We really can't handle spending the night on the smoking floor, but we're hoping to see or hear something paranormal. Any advice for those of you who have been there?
07/28/13 @ 17:55
Comment from: ramon gonzalez [Visitor]
ramon gonzalezvery exciting and scary and interesting , hope I get to visit one day.
09/05/13 @ 15:53
Comment from: Drew Witthuhn [Visitor]
Drew WitthuhnStayed at the Lawrence with my son who is a soldier at Ft. Hood after hearing of the hauntings and specifically asked for the 10th floor. We were the only guests on the floor that evening and around 11pm we both heard soft crying from outside our room. Nothing seen but we stayed in the corridor for over an hour. Staff couldn't believe we stayed alone up there, would do it again in a heartbeat.
10/22/13 @ 17:18
Comment from: Channion Burnett [Visitor]
Channion BurnettStaying tonight, 1 night on the 6th floor. We had no idea that the hotel is haunted until we got back to our rm and looked it up on Google. When we first arrived to our rm we decided to go look around. We got on the elevator to go to the 10th floor, but the elevator stopped at floor 8 like someone had pushed the button, the doors opened, we looked out and no one was there. So we continued to the 10th and did not see or hear anything. Mind you, we had no idea this place was hunted until we returned to our room.:/. Now that I know, I'm going back out to chk things out:)
11/01/13 @ 23:09
Comment from: Denise [Visitor]
DeniseWow ... stayed a couple nights at the hotel just recently and didn't kno it was haunted till after we had got back home..I was n room 708 & I had to go to look for a maid becouse my toilet paper roll holder was missing.. went to the 10th flour and there was a eerie feeling...
12/07/13 @ 22:50
Comment from: Mario, [Visitor]
Mario,Staying at the Lawrence Hotel for Fencing NAC in Dallas. Did not know the place was haunted. Did have some errie experiences.My room key did not work and it was because I was reported as checked out apparently despite that I was confirmed for another day. I guess some Ghost does not want me in my room Other than that. It was a good hotel. Have no complaints
12/15/13 @ 18:12
Comment from: Laura [Visitor]  
LauraWe are staying in room 1009 this Valentine's Day. I will let y'all know if we have any unworldly experiences! I sure as hell hope so!!
01/21/14 @ 15:11
Comment from: bb [Visitor]
bbStayed in Room 1009 last week, friends in 1012..Very interesting stay..None of us had ever stayed there and did not know of the history or hauntings, until a couple of days later, when I googled it! There was a very strong scent of cherry tobacco, which I believe was a pipe tobacco scent..nobody else in our group smelled it. A most comforting scent! A couple of things fell, but thought nothing of it...would love another few nights there!
01/30/14 @ 23:40
Comment from: Kristin [Visitor]
KristinI am at the hotel right now 2014 I feel it's creep and things are very old but nothing weird just yet headed up to the 10th floor. I will repost if something happens but if not...maybe I am dead.
02/08/14 @ 22:07
Comment from: Kelly [Visitor]
KellyWe had the pleasure of staying for one night this week. Had no idea of its history until my daughter googled it. She, her two other teen friends and the three parents stayed in rooms on the 5th and 8th floors. The night clerk was kind enough to let us "visit" room 1009. Sadly, we experienced no strange effects: no cold spots, no sounds, no nothing. But of course after that visit, and the subsequent conversations the rest of the night, my daughter slept almost on top of me for the night, and wouldn't be left alone in the room at all. lol
03/07/14 @ 22:29
Comment from: mr roquemore [Visitor]
mr roquemorei'm currently staying in room 1015 (the penthouse) right now.....everything inside the room seems normal....the hallway is a different
06/10/14 @ 17:59
Comment from: Lindsay [Visitor]
Lindsay Ok we'll I stayed in the room 1015 without knowing it was a haunted hotel... when we first walked in me, my mom, my dad and my sister could all tell there was something up with the hotel (it reminded us of the tower of terror). My dad googled it late at night and didn't tell us until the next morning. By that time we checked out!! And FYI we did notice stuff like that... My little 8 year old sister was talking to my mom from the couch and then got up to tell her something and in the middle of her talking she was like oooo it's really cold over here! (The room was very hot) and when I was in the bathroom I was right infront of the mirror doing my hair and then I looked at the corner of the mirror in the shower (Nobody was showering) and I saw a girls face pressed against the glass and so I ran out of the bathroom! Never going there again!
07/05/14 @ 17:00
Comment from: Denny [Visitor]
DennyIm staying in the room right now with wife and son...nothing so far
08/02/14 @ 02:42
Comment from: Rhoda Brown [Visitor]
Rhoda BrownMe and a co- worker stayed here for a conference well, actually we didn't stay the night, we started to stay but ended up leaving in the middle of the night, just when we got ready for bed I was taking a shower and while I was showering, my friend googled the history of the hotel and was dressed packed and ready to go! Lol! She was beating on the door saying " girl let's get the hell out of here!" I said why? She said " this place is haunted!" It was too funny! But I will say this as I was taking my shower the water would keep going cold but I figured it was just bad plumming do to the "old" condition of the hotel my friends swears it was "ghost" the room did feel Berry cold so I turned the heater on before I went to shower, I did notice after I took my shower a bar if soap was laying on the floor outside the tub but I don't remember seeing it before I begin my shower, I figured it was just the nastyness of the hotel housekepping but I did ask my friend if she had opened any of the bars of soap, she said yes but only the bar that was on the sink to wash her hands I was like, well it 3 bars open the one o opened and the one on the sink that she opened and another on the floor (???) Wasn't sure if it was ghost related or just bad houskeeping but she NIR I remember seeing a bar of soap on the floor when we went into the bath room at first. Needless to stay my friend was way to freaked out about what she read when she googled so we got the hell outaavther and booked at the Crown Plazza around the way. And the Attendant didn't seem to be bothered about us leaving he enev call the Crown Plazza for us! Hmm? Lol!
02/23/15 @ 02:52
Comment from: Kallie [Visitor]  
KallieI stayed there on my birthday, October 30, 1999 and it was terrifying. My mom and I were there for a Stars game and we had a room on the corner of the tenth floor. I had never been to Dallas but when I looked out the window I told my mom that the building I was looking at was so familiar to me and then asked her if she was sure I had never been to Dallas with her as a child. She said no. I just couldn't shake the feeling that I remembered that view or that I had been to that building. It turns out I was looking at the book depository. A lot of creepy things happened that night including the elevator stopping between the 9th and 10th floor when we initially went up there. Then when we were about to go to sleep it sounded like the building was actually moving. We also saw a big black spot on the ceiling that we couldn't identify. It was all very creepy, especially since the lobby was decorated for Halloween. The next day some crazy things happened when we actually went over to the area where Kennedy was shot. It was a very bizarre trip. Kind of intriguing, but scary. I am not sure I would go back and stay the night again. I did move to Dallas a few months later though.
03/30/15 @ 04:50
Comment from: Will [Visitor]
WillMy uncle and I ran phone and internet cabling when it was still the Lawrence. This was in 2001 and the hotel was being completely renovated. We did work on every floor and the tenth was the absolute worst. Ive never gotten more chills in my life than working on the 8th to 10th floor. It seemed like it got worse the higher you went up. The constant feeling someone was watching you. Moving up and down the halls. The last two rooms to the left on the tenth floor. Especially the last one i didnt enjoy being in. I can tell you this, i didnt know it was haunted at the time. But Im glad there are more stories, to atleast make me feel a little less crazy about that whole experience.
04/24/15 @ 09:17
Comment from: Bonnie [Visitor]
BonnieI had never heard of the Hotel Lawrence until today. My cousin was visiting from Seattle, we took the train from Richardson to the West End to go visit the 6th Floor Museum. On the walk back to the train station, I got a bit turned around looking for the Kennedy Memorial...and every time I looked up I saw the Hotel Lawrence. I told my cousin I had never heard of that hotel and when I got back home, I was going to GOOGLE it....boy am I glad I did....I WANT TO STAY THERE! I am intrigued! Too bad I've already gotten my birthday presents, because I'd sure ask for a weekend stay at this hotel!
07/22/15 @ 04:07
Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
MichaelStayed there in July of 2014. Checked in and was given a key to my room. Went to room and key worked, but was locked from the inside. Knocked on the door and no one answered. Went down stairs to tell clerk that I thought they gave me the wrong room. She only said "Oh yeah I gave you that room. Sorry." Later that night, in my new room, I went to sleep with curtains open, and during the night the curtains closed. My wife swears that she didn't close them.
08/11/15 @ 18:14
Comment from: Ben [Visitor]
BenBooked a room here in December 2016. Was in the elevator by myself and felt like I was being watch/followed. There was just a general sense of doom/gloom/creepiness. Thought something was a little off so I googled the hotel - and found out then it was haunted. We couldn't leave that place fast enough!
12/10/16 @ 02:38
Comment from: Vick Rose [Visitor]
Vick RoseStayed a few days at the Lawrence, on floor 10, while attending a conventon in Dallas.. Felt like I was being watched, even while bathing. Notices extremely cold spots often, even though the outside temp was in the 80's and the AC seemed to work, set at 70, i still froze when walking in certain areas. The creepiest thing though was as I was descending in the elevator to the first floor, it stopped at the 3rd floor and a door opened and I looked up and saw a man there. I moved to the side of the elevator and waited for him to walk in. Looked back up from my phone and no one was there. Peeked my head around the corner of the elevator door and there was no one in the hall, either. I know I saw a younger blonde gentleman in his 20''s or 30''s standing there. Still remember his looks... but sure as hell, *snap* he disappeared, just like that! Moved to a different hotel the next day, lol:)
03/18/17 @ 08:15
Comment from: Barbara Prince [Visitor]
Barbara PrinceI did not know the history. Grandkids and husband, stayed a weekend. Several times i would push button to go down to lobby from the fifth floor and elevator would go straight to tenth floor. Took elevator from lobby to fifth and it went to tenth floor. Lights were not lit up, like some one called the elevator. Grandsons said same happened to them, but it kept taking them to the basement. Course they never got off the elevator. They said it was weird. Then got home and read history, then i made sense. I'm not afraid of spirits, but it was interesting.
04/10/18 @ 20:06
Comment from: judy [Visitor]
judyMy great aunt Alma Cramer lived in the hotel for at least 20 years up until it closed in the 70, s.She worked the elevator. It was one of those elevators where you closed the metal grid and then the door shut. She lived in room 811. My sister and I stayed with her every weekend. It was such a cool lobby. We ate our dinners in the coffee shop. I read the post about the elevator stopping on the 8th floor. Just say hello to Aunt Alma.
10/14/18 @ 02:21
Comment from: David Saldivar [Visitor]
David SaldivarHoly Crap! Just found out this place is Haunted and we're in the room where the creepy stuff happens!!! Yikes!!
12/23/18 @ 20:29
Comment from: Lisa Beaty [Visitor]
Lisa BeatyMy mom and I stayed here for 2 nights back in 2015. 10th floor. The moment the elevator door opened, I got an overwhelming feeling of uncomfort. The first night, I could not sleep. I kept feeling like someone was hovering over me, watching me. I was scared all night. The next day I looked up the history. Really eerie. The 2nd night wasn't bad though. At least I knew the history then.
10/28/20 @ 13:13

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