My daughter Candace and I stayed at the haunted Menger Hotel in San Antonio a few weeks ago in response to a dare from more than one reader. I had invited readers to submit "Truth or Dare" challenges for my Youtube channel, and staying at a haunted hotel while attempting to communicate with ghosts (like my characters do in The Mystery House Series) was the very first challenge I received.
The Menger Hotel is said to be the most haunted hotel in San Antonio. Built across the street from the Alamo on the grounds where many lives were lost during the Texas Revolution, the Menger Hotel boasts amazing views inside and out.
My daughter and I stayed in the historic part of the hotel, also known as the Victorian side. You can see some of the Victorian features of the hotel in the image above.
First, I should admit that I'm fairly agnostic when it comes to the existence of ghosts. I want to believe in them and hope they exist, and I've had some things happen to me that make me suspect they may exist, but the skeptic side of me wonders if those experiences can be explained by other factors.
I should also admit that, much to the concern of some of my family and friends, I don't believe in demons. I'm sorry. I respect those who do, but it's just too difficult for me to swallow. This is why I'm not afraid to use things like dousing rods, pendulums, and Ouija Boards to attempt to talk with spirits. I believe that if spirits exist, they arent necessarily good or bad, just like people.
When you watch the coverage of my attempt to communicate with the supernatural, it's hard to believe I'm a skeptic, because I really got into the dare. This is the optimistic side of me overcoming the skeptic side of me. Like I said, I want to believe.
My daughter and I first used EMF detectors to take some initial readings of the room. The device spiked near the closet in the first bedroom, which was opened when we arrived. We held the device near electrical outlets and cords to see if electrical currents could be the culprits but had no luck finding a logical explanation. That doesn't mean there wasn't one, however.
Here's our video of those initial readings:
Then we lit a candle and asked questions using dousing rods. We asked if anyone in the room would like to speak with us, to please make the rod tips cross. It took a long time, but they eventually did cross. However, I wasn't convinced that spirits were the reason. I felt that I may have been shaking a little, so I didn't include that coverage in my video.
We had better luck using the pendulum. I rested my elbow on the table and held perfectly still. While my body may have been shaking, I was intrigued by the fact that the swinging of the pendulum was only ever forward and backward or side to side, and that the answers to our questions remained consistent. For that reason, I included a bit of that coverage.
With the pendulum, we may have spoken to a man from France who died of natural causes while staying at the Menger between 1990 and 2000.
After the pendulum, we used the Ouija Board. When we asked the man from France how old he was when he died, the Ouija Board indicator moved to 63.
I wasn't intentionally moving the indicator, and I believe my daughter wasn't moving it either. But I do wonder if the blood flowing through our fingertips caused slight movements. and then we responded subconsciously to those movements. I just don't know.
Later, we used the Ouija Board again and were told there were five spirits with us--three females (one which was named Gretta Hearst) and two males. The males were Dustin Gruniere, who died in 1855, and Dick, who died in 1834.
I couldn't find anything when I Googled Gretta Hearst and Dustin Gruniere; however, I was surprised to find a soldier named Richard Andrews who died in the Texas Revolution in the Battle of Concepcion in 1835 (in my video, I mistakenly say that he died in the Battle of the Alamo). Although the year we got on the Ouija Board was 1834, when we asked Dick how old he was when he died, we got 34. And the article I found says that Richard Andrews was born in 1800, which would have put him at 34 if he died in 1834.
Although I consider myself a skeptic, a part of me wonders if the history books could be off by a year, because of this other interesting fact about Richard: everyone called him Big Dick.
Dick is puported to have been the first soldier to die in the Texas Revolution and his supposed last words were, "I am dead, but don't let the other boys know it. Tell them to conquer or die." For this reason, I wonder if the officials kept his death a secret for a while, so as not to discourage the other soldiers. Could Dick have really died in 1834?
And get this: only two miles away from the Menger Hotel, in Concepcion Park, a memorial honoring Captain Andrews stands with these words:
Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Heroic Deeds of Captain Richard Andrews.
Born in Sandersville, Georgia in 1800. Fell at the Battle of Concepcion October 28, 1835. The first sacrifice in the War of Texas Independence. Son of William and Mary Andrews. Came to Texas in 1818. Established an Indian Trading Post on the Brazos River at the present site of Richmond. Later moved to Mina, now Bastrop. Was an Indian fighter of note. A scout of indomitable courage. One of the first to enlist in the War for Texas Independence and the first to die for his country.
It was probably just a coincidence, but, at the time, it seemed so real and bizarre. You can watch our coverage here:
I'd love to know what you think. Do you believe in ghosts? Let me know on my Youtube channel in the comments below this video, and while you're there, please subscribe!