The St James Hotel Considered One of the Most Haunted Places in Alabama
The St James Hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted places in all of Alabama. Located in the town of Selma, the residents and many visitors to this particular establishment have issued several accounts of hauntings and paranormal events that have occurred in their presence. The history of this hotel is considered to be rich in hauntings. The hotel is in a wonderful location to attract visitors from several different areas. It is located in the center of the historic district of the town, overlooking the famous Alabama River. You can find it on Water Avenue, numeric 1200. Here, you will learn why the St James Hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Alabama today!
This massive structure was constructed in the year of 1837. Based on the date of construction it is documented as one of the oldest facilities as far as hotels that is still operational in the State of Alabama. In the early days of the building, it was referred to as “The Brantly”. Individuals on business trips, and those of high social standing in Alabama would often visit this hotel in order to simply rest and relax. It served citizens in the area and travelers under this name for approximately fifty years.
During the time of the Civil War, the soldiers who served on the Union side used the structure as a place where they could meet to discuss strategies and also to rest. Then, the infamous “Battle of Selma” occurred. When this happened, the entire town of Selma became subjected to a harsh beating by opposing forces. As a matter of fact, most of the prestigious town was actually burned to the ground. The luxurious hotel, however, continued to stand as one of the most prominent hotels in the town.
The Civil War ended, and a man who was African American was the first to be issued a position in Congress. His name was Benjamin Sterling Tower. He actually acquired ownership of the hotel. Shortly after this, the hotel was visited by a popular group of outlaws. This group was lead by Jesse James. The group was actually quite pleased with the establishment. The rooms were quite nice and to their liking, plus there was a tavern in the building that allowed them to drink, relax, play some cards, and have a great time. This occurred in the year of 1881.
By the year of 1892, the financial difficulties occurring in the world affected the hotel. It was simply becoming too expensive to operate the establishment. The doors were closed on the building, and were not reopened for a century. A group of individuals who were known for their knack in investments discovered the old building and instantly became attracted to it in the early 1990’s. They decided to purchase the old hotel in Selma and after putting in approximately six million dollars in restorations, they were able to officially reopen the doors of the establishment in the year of 1997. It was then opened as the St James Hotel.
The hotel is known as one of the most haunted places in Alabama because it is believed that a few different spirits enjoy spending their time in the building – in the afterlife. Two of the apparent hauntings that are said to occur include that of the popular outlaw, Jesse James, as well as his girlfriend who was named Lucinda. Several have claimed to have seen the apparition of a man dressed in attire that was common for a male in the late 1800’s. He is most often seen in the rooms in which he typically stayed in when he was alive on the second and third floors. However, he is also known to inhabit a certain table in the bar area of the St James Hotel.
Lucinda is an individual who is actually pictured in the ground floor area of this haunted hotel. There are many things that are known about his beautiful lady. For one, she enjoyed the scent of lavender so much that when someone smelled the scent, they knew she was near. Today, several witnesses claim that they are able to smell lavender with no logical explanation. In other instances, a full apparition of the popular Lucinda is said to be walking within the halls and various floors of the structure.
In the area of the courtyard, many strange and unusual events are said to occur. First, several witnesses have observed what appears to be residual hauntings of individuals who are fully clothed in dress that was common to the 1800’s in the area. They seem unaware of the living that surrounds them. It is said that it looks as if there is a social event, or a social party occurring with upscale guests. Paranormal investigators believe that this is a type of energy memory etched in the courtyard. In addition to this, and surprisingly, the sounds of what appears to be ghost dogs can be heard in the area.