Geiser Grand Hotel

Posted by junketseo in Portland Ghost Tours
Geiser Grand Hotel - Photo

‘The fabulous thing about our ghosts is they don’t really frighten anybody — they just want to have fun.’

Said best by a Bend City article, the ghosts of Geiser Grand Hotel are some of Oregon’s friendliest! I guess that is dependent upon how you feel sharing a room with the ghosts of a murder victim and his lover, a victim of a horrible accident, and even a few spectral party animals!

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History of the Geiser Grand Hotel

The Geiser Grand Hotel is modeled in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. It boasts a four story clock tower, pointed roof, and a two-hundred foot corner cupola. The hotel has truly undergone a stunning transformation, as it started as a fixer-upper and now stands today as one of Oregon’s most glorious lodgings.

Much of the original character of the building has been painstakingly preserved, and as soon as one steps foot into the lobby, the dark wooden columns and shiny marble flooring envelop you.

Baker City was settled during the Civil War and it quickly became a hotspot for ranching and farming. Like other western towns, Baker City was also the ‘place to be’ for mining entrepreneurs after gold was found in the area. Soon after, a railroad was built to connect the town to other larger cities and Baker City’s growth skyrocketed.

Named ‘The Queen City of the Mines,’ Baker City became the place to spend money and to make money as well.

The Geiser Grand Hotel was constructed and meant to be a luxurious, high-class hotel. The influx of mine investors and owners were the target audience of the hotel, and soon it boasted the nickname ‘the finest hotel between Portland and Salt Lake City.’

The goal of the hotel was to provide the rich with luxury and comfort. Cattle barons, ranchers, politicians, and world travelers all found themselves lodged at the Geiser Grand Hotel.

When mining in the area dried up around 1910, ranchers, businessmen and other travelers still kept the economy of the Geiser Grand going strong. Up until the 1940s, Baker City was the place to be. At one point in its history, the hotel was transformed into a veteran’s hospital for wounded soldiers during WWII. After the war was over, the hotel’s luster started to slip away and the structure fell into a state of disrepair.

By 1968, the Geiser Grand Hotel was in need of a restoration. It needed more than a couple boatloads of cash to renovate, and most believed the hotel was just too far gone. The building was soon boarded up and abandoned for close to 25 years.

In the 1990s, the luck of the old Geiser Grand changed. A couple with love for history came in and invested as well as raised funds to save the structure. Mr. and Mrs. Sidway succeeded in preserving the hotel and after a seven-million dollar investment and four years, the Geiser Grand Hotel was smiling at Baker City in all her glory once more.

The hotel was reopened in 1998 for business much to the enjoyment of new guests, as well as the guests of the past who still remain in the Geiser Grand.

Manifestations at the Geiser Grand Hotel

Buildings that were used as hospitals often carry ghostly energy in the form of the spirits of the people who died in them. Restoration of properties can also act as a trigger for the entities of the building, as changes to their environment are believed to shake up the atmosphere.

Apparitions started to be reported during the renovation, most of which were overjoyed that the hotel was being brought back to life.

Other entities of the hotel are believed to be those of a few people who died in accidents of tragedies at the hotel, like the chef who lost his head when a dumbwaiter came down upon him and crushed him without warning.

Hauntings of the Geiser Grand Hotel

In 1997, apparitions began to be reported at the hotel — not coincidentally during the renovation. These entities started to show themselves to the living, perhaps it was out of a need to be recognized after such a long time, or maybe it was just to show their appreciation of the restoration.

One construction worker was even joined in the hotel elevator by several spectral guests.

Entities of the Geiser Grand Hotel

A young, female spirit is reported to be seen in the hotel’s basement as well as up on the third floor. She is said to travel all over the hotel, but no one is quite sure who she is.

Another female ghost is spotted wandering the halls of the hotel in a purple dress said to be from the 1930s. She’s well-known for her outgoing and friendly demeanor.

The former chef who tragically lost his head is also reported at the Geiser Grand. He appears of occasion dressed as a chef, but with no visible head. He’s one of the less-friendly spirits of the hotel, and is known to slam doors as well as throw pots and pans. Some believe that he is still angry about his death.

One time, his ghost was blamed for a floating crate of glasses that levitated through the air and later came crashing down onto the floor. The event was witnessed by a living chef of the hotel.

One unknown male entity roams around the hotel, and some say this is a ghost of a cowboy who was shot at the Geiser Grand during its early days. He did get justice for his death, as his murderer was caught, tried, and convicted which later led to the very first murder conviction in Baker City.

A ‘Lady in Blue’ has been spotted on the staircase, and her beautiful Victorian-era dress and long black hair is unmistakable.

The balcony above the Palm Court Dining Room is also a hotspot for haunts, and a few flapper women of the 1920s have been reported people watching from the second-floor banister.

Room 302

This room is said to be the most haunted guest room at the hotel. The entity reported here is believed to be the former owner Maybelle Geiser, who lived in the room during her life. She admires jewelry of guests and is known to move it about the room. She also makes her presence known by knocking on walls and even appearing to guests.

While Maybelle Geiser was alive, she had her own chair reserved in the downstairs bar. For a period of time after she had died, anyone who dared to sit in her spot was pinched by cold fingers. Since the bar reopened, she may have mellowed a bit, and doesn’t do this anymore, or perhaps there is no chair placed where she used to sit.

Room 203

Room 203 is another haunted hotspot, and most of the hauntings of this room are auditory. Loud music, disembodied voices and laughter, as well as unexplained bangs are heard coming from an otherwise empty room 203.

In Conclusion

The Geiser Grand Hotel is the place to be for ghost aficionados and those looking to experience the unexplainable. Many people from construction workers, ghost investigators, the owners, their guests and staff have had personal experiences of the unexplained type. They have seen, heard, been touched or pinched by entities who like to play, while enjoying the revitalized Geiser Grand Hotel.

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