Jefferson, Texas- The Excelsior House was built in the 1850s, and has been in continuous operation ever since, making it the oldest hotel in East Texas according to the National Register of Historic Places. Over 160 years later, the history of the hotel has been steeped in mystery, and haunted happenings.
The historic Excelsior House has been restored to its original beauty, and is completely furnished with period antiques that accent every room. The front of the hotel is ornately iron clad, giving it a New Orleans flair, and the sense of stepping back in time.
Over the years, the hotel has hosted many famous guests including: Ulysses S. Grant, Oscar Wilde, Rutherford B. Hayes, Jay Gould, Lady Bird Johnson, and reportedly, even Steven Speilburg, who allegedly packed his bags and left in the middle of the night.
Reports of a headless man roaming the halls, a woman in black holding a child close to her, phantom cigar smoke and perfume, and covers being torn away from sleeping guests, are just a few of the haunting details produced within the historic hotel.
While at least three rooms are allegedly haunted, the most haunted room at the Excelsior is said to be the Jay Gould Room. Upon entering this historic room it isn’t hard to imagine or even believe the room could be haunted. Two beds, with carved, wooden head and foot boards made of Circassian Walnut from Russia, a large wooden wardrobe, a rocking chair and other ornate antiques set the tone in the room. A simple Google search will tell you the rocking chair is said to rock on its own, and the door will slam shut on its own. Hauntings aside, the room is a beautiful portal to the past.
Spielburg allegedly checked into the Jay Gould Room in the late 70s, or very early 80s, where it is believed he was “inspired” to write “Poltergeist.”
According to local legend, after checking into the Excelsior, Spielberg felt uneasy all night, as if someone was following him. Upon entering the Jay Gould Room, Spielberg tossed his briefcase into a rocking chair, and the briefcase reportedly flew back into his face, as if it had been thrown back at him. After that, a nervous Spielberg had trouble drifting off to sleep. He eventually drifted off to sleep only to be awakened by a little boy asking if he was ready for breakfast. The story goes, after seeing the little boy, Spielberg packed his bags and awakened his crew in the middle of the night, and fled to nearby Marshall, where he slept much more soundly.
Field Note: MYETX stayed at the Excelsior over the summer and did not encounter any ghosts or witness any unexplainable events. The hospitality was exceptional, the room was comfortable, and the experience was top notch.
**WARNING- MYETX warns thrill seekers and the curious- NEVER trespass, NEVER disturb someone’s property, and ALWAYS respect the locals. MYETX enjoys a good haunted tale, but has no way of verifying claims that have been exaggerated, manufactured, or are downright preposterous.**