Roger Whitaker - There are two stories which explain why the ghost of this man haunts the hotel, especially room 309 and its hallway.
One theory says he died much earlier in 1843, long before any hotels were built. The father of the love of his life, his would-be bride, shot Roger and killed him. His body was dumped in a swamp located somewhere on what would be Ida Bailey's property, near where the current hotel stands. Spirits often haunt the land, and when this glorious hotel was built, guess who decided on moving in, choosing Room 309?
- Another theory tells the sad tale of a gambler down on
his luck caught cheating in a game of cards in a gambling joint
located in the Stingaree District. He barely escaped certain bodily
harm and ran back to his hotel, hiding in the armoire.
Unfortunately, he was shot through the door and died in his room
309. He simply moved with the elements of room 309 to the new
building. Or, perhaps his body was taken from the hotel and dumped
in the swamp mentioned above and he simply moved back to his old
room when the hotel he died in was reconstructed on the same
However he died or however he got inside the hotel, the spirit of Roger Whitaker haunts room 309 and the hallway where one finds the room. He isn't nasty like another ghostly gambler haunting the St. James Hotel, but does let the living know he is present and has appeared.
Roger Whitaker has made numerous appearances. One guest saw him in the hallway, and he looked so real, she asked him where the ice machine was located. Imagine her surprise when he disappeared before her eyes.
Room 309 - Guests have been awakened in Room 309 in the middle of the night by the bed being shaken and the armoire's doors being opened. Lights have been known to have a will of their own, turning on and off. Objects have been known to move by themselves. The temperature in the room becomes unexplainably warm, unaffected by the air conditioning or opening a window. Sounds of someone playing cards can be heard when the room is locked and vacant. An indentation of a form can be seen on the bed, sometimes just after the maids make the bed.
- Several ghosts are known to graciously haunt the Horton Grand,
who are polite and friendly to the living. Often when a building is
renovated, ghosts and spirits who know the place often take up
residence as it is in this case.
Madam Ida Bailey - Some think it is her spirit that makes visitors welcome. This grand hotel was built on the same site as her long-ago brothel. She must have been thrilled to have such a beautiful, grand, classy place built on her property!