219 West Ninth Street, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
The Hotel is a 6 floor, red brick building, and was built in 1888, in a European, Italian Renaissance design. Lobby has 18 ft. ceilings with art nouveau stained glass windows, & hand-laid Italian tiles. Plans were in the works to bring back the roof garden & antique streetlights done in copper. The entire first floor front is done in stained glass. There is a lot of terra-cotta work in the front.
During the summer of 2006, Tom and I stayed in this historical, grand old hotel bed and breakfast, and loved the vintage aura of this place. It is truly like stepping back in time. We stayed in one of the newly restored rooms on the 5th floor, and enjoyed a 7 course breakfast, which is the best breakfast we have had in a bed and breakfast establishment. Their restaurant has received achievement awards from Kansas City, and we know why!
The Hotel Savoy is busy renovating and restoring rooms for travelers, and also has apartments for rent as well.
This is the oldest, continuously operating hotel, west of Mississippi. It was a very fashionable place up through WWII. The hotel then became run down, fell into disrepair, and finally turned into a flop house.
Don Lee, the owner in 1993, who had owned the building for 30 years, took the money he had made from running the hotel, as a low-rent, residential building, and invested it back into renovating the hotel, in 1991. His goal was to renovate the hotel into an European style Bed & Breakfast, with rooms for travelers and apartments for permanent residents.
The building has long had a reputation in its history of having an atmosphere of generalized spookiness. Rumors of incidents/sightings have been reported by tenants throughout the history of the Hotel Savoy.
From people who live/worked in the building in 1987 - 1993
1) Sept. 1990 - Apt. #505, (which had been newly renovated), Larry Freeman's bathroom.
He had gotten out of the shower-bathtub, leaving the curtain open, that hangs around the bathtub. While he was brushing his teeth, he heard the water running in the shower, and when he turned around, the curtain was wide open also. This happened 3 more times in succession, In between each incident, Larry turned off the faucet tightly and closed the curtain. He ran to the manager after 4th time.
2) Second incident in Larry's Apartment.
Sean Byrnes, the manager, also has a 5th floor apartment. As he was walking past Larry's apt.#505, he heard Jazz music playing & thought Larry was home. He met Larry, however, in the lobby as Larry was coming home from work., and told him of the music. It turned out that the music wasn't coming from Larry's mis-set clock radio, but from the flip-on radio by his washing machine, which is always set to a classic rock 'n roll station, as it was in the morning when Larry was listening to it. The knob on the radio had been turned all the way over to the jazz station & had been flipped on. No one else has a key to apt. #505, but Larry Sean.
3) Third incident in Larry's Apt.- a few months later.
When sleeping, Larry always closed the sliding oak door, (gravity-tilted to keep it shut), that was between his bedroom & living room. One night, around 11:30, he heard the door slide open, and no one was there. The apartment had no signs of break-in, and the outer door was still locked.
It is theorized that the ghost in Larry's #505 Apt. could have been, according to Mrs. Barber, (a long-time resident), a Betsy Ward, who was a lady who died in bed from a heart attack. However, when Apt. #505 was renovated, a turn-of-the-century 32 caliber pistol was found, sealed in the wall., which offers another intriguing possibility that it could be someone else haunting #505.
4) Late 1987- Reid Shaylor, (young waiter,who lived on the third floor), while visiting his friend, Kathy, (who worked at Lobby desk), at her fourth floor apartment, had a visit from Mrs. Lightner, who lived across the hall from Kathy. She asked to borrow a cup of sugar. Since Kathy didn't have any, Reid got a cup from his apt. and went to Mrs. Lightner's door. He heard her talking to someone, while he knocked on the door. Reid then pushed the door open and saw a man, standing right beside her, who was wearing a 1930 double-breasted suit. The man was very gray & was in an outline form, but could be seen clearly. He then disappeared. Kathy, who was standing behind Reid, saw him too. "That's my dead husband, Fred", said Mrs. Lightner.
5) For about a month after this sighting, Reid would come home from work and find cassettes & record albums, that had already been put away, laid out on his bed, like someone was trying to decide what to listen to. B) Also, during the night, it was extremely cold in his apt. C) Every morning, Reid locked his closet chiffrobe. Every afternoon when he came home, it would be unlocked. D) Every Sunday morning, in the Catholic tradition, Reid would light candles. When he came back from church, the candles would be blown out.
It is theorized that Fred Lightner, (the dead husband), took a liking to Reid because he got his wife the cup of sugar, and thus came to visit him in his apt. on the third floor.
Seal Byrnes (manger), Larry Freeman (tenant), Reid Shaylor (waiter in the hotel restaurant & one-time resident - moved out after incidents). Kathy O'Dell (former employee & resident). Information was collected from the above witnesses & Margaret Barber, who doesn't believe in ghosts, but had information relevant to the incidents involving #505.
Probably. At 4 o'clock in the morning, I heard mysterious foot steps going up and down our hall. We were not far from Room 505.
Mr. Fred Lightner may no longer be hanging around, as Mrs. Lightner has since passed on herself. Betsy Ward is still haunting Apartment 505, as well as some other unknown entity.