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Crazy Water Retirement Hotel
Haunted Place — Crazy Water Retirement Hotel
401 N. Oak Avenue
Mineral Wells, Texas 76067
The town of Mineral Wells is 80 miles west
of Dallas, 48 miles west of Fort Worth, and 90 miles south of
Wichita Falls. The Crazy Water Retirement Hotel can be found on the
corner of NW 3rd St. and 281, just a minute north (.23 miles) of
The Baker Hotel. Mineral Wells is west of Fort Worth.
The mineral rich water was first discovered
in 1870s, when a farmer, James Lynch, dug a well for the water
needed for his farm and his family to drink, in the valley which
would become the town of Ednaville. Though it smelled a bit, Mrs.
Lynch was a hardy pioneer soul who drank it anyway, and discovered
that it had cured her arthritis!
In 1883, a third well was dug, where a
woman suffering from mental illness would drink her fill of water.
She was eventually cured and became a sane person once again. This
well earned the name, "Crazy Water," and the medicinal value of the
water became more and more known. Before the end of the 19th
century, this town of Ednaville changed it name to Mineral Wells,
to take advantage of the medicinal water which flowed beneath the
In the early 1900s, Mineral Wells became a
popular spot for those in search of resort spas. Spas and hotels
sprung up all over the valley, to accommodate the hundreds of
people coming to bathe and drink their well water, with the hopes
of curing various illnesses.
The original Crazy Water Hotel was built by
the city of Mineral Wells, on top of the Crazy Water Well 3, to
offer an upscale luxury hotel for people with money to spend, which
would bring funds to the city's coffers. This four story Crazy
Water Hotel flourished from 1912 to March of 1925, when a fire
burned it to the ground.
In 1927, a bigger and better luxury hotel
sprang up in the same spot, with the final price tag being one
million dollars. This private enterprise effort was funded by two
Dallas businessmen, Carr and Hal Collins. This version of Crazy
Water Hotel had an immense, grand lobby, 7 floors, containing 200
rooms. An added advantage was the installation of electric
elevators to transport people to the various levels of the hotel; a
god-send for those suffering from arthritis, and other physical
In the basement, Carr and Hal Collins
constructed two complete bathhouses, which must have pleased their
guests, encouraging business. To sell the well's mineral water, a
lovely, enclosed Crazy Water Pavilion, designed in a semi-Moorish
style, was added, serving four strengths of water.
Carr and Hal Collins also wisely built a
lovely, glass-enclosed ballroom on the top of the hotel, which
opened up to a roof-top garden, By offering entertainment in the
ballroom, guests were more likely to stay at the hotel and spend
money in-house, bringing in more income.
The fly in the ointment was the building of
the huge Baker Hotel, just down the block, which was their major
competitor. The Crazy Hotel held their own, and remained
competitive. There was plenty of business for everyone in the 1930s
and 1940s. The Crazy Hotel paid the famous, popular big bands of
the era to play in its ballroom, for the enjoyment of its celebrity
and upper-class clientele. Conrad Hilton, D.W. Griffith, Judy
Garland, General John J. Pershing, Mary Martin, Spanky McFarland,
Tom Mix and Bob Wills were some of the most well-known guests. When
not robbing and killing others, Machine Gun Kelly and Bonnie and
Clyde were kicking back and having some R and R, under assumed
names of course.
As time progressed, newer medicines were
invented, and government officials came up with new regulations
concerning what medical benefits the hotels could claim in their
advertisements. The popularity of these Mineral Wells hotels
declined, so The Crazy Hotel branched out, supplementing their
income by offering rental space for special community events, such
as weddings, receptions, banquets, galas, cotillions and dinners.
During the years when radio was king, weekly radio shows with a
live audience took place here.
Throughout the years, the various owners of
The Crazy Hotel wisely invested in the building's upkeep, keeping
it a viable building, though the baths in the basement are no
longer used. Sometime in the second half of the 20th century, The
Crazy Water Hotel evolved into the upscale Crazy Water Retirement
Hotel, which has the motto: "Distinctive, luxurious, affordable
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
The first floor of the hotel was built upon
the old basement foundation of the first Crazy Water Hotel. In the
1990s, the kitchen on the first floor was reconstructed. Nothing
stirs up spirits more than reconstruction of a building or
One can speculate...
Perhaps a child died in the fire of
Perhaps a child drowned in one the
bathhouses once located in the basement; the one which was closest
to being under the kitchen area.
Perhaps a man from the 1930s-40s era also
died in the basement from an accident in the bathhouse, or an
intentional "accident." Gangsters, not known for their
self-control, such as Machine Gun Kelly, once frequented The Crazy
Hotel, and perhaps "business" was conducted in the basement area,
though no town legends of such an event are known.
Gangsters tried to behave in polite
society, but sometimes forgot and someone wound up sleeping with
the fishes (The Wabasha Caves).
Two known entities have been stirred up by
the construction, and have made their presence known in both the
new kitchen and the basement area just below.
Disembodied voices have been heard in the
The crying sobs of a little child have been
heard in the basement, just under the kitchen, corresponding to a
cold spot felt by a person who was investigating the crying
This entity of a little girl has been seen
playing around the elevators in the basement as well.
Full apparition of a man, dressed in a
1930s long trench coat and hat, has appeared in the kitchen, in
front of the staff.
The clear apparition of a cheerful,
friendly little girl, dressed in a frilly, pink party dress, has
appeared in front of kitchen staff, watching the food
She has also touched servers who were
working on the buffet line.
She also has been known to follow kitchen
Though I haven't been able to find any
paranormal investigations done on this place, viable witnesses have
given convincing testimony to the existence of these entities.
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