Investigative Research
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historic research

French Lick Springs Hotel, French Lick
Most of this information can be found in Mark Marimen's Haunted Indiana 2, he also goes into some detail about the history of the area and hotel. Here is a summary of what I have read, heard and seen. When I was part of another group in Indiana, we hosted a haunted weekend in October 2002, where we got to do a bit of ghost hunting. The hotel also offers a historic tour of the hotel and grounds, they might throw in a few stories of the supernatural, if you ask. We definitely plan on going back to do some more investigating.

Thomas Taggart is a former owner that built the hotel into what it is today. He is said to haunt the service elevator, some employees claim to have seen mists, smelled pipe or cigar tobacco, but the most popular story is that when the hotel is busy and employees have their hands full, the elevator opens and closes by itself, staying open just long enough for them to get into the elevator. Usually a button must be pushed to perform both of these functions. It is also known to run between floors in the middle of the night by itself. I have also heard stories about this elevator that claim someone is buried behind a wall of the elevator shaft, there is also some graffiti that may or may not be satanic symbols painted in the elevator shaft.

Mr. Taggart was also known to ride his horse down the long hall to the ballroom in his day. Today people have seen a ghostly figure of horse and rider in the ballroom and have heard the sound of a horse trotting down the hall. Some of the hotel staff have also told us that when they clean up after parties or stand just outside the ballroom doors they have heard the sounds of a party going on when no one is in the room. Sounds such as clinking china, voices and music.

There are some rooms in the hotel that have a certain "reputation." One of these includes a room where a man jumped out the window and hanged himself. When his new bride discovered this gruesome scene she allegedly committed suicide in the bathtub. Supposedly the tub in that room has a recurring red stain whenever they try to replace it.

The whole sixth floor has a reputation among the cleaning staff. So much so that they are reluctant to work up there alone or at all. There have been stories of shadows moving down the hall, the sound of footsteps, a woman's laughter, and cold breezes rushing by. One of the most popular stories among the staff is the room on the sixth floor that calls the front desk, when the room is not occupied. One time when this event occurred, the room didn't even have a phone installed. When they answer the phone there is nothing on the other line.

We heard stories about a head bell-hop that was well-liked, there is a picture of him in the hotel. One of the people we were with is extremely psychic, he was in the lobby around 3 a.m. There weren't many other people around at the time. He was taking pictures with a digital camera when he got a feeling he should concentrate on the bell-hop stand. When we saw the picture, we could hardly believe it. It looked like an African American man in a bell-hop uniform, he assured us that no one was around and we confirmed with the front desk that there weren't any bell-hops on duty all night.

Picture taken by: Lee Weaver AKA spiritmagnet2000@


Bellhop Closeup

We also got to explore an old jail cell in the basement where they kept criminals back in the days when gambling was prevalent in French Lick. Some people got a bad feeling when peering into the dark cell, that is still padlocked.

We also heard about a few rooms in what they call the penthouse. The staff did not know much about it except that it is off-limits even to them. Sounds like further investigation is required on this subject.

Other accounts of strange activity:

  • 7th floor is scary, something white floats up and down the halls, it appears to be a woman.
  • In the north service elevator, devils are painted in the shaft, no one knows how they got there.
  • Charlie Skaggs worked at the hotel in the late 60s to 70s. He was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft. Charlie is said to be a friendly spirit that talks to guests. A convention of police officers was visiting the hotel, and wrote a thank you note which said, "Tell Charlie we said hello." There was no one employed by the hotel with the name "Charlie" at that time.
  • A man who was gambling in a casino across the street from the hotel brought his large winnings back to his room, and was found dead at bottom of a stairwell and the money was gone. He is seen walking around looking for his money.
  • A manager at the hotel committed suicide in a bathtub at the hotel, and is said to be roaming about the halls.
  • Thomas Taggart's daughter or daughter in law killed herself in the area between the Governor's Suite and the President's Suite, near a spiral staircase. There is still blood on the floor under the carpets.
  • There is a mansion on top of Mount Aire. This was Taggart's house and it is very haunted.