The Haunting of the Saint James Hotel

Saint James Hotel & Saloon– Colfax County, Cimarron, New Mexico

Photograph ©SW Ghost Hunters Association

617 South Collison Avenue
Cimarron, New Mexico 87714
(505) 376-2664
(866) 472-5019

This Victorian-Western style hotel was built in 1880 by Henn Lambert, a former cook for General Grant and President Lincoln. During the hotel’s early years, many famous people in American history frequented its rooms: Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, General Sheridan, Zane Grey and Bat Masterson, just to name a few. The Saint James also had problems with some of the not-so-famous, trouble-making visitors during those days and there were many gunfights, brawls and killings. These ruffians may be to blame for some of the many hauntings that continue within the walls of the hotel today.

The Saint James Hotel has many restless spirits roaming its hallways but some of these spirits make themselves known more frequently than others:

The spirit of Mary Lambert, wife of Henn Lambert, is believed to be responsible for the strong scent of perfume that suddenly appears in the hallways and second floor guest rooms. Many visitors who have slept in Mary’s old room have claimed to hear loud taps and bangs on the window when they left it open, however, once the window is closed the noises ceased.

The apparition of Johnnie Lambert, 2-1/2 year old son of Mary and Henn Lambert, has been spotted in the downstairs bar area. Johnnie is believed to play in the hallways during the night, causing the sounds of little feet. Little Johnnie is also thought to have two female phantom playmates; two young girls who died of diphtheria in the late eighteenth century.

The small apparition of an old man, described as looking “gnome-like”, has been seen on several occasions and seems to enjoy playing not-so-nice pranks on the living. This specter reportedly frightened one of the hotel employees while they were cleaning the dining room; the old man suddenly appeared sitting on a barstool and began laughing at the shocked staff member. This spirit is also believed to be responsible for throwing a knife in the kitchen and landing it into the floor between the owners of the hotel. Also, many believe that this same spirit is to blame for glass lamp shades cracking for no apparent reason and objects being moved from one location to another.

Deceased card player, T. James Wright, is believed to haunt room 18 of the hotel. This hostile presence is said to knock people down and set the chandelier spinning when unwanted people enter the room. Because of this spirit’s attitude and behavior, owners have locked the room and it is not accessible to the public. Inside the room, owners have placed a card table, cards and a bottle of Jack Daniels to keep the angry spirit content.

Several other apparitions have been spotted throughout this hotel, seemingly harmless and friendly. Psychics and paranormal investigators have visited the establishment, each with interesting findings. Today the hotel still has reports of paranormal activity and I imagine that will not change anytime soon.