When we arrived at Miss Molly’s Bed and Breakfast, on Exchange Street in Fort Worth, I told the innkeeper that we wanted to seek the ghosts that haunt the place.“Oh,” she chirped. “Then, we need to close all the Bibles. I keep an open Bible in every room to tell the ghosts who is Boss, and there isn’t as much activity when they are open.” We went into every room and closed them all. She even had them in the bathrooms, and some rooms had more than one opened Bible.
I wonder how many people pass this pink door on their visit to The Stockyards and notice nothing more than the cheesy John Wayne cut-out? Little do they know that beyond that pink door is a bed and breakfast that is reportedly one of the most haunted places in Fort Worth. It’s called “Miss Molly’s,” but it isn’t named for a person — the lead cow on a cattle drive was often called “Molly.”
On weekends the innkeeper often greets her guest dressed in the guise of an 1890′s “saloon girl.” We were there on a Monday, so we weren’t treated to that spectacle, but I saw a picture (and she looks remarkably like Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke). Unfortunately, that doesn’t really fit with the history of this building, although I’m sure it makes a good show (and it’s what the tourists want to see).
The building that houses this bed and breakfast inn wasn’t built in the days of the Wild West, but in 1910 to serve as a boarding house. By then, Fort Worth was a bustling metropolis with two meat packing plants at the other end of the street. The cattle were probably brought to the slaughterhouses by train — not on a cattle drive. Although there might have been some “cowboys” roaming the streets, they didn’t tote six-guns on their hips. I imagine that the first residents of the building were cattlemen, businessmen, and salesmen who were on business trips to the Stockyards.
In the 1920s, Miss Amelia Eimer ran the place, and it was called “The Palace Rooms.” It later became known as “The Oasis.” I’m told that there might have been a “speakeasy” in the building during the time of Prohibition, but it wasn’t until the 1940′s, when Miss Josie King took over, that this building became a bawdy house known as “The Gayette Hotel.”
“Gentlemen” climbed these stairs to find a small sitting room where they sat upon couches as “ladies” paraded before them and they chose their “companion” for the evening (or the next hour). Surrounding the sitting room are nine bedrooms, each connected by interior doors, which form a circle.
In the 1960s, the building housed an art gallery (each artist purchased a space in one of the rooms) and it wasn’t until 1989 that the building was converted to The Star Cafe below and Miss Molly’s above. Eight of the nine rooms are decked out in antiques and available for guests … or ghosts.
“Yes, Shelly … but enough history … get to the ghosts.” I heard that. And, people have heard plenty of ghosts at Miss Molly’s. They have also seen ghosts.
Paula, the innkeeper, lives in one room of this building. When there are no guests, she is probably the only living soul for miles around. I spent about forty minutes alone in the building in broad daylight, and I don’t know how she stays there alone at night. But then, she isn’t really “alone.”
She has quite a few stories to tell! She has heard shuffling footsteps when no one else is in the building. Guests have heard that, too. Several people have noticed a lingering scent of perfume that comes and goes. Sometimes people have heard unexplained laughter coming from the rooms (when no one is inside). Often people see movement out of the corners of their eyes, but turn to find nothing moving. Of course, people have felt “someone” sit on the bed with them … the mattress depresses, but no one is there.
More than one person has seen the apparition of a young girl, who stands near the head of the stairs. She’s dressed in clothing from the early 1900s and she doesn’t seem to be in a very good mood! She stamps her little feet, and whines, “I don’t like dancin’!” Nothing worse than a whiny ghost!
We stayed in “Miss Josey’s Room,” which is supposed to have a lot of activity in it. We didn’t choose it for the activity, but because it was the only room with a private bathroom. That bathroom has a delightful clawfoot tub, and a toilet that has been known to flush all by itself.
The fleeting image of a ghostly woman is said to occasionally be seen in the room; people have noticed perfume fragrance that shouldn’t be there; and a lamp supposedly turns on and off without human hands on the switch. While we were there, we didn’t experience a thing — except a mattress that was uncomfortably soft.
Paula calls one room “Jake’s room.” She was working alone in the house one day, when she saw a man walking toward that room. She had just finished cleaning it and had turned out the light in the room. Wondering how in Thunder he got inside, she called out, “Hey, you!” She ran toward him but he slammed the door. When the doors close, they lock. Paula got the key and opened the door to find it empty. But, the light and the ceiling fan were on! “Jake” is a regular guest at Miss Molly’s.
I sat watching Jake’s room in the morning light, and twice I saw a shadow cross the headboard. It was tall, as if a person had walked in front of the window. Pigeons on the windowsill could not have made the shadow, but was it Jake? I have no clue.
There are three bathrooms available for all the guests to use, but one of them is very creepy, according to Paula. She says she won’t take a bath in the tub in there, because she gets the feeling of being “watched.” Guests have reported that as well … and they have reported hearing someone whistle at them and being touched! I was glad we had our own bathroom!
Paula and her friend Carla reported that often on Monday morning, after all guests have left, they go in to clean the rooms and find an odd occurrence. It seems that all of the plugs in every room have been unplugged! They don’t figure that a prankster guest did that, because those plugs are in places that are difficult to reach. To get to some of them, you have to climb under beds! They believe it is a prankster ghost.
At Christmas time, Paula decorated with jingle bells on every door, and decided that was a big mistake! She went to bed that night (no guests were present) and heard a bell jingle. Dashing into the hall in her pajamas, she found it all quiet. As soon as she was back in bed, another bell jingled. She finally trounced into the hall and announced, “Y’all stop it! I want to get some sleep!” And, there were no more jingles.
While we stayed at Miss Molly’s, we didn’t have very many strange occurrences. I saw the shadow in Jake’s room and at one point I felt a tug on some equipment I was carrying. I did use that Ghost Radar on my iPhone, and got some unusual readings.
At one point, I was “talking to the ghosts.” I asked, “Do you know you are dead? Are you here? Where are you?”
That eerie voice on my Ghost Radar said, “Texas.”
I wasn’t going to admit to this part of it, but I’ll go ahead and do it. I think the ghost had a sense of humor. The other humans had left the building, and I was sitting on the couch trying to get ghosts to talk to me. I’d eaten beans for lunch, and they “caught up with me,” so to speak. Hey, nobody was going to hear … so I … ummm … I passed gas.
Ghost Radar said, “Wind.”
Now, y’all may think that I’m full of “hot air,” but Miss Molly’s is a fun place to explore. It could actually be haunted. The Discovery Channel had some ghosthunters film there and noticed “high EVP” readings in every room (especially that bathtub!). The Texas Paranormal Society has visited, and you can even read their findings, although you have to scroll way down the page.I plan on going back to visit, but if you’d like to go there, let me assure you that you don’t want to go on a weekend! The place is surrounded by restaurants and honkytonks. Between the living revelers and the dead, it can be pretty noisy around there.
Paula keeps a bowl of earplugs on the table just in case.