The following is an adapted excerpt from Paranormal Texas, my fun travel guide to haunted places near Dallas and Fort Worth. Check it out if you are looking for road trips to paranormal hot spots that are open to the public.
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During its boom years, Mineola, Texas was a bustling railway terminal for train crews and featured two railroad hotels, one on either side of the tracks. (For more about Mineola’s history and fun things to see and do in this historic town check out my post, Mineola, Texas Makes a Fun Weekend Getaway)
The Beckham Hotel stands on the north side of Mineola’s train tracks. It’s a handsome three-story brick building erected sometime in the late 1880’s, although historic records are unclear as to the exact date. In the 1920’s it was purchased by a man named Beckham, who made major renovations such as adding a ballroom and coffee shop.
Linked to Famous Musicians
In 1993, a music teacher named John DeFoore bought the Beckham Hotel. DeFoore used the building as a guitar school and its suites as practice rooms. While some of his students have gone on to fame and fortune (such as Michelle Shocked, Kasey Musgraves, and Miranda Lambert) building maintenance was not DeFoore’s strong suit.
Beckham Hotel Restoration
In 2012, DeFoore sold the Beckham Hotel to Connie and Ron Meissner. Since then, the couple has painstakingly restored the building. The Meissner’s goal is to retain the hotel’s historical ambience, and they are off to a good start.
Ghosts of the Beckham Hotel
With so many people passing through the doors of the Beckham Hotel over the years, it should come as no surprise that it is rumored to be haunted. The three most talked about entities include a woman named Elizabeth who allegedly died after falling down the staircase of the Beckham Hotel. (Some even claim that she appears on Mondays at 3:00 a.m.)
Another oft-sighted spirit is that of a 10-year-old girl seen peering into the restaurant windows. When people step outside to investigate, however, the little girl promptly vanishes.
The third apparition reported here is said to be the ghost of a gambler, said to wander along the upstairs hallway. There are a few theories as to his identity. Could he be the man who committed suicide in the lobby in the 1940’s? Or is he the guy who was killed during a poker game gone wrong in the 1930’s?
Back Alley Murder at the Beckham Hotel
While looking into the hotel’s history, I learned that a man named J.B. Christie was killed in the back alley behind the Beckham Hotel restaurant in 1944.
Christie’s assailants claimed his death was a matter of self-defense, but they were black and he was white, so the incident ignited racial tensions in a big way. It got pretty scary! (Perhaps I will delve into it more in separate post.) In the meantime, let me just say that I wouldn’t be surprised at all if J.B. Christie’s ghost lingered near the Beckham Hotel, too!
More to research in Mineola
As you can see, there is still plenty of research to be done regarding the Beckham Hotel’s paranormal activity and it’s intriguing history. When you visit Mineola, check out the remodeled hotel along with its new restaurant, Taste Buds Candy and Coffee Cafe.
And remember to keep an eye out for a little girl peeking in the windows as you enjoy your meal!
Plan your trip to the Beckham Hotel
115 E. Commerce St.
Mineola, TX 75773
To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my Amazon Best Seller, Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my recently-released travel guide to haunted places, Paranormal Texas. Happy travels!