Stay a Spell

The Muehlebach Tower is haunted — at least that’s what security guards, housekeepers and engineers at the downtown hotel claimed during the two years I worked with them. So, in hopes of regaling Pitch readers with ghost stories, I dropped in on the downtown Marriott complex for an unannounced reunion.

My first stop was the old Muehlebach lobby. The original Muehlebach was built in 1914, then got an extensive makeover in the 1990s. Guests can still walk through the new lobby into the original lobby. Though the old room may have seen its fair share of brides, that doesn’t explain why a housekeeper saw a white-veiled woman floating across the floor.

Deeper inside the bowels of the Muehlebach is a large, red-floored convention hall. It had been left unlocked, so I ventured in. It was here that a tired security guard on the graveyard shift came upon two children playing. It seemed peculiar that the young boy sported wool knickers and the girl wore an outfit that seemed equally dated. He thought nothing of it and joined in playing with the children. Upon catching a ball, the guard went to toss it back to the kids, but — holy crap! — the two kids weren’t there, and the ball he’d just caught had vanished as well.

Farther below these meeting rooms are at least four industrial sublevels. These dungeon floors are completely devoid of light and fresh air. Certain hotel engineers still refuse to go below ground level because of the fabled Lady in a Blue Gown who haunts those quarters.

Noticing that I was on camera where I wasn’t supposed to be, I retreated from the basement meeting rooms. On my way out, I passed the Pam Pam Room, the lobby restaurant where an engineer once called in a 10-56 (intruder alert) because he swore he saw an old man sitting at a table. Surveillance tapes were reviewed; the restaurant was empty.

I didn’t see any ghosts, but I did get a 10-56 call of my own. More than two years after they fired me for not showing up, hotel personnel politely asked me to leave because they didn’t want me around.