At a time when steamboats plied the Big Cypress River from New Orleans and true Southern gentility was the order of the day a stately structure, now known as the Jefferson Hotel, was built. Near the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou, a hop, skip, and a jump from the Louisiana border, the Jefferson Hotel has offered decadent hospitality for over a hundred years, and its quaint early Victorian structure stood for fifty more.
The many ages and ownership changes of the property have left their subtle marks beneath the preserved period decor, and handwritten records overflow with guest sightings of at least five separate entities from beyond.
Beginnings as a cotton warehouse in the 1850's to support the exploding cotton industry, the Jefferson was also encircled by the long veranda where the hotels good time girls once advertised their wares during the early brothel years of the hotel. Come the era of Prohibition, The Jefferson Hotel became a roaring nightspot and speakeasy under the name The Crystal Palace. The hotels ballroom has born witness to many an evening of tipsy risk-takers gambling with their fortunes and couples dancing the night away to lively ragtime piano that has been reported being heard to this day.
Our guests have seen their fair share of unexplained, but unlike many allegedly haunted locales where stories are passed from one guest or employee to another, the staff of the Jefferson Hotel have taken care to record as many encounters as possible in the experiencers own words. During the latter years of operation, a Book of the dead was kept behind the front desk, in which guests were encouraged to write down the details of any contact with the hotels spirits. Sadly the last owner of the hotel took the book with them and it cannot be found.
There are many reported specters of the Jefferson Hotel.
The Mill Children- Some of the most commonly sighted specters are a pair of children of about 7 years old, a boy in knee length britches and a girl in a pinafore. They are believed to be casualties of the buildings days as a cotton warehouse, but in spite of their laborious lives and untimely deaths, they're now some of the hotels most high spirited inhabitants, often hear laughing and chasing each other through the halls. Make sure to hold on to your keys and valuables in the vicinity of the Jefferson Hotel. The mill children love to play with small objects and pull pranks on guests, moving possessions around and turning lights on and off.
The Vanishing Man- Described as a tall male figure in a long coat and high boots who comes and goes as he pleases. Though he makes no threatening moves, some guests have found him persistent, sitting or standing in their rooms throughout the night. Whoever he is, he is apparently the hotels most solid and hard to miss apparition. Some guests have even reported following him down the upstairs hall, thinking him to be another living guest, only to watch him vanish as he turns into one of the rooms.
Judy's Mirror- Room 19 is a particularly volatile hot spot of Paranormal activity, part of which seems to be connected with the anguished spirit of a teen girl. Though records of the hotels history as a bordello are understandably spotty, the girl is though to be a prostitute who was stabbed by a client and left to die slowly in room 19's bathtub. She now appears in the mists of the hot showers and leaves messages on room 19's bathroom mirror. Sometimes the words seem to be warnings, other times are pleas for help. The name Judy has been seen among her scribbles, but its unclear whether shes introducing herself or calling out to some long gone friend.
Libby in White- This beautiful young woman appears most often to male guests travelling alone, and she can be recognized by her bridal gown, golden hair, and feet that never touch the ground. Though shes been seen all over the hotel, Libby mainly seems to haunt a specific bed, rather than a location, following it around through multiple remodels. The bed is now located in room 19. The spirits exact identity is unknown but most believe it could be two people. Elizabeth and Lydia were name of women that both stayed in the hotel almost 50 years apart from each other. Both women were jilted on their wedding days, and both were most likely pregnant at the time. It is reported that both ladies hung themselves from the unusually tall headboard of the bed located in room 19. Libby and the bed have inhabited room 12, 14 and now 19 at different times. Once can hope that she and Judy have found some post mortem comfort in each others company, whatever both their names may be.
Come join us and explore the beautiful Antique covered hotel, and maybe you can also have an unexplained experience.