Is the St. James Hotel in Alabama Haunted?
One of the most haunted places in Alabama, the St. James Hotel in Selma was abandoned for 100 years before its reopening in 1997. Apparitions walk its halls and ghost dogs can be heard barking around the premises.
In the 19th century, it was a high-society hotel known as the Brantly, and during the Civil War, it housed Union troops. One of the few buildings to survive the burning of the town by Union forces, it was then taken over by the town’s first African American mayor and later the first African American to be elected to Congress, Benjamin Sterling Turner. During that time, the famous outlaw and gunslinger Jesse James and his brother Frank were among the hotel guests.
The Ghost of Jesse James
Jesse James was hosted by the Saint James Hotel in 1881 before the hotel came on hard times in 1892 and closed for 100 years. Jesse James’ ghost has been spotted in several hotel rooms and corridors along with his girlfriend Lucinda. He is often seen on the second and third floor as well as at a table in the bar. Sometimes, the smell of Lucinda’s favorite scent, lavender, accompanies her appearance. Sometimes visitors do not spot her but the scent of lavender is inexplicably in the air. Guests have also reported ghost sightings of other spirits in 19th century clothing. They appear to be enacting a long-ago party scene in the courtyard.
Paranormal researchers have visited the hotel and reported the presence of supernatural entities. The spirits at the hotel are peaceful and guests are in for a treat if they catch glimpses of the hotel’s history.
Most Haunted Rooms & Places of the St James Hotel
- Rooms 214, 314, and 315 are where the ghost of Jesse James is most often reported. These were the rooms he frequented.
- The Hallways and throughout the hotel you may catch a glimpse of Lucinda. If you smell lavender, then you’re in luck.
- The courtyard is where many events have been reported, such as visions of ghosts in 1800s garb and a ghost dog that may have been owned by James’ barking all through the night.