My Haunted Hometown - The Seelbach Hotel

The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always -- take any form -- drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!
                                                                              Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

The Seelbach Hotel, located in Louisville, Kentucky, was opened in 1905 with an original cost of approximately $990,000. The rich and infamous have visited the hotel over the years, including Al Capone and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who even featured the hotel in his novel The Great Gatsby as the location of Tom and Daisy Buchanan's wedding. "The Hustler," starring Jackie Gleason and Paul Newman featured scenes shot in the old Seelbach billiard room (now the Oakroom, the hotel's 5-diamond restaurant).

But perhaps the most famous resident of the hotel is Patricia Wilson, also known as the lady in blue. In 1936, Wilson, age 24, had moved to Louisville from Oklahoma with her husband. Four years later, they were separated. Trying to work things out, the couple agreed to meet at the Seelbach for a romantic weekend, only Patricia's husband never showed. He was killed in a car accident on the way to their rendezvous. Patricia was devastated by the loss. Later that day, her body was found at the bottom of a service elevator shaft in the hotel. No one seems to know whether it was an accident or if she deliberately jumped.

In 1987, different staff members reported seeing Patricia Wilson on both the Mezzanine Level and the eighth floor. In both cases, a woman in a blue dress with long black hair was seen walking into the elevator, despite the fact that its doors were closed.

In April 2004, a couple on their honeymoon awoke to find their room freezing cold and the overpowering scent of a woman's perfume in the air. Others have reported disembodied footsteps in the hallway and electrical objects turning off and on.

For over 100 years, the Seelbach has been a place for the weary traveler as well as the unexplained.

I've been there several times including my senior prom, but have yet to experience the lady in blue. While it's thrilling to think about, I would probably be terrified in reality. I'll stick to watching Ghost Hunters.


Quinn said...

I think I need to visit Kentucky. I really love this post and yesterday's -- ghost stories and some unique history!

Carolyn V. said...

Wow. That is an interesting story. And right in your hometown, kind of cool.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh my goodness, I'd set some kind of land speed record if I saw her, I'm such a scaredy cat! Loving these stories from afar, though!

Faith said...

I love these posts on hauntings! You've very concisely put together the information on these... I've looked for some info on hauntings here or there in the past, and it's been difficult to find clear, objective accounts. Maybe you should write a book ;)

Also, there's an award for you on my blog today! Do with it what you will.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Oooooh true ghost stories are always cool :D I'm a bit of a skeptic, actually, but it's still interesting to think about these unexplained occurrences.

Lisa Potts said...

Quinn, you should definitely visit. I know a nice hotel you could stay at.

Carolyn, I live about five miles from downtown Louisville. Close enough that I'm there all the time.

Amie, I'm with you.

Faith, thanks so much for the blog award! That's so sweet of you.

Steph, I'm a bit of a skeptic too, however, when I'm in one of these places there's something...odd. Just a feeling that you can't really put your finger on.

Rogue Mutt said...

I might have to stay there, so long as they have Wifi. What good would it be to see a ghost and not be able to Tweet about it?

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, ghostly. I don't think we have anything cool like this where I live. *pouts*

Hart Johnson said...

LOVE haunting stories. I would so love to see a ghost, even though I'd freak a little. Alas, I fear I am too grounded with my earth moon, and probably never will. Still, I love the idea.

Lisa Potts said...

RM, no Twitter would be scary.

Elana, you'd be surprised. I bet there is someplace paranormal close to you.

Hart, I love these stories too. Thanks for stopping by.

Melissa said...


I love it though, and for such a haunted place, It sure is gorgeous.

Sarah*G* said...

I found your blog via the Writers Platform Crusade and thought I would stop by to say hello. I hope it helps me get back on the writing wagon again after a long hiatus!

ali said...

What a cool (if tragic) story! It's a really neat looking building too.

Tracy Loewer said...

I love old buildings! You can't beat cool history like that either.

Lisa Potts said...

Melissa, it is a beautiful place.

Sarah "G", welcome to the Crusade and thanks for stopping by.

Ali, tragedy always seems to surround ghost stories, doesn't it?

Tracy, old buildings are the best. They have so many stories to tell.

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