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 known as 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. His work schedule wreaked havoc on their relationship and by 1940 they were separated.

In an attempt 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. The sightings continue to this day.

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. I'll stick to watching Ghost Hunters.


Rogue Mutt said...

Oooh, spooky.

Danette said...

What a terrific looking place! I'd love to see the inside of that hotel and of course the fact that it has literary history involved is also great!

Michael Offutt said...

It's a beautiful hotel.

Old Kitty said...

What a sad and tragic story!!! Awww poor woman!! But yeah, if I ever stayed there and saw her, I'd freak!! Take care

Carol Riggs said...

Freaky! I got shivers reading that. I'm generally a chicken when it comes to that sorta stuff. I avoid it when I can. ;o)

Back to Top