SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Cactus Hotel, previously known as the Hilton Hotel has a rich history dating back to the Great Depression and carries a haunted past that lingers to this day.
Built in the late 1920s the Cactus Hotel is the tallest building in San Angelo reaching 165 feet, 14 stories high which can be seen from a distance of 15 miles in all directions. The building itself has been standing for 98 years and has experienced many transformations at one point in its history being host to a geriatric hospital. At its roots, the building was designed by architect Anton Korn with a combination of Southwestern motifs and classical elements and built by the founder of the Hilton Hotel chain, Conrad Hilton.
Be Theater Ghost Talks dove into the more haunted side of the history of the building discussing murders and mayhem that have plagued the hotel’s past. Some of these stories include the tales of a love-spurned photographer who murdered his model hiding her body in the basement and a man who jumped from the top of the building falling upon the buildings Spiers before hitting the ground below.
The most terrifying tale however regards a spirit that is said to haunt the building called the “Straw Suit Man.” This entity is described as an older gentleman in a tweed jacket that leans on a cane.
Suzy Roberts, Ghost Walks Co-Founder, recalls one of the more notable sightings of this entity from a business owner’s fiance who came across him in the basement believing he was lost. The man in the tweed coat disappeared at the bottom of the stairs. Retelling his story to his fiance she waved him off blaming a previous concussion he had endured, that is until the next morning when someone else encountered the entity.
“They heard a bloodcurdling scream on the second floor,” Roberts said. “Another woman saw him, and the old man turned to look at her with dead eyes.” The man’s body contorted at impossible angles and is said to have crawled towards the woman at unbelievable speed before disappearing moments away from where she had stood.
The Cactus Hotel currently hosts several businesses and restaurants even apartments and caters to special events such as birthdays, weddings, and meetings.
For a more in-depth look at the building’s almost 100-year-old history watch the Cactus Hotels, “A Step Back In Time.”
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