The Amazing Windsor Hotel

Did you know?

There’s a hotel that is so “haunted” that it has its own book for people to write down their paranormal experiences when they check out.  It holds everything from the tragic tale of a maid and her daughter dying, to a man who still does bell-hopping 40 years after his death.  This is the story of the beautiful Windsor Hotel in Americus.  Before we get to its “hauntings,” we must share its history.

In an effort to attract “northerners” to the south, the Historic Best Western Windsor Hotel was built in 1892.  This brick Victorian style building was and still is an architectural masterpiece, especially for the time that it was built.  According to its own visitors’ website, the hotel occupies almost an entire city block!

This structure is so full of history that it would be impossible to cover it all in one post.  Some highlights would be the fact that former Vice President Thomas Marshall gave a speech from the balcony (pictured) in 1917.  The not-so-famous (at the time) Franklin D Roosevelt spoke in the dining room back in 1928, just before he became governor of New York.  It is true that there was a massive effort to make this hotel and Americus in general the hot spot to be in Georgia at the end of the 1800s and start of the 1900s.

View of what Vice President Marshall saw during his speech

What we do know as fact is that the hotel closed in 1972 after almost a century of business. In 1991, however, it received over six million dollars worth of restorations and reopened.  In 2010, it received more of an “upgrade” renovation that brought it to the modern era (installing flat screen TVs, phones, etc.).  Some areas were actually restored to its original state, which is a gem for history nuts like ourselves.  In the same year, it hosted its own grand re-opening.

Today, it’s as open as it’s ever been, but it’s got some seriously “haunted” claims to it, and they don’t hide it.  When we were fortunate enough to tour the building, they allowed us to view previous paranormal investigative reports and their “log book” of paranormal happenings.  After all, there are two tales that the hotel holds; we investigated their history, wait until you see what we found.

First, we must talk about the “log book.” What stood out the most in that book was closets closing and opening on their own, water faucets and electrical interference.  There were a lot of reports of “children” running up and down the hallways.  That leads us to our first major tale out of the hotel.

It’s said that in the early 1900s, a maid whom they have come to know as Emma or Emily Mae and her daughter Abigail lived in room 333.  (It was not uncommon for maids to live in hotels at that time.)  The tragedy, however, is that Emma’s boyfriend became jealous of her “activities” with other men in the hotel.  During a heated argument, he became frustrated with Abigail. being a hyper kid making a lot of noise, and pushed her down the service elevator shaft next to the room,thinking the elevator was there.  It was not, and she plunged to her death.  Realizing what he had done, he threw Emma down the same shaft in a panic.  Both the mother and daughter laid behind the service doors, dead.  Remember, at that time, the doors would have been a gate and nothing modern.  All of this, of course, is legend.

Here’s what we found involving this story.  As far as death from the elevator shaft, there’s no record of it.  That does not mean it didn’t happen.  Why?  During those times, this maid and her daughter were likely African American, and a death like this could have easily been lost in history or not reported locally at all, sadly.  Especially if the killer was a prominent man in the area.  Nonetheless, history has no record.

Another problem is that no one is sure what the actual names of the mother and daughter were.  We found no child named Abigail that died during that time.  We did find an Emily M. Hammond, who was born in 1898.  There is no record of how she died or of her having children.  Again, that’s common for certain people at that time, and to us, that’s sad.  It shows the dark side of our history.  Thankfully, times have changed.

The claims of children running up and down the hall of room 333 are very real, however.  They are reported to the front desk as complaints and noted for reference.  This was incredibly remarkable to us.  We’ll let you be the judge on this tale.  If any new evidence is found, we will do a follow-up.

hallway outside of room 333

The second tale is one of Mr. Floyd.  In fact, his story is so prominent within the hotel that there is a Floyd’s bar upstairs.  It’s said that he was a loyal bell-hopper during the early 1900s.  He loved the hotel so much that after his death, he kept working there.  There are actual authentic reports to the front desk of a nice bell-hopper who helped the guests with their bags and finding their room, long after his death.  Its also important to note that the hotel does not have a bell-hopper at all and has not since these reports started, according to the front desk.  These guests did not know the story of Floyd before the reports.  This may be the very first confirmed “haunted” report we’ve ever come across, at least from a historical stand point

So, was Floyd a legend?  Did he live, and did he serve in the hotel?  The answer is an absolute and resounding yesFloyd Lowery was born on February 28th, 1903.  He, in fact, worked at the hotel as a bell-hopper for quite a while.  Astoundingly, during its renovation, some of his belongings were found in a closed off part of the hotel, which is when they named the “ghost bell hopper.”  He passed away on February 1st, 1982.  We found his WW2 draft card.  He lived with his mother, Mamie or Mammie.  His actual handwriting is on that document; it’s hard to make out his mother’s name and address.  As far as we know, we are the first to present this and confirm his life publicly; we have not checked with the local historical society, so again, you be the judge of that.

Actual WW2 draft card for Floyd Lowery

We find it heartwarming and touching that they named the pub upstairs after him.  It’s an amazing thing to see a man like him be honored and live on in a place he loved.  As far as his “haunting,” well, you’ll have to stay at the hotel and decide for yourself!  Tell them we sent you.

Hey!  We hope you enjoyed this post.  We want to thank the Windsor Hotel for allowing us to tour the building and take these pictures.  Their hospitality was second to none, and we encourage you to come check in and check out all of the awesome historical stories of Americus!


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