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The Historic -- and haunted -- Park Hotel in Tuleta, Texas
There's a hotel in Tuleta that has been around since 1910 and many of our viewers have probably never heard of it, much less heard that it was haunted.
KIII STAFF , KIII 7:20 PM. CDT July 10, 2017
TULETA (KIII NEWS) - There's a hotel in Tuleta that has been around since 1910 and many of our viewers have probably never heard of it, much less heard that it was hauned.
Tuleta is just north of Beeville. The Park Hotel in Tuleta is one of the State's historic landmarks due to the uniqueness of the building's architecture. It was built in 1910 and crews used "hollow block stone" to build it, which is part of the reason the place has withstood the test of time.
"When I first saw it up close, I said to myself, 'Bonnie and Clyde could have come here,' because it looked that old. Although it was built in 1910, it was old enough for them, so it was just love at first sight and pity at first sight," Park Hotel Owner Elizabeth Villines said.
The pity Villines felt was due the building's condition in the early 90s when she spotted it. The historic hotel had all of its windows broken out and there was graffiti everywhere. Mother Nature had also crept up and covered the place with vines and brush; but within a few years, Villines and her late husband completely renovated the place.
"Elizabeth and her husband were just historically inclined to keep this history alive and share it with other people," said Sylvia Garcia-Smith of the Bee County Historical Society.
In 1920 the hotel was made a private residence. Sometime in the 1960's it was shuttered, and then around 30 years later Villines opened it up as a bed and breakfast, complete with an antique shop.
But perhaps the most interesting thing 3News learned about the historic hotel is what people say about it -- that there are ghosts there.
Oliver Morris is 95 years old and has lived in Tuleta his entire life. He remembers talk of ghosts back then because some of his friends would have to go and stay there with their grandmother.
"Bill would always come over and spend the night with his grandmother to take care of the ghosts," Morris said. "She believed they'd be around to help. She wanted the boys around just in case."
Villines said ghosts and voices of women have been heard over her years there. She said one time her husband was in the living room when a ghost in the form of a young boy tried to play hide and seek with him.
"There was a little boy running around the couch playing hide and seek with him, you know, and of course he was terribly amazed, but later on l learned who that was," Villines said.
She found out that the ghost was supposedly the son of one of the first owners of the hotel. The little boy had died at the age of six.
Villines shared another haunting experience that involves the 16th President of the United States -- or at least, his ghost.
"As I was seated here one day, it was later in the afternoon, and something caught my eye off to the side," Villines said. "And I looked in there and it looked just like Abraham Lincoln went zooming by the door. It was a tall figure with a tall hat. Isn't that weird?"
As for the future, Villines said the Park Hotel will continue as an antique store. She promises that her family will keep it open so that people will be able to enjoy the Tuleta landmark for many years to come.