El Rancho Hotel

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The 1937 El Rancho Hotel was built by R.E. “Griff” Griffith, brother of movie magnate D.W. Griffith. Well-known past guests here include Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Kirk Douglas; it was a headquarters for the filming of many 1940s-1960s films. Witnesses who say the building is haunted have reported unexplained footsteps and laughter in the upper lobby, doors that open and close by themselves in the bridal suite, and objects that move around on their own throughout the hotel.

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    Geographic Information

    1000 E 66
    Gallup, NM 87301
    United States

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    35.5294536, -108.72802469999999
    McKinley County, New Mexico
    Nearest Towns:
    Gallup, NM (0.8 mi.)
    Church Rock, NM (7.2 mi.)
    Yah-ta-hey, NM (7.4 mi.)
    Rock Springs, NM (7.9 mi.)
    Twin Lakes, NM (12.7 mi.)
    Brimhall Nizhoni, NM (17.1 mi.)
    Nakaibito, NM (19.0 mi.)
    Tse Bonito, NM (19.7 mi.)
    Window Rock, AZ (21.0 mi.)
    Lupton, AZ (22.0 mi.)

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    Comments (5)

    1. Renee Hofener  |  

      We stayed at the El Rancho on May 22, 2015, in the Dale Robertson room. About 11 p.m. while we were watching television the bathroom door, which was completely open, shut itself, by itself. The a/c wasn’t turned on yet and nothing else was moving or open in the room. We didn’t feel threatened, we just figured there was a visitor who wanted some privacy in the bathroom.

    2. About 12 years ago me and my family stayed at the El Rancho. We occupied 3 of the rooms in “motel” part. I was awaken by the feeling of someone sitting down on the bed beside me. As I sat up to say “who is it”, I was pushed back down on the bed and as I kept trying to say “who is it”, a cold rush of air pulled the words away and that was it! I immediately sat up to make sure everyone staying in my room was in bed. Everyone was sound asleep. I waited til the next morning to tell the rest of my family of my experience. They didn’t believe me until the desk clerk said that there have been some ghost sightings in the hotel.
      We went to Four Corners after breakfast, my family learned that the Indians used to put cedar seed necklaces on the children when they slept to keep the spirits away. They insisted that I needed several!

    3. Michelle Thomas  |  

      My family stayed in the John Wayne room, which is appropriate since he is my husband’s and was my father’s hero we felt safe. I’d asked if the hotel was haunted at check in it just felt that it should be considering the age and history. The clerk confirmed it was and said a women in and old full gown descends the double staircase, at one point a town resident walked past the staircase look up to see the woman she snapped her head around to look at him and he beat it out of there. Now when he drives by he doesn’t even look in the direction of the Hotel! Now my experience my husband fell asleep right away, I had trouble, all of a sudden I hear pounding inside the walls I shook my husband he just said go to sleep it’ll leave! I got under those covers over my head ! It was so hot and I didn’t care! I told the clerk the next morning he just chuckled and said ya that happens!!!

    4. My girlfriend and I just stayed at the El Rancho last night and we had THREE experiences that we couldn’t explain. We’re continuing our road trip currently and we both said to each other in the car “do you think that place was haunted last night?” And we both had the same three things we noticed. 1. We stayed on the top floor but heard numerous footsteps in the night above us in addition to voices. 2. We both woke up to a toilet flush from above us but again, no floor above us. 3. We both witnessed items move in her purse before we left for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Crazy! Fun place, definitely weird, lol. We stayed in the Claude Akins room, #318 (attached)

    5. O. Katie Elkin  |  

      While staying in the Jane Wyman room we experienced two very strange happenings. First, I sleep with a Cpap machine, and I had it plugged in a wall socket at the end of the bed. At one point in the night, I woke up realizing I was getting no air. I checked my machine, unplugged it from the adapter, but the machine was dead. Then I checked the wall socket and found it was not plugged in. Neither one of us had been up during the night to perhaps accidentally trip over the cord to unplug it. Very strange.
      Secondly, we brought 2 unopened gallon jugs of drinking water with us and put them on a table in the room fearing they might freeze in the car. In the morning, we found water had leaked out on the table. However, we could not find the source of the leak from either container and neither had yet been opened. We wipe up the leak and dried the the table and left them there while we packed our bags to leave. When we stowed everything in the car, my husband picked up the jugs and again found water on the tabletop. However, he could not find the source of the leak. We continued on to Albuquerque with the jugs in the luggage compartment. No water had leaked out and nothing around the jugs were wet. We had no explanation for the water on the table in the Jane Wyman room.

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