A friendly spirit who suffered while alive and her kitty stay here:
checking up on the living.
Other spirits also have a connection to this structure and still love it.
Most are friendly, with the exception of the inn’s one grumpy spirit.
Built in 1917 by a wealthy rancher, Mr. Jones, this restored two-story brick, rectangular hotel truly has an old-world atmosphere, with some modern conveniences as well for the comfort of its guests.
The Vendome Inn was added to the National Register Of Historic Places on November 25th, 1983. The NRHP gives this hotel the honor of being “Prescott’s best preserved, residential, tourist hotel remaining from the early twentieth century.”
When Tom and I stayed here, we were impressed with its front structural design, which was very well done indeed, being restored to its historic glory.
The NRHP describes this historic building as a beauty, with “simple Colonial Revival style motifs. The facade is highlighted by a two story veranda with porches at both levels and features simple balustrades. This woodwork gives the building a domestic character which enables it to blend readily into the adjacent, late Victorian era, residential street scape.”
There are relaxing places to just sit or read. The first floor porch and the second floor veranda are common areas where any guest relax with a favorite drink. If outside is too hot, the lobby and the sitting area parlor are lovely as well.
The measurements of the Vendome Inn are “36 feet in width by 123 feet in length, including a two story, hipped roof veranda extending across the front facade.”
All the rooms inside this historic hotel, including common areas and private guest space are located “symmetrically off a double-loaded corridor extending the length of the building.”
Throughout the common areas of this hotel, the visitor sees the original Douglas fir wainscoting that has been restored.
Equally impressive is the main staircase, that was built for a 1917 upscale hotel. “The lobby stairway leading to the second floor features a heavy Douglas fir newel post and balustrade with a deepogee-shaped handrail.”
Hand-crafted touches can be seen in many details of the other wooden decor of this historic hotel. “The remainder of the interior wood detailing includes baseboards, casements, and picture railing. The interior doors are five panel with operable transoms. All interior woodwork and most door and window hardware is original.”
For the comfort of their guests, some of the smaller, original rooms were combined to make bigger rooms during the newest renovation effort, that transformed the Vendome into a “Boutique Hotel”, offering more space for the modern traveler who likes a bigger room with pleasing amenities, some of which are expected. This historic “Boutique Hotel” has become upscale once more, yet it keeps comfortable, homey atmosphere, that has been valued by many throughout its 104 years.
The thirty original rooms became twenty guest rooms. Sixteen of the twenty rooms have King beds while the other four rooms are King Suites, along with the amenities. Besides having a bigger space with a king bed, there is “free wifi, cable TV, air conditioning, and heat control that is available in all guest rooms.”
Each guest room or suite has either a private modern or historic bathroom. Guests have the choice to pick a room with a modern “shower/tub combination” or the historic, “old-world pull-chain Toilets and old-fashioned claw tubs.”
All rooms are nicely decorated, with “transom windows, iron radiators, oak furnishings, original woodworking, period wallpaper, ceiling fans, handmade patchwork quilts, and lace curtains.”
The Vendome Inn has its own bar: Bar Vendome. Their website explains; “Serving craft beer and wine, champagne and sodas, selections are seasonal and change throughout the year to provide you with the latest of the beer and wine market. We aim to carry at least a few local Arizona offerings.”
In 1917, the city of Prescott was a very popular place indeed! People were moving here to try to get rich through mining, or to take advantage of the opportunities created by mining to earn a living. Other folks found that the dry desert air was just right to try to beat TB or other chronic illnesses.
“Prescott was widely advertised as a health center and attracted many summer visitors who enjoyed the “salubrious” climate and stayed on to recover from tuberculosis during the mild winters. During this period a number of sanitariums for the invalid, as well as rooming houses, boarding homes, and hotels for their families came into being.”
The Hotel Vendome was advertised as an “attractive small hotel (with) 30 rooms and 16 baths, wide verandas upstairs and down, attractive lobby, hot and cold water in all rooms, night and day phone service with buzzers in all rooms, excellent steam heat, free parking, one-half block from Plaza, one block east of Highway 89 and quiet, rates are reasonable starting with $1.50 single and $2.50 double. Weekly rates six times daily and monthly four times weekly.”
The local newspaper, the Prescott Journal Miner, said that the Vendome Hotel was “the classiest place in town.” When it was first built in 1917, it offered thirty one guest rooms and sixteen bathrooms for its guests and long-time renters.
Both locals and and out-of-towners have fallen in love with this beloved establishment throughout the 20th Century, making it a favorite building in Prescott. Staying here was a relaxing way to unwind and enjoy the comforts of an upscale, western-style hotel.
In 1983, the Hotel Vendome was still well-loved by the community, but was looking a bit frumpy and run-down, having become a low rent boarding house that didn’t make much money. It was in need of restoration and renovations for the modern guest. One group of investors, probably from Prescott, stepped up to the plate and when they had to bail out, another group took over. This second group did both a “meticulous restoration” as well as adding private bathrooms, air conditioning and heat.
All the 1917 charm of the “craftsman woodworking found throughout the inn, iron radiators and even some of the clawfoot tubs” is still there as a step back in time. The Vendome Hotel is a wonderful combination of classic western influences, arts and crafts charm, and modern amenities.
It has had many owners throughout the years. One of the first owners was a couple who thought that they were very much in love.
Their story begins with a woman, Abby, who had come to Prescott in the late teens for treatment for her Tuberculosis. She was one of many sufferers of this disease who came to Arizona. The famous Doc Holliday was also a sufferer of TB when he went to Tombstone, along with the Earp brothers, to help Sheriff Virgil Earp.
Abby fell in love and married a Mr. Byr. This couple, in 1921, bought the Vendome and ran the hotel. Unfortunately, they lost it due to unpaid taxes.
The new owners kindly let the Byrs stay in Room 16, located on the second floor, off the veranda, and hired them to continue to manage the Vendome. Mr. Byr lovingly took care of Abby in her chronic condition, and they lived there happily until tragedy struck, when her husband disappeared suddenly, devastating Abby.
Many owners have made a go of it here for 104 years now. For most, it has been a labor of love, as they have done their best to maintain the structure, and offered the best hospitality to their guests. Apparently, they have had some help from a friendly spirit and her spirit kitty. Other spirits also stay because they have felt comfortable and safe.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
When a structure is restored, spirits who were attached to the property have been drawn back and have become active.
Brumder Mansion, WI (After it was restored, spirits who loved this place while alive became active once more for a variety of reasons).
Geiser Grand Hotel, OR (When motivated owners bought this derelict property, and started to rebuild and restore it, spirits were so excited that they started to show themselves to the workmen).
Hartford Twain House Museum, CT (When the woebegone structure that used to be the Mark Twain family home was fully restored to its historic best, the entire spectral Twain family plus servant spirits happily moved right back).
Vendome Inn, AZ (In 1983, the Vendome Hotel became the Vendome Inn after being carefully restored to its historical best, as well as adding a bathroom to each room. Some spirits came back to enjoy their old, new improved rooms).
People who have suffered a painful loss, sometimes never recover and may even die from their grief. They may stick around their favorite spot in this world, still waiting for their loved one to return.
Edgewood Manor Bed and Breakfast, VA (A young woman suffered a broken heart when her beloved was killed in the Civil War. She died from grief two years later).
Jean Bonnet Inn, PA (A Continental Army scout during the Revolutionary War failed to return to the love of his life, leaving his girlfriend bereft. She couldn’t eat and died from her grief).
17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant, GA (A naive young maid was seduced, lied to, and abandoned in a pregnant state. She threw herself off the second floor to her death).
Vendome Inn, AZ (One evening, Mr. Byr went out to get Abby some medication and never came back, either because he met with foul play or because he cracked up and just left her. Their inn was only one block from Whisky Row, not exactly the best part of town. I can’t imagine that he would desert her, but stress can cause a desire to flee. Abby was so heartbroken that she refused to eat and died in her room).
Animals who love their humans have been known to stay with the spirits of their human owners.
Morgan House, MA (The spirit of nine year old Alphie still has the spirit of his dog DODO to keep him company).
Lemp Mansion, MO (Charles Lemp’s dog was shot in the basement before Charles Lemp shot himself. The dog, mortally wounded, dragged himself up the staircase and died trying to follow his master. The spirit of this dog is still truly devoted and stays with the spirit of Charles as his spirit dog).
Robert E Lee Mansion, VA (Three little child spirits who died here have the spirit of their family dog there as well to keep them company).
Vendome Inn, AZ (Abby’s cat Noble also died, having been locked in the closet and starved to death. This spirit kitty stays with her spirit human, Abby).
At least two publicized spirits reside in Vendome, though more spirits visit or reside there as well. They are are mostly polite and friendly while enjoying the memories of their favorite place while alive and in their afterlife as well. The most active room is of course Room 16. Guests who stay in there have found that they mostly have affable spectral roommates. Room 3 is also very active.
Spectral Kitty Fun!
Guests have left kitty toys in Room 16 for Noble the cat.
Guests have heard Noble batting at the coat hangers in the closet and playing with a kitty toy on the floor of the room. They hear the bell inside the toy jingling.
The spirit of Noble the Kitty likes to sit beside guests on the bed.
Sometimes the living hear kitty noises from this friendly animal spirit. Some report the sounds of purring and even a “Meow!”
This spirit of Noble the Kitty will rub gently against the living.
Spirit of Abby
Guests have left presents for Abby.
Guests have experienced objects being moved when they are not looking.
Guests have been touched gently, and feel a gentle, cool breeze blow past them in Room 16.
Guests can notice a strong smell of perfume.
Abby is fascinated with lights, fans and faucets.
Guests can hear and feel the unseen presence of Abby sitting on the bed.
Abby will occasionally make a visual appearance in her room. She started to appear after World War 2.
Abby has spoken to guests when they’re in a sleep-state.
Orbs have been caught on film by guests.
Has the Last Say
Maids, while cleaning up the various rooms, sometimes have the TV on while they work.
They have reported that Abby will turn down the sound on the TV, if she doesn’t like the program being watched or listened to, but will turn the sound back up if the living will switch channels.
She hates MTV!
Signs of Other Spirits
More than two orbs have been caught on camera in Room 16, suggesting that a third spirit may be keeping spirit kitty, and Abby company. Or, maybe this spirit is not related to these two, and perhaps is just another guest who loved this room during another era. I suspect it is the one grumpy, male spirit that resides in the Vendome Inn.
Above the entrance to the Vendome and on the second floor veranda, spirit entities have been seen in various forms.
The electric field of an unseen presence is felt near a center table on the second floor veranda.
Male and female footsteps have been heard in Room 16, which travel down the hall and descend down the stairs to the lobby.
Room 3: Spirits of Annie and the Miner
A Vendome Inn employee told Huff Paranormal that Room 3 is an active room as well.
Huff Paranormal picked up some EVP voices of friendly spirits in Room 3: a male and a female. These spirits followed Mr. Huff and Debbie into Room 16.
Personal Experiences –
Many guests, staff and paranormal investigators have had personal experiences with the spirits who reside or visit here.
Guests are encouraged to write down their experiences with Abby and Noble in a book that was kept in Room 16 when we stayed there.
The current owners say on their website (in their booking area under the description of Abby’s Room) that the spirit of Abby and her cat are still there. “Come share a room with our friendly resident ghost Abby Byr and her mischievous companion Noble the cat. Either way many people like to come keep her and Noble company and sometimes they like to show their appreciation.”
Psychic Research –
A seance held in 1984 revealed how Abby and the cat died.
Spirit orbs have been photographed in the dark in Room 16 by psychic researchers Dr. Oesten and Dr. Gill.
Hard Evidence –
Hard evidence has been caught on EVPs, on a recorder that catches disembodied voices that are on a lower decibel than we can hear.
Paranormal investigators have had run-ins with the grumpy male spirit in Room 16. One investigator had his recorder running and got the disembodied voice saying “death.” This was an obvious attempt to scare the man out of Room 16.
EVPs caught by Tony, an investigator, has posted his findings on entityvoices.com that suggest that a male presence is also in Room 16 as well. He doesn’t like paranormal investigators!
Huff Paranormal Video – first EVP: (In hallway on first floor), “They Found You!”
Huff’s EVPs in Room 3: Voice of miner:”I Made it.” “Arnold is Safe Here,”
“Try to find Bert” was caught after Huff said that he and Debbie were going up to Room 16.
Female voice; “You’re Amazing.” When asked her name, her answer was “Annie.”
There are at least four spirits here who like Room 3 and Room 16 as well as other common places on this property. The spirits of Annie and the Miner like Room 3, and the spirits of a male Bert and spirits of Abby and Noble like Room 16. There was no evidence caught that Abby’s husband is visiting her, though he may still do so.
Whether Abby’s husband was suddenly killed or decided to leave her, she may be waiting for him to return to her. Or, perhaps he may visit her at a place they both loved, though there is no direct evidence that he does.
230 South Cortez Street
Prescott, Arizona 86301
928-776-0900 * 888-468-3583
Located in Prescott’s historic downtown area, about a block from Whiskey Row.
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By Scott Craven and Roger Naylor, Arizona Republic |azcentral.com
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr