Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Tutwiler Hotel

The Tutwiler is one of the rare haunted hotels in Alabama.  It is located in Birmingham and was originally named the Ridgely.  Robert Jemison opened The Tutwiler in 1914 to convince the American Iron and Steel Institute to have its annual convention in Birmingham.  He built the hotel to be luxurious and inviting.  He wanted people to come from all over to stay in the overabundant luxury of the hotel.  Mr. Jemison's plan worked and for a long time the hotel was the premier location for conventions and meetings in the South.

But time takes it's toll on all things and the glory of the beautiful hotel faded as the years pressed down on her. By the 1960's, she was a faded reminder of what she had once been.    The owners attempted to give the hotel a facelift, but with skyscrapers and luxury high rises taking over, she seemed like a pale comparison.  In 1986, Mr. Tutwiler purchased the building and began a complete renovation of the hotel.  He stripped it and rebuilt it.  He took the old historic hotel and gave it all the modern conveniences and extras that would bring tourists to visit and stay in the once run down hotel.

It is after these renovations that the ghosts appeared, or maybe that the ghosts were noticed.  The story began with the bartender who was in charge of closing up the kitchen every night.   Every night he would turn off all the lights before he left.  He began to notice that the lights would turn right back on.  One night he turned the lights off five times and finally gave up and went home.  His supervisor yelled at him the next day for leaving all the lights on and the bartender explained the situation.  The supervisor stayed late and found the same things with the lights.  Both employees went home and in the morning the lights were all on, the dishes were all out, the stove was on, and food had been prepared.  The next night the bar tender tried a new tact.  He turned off all the lights and said good night to the ghost and asked it to please leave the lights and stove off and clean up after himself.   He never had the problem again.

The bartender wasn't the only one to report odd occurences.  Throughout the old hotel there have been reports of lights flickering, tunring off and on, and doors opening and shutting.  In my attempt to see as many haunted locations as possible, I have booked a room in this lovely hotel next weekend.  I'm taking my boys and we are going to stay in this elegant hotel for one night and see what we can find when the lights go out (or come back on)  More to come once I visit the hotel!


Autumnforest said...

Oh boy--I can't wait to hear what happens. Sounds very romantic and atmospheric. I suspect you're a lot like me and really get into the ambience of a now old, once grand hotel.

Seema Syed said...

That sounds very daring from you. Im excited to know what happens.

Pierce said...

To be honest it sounds like just words to give the hotel some publicity, the things you mentioned to happened are like the ones that end up in hoax, someone at the kitchen hiding but the bartender acts like he were alone.

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Anonymous said...

The "original" Tutwiler Hotel was destroyed. The one that stands now was apartments originally, not a hotel.

Jessica Penot said...

Hi Anonymous,

I actually stayed in the Tutwiler a few months ago. It is still a Hotel. It is quite lovely. It was apartments for a while but it is now host to numerous activities in downtown Birmingham. There was a huge wedding there last time I was there.

Anonymous 2: You can find me on facebook and at

Jade_Scorpion said...

how fun!!! I would LOVE to stay at The Tutwiler for a few nights. :)


Anonymous said...

I am actually sitting in the lobby right now. This is a very nice hotel. I do not believe in hauntings. I do believe in the afterlife though, so anything is possible. My wife is at a conference and I have just been hanging out and enjoying the time to relax. I sometimes experience what is known as sleep paralysis. It generally happens to me when I am awakened from a deep sleep (REM) and I cannot move. I am fully conscious and able to look around. I can breath normally and can move my eyes, but that is all. I cannot talk or move any of my voluntary muscles. This happened to me two nights ago in room 304, however, this time was different. I woke up lying on my stomach and my head to the side (facing away from my wife). Again, the same situation, but this time a felt like I was being pushed into the bed. It felt like someone's hands were pinning my arms, his knees were against my back thighs, and shins were on my calf muscles. I was able to start moving my muscles a bit and make some sounds (which generally happens). My wife woke up and saw me struggling and when she touched me, I was free. Wikipedia states that this condition can be accompanied by hallucinations, but I have never experienced hallucination with my sleep paralysis, if that is what it was, until the other night in this hotel. After that night it did not happen again. The other weird thing about room 304 is that its window faces another window to a room where the wing of the building wraps around. The window to that room has what looks like plaster mesh and plaster covering it from the inside. There is a window panel busted out that is not fixed. I just found it odd for such a nice hotel to have a part of the building that looks in disrepair. Room 304 is no room 237 of the Overlook in _The Shining_, but it certainly gave me the heebie-jeebies for a little while.

Anonymous said...

Funny you compare it to the Overlook in The Shinning, because that is the first thing that came to mind when I stayed there 2016 New Year's Eve weekend. Nice, elegant but eerie. I new nothing of its history prior to my stay, I just felt the need to research its history afterwards because it felt a look spooky.