These Are Your Stories #18 – Hot Lake Hotel

Oregon’s Hot Lake Hotel
By Tyler Wilford

The Hot Lake Hotel in Union City is about 10 miles from La Grande, Oregon, and may be one of the most mysterious and fascinating places I’ve ever been to. The area was first “discovered” in 1812 by Robert Stuart, of the Wilson Price Hunt party. Native American tribes used the nearby hot springs as a place to nurse their injured or sick on neutral ground. Then in the 1840s Hot Lake became a resting place for families who were traveling along the Oregon Trail. The first hotel was constructed in 1864 and was complete with bathhouses, a post office, dance hall, barbershop, and even a blacksmith. Until 1884, this isolated hotel was relatively unknown. This was this year the Union Pacific railroad put Hot Lake on the map, linking Oregon with the transcontinental system and attracted visitors worldwide. The property continued to grow and in 1908 the 105-room brick building was completed. The second floor was made up entirely for guests, where for $2.50 you could stay for the night, and enjoy a meal for just 25 cents.

In 1917  Doctor Phi purchased the property. Under the new owner’s direction, the hotel took on a dual purpose, housing a hospital on the third floor, complete with a surgery and rooms for patients. He renamed the resort to Hot Lake Sanatorium and began experimenting with the geothermal waters to treat various ailments. Between 1924 and 1934 the resort/hospital caught worldwide attention as the hotel averaged 124 new guests daily. 

Unfortunately, on May 7th of 1934 a fire broke out and destroyed much of the resort, reducing it to roughly half the size it once was and leaving only the brick building standing. Due to the devastating fire and the depression, business was never the same at Hot Lake.

During World War II, the location was used as a pilot’s school and nurse training center. Until 1975 it operated as a nursing home and asylum. When the nursing home closed it became a restaurant and country western nightclub but that closed due to lack of business. It wasn’t until 1983, Dr. Lyle Griffith took over, and started the Hot Lake Company, which was a bath and massage business. That failed as well and the hotel fell into ruin. 

In September of 2000, my sister and I drove to Oregon just to see this place. We toured the long abandoned facility all by ourselves. Talk about an eerie feeling and this is where my story begins. By this time the Hot Lake Hotel had earned a reputation for being extremely haunted. Over the years many witnesses claim to have heard strange things, and see things which they could not explain in and around the resort. Visitors often recount seeing spectral figures walking around the grounds. Strange voices, screams, whispering, and footsteps in the various parts of the hotel are just some things reported by guests. 

One of the more common stories is about a former gardener who committed suicide on the property. People report an apparition of a man wearing work clothes walking around the old swimming pool.  When the resort first opened a piano formerly owned by Robert E. Lee’s wife was acquired and placed on the hotel’s third floor. To this day people hear this ghosty piano playing by itself.
As we walked around the hotel we entered what must have been a grand suite. It was a large room, had an oversized tub in the bathroom, and a picture window that you could see what remains of Hot Lake. In fact a breathtaking view. As we entered the room both of us looked at each other. I was the first to speak, “Can you feel that?”

My sister looked at me and confirmed. It was like the room was electric. Chills went through my body and as I looked at my sister I could see her hair begin to stand-up on its own like some crazy Tesla machine. Then the door to the room slammed shut. I ran to the door, threw it open, and looked down the hallway. Nothing, not a single person in sight and no reasonable explanation as to why it closed.

I heard my sister scream. Running back into the room I found her on the floor completely shaken. She grabbed my arm, pulled herself up and said, “Get me the hell out of here!”

We left the hotel, jumped in the car and didn’t stop for anything or anyone until we were back at our motel in Union Oregon. Later that evening my sister had recovered enough to tell me what had happened. She said when I left an apparition came in from the bathroom area, floated straight at her and passed through her. The chill she felt was pure evil and she nearly passed out. She fell to the floor screaming.

Fast forward to 2003, and the Hot Lake Hotel was purchased by David and Lee Manual. They spent millions of dollars over the next seven years restoring the property. In 2008, the west wing of the building collapsed. As of 2010, the building now functions as a bed and breakfast, with dozens of restored rooms, a spa, restaurant, and a museum. 

This Week’s Podcast:

On the program this week we take on the theme of the ghost hunter. We have stories from them and other surprises including an OTR episode from Suspense called Ghost Hunt. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from Apple Podcasts, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link

Social Links:
Main Podcast Site by LibSyn
The Blog Site by WordPress
Facebook Link
Twitter Link

Contact Links:
Email
Story Submissions
Contact Ron

RAS #490 – Seller Of The Sky

On Ron’s Amazing Stories we present a brand new segment called Paranormal Expeditions. I think you are going to like the concept and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Also, on the show Mitchell tells us a few stories from Selma, Ca, and we feature a classic sci-fi story from the pulp mags that really relates to our world today. 

Featured Story – Seller Of The Sky

Our featured story comes from the Worlds of If Science Fiction, February 1955. It is titled Seller of the Sky and was written by Dave Dryfoos. No one took Old Arch seriously; he was just an ancient, broken-down wanderer who went about seeking alms and spreading tales of the great Outside. The children were curious and believing. However, the adults were cynical and doubting. 

Other Stories Include: Remedy For Murder, Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World, The Good Witch in the Wizard Of Oz, My Father’s Shoes, My Little Angel, Paranormal Expeditions – May/Stringer House, and Seller Of The Sky

Program Links: On the show, Mitchell shared a link to a spooky song from the sixties called The Ghost of Beardsley Road. You can find it HERE. Also, on Paranormal Expeditions Emma shared her experiences at the May/Stringer House. You can read more about it or book a ghost tour HERE

Ron’s Amazing Stories Sponsored by: Audible – You can get a free audiobook and a 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/ronsamazingstories  and Gladdy’s Goodies – Good Treats for your dog to eat.

Social Links:
Main Podcast Site by LibSyn
The Blog Site by WordPress
Facebook Link
Twitter Link

Contact Links:
Email
Story Submissions
Contact Ron

These Are Your Stories #17 – A Simple Sunday Morning

What does church, Metallica and a retired person have in common? At first glance you might say, “Ron, those things have nothing in common that I can see?” You would be wrong. These three things were all part of a Sunday morning that I experienced. 

My church, at the time, had breakfast every first Sunday of the month. I love breakfast! So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I am down for such activity. I was sitting at a table enjoying my homemade plate of goodness when some friends came and sat down. I overhear their conversation and I learn that they have a problem. Their car has broken down and Grandma has to be home by noon. Well, I had already gone to church so I stepped up to the plate and offered to drive Granny home. They accepted my offer with much gratitude and praise. I was a hero and there were no two ways about it. That is until….well we will get to that. I took granny by the arm and we walked out to my car. 

Let’s take a step back in time. I love music almost as much as I love breakfast. On the way to church that day I was listening to my phone, through bluetooth, and was playing Apple Music’s – Pink Floyd Radio. It was a bit late when I got there. I grabbed my phone, tossed it into the glove box and locked it. – Now back to granny.

We arrive at my car, I open the door for her, and even help her inside. I came around the car and slid into the driver’s seat. I start the engine, turn to her to ask where she lives, and Metallica’s tune Sandman begins to play over the car’s speakers. At a reasonable level? Oh no! It blares out the speakers like an Atom bomb. She did not react well. I would call it screaming, but I was trying to decide if it was her screams or James Hetfield’s singing. Turns out her screams were louder, but James got really close. 

Well, I panicked and grabbed the keys out of the ignition. At the time I was driving a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix.  Everyone knows that when you turn the car off the radio stays on until you open the door.  That’s right, all I had to do to stop this madness was to either turn the radio off or open the car door. I did neither. I opted to try and unlock the glovebox to get my phone. In doing so I dropped my keys and I challenge you to guess where they went? Right between grannies legs.  

I will let that sink in for just a moment.

I was stunned, but I grabbed the keys and managed to hit the panic button on the remote. Let me summarize. Radio blaring, granny screaming, James singing, and car alarm is blaring, “honk, honk, honk”. 

People noticed.

I won’t bore you with the rest. It was a lot of explaining, a lot of apologizing, and a very quiet trip home. I did get Granny safely to her house and on time, but I am guessing that I would not be on her list of people to call when she needs a ride.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the program this week we debut a brand new segment called Paranormal Expeditions. On the pilot episode we head to Tampa, Florida and visit The Brooksville Heritage Museum. We also feature the story Seller Of The Sky.  A remarkable tale you just don’t want to miss. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from Apple Podcasts, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link

Social Links:
Main Podcast Site by LibSyn
The Blog Site by WordPress
Facebook Link
Twitter Link

Contact Links:
Email
Story Submissions
Contact Ron

RAS #489 – More UFO Stories

On Ron’s Amazing Stories we have another UFO-themed show. From Audible we review an audiobook that is all about them. Then we head to your stories where we have four amazing tales that come from Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, and California. Our featured story comes from the OTR classic series X-minus One and it looks at some strange lights in the Big Horn Glacier! We will end the show with a few OTR commercials based on some of our favorite breakfast cereals.

Featured Story – The Lights Of Precipice Peak

Our featured story this time comes from the OTR series X-Minus One. The story takes place in a mountainous region known as Bighorn Glacier. It is an odd tale that looks at what aliens from another world could be like. It was first published in the October 1955 edition of Galaxy Magazine. It is titled The Lights Of Precipice Peak and it aired on X-minus One on March 13, 1957.

Other Stories Include:  The UFO Battle at Nuremberg, A Case Of Oversight, Alien Encounters, I Wish I had, Bigfoot is an Alien, The UFO incident, Ron It happened again, and The Lights Of Precipice Peak

Program Links: From A Moment In Time, here is the LINK to the Broadtext Sheet from April 1561 describing the UFO battle over Nuremberg.

Ron’s Amazing Stories Sponsored by: Audible – You can get a free audiobook and a 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/ronsamazingstories  and Gladdy’s Goodies – Good Treats for your dog to eat.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:

Story Submission Link: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/story-submissions/
Contact Link: https://ronsamazingstories.com/contact
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/

On RAS This Week – More UFOS

Old Time UFOs

On the show this time we have four listener submitted stories all about UFO encounters. Also on the UFO subject is a description of an Alien Battle that took place over the city of Nuremberg, Germany in 1561. Our featured story this week comes from the golden age of radio. It is titled The Lights Of Precipice Peak and ties in quite nicely with the UFO theme. 

You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from Apple Podcasts, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:

Story Submission Link: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/story-submissions/
Contact Link: https://ronsamazingstories.com/contact
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/