The Haunting of the Ellis Hotel

Most people are skeptics when it comes to calling a place "haunted." The thing is, I am one of those people that can hear a faint noise and be convinced that something wicked this way comes. Most normal people of sound mind tend to find rational explanations for strange sounds or feelings, but I always go with the less believable idea that it is most likely the cause of a ghost. While my sixth sense is more of like a half-sense, I am sure you will see things my way when it comes to The Ellis Hotel . Don't think I can convince you? Read on... if you dare. Built in 1913, this hotel is no stranger to tragedy. Once called the Winecoff Hotel, The Ellis Hotel is the site of the most tragic hotel fire in all of U.S. history.

The hotel itself was built without any fire doors, fire alarms or fire sprinklers, almost as if the hotel itself didn't want to survive? Okay, I know it was just poor planning, but it makes it more fun, doesn't it? The place lit up like a Christmas tree and forever scorned itself as the most haunted hotel in all of Atlanta . Out of the 280 guests checked-in that day, 119 perished in the flames. History of the Event The fire itself prompted many changes in building codes due to the size of the death toll. Many feel it could have been prevented, although none was put in place to stop it. Before dawn on December 7, 1946, the hotel was filled with 280 guests. At that time, the brick structure was believed to be fireproof but was proved otherwise. Firemen from Atlanta and surrounding towns fought valiantly for two and half hours, their ladders were only able to reach the eight floor and their safety nets could not withstand the force of anyone jumping from higher than 70 ft. Like I said, it's as if the hotel wanted this to happen.

Consequently the bodies of those who perished by jumping were scattered on the sidewalks and piled in the alley at the rear of the building. Within days, however, reports of the horror prompted enactment of fire-safety ordinances across the country, and today the shell of the building has been transformed into the modern, safety-conscious Ellis Hotel . Guests at the hotel that night included teenagers attending a Tri-Y and Tri-Hi-Y Youth Conference, Christmas shoppers, and people in town to see Song of the South. Arnold Hardy, a 26-year-old graduate student at Georgia Tech, became the first amateur to win a Pulitzer Prize in photography for his snapshot of a woman in mid-air after jumping from the 11th floor of the hotel during the fire.The jumper, who survived, Daisy B. McCumber, was born October 9, 1905 and died in Florida on August 12, 1992 at the age of 86.

From her jump she sustained a broken back, pelvis and both legs. Over a ten-year period of time she underwent seven surgeries and lost a leg. Under these circumstances, she still worked until her retirement. (Wikipedia) Today, the hotel is more beautiful (and safer) than ever. Guests from all over the world travel to Atlanta just to enjoy the luxurious Ellis Hotel. You should give it a try, if you the mood should strike you. Just think next time you rest your head on those goose down pillows, what happened within those walls just a few years ago. For more information about the author, Denielle D'Ambrosio, please visit my Google+ profile page.