Photo by Jacqueline Fierro
Have you heard of Walter Emerick? On February 6, 1965, Emerick committed one of the most horrific crimes in our cities history. In room 636 at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, Emerick murdered and butchered a woman, a woman who’s identity has yet to be discovered. Some say the ghost of Walter Emerick haunts the hallways of the 6th floor at the Gunter, and this week Jacqueline and I went on a ghost tour at the Gunter Hotel to see if we would experience any encounters with the unknown.
Photo by Jacqueline Fierro
Guillermo Fuentes, creator of S.A. Paranormal Investigations, was the tour guide and did an unbelievably amazing – and somewhat sinister job – of perfectly describing the acts of the murder as we walked around the hotel and stood outside the real room 636. Fuentes has been studying the case for over 12 years and gave us all the gory details.
After Emerick murdered the woman, he went on a desperate search for a meat grinder, yes a meat grinder. Emerick walked to Sears, what is now the San Antonio Central Library, and luckily could not find the size meat grinder he desired. Later, Emerick checked in at the St. Anthony* in room 536 (636 was not available). When police arrived at his door, Emerick shot himself while he lay face up in the bed, taking with him the vital information needed to find out where the woman was.
With our thermal imager and other ghost detecting devices in hand, we walked in the room where the horrendous act was committed over 50 years ago.
The inside of the room was transformed to the way it looked when the cops discovered it in 1965 and newspaper clippings hung all over. Very serial killer like. Fuentes spoke of the crime in more detail as our group stood in the dimly lit room, inches from the “bloody” bed. At one point in the tour, we turned off all the lights and tried to speak with the spirit of Emerick. Although we didn’t hear anything audible, we did feel temperature changes and definitely goosebumps.
Along with investigating room 636, we ventured over to room 414, where Blues artist Robert Johnson used to reside. He was more of a friendly ghost, but surprisingly, our equipment went off continuously on the fourth floor, regardless of whether cell phones were nearby or not.
Overall, the Gunter ghost tour was informative, exciting and terrifying. Tours are available until October 31st with times at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include a drink at Bar 414 and valet parking. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite.
Since the murder, the Gunter has been remodeled and room 636 has actually been broken up into two rooms numbered 620 and 621. If you’re looking for a more hands on experience, make sure you book the right rooms. Happy hauntings.
*At the beginning of this month, we talked about a drink at the St. Anthony hotel called the Emerick, composed of a ghost whiskey drink mixed with rose water, simple syrup, amarena and cherry juice.. Now you know the horrifying connection!