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The Walls Can Talk 

A look at the guests who may have checked out of life, but who never left the Davenport Hotel.

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The Davenport opened its doors in July 2002 after more than a decade of vacancy. When it reopened, several guests reported that a woman in the lobby was lost, according to Meg Harper, the hotel’s director of sales. She was dressed in a white gown and shawl that seemed more suited to the 1920s than the 21st century. She reportedly asked them, “Where did I go?” A search through newspaper archives provided hotel staff with the story of Ellen McNamara, a guest who died on August 17, 1920. While wandering the hotel before dinner, McNamara opened a door leading to the lobby’s glass skylights. She fell through them to the floor 30 feet below. The last thing she said before losing consciousness was, “Where did I go?”

Hotel staff members attribute most hauntings to the ghost of Mr. Louis Davenport, the hotel’s original owner. “I can’t imagine him not being here,” says Meg Harper, the hotel’s director of sales. A few years ago, Harper says, dining staff had set places for a banquet with silverware lined up to the edges of the tables. The server returned to the unoccupied room to find all the silverware in the room moved perfectly one knuckle in from the edge. This was a standard insisted upon by Mr. Davenport to keep guests from knocking silverware off the table.

In another story, the hotel’s former florist was in her basement office around 2 am when she had several bothersome sensations of someone blowing strong, bitter cigar smoke in her face. After telling her colleagues the next morning, they gave her a smoke test to find the cigar that created the smell. She picked the Roi-Tan — the brand Mr. Davenport smoked.

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