|Construction of the Hotel Morgan|
Brant claimed that since his family purchased the hotel in 1999, he had never heard of any stories of a haunting, did not believe it to be haunted, and would eventually ask conference organizers to remove any indication of such. Conference organizer and local student, Anthony Atha, claimed that the information about the hotel being haunted came from a guest of the hotel who had had a paranormal experience there. Details are sketchy as to WHAT that experience entailed, but other websites claim that Room 314 of the hotel is haunted by a little girl who drowned in the bathtub. As of this date, I have not confirmed nor denied the death of a little girl...
But, death IS a part of hotel life, and many paranormal researchers are quick to point out the high statistics of paranormal activity reported at hotels, where people are constantly coming and going, leaving their residual imprint. And of course, people die at hotels, far away from home. Such scenarios are a recipe in ghost-lore for creating a haunting, especially when they involve a location with so much history.
The Hotel Morgan, located at 127 High Street opened on October 16, 1925, after four years of construction. It was named, on the insistence of the local historic society, for Zackquill Morgan. Zackquill Morgan was not only the son of WV's first white settler, Morgan Morgan, but founded the town of Morgantown before his death on January 1, 1795.
When it originally opened, the hotel was a place of splendor, featuring red satin upholstery, crystal chandeliers, and an opulent ballroom where many of the town's social functions took place. The Hotel Morgan hosted many notable names, including Eleanor Roosevelt in 1934 and President Harry Truman in 1954. With the addition of the adjoining Warner Theater (also believed to be haunted) in 1931, Hotel Morgan was THE place to stay.
However, time would take its toll on the elegant establishment, and it became more of a motel than a hotel. The rooms were tiny and decorated in an outdated 70s scheme, featuring a color scheme of pink and green. Business was down, so the hotel catered to WVU dorm overflow and post-football game party-goers. That was until a man named R. Ted Brant purchased the hotel in 1999 and began a costly renovation to restore it to its former glory.
Unfortunately, Ted Brant would pass away in 2000 before fully seeing his project come to fruition, but his wife and son took over and finished the major historic rehabilitation project...and still continue to improve the hotel, combining technology and modern amenities with the original 1920s charm and elegance. They also changed the color scheme, opting for a Mountaineer blue and gold decor. It officially opened in 2000, on its 75th birthday, as the Historic Clarion Hotel Morgan.
But that leaves the question of whether or not this location is actually "haunted." I personally haven't seen anyone publish any ghost tales from this location, and the only indication of its paranormal past is a refuted claim of a second hand personal experience and a likelihood based on similar locations. Therefore, I'm not ready to call this location haunted--at least in the traditional sense. Rather, I think years of people leaving their mark on the location and all the historic events that have taken place within its walls will forever live on. Those who are in-tune and who can look past the obstacles of modern day will undoubtedly be able to pick up on those energies. Book your stay and see what glimpses of the past YOU uncover!
An audio tour of historic downtown Morgantown is available at the hotel desk, featuring the many locations, including the hotel, that were added to the National Register of Historic Places under the Downtown Morgantown historic district.
Additional information for this blog was found in a August 20, 2001 Charleston Daily Mail article by Danny Forinash.