Becky Haas, ghost walker, looking for “Fred,” resident ghost at El Capitan Hotel
Photo by Gilda Morales
By Gilda Morales
Most locals have heard of “Fred,” the in-house ghost that has inhabited El Capitan for more than 50 years. Old timers like Heradio Luna, who used to work at the hotel, love to regale anyone who will listen with stories about the ghost that is a long time resident of the basement at the hotel. Even the second and third generation of Lunas emphatically confirm the presence of a “presence” at the historical hotel.
The lore of Fred the Ghost has not been lost on Becky Haas, a recent guest and self-proclaimed “ghost walker” from Richmond, Texas near Houston. Becky, the owner of an antique store, “History and Hocks”, has a passion for ghosts and even has her own ghost Michael, who resides in her shop. She states that two clients told her that he had revealed himself to them and said his name was Michael.
Becky animatedly explained how she knows when there is a presence or a ghost by watching and listening to her portable electro-magnetic field detector that alerts her that someone or something is near. She patiently explained the finer points of her detector, demonstrating that it can differentiate between electrical interference and that of a “supernatural presence.”
Marcos Luna, front desk clerk at El Capitan, and third generation believer, served as Becky’s tour guide through areas of the hotel that are off limits to the general public. There were several alerts on her electromagnetic field detector in the basement and tunnel, but the strongest alert came at the entrance to the gift shop time and time again.
“People think I’m crazy, but I don’t care. I enjoy doing this. I’m not scared and believe that these presences are not evil or mean…they are just residents and resting in a place they feel comfortable in. It’s the ones that are alive that we should be afraid of, not the dead ones,” Becky added as she was escorted off to check out Room 207, one of the more active rooms in the Hotel.