haunted hotel

The History of the Warwick Hotel

Story by John Douglas; Investigator
Huntington Herald-Press
November 10, 1974

On a warm summer’s day in July of 1889, The Warick Hotel opened it’s doors for the first time. It was a marvel of modern architecture, full of amenities such as electric light bulbs, telephones in every room, a heated swimming pool, and even a motion picture theatre. It was an amazing site as it towered over the city of Huntington.

The owner and architect of this amazing structure was a man named Damian Warwick.

Very little is known about Damian. He was said to be a brilliant young man but was labeled an eccentric by many of the residents of Huntington. Stories made their way throughout the community that Master Warwick and his wife Anastaise were involved in practices of a dark and clandestine nature. Rumors of bizarre secret rituals said to have occurred on the 13th floor and a number of odd disappearances began to circulate but a lack of evidence kept the authorities from establishing any real investigation. Reports of strange comings and goings in the vicinity of the hotel late at night fueled the belief that something of a sinister nature was being concealed by Warwick and his employees.

It is said that Damian’s daughter, Lilith, was the subject of a disturbing late night disappearance.

A cursory investigation by the police found her nursery to be in shambles but there was not a trace of her to be found anywhere. Not until several days later, found in an area on the outskirts of Huntington now known as The Devil’s Backbone, tattered & torn, were Lilith’s nightclothes and a little girl’s doll. Several weeks later another incident raised suspicions when Damian’s wife Anastaise was found hanged to death in one of the bathrooms of the hotel.

The authorities labeled it a suicide, convinced that she was despondent over the death of her daughter. Suspicions continued to surround the Warwick Hotel until, on October 13, 1904, the hotel burned to the ground killing 302 people.

Men, women, children...

People from all walks of life, including several members of a traveling circus, met their deaths in the hellish inferno.

None escaped.

The body of Damian Warwick was never found.
Some say that the souls of those who died within the walls of the Warwick are trapped. Some of them seeking release, some seeking revenge. But all of them caught in a place that exists between this world and the next. A nightmarish place where your worst fears and darkest horrors come to life.

A place know as...

The Thirteenth Floor

Some years later, the site of the Warwick Hotel was rebuilt and stands now as you see it today. It is believed, however, that this location is active with some kind of paranormal activity.

To this day the rumors continue. This paranormal activity seems to increase during the month of October, when the Warwick was destroyed. Stories have been told of strange noises heard, dark apparitions seen, and individuals disappearing in the area where the Warwick once stood only to re-appear in that remote area outside of Huntington known as The Devil’s Backbone. Many of them found babbling incoherently about frightening creatures and inhuman tortures. Each and every one of them destined to live out their lives in a mental institution, unable to really say where they had been or what had happened to them.

Some who disappeared have never been seen again.

What really happened those many years ago? What caused the fire that consumed the Warwick Hotel and all of it’s residence? Some say that Master Warick, despondent over the loss of his wife and child, went crazy and set fire to the hotel. Some believe it was his plan all along, to build the hotel with the intent of burning it to the ground, hoping the fear and anquish of so many being taken at once would rip open a doorway to the other side. Why? To what end? It will be left to those with the courage and curiosity to explore what little remains of the Warwick Hotel to decide.