With more than 100 years of history in one of Texas’ most haunted towns, the De Soto Hotel has a reputation as a paranormal hotspot. If you’re ghost hunting in El Paso, make sure the De Soto is one of your stops.

As a simple fact of the business, people come and go in hotels all the time. Many of these people are simply passing through, in town on business or vacation without putting much thought to where they’re sleeping. Others, though, tend to approach hotels when they’re down on their luck and facing the worst times of their lives.

Its guests like these that tend to leave an impression on a place, leaving something behind that never quite leaves. A psychic imprint perhaps, or something even more in certain dark cases. What truly resides within the confines of El Paso’s De Soto Hotel is up for much debate and the subject of great mystery. Some say the spirits are harmless, while others state they’re something far darker.

The only way to see for yourself, though, would be to step inside…

History of the De Soto Hotel

100 Years, 3 Ghosts

Though it has been in operation in El Paso for more than 100 years, the De Soto Hotel’s history is a mostly quiet one since its construction. It has operated as a hotel and a long term affordable residential location for retirees and has remained a landmark of El Paso history in this time. Unassuming, even kind of beautiful in a stark, early 20th century fashion, its exterior wouldn’t hold your attention for more than a passing moment on average.

However, ask locals and residents and you’ll find a much different picture of the De Soto painted.

Ghosts of the De Soto Hotel

The building has long had a reported history of being haunted and has been the site of many paranormal investigations. El Paso locals speak in hushed tones of the hotel’s haunted history, and many say you get a strange feeling just by looking at it. Others say that if you walk through its hallways with a partner, it’s not uncommon to feel the strange sensation of someone passing between you, even if you’re the only ones around.

Though it is impossible to say for sure how many spirits and specters roam the halls of this hotel, there are three distinct entities that have been documented by more than one source.

The Shadow in the Doorway

One of the more notable entities experienced at the De Soto Hotel is all the more compelling for having actually shown up on video. Investigators looking into the De Soto set up cameras and audio recording equipment in one of the hotel’s abandoned hallways and came away with some intriguing, and some would say creepy, evidence.

In the footage they recorded, a strange voice can be heard saying, “Who cares?” While the EVP collected is unsettling enough on its own, not long after the image of a faded, ethereal person walking across the hallway can be seen. Is this evidence of a paranormal entity taking up residence in the De Soto? Perhaps, but at the very least it is an interesting and unsettling clip.


Another noteworthy spirit that supposedly haunts the hotel’s corridors is that of a young girl that has come to be known as “Sara”. A rather playful spirit, Sara can reportedly be found wandering the De Soto’s many halls. She can be heard laughing and giggling, and when prompted in the past has been caught on EVP saying her name.

Unlike some of the De Soto’s reported spirits, Sara is said to be more mischievous than malevolent. She likes to play around and has been said to particularly be drawn toward women who pass through the hotel. Should you have an encounter with Sara, don’t be afraid, as she might offer you a truly warm welcome to the De Soto!

The Thing in the Basement

If Sara’s one of the more welcoming spirits the De Soto has to offer, the darkness that resides within the basement would have to be the exact opposite. There are stories and theories abound to explain the true nature of the dark entity that hides within the dark confines of the basements. Some say that it is a restless spirit that doesn’t know how to control its anger, while others speculate that it might be something truly demonic.

Whatever its origins and intents are, there’s no denying the violence this thing is capable of.

Local tales speak of a history of Satanic worship occurring in the basement of the De Soto, and while the “Satanic panic” has historically been shown to be overblown, it may have some merit in this particular case. People passing through the basement of the De Soto have reported tales of feeling watched and entirely unwelcome when inside.

That would be bad enough on its own if it weren’t for its tendency to “attack” people who’ve gone into its domain. People who’ve wandered the basement have reported feelings of being pinched, hit, scratched and even bitten by this unseen entity. Once they step out of the basement, these scratches have often proven to be all too real and all too bloody.

Recordings in the basement have taken a similarly dark turn, as unlike the far friendlier Sara from the upper floors, the audio of the thing in the basement has come off more like a demonic, and truly unwelcoming, growling.

There are some who are skeptical as to whether or not it’s truly a demon that resides in the De Soto’s basement, but when you consider that most residents choose to avoid this part of the hotel, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The De Soto’s Legacy

Whatever the nature of the supernatural inhabitants of the De Soto Hotel, it is undoubtedly a must-see location for any supernatural enthusiast when traveling through El Paso. Go in with an open mind and the recording equipment of your choice and see what the De Soto has to offer you!

Just be sure to be careful if you decide to check out the basement. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…



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