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DeSoto Hotel

The DeSoto Hotel burned to the ground on February 4th, 2022. It stood on its location at 309 E Mills Avenue in EL Paso since 1905, watching “The Pass” swirl in turmoil through the decades. Much of the violence and trauma created in America’s largest border city remain within West Texas’s most haunted location.


The YouTube channel “Paranormal Files” investigated the DeSoto just one week before the catastrophic event. What they uncovered was shocking and crucial in understanding the shockingly strong paranormal power at the DeSoto. Their investigation perhaps also foreshadowed the building’s firey demise. 


The former hotel has experienced numerous cases of demonic rituals, fires, and dozens of deaths. These elements, particularly the satanic aspects, have left the building reeling with powerful paranormal activity.


There are plans to reconstruct the hotel in 2024, but many wonder if the spiritual powers that called the DeSoto home should be left alone. 


There are many stories to be told at The DeSoto. Despite the lack of a physical presence, ghost tours in El Paso still gather in front of the rubble.


Book your tour next ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures to get the full story!


The DeSoto Hotel | West Texas’ Crown Jewel


When the DeSoto Hotel opened in 1905, it served as a much-needed rest for travelers traveling to and from Mexico and the United States. The DeSoto was originally named The Great Northern, a name that stuck until the 1940s after a railroad line that never arrived. Despite this, El Paso and its sister city, Juarez, Mexico, became a hub of commerce and violence in West Texas.


El Paso experienced a large population and construction boom in the early 20th century. Between 1910 and 1920, the population doubled from 52,000 to 101,000. These numbers continued to grow as the 20th century raged on. 


The events that would take place over the next century at the DeSoto reflect this immense commotion. 


El Paso’s Original Haunted Hotel


Throughout the decades, the DeSoto Hotel went from being a quick stop for passersby to short-term rentals. This attracted some of the more detestable and disgruntled the streets of El Paso had to offer. 


The DeSoto remained a short-term and overnight rental hotel until October 2021, five months before a fire wrecked the 116-year-old building.


Since the building’s opening in 1905, guests and residents have seen strange and demonic entities. El Paso is an old city, but the land the DeSoto was built on was empty until its construction. Who knows what horrific events occurred here before its construction?

Death, Demons, and Destruction at the DeSoto


As the hotel remained open, more and more events impacted the hotel’s already potent paranormal presence. Multiple fires occurred in the hotel’s earliest days through the 1940s, killing several people. 


One of the most well-known spirits of the DeSoto is a little girl named Sara. She is often seen with half of her face burnt, leading many to believe she died in one of these disastrous fires. Her apparition appears in the basement of the building alongside a number of other phantoms.


A Civil War veteran and a veteran of the Mexican-American war have appeared to many in the basement as well, phantom recollections from the hotel’s early days. S


Many of the residents of the DeSoto were extremely poor or had previously come off the streets. Their rough lifestyles created a different code of conduct from the ones we follow. Drug use, violence, and death were common. Many did not have the means to pay for a hospital visit on their deathbeds. 


If someone was close to death, they were often left to die in their beds. Overdoses and suicides were regular, creating a spectral vortex in the old hotel. 


Devil Dave and The DeSoto


One of the most terrifying residents of the DeSoto was a man named “Devil Dave.” He occupied room number 7 on the 1st floor in the 1980s. He was one of the many “vagrants” taking up short-term residency here.


Devil Dave was known to perform demonic rituals in the basement of the building. He eventually committed suicide in room number 7 and was found surrounded by satanic symbols. His own blood and feces smeared across the room in a ritualistic fashion. Neighbors scrawled crosses into their doors for protection during his tenure here. 


Whatever he summoned still lives in the wreckage of the DeSoto. Ghost investigators such as Paranormal Files and Ghost Adventures both claim it continues to increase the already high levels of spiritual activity. 


Paranormal Activity in the DeSoto


Those brave enough to enter the hotel often leave with large scratches up and down their body. Objects fly across rooms, and large shadow figures chase people from room to room. Some have made contact with otherwordly demonic beings, presenting themselves as cats or a girl with ram horns. 


Lights turn on by themselves in rooms that have been empty for months, doors slam shut, and shadow figures follow unsuspecting visitors through the hallways. The incredible amount of spiritual activity here is indescribable. 


While we recommend staying away until the renovation is complete, we can’t tell you not to be curious. Come find out more on a tour with US Ghost Adventures! Our experienced tour guides will give you the full run down on West Texas’ most haunted location. 


Our blog is chock full of information on haunted locations, regions, and stories. Follow us there or head over to our Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok to see it all 24/7!



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