Who is Mr. X?
That is the million dollar question asked nightly inside of the Castle Warden, a stop on the Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventure paranormal investigative tour. The Castle Warden was built in 1887 for Standard Oil partner William G. Warden as a winter vacation home for himself and his family. The property was abandoned during the Great Depression, and purchased by Pulitzer Prize winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in 1941. Marjorie had a vision for the old Castle to be turned into a hotel, which opened as the Hotel Warden in April of 1942. The hotel was purchased by Ripley’s and turned into the very first Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.
Now for the good stuff…
Over the years employees have been constantly complaining about the Vortex Room, which is located on the third floor on the southwest side of the Castle. Voices will be heard when no one else is in the building, and people will feel like they are closely being watched. On rare but chilling occasions people have actually seen a man standing next to the fireplace located in the room! This man or “this thing” as numerous petrified psychics and sensitives call him, is Mr. X. Wearing a 3 piece suit from the early 1940’s era, he is about 6’2-3, and is very skinny and not a bad looking gentleman. The problem is he enjoys messing with people and can sometimes become extremely violent when agitated. He is usually roused to anger and aggression when the name “Betty” is mentioned in his room, the Vortex Room.
On April 22nd, 1944,
A man checked into hotel room 13 under the name “Mr. X” and also paid for his girlfriend Betty Richeson’s room who was arriving the next day on Easter. The next day rolls around and Betty arrives around 9am in the morning. The fire is called in by hotel staff at 11:24. The Fire department cleared all of the rooms in the hotel and found no Mr. X. He never checked out with concierge. Both Betty and Ruth Pickering, a friend of Marjorie, were found dead in their bathrooms.
For many years Ripley’s has investigated the identity of this man, but to no avail.