The Dark Story Behind The Hotel Emma That Is Keeping Guests Up At Night

For anyone traveling to San Antonio, Texas, the up-and-coming Pearl District is a must-see stop. The restaurants and bars are as hip as they come, but the true draw of the chic neighborhood is a building forever tainted by one chilling mystery: the Hotel Emma. The lodging’s sordid past involves a devastating car crash, a lurid affair, and dark secrets that remained hidden for years. Secrets so slick, locals only let them slip after a drink…or three.

Inside The Hotel Emma

This 19th-century Brewery-turned-hotel is the ultimate place to lay your head for the night if you are passing through the historic Alamo land. But guests should beware: while its posh façade and manicured halls may seem alluring, they only serve to cover up an ominous past—one that’s been branded right into its name.

Otto Koehler's Plan

It all started back in 1902, when a German immigrant named Otto Koehler left his job as a manager at the Lone Star Brewery to take the Helm of the Pearl Brewing Company. He had big plans to turn the Pearl into one of the biggest breweries in the country.

Changing the Game

After leaving Germany, Otto settled in St. Louis, where he learned all the ins and outs of the brewing business. By the time he moved to San Antonio, he was a force to be reckoned with, and it was not long at all before he became President of the Brewing Association.

The First Emma

His expertise in the beer trade, coupled with his successful investments, made Otto not only a very respected man but an extremely rich one. In fact, he was known as one of the wealthiest men in the Southwest until his untimely death in 1914 — this is where his wife, Emma, comes in.