This Iconic Route 66 Landmark In Amarillo Is Really, Really Haunted
The Nat. The one and the only. The Nat Ballroom.
I can't think of a single place more iconic and beloved than The Nat. The stories to tell of the looming building on 6th Street are endless. One topic in particular becomes pretty popular around this time of the year: the ghosts of The Nat.
Almost every Google search result that comes up for The Nat will mention the same old thing: a lady in white, a couple dancing on the floor. The same friendly urban legend of ghosts approximating Casper. What I have heard from others is vastly different.
Although I am a die-hard skeptic, I find it interesting when people share their experiences with what they consider the paranormal. And this is the perfect time of the year to share the best tales of ghosties, goblins, and ghouls at The Nat that I've heard so far.
In The Bookstore
This one is from my editor, who is apparently full of surprises. Not too long ago, while talking about the upcoming spooky season, I lightheartedly joked about going to The Nat and hoping to see the spirit of "the lady in a white dress having a good time" that's said to haunt the building.
Now, let's be clear: I am a skeptic, and I know she is one too. Which is precisely why I stopped dead in my tracks when she looked me in the eyes and said: "Be careful. She might not be the one you run into."
I had already heard her unnerving story about what she ran into at Ordway Hall. So I knew I would be in for a treat:
I had moved from Albuquerque to Amarillo in 2008. I was into belly dancing and wanted to join a group here. They invited me out to a practice with them. To see how we all got along.
I met them at The Nat on a Thursday. It was already getting dark, maybe 7 or 8pm? We all parked on the little island across from the building, and I followed them to where we entered through the bookstore.
She described how the women were visibly nervous as they gathered near the entrance. They held hands, forming a human daisy chain, with my editor at the very end.
I was pretty confused. So I just held on to the girl in front of me and made sure to keep pace as we jogged through the dark bookstore. I remember thinking that I had been in that building--ballroom and bookstore both--a million times and there was nothing to be scared of....and then I felt it.
....I felt something in the dark behind me.
She described how the human daisy chain had reached the doorway for a narrow corridor that connected the ballroom with the bookstore. As she crossed the threshold, she looked back over her shoulder and saw it. More in her mind's eye than her naked eye--but still, she saw it.
Whatever was there was not of this earth. It was dark and it was bad.
She seemed reluctant to describe what she had seen in much detail. Then, she finally told me in a quiet voice that it had reminded her of the creature from Pan's Labyrinth. That was enough to stop me from asking any further questions about it.
And of course, she wasn't finished.
In the ballroom, we warmed up and started dancing. My hair was long back then, like it is now, right? I watched something pull my hair as I danced. I could see and feel my hair being tugged... But no one was there.
She clarified that, while strange, the hair-tugging lacked the dark malice that filled the bookstore. She went on to add that when the cupboard doors towards the back began to open and close on their own, the practice was promptly ended and the group exited the building through the front doors.
We left The Nat and went to The 806. I got my drink and sat down on the couch. Suddenly, it was like someone pulled the plug on me. Every single bit of energy was gone. Drained. I went home and slept....for 24 hours.
I felt like I had been sucked dry of life. Understandably, I told the group I would not be joining them for practice at The Nat in the near future.
. The Eyewitness
Now, remember I told you that I'm a skeptic? I guess I didn't seem too convinced by my editor's tale. And for that, she whipped out her phone and opened up her messages. She explained that some time last year, after an entire decade spent questioning herself, she had reached out to one of the other women present that night to see if she remembered the same things.
I wasn't sure what to expect as I began reading the messages (which the other woman graciously allowed to be shared), but knowing that another person so thoroughly supported the events my editor spoke of.....gave me chills.
When you have two grown adults confirming the same timeline of impossible events, and adding more details..I can be convinced to say "I don't not believe." for a moment or two.
Antique Store Employee
One last spooky tale from The Nat comes from a long standing acquaintance of mine, Parker Simmons-Moon, who worked in its most recent incarnation as an antique store
I followed up with him, curious as to what else he had seen or experienced.
I worked there while it was an antique store and they had stopped using the bar area all together. But we did store cleaning supplies over there and both myself and coworkers would hear growling while in there, but only when we were alone
On the Mezzanine level you could hear voices. I always got the impression there were multiple entities there.
In the long corridor room that separates what was once the bookstore from the ballroom floor there have DEFINITELY been multiple occurrences of the lights going out randomly, followed by the appearance of a woman's silhouette on the security camera.
Also. By the stage. There was this heavy glass table that would ALWAYS fall over. Always. And there was just no explanation for why.
The Nat is one hell of a special place. Don't let these stories scare you off. But if you happen to be there and the air starts to feel a little different....well, now you'll know what it is.