While most people would probably do their best to avoid spending even a few minutes in a place believed to be haunted, I’m sure there are some of you, thrill-seekers, that might take up the challenge of spending the night in one of these spooky hotels. Even if you don’t actually believe in the supernatural, you have to acknowledge that if a place has a reputation for being haunted, it might not be the ideal holiday spot. Of course, you can always argue that spending the night there (or “surviving,” to be more dramatic) will definitely make for some amazing memories and some great campfire stories.
Some of these places are linked to some horrifying stories, while others have gained their reputation from a handful of uneventful ghost sightings. In most cases, their reputation greatly exceeds what they have to offer to any amateur “ghostbuster,” but there are some places on this list that have consistently been described by visitors as being “definitely haunted.” Some of the ghosts that supposedly roam through the hallways of these hotels link to real people that have died in those places, and some were even well-known celebrities in their times. Most of you might read this only to know which places to avoid, but I bet at least a few will take up the challenge and pay a visit to one of these 15 haunted hotels in the United States.
15. Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO) – Keep Out Of Room 217
You might know this one by its fictional name—the infamous Overlook Hotel from Stephen King‘s The Shining and Kubrick‘s movie adaptation of the novel. Yes, that’s right. King’s stay at this hotel inspired him to write what many consider to be one of the best horror novels of the century, that in turn led to Stanley Kubrick making what I personally consider to be one of the greatest movies ever made. When King and his wife visited the Stanley Hotel, they were the only guests in the entire 420-room hotel, as it was just about to close for the season. If you’re familiar with The Shining, all I have to tell you is that King stayed in room 217, and you’ll probably understand why that is relevant. In the novel, room 217 is at the center of all the weird things that happen to the Torrance family while spending the winter at The Overlook Hotel.
14. Hawthorne Hotel (Salem, MA) – The House Of The Witches
The city of Salem is mostly known for the infamous witch trials that took place in the year 1692 and have shaped the city’s history as far as it being regarded as “witch city.” Countless stories, books, and movies were produced from the legend of the witch trials, and there are many places in the city that are receiving frequent reports of ghost sightings and other unexplainable events. The hotel was named after Salem’s famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote “The Scarlett Letter.” Coincidentally (or not), Nathaniel is also a very distant relative of John Hawthorne, who was none other than the leading judge in the Salem witch trials and sentenced twenty people to be executed, on accusations of witchcraft. Because of the many reports of ghost sightings from hotel guests, the Hawthorne was featured on the popular television show Bewitched and later on, the Ghost Hunters TV show. No evidence of paranormal activities were unveiled in any of those shows, but some visitors still claim that they’ll never come back there after what they witnessed.
13. Crescent Hotel (Eureka Springs, AR) – “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”
This hotel really embraced its reputation for the paranormal and calls itself “America’s Most Haunted Hotel,” even organizing ghost tours for its guests. One of the supposed spirits that haunt the Crescent is that of Michael, a mason that fell to death during the construction of the hotel and is said to still reside in room 218. After falling into disuse in 1933, the hotel was reopened 4 years later by Norman Baker, a charismatic man who posed as a doctor; although he never went to medical school and claimed to have found the cure for cancer. Many of the hotel’s ghosts originate from this brief but dark period of its history, such as Theodora, the patient who asks for her room key. Some people even claim to have seen Baker himself walking through the hallways dressed in a white suit and lavender shirt.
12. Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) – Because Not All Ghosts Are Evil
The historic resort of Grove Park Inn is located in Asheville, North Carolina, and it is, without a doubt, a spectacular place. And if you think that a paranormal presence would spoil all the beauty of this incredible resort, you’re dead wrong. The Grove Inn is in fact believed to be haunted, but the spirit in question, known as the Pink Lady, is far from the spooky image we have of ghosts. This is, if we believe the reports of hotel guests, a friendly spirit that sometimes appears in the form of a pink mist and spends most of the time pranking visitors, tickling their feet, and even holding their hands. Why can’t all ghosts be like this?
11. Cecil Hotel (Los Angeles, CA) – A True “American Horror Story”
Few hotels have garnered a reputation as bad as LA’s Cecil Hotel, located in the area known by locals as Skid Row, one of the worst famed neighborhoods in the whole city, home to thousands of homeless people. It was the reported residence of two of LA’s most notorious serial killers, Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger, and some even speculate that this is where Elizabeth Short, victim of the Black Dahlia murder, was last seen before her corpse was found mutilated and cut in half. And if that wasn’t enough, the Cecil has been branded as a “suicide hotspot,” as there have been an unusually large number of people that took their own lives while staying at the Cecil, some of them in very bizarre circumstances. All of these tragedies led some people to argue that there might be some supernatural evil inside the place, and the Cecil even inspired the events of the fifth season of the popular TV series, American Horror Story. Now, the hotel has been re-branded as “Stay on Main,” although it’s hard to think that a name change would just erase all of the dark history that surrounds the place.
10. Bourbon Orleans Hotel (New Orleans, LA) – The Ghosts From All Eras
Over its almost 200-year history, the building that is known today as the Bourbon Orleans Hotel has been used first as a ballroom, then as a theatre, and even as an orphanage and a convent. So, as you can imagine, there are countless legends of paranormal entities roaming the hallways of this historic building. There is the story of the Confederate soldier that haunts the third and sixth floors and the children and nuns that remained there from the era of the Sisters of the Holy Family’s convent and orphanage. The most heard story is that of the little girl that is rolling her ball and chasing it down the sixth floor corridors. The oldest part of the building, the Ballroom, also has its own supernatural inhabitant, the lone dancer that can sometimes be seen dancing underneath the crystal chandelier.
9. Battery Carriage House (Charleston, SC) – The Haunted Inn
This establishment proudly declares itself as Charleston’s most haunted inn, telling the stories of several of its otherworldly inhabitants on its website. Although the owners claim to have never seen anything out of the ordinary, there are a lot of reports coming from guests that claim to have seen spirits of all kinds, from vague energy masses in varying shapes and sizes to headless bodies that are believed to be ghosts of the pirates that used to be hanged from the trees in the battery. Although a little spooked by the sightings, no guests have reported anything other than seeing the ghosts, so it appears that these spirits are not malevolent.
8. Ruebel Hotel (IL) – Come And Meet Abigail
Established by a man named Michael Ruebel over 100 years ago, this hotel has been known in the small city of Grafton for having the finest saloon in town at the beginning of the 20th century. However, as Grafton started to fade in history, so did the hotel. And by the 1980’s, it has become abandoned. However, it was purchased and reopened in 1997 by a man named Jeff Lorton. From its revival, there have been countless reports of paranormal activities both by hotel staff and guests—most stories describing a little girl named Abigail that roams the hallways at night. It doesn’t appear that she’d be harmful in any way, but I guess that’s not an encounter a lot of people would like to have.
7. Blackhawk Hotel (Davenport, IA) – Some Stars Never Go Away
The lavish hotel was built in 1915 and quickly became a favorite among the socialites and celebrities of the time. However, by the end of the 20th century, the hotel had lost most of its former glory. And in 2006, when a meth lab exploded on the eighth floor, it looked like there was nothing that could bring the Blackhawk to its former glory. Since then, the hotel has been completely renovated, but one thing still remains—the strange apparitions that guests are still reporting on a regular basis. One of the most common sightings is the woman wearing either a red or blue evening gown. Other people claim to have seen the ghost of famous Hollywood actor Cary Grant, who tragically died in 1986, after suffering a stroke in Suite 903.
6. Mason House Inn (Bentonsport, IA) – A Supernatural Hotspot
The legends about the ghosts of the Mason House are well-known among locals, as the building that dates back to 1846 is said to be haunted by a number of spirits, each one occupying a particular room. Room 7, for example, is occupied by a man named Knapp who is believed to have been murdered there, while in room 5 resides the spirit of a little boy who has the habit of tugging at guests’ clothing. The most terrifying room, by far, would be room 8, where several guests have reported seeing a floating head. Other apparitions have also been reported, and strange things happen on a regular basis at this establishment. Definitely a great destination for any amateur paranormal investigator.
5. Copper Queen Hotel (Bisbee, AZ) – Where Service Never Ends
Copper Queen is Arizona’s longest operating hotel, as it was completed in 1902. Over the many years it has been in business, there have been reports of as many as 16 entities haunting the place. Perhaps the most notable of them all would be the ghost of Julia Lowell, a prostitute who worked on the hotel’s third floor in the ’30s. The story is that she fell in love with one of her clients, but was rejected, so now she haunts room 315 and appears to guests in the form of white smoke, sneaking up on them, and whispering in their ears. There are also reports of former employees of the establishment that wouldn’t let death prevent them from servicing hotel guests.
4. Hotel Andra (Seattle, WA) – Where The Party Never Stops
It is said that a good party always lives on in the memories of the people that attended it, but it appears that Seattle’s Hotel Andra hosted some truly legendary parties during the roaring ’20s; so great that it appears they are still going strong even though the guests are long gone from this world. The reports of loud jazz music and bumping glasses being heard from the 9th floor of the hotel where the parties used to be held are so frequent that it would be really hard to find an explanation that doesn’t involve the supernatural. Guests and staff said that when going over to check if there is anyone or anything there that produces the sounds, the music suddenly stops and everything is as empty as it always is. Maybe it’s just some very elaborate prank played by someone at the hotel over tens of years, but it really seems quite unlikely that that would be the case.
3. Gadsden Hotel (Douglas, AZ) – Spooky But Spectacular
The historic Gadsden hotel opened its doors over 100 years ago and is famous for the stunning lobby and luxurious finishes. It is also kind of famous for being haunted, and it was even the subject of an episode of 1995 popular TV series, Sightings. Most stories of supernatural occurrences happen in Room 333, which is thought to be at the center of the hotel’s paranormal activities. Guests in this room routinely report that the TV turns on and off for no reason or that they’ve heard or seen something that didn’t seem to be of this world. These sightings are so common that the hotel invites its guests to write about their experiences in two binders that are kept at the hotel’s front desk. Even the hotel’s manager, who was once skeptical of anything paranormal going on inside the Gadsden, claims to have seen the ghost of a cowboy in a long duster coat on multiple occasions.
2. Hotel Parq Central (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Maybe They Weren’t All Crazy After All
From the outside, this hotel does not look like anything out of the ordinary, but many guests and staff members could swear that the place is haunted like nothing they’ve ever heard of before. Not many people know that the building used to be a psychiatric hospital, and while most people dismissed the claims of the place being haunted at the time, as the ones making them were people suffering of mental illness, the sightings did not stop after the building was turned into a hotel. The place was even visited in 2011 by a team of amateur paranormal investigators, and they’ve reported unexplained voices and whispers, sudden shifts in temperature, and even communicating with some of the spirits. Their verdict? Definitely haunted!
1. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles, California) – Keep An Eye Out For Marilyn
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is an LA icon, having hosted countless movie stars and other celebrities since it first opened its doors in 1927. And, if we believe some of the urban legends circulating about this place, it appears that some of those iconic guests refused to leave the Roosevelt at all and can still sometimes be found in their old room. The first entity rumored to haunt the Roosevelt is that of Montgomery Clift, a troubled actor who used to stay in room 928, which is also where multiple guests claim to have seen him or felt his presence. There have also been stories of people coming across an entity that they believed to be Marilyn Monroe. She stayed at the Roosevelt for over 2 years in room 1200, during the time when her modeling career took off. Some guests claim to have heard her voice in her old room. Also, some staff members say that she can sometimes be seen in mirrors around the hotel. Some other non-famous entities have also been reportedly seen at the Roosevelt—a little girl that keeps asking for her mother and a man who hangs around The Blossom Ballroom and sometimes plays the piano when nobody is around.
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