Sure, these haunted hotels will spook visitors any time of the year. But Halloween adds to the fright factor, when some of the hotels provide eerie tours and special events. Plan a trip to explore one of these notoriously haunted hotels, or, if you dare, make a reservation and stay awhile…
1. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Los Angeles, CA
At the luxurious Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Marilyn Monroe’s ghost lingers in a mirror, located in a hallway on the first floor. Montgomery Clift still plays his bugle, too; it’s the same instrument he played between shots of From Here to Eternity, filmed at the hotel in 1952.
The Blossom Room is also haunted by an unknown ghost, though the possibilities are endless for who that ghost might be, or who else might lurk about this haunted place to stay. After all, Hollywood Roosevelt has a rich past—it was the first venue to host the Academy Awards in 1929. It’s also where Shirley Temple learned to tap dance with “Bojangles,” and where Errol Flynn mixed his gin in the onsite barber shop. One stroll through the hotel’s lobby, which includes a quiet, dim-lit lounge, might just be enough to catch a glimpse of one of Hollywood’s celebrities, dead or alive.
2. Hyatt Centric French Quarter – New Orleans, LA
New Orleans‘ French Quarter is renowned for its haunted history, drawing the likes of many author and film companies looking to capture its spiritual past as entertainment. One of the oldest hotels in the French Quarter is now operated by Hyatt: Hyatt Centric French Quarter.
Formerly the Chateau Bourbon hotel, the ballroom was the social setting of the early 19th century, but for a while, the hotel became a convent and girls’ school. Stories of mistreatment run rampant, and apparently, so do the spirits of young girls who have been seen playing in the ballroom and running through the halls of this haunted place to stay. Sometimes, they say, one of the girls may decide to snuggle in the bed of an unwitting hotel guest.
3. Don CeSar Hotel – St. Petersburg, FL
The pink palace that is known as the Don CeSar Hotel is a prominent fixture on the Gulf beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida. The hotel was built by Thomas Rowe as a tribute to his beloved Lucinda, who passed away before the hotel was complete. Today, Rowe has been spotted roaming the haunted hotel, wearing his Panama hat. The fifth floor of the hotel was where he used to live, and he’s often spotted on that floor.
4. Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC
The beautiful and historic Omni Grove Park Inn, located in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, has been visited by U.S. presidents and international dignitaries for generations. The hotel’s early 19th century presence as a hot spot also brought along some unwanted guests, most notably, the Pink Lady. The story of who the Pink Lady actually is often changes, but over the decades, multiple visitors to the Grove Park Inn have spotted her, felt her, or encountered her pink mist. Some guests have even felt her in bed with them! Rumor has it that she passed away in Room 545, others say the Palm Court Atrium; reports of her appearance have taken place in both areas.
5. Gettysburg Hotel – Gettysburg, PA
For haunted history buffs, there are few places in the United States that are said to be as haunted as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the deadliest battle of the Civil War took place. Many flock to the area in search of spirits, and those who elect to stay at The Gettysburg Hotel seem to find them.
The historic hotel has been renovated (several times), but its past is still evident. Wounded soldiers who died in or near the hotel grounds are said to be seen here, as well as “Rachel,” a Civil War nurse, who is still doing her duty to help wounded soldiers. Rachel is said to move clothes around rooms, as well as open and close dresser drawers.
6. Omni Mountain Washington Resort – Bretton Woods, NH
This grand resort, located in the mountains of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, not too far from the Canadian border, is both a summer and winter retreat for New Englanders. Built in 1902 by Joseph Stickney who died in 1903, it is his wife, Carolyn, whom they say roams the halls of the now Omni Mount Washington Resort.
Carolyn’s private room was Room 314, and the four-poster bed in this room was the same one she shared with her husband. Guests and even ghost hunters have spotted a woman matching her description in this room, as well as descending the stairs at dinnertime and standing on the balcony.
7. Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel – Galveston, TX
One of the most refined properties in Galveston, Texas, the Hotel Galvez is also known as one of the most haunted hotels. Built in 1911, the hotel experiences strange occurrences in the ladies room of the lobby, where toilets flush themselves, faucets turn on, and voices can be heard. Visitors often get a whiff of gardenias from the lobby, too.
But it’s Room 500 where most experience ghost sightings. This room is the home of the Lovelorn Lady, a woman who waited for her seafaring fiancé to return to shore. He died offshore and the grieving lady hung herself in her room, forever waiting for him to return to the hotel. In October, the hotel features ghost walks and special Halloween-themed fun.
8. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa – Eureka Springs, AR
The story of the Crescent Hotel, considered America’s Most Haunted Hotel, goes something like this: Norman Baker purchased the building, a former hotel and college, in 1937. It became his “miracle” hospital for cancer patients, who were promised to walk away disease-free after treatment. It was a scam. Norman Baker didn’t have medical training; in fact, he had been convicted of practicing medicine without a license in Iowa years prior. In 1939, he was arrested for mail fraud, having distributed his “miracle” product for thousands of dollars; all told, he defrauded patients of nearly $4 million. Many of his patients never returned home; it is believed they died on the property and were buried there.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa reopened in 2002, and is reportedly haunted by several ghosts, including that of a stone mason who plunged to his death during construction. He haunts Room 218, where guests have actually seen hands emerge from a mirror. Other frightening tales are told during nightly ghost tours of the haunted hotel, which include a visit to Norman Baker’s former morgue.
9. The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO
Stephen King’s The Shining was inspired by The Stanley Hotel, and if you visit the historic resort in Estes Park, Colorado, you’ll understand exactly why. Many of the hotel’s rooms are haunted, and availability is often limited because of this.
Paranormal activity include items moving on their own, and the sound of children laughing and playing on the fourth floor, the most haunted area of the hotel. Notably haunted guestrooms include 1302, and 217, the room where Stephen King had a nightmare so haunting, he was inspired to write his famous horror novel. Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, the hotel’s head housekeeper in the early 1900’s, is said to take special care of those who stay in 217, even unpacking their bags for them. F.O. and Flora Stanley, the hotel’s original owners, have also been spotted in the lobby, and it’s not unusual to hear Flora playing a piano.
Guided ghost tours are available throughout the year.
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