You might want to sleep with the lights on in one of more than 110 historic hotels in the USA that are reported to have friendly ghosts. From spooky hotel tours and spirited stories to real life hauntings, these members of the Historic Hotels of America are worth visiting any time of year.
Here are some tales for the traveler interested in haunted hospitality:
Admiral Fell Inn (1770) Baltimore, Maryland
The Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore has changed since the time when it was filled with crime-ridden saloons, brothels, and shipyards, but that doesn’t mean the spirits of the time have left. Guests have often reported seeing sailors in the hallways and disappearing butlers knocking on their doors. A hotel manager is also said to have heard a loud party after the hotel was evacuated during a hurricane. This comes as no surprise as parts of the building date back to the 1770s when it was a theater and boarding house where seamen, immigrants and “ladies of the night” would pass through.
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Home to a variety of spirits, and claims to be “America’s Most Haunted Hotel.” It is said that after the skeleton frame of hotel had been constructed in the 1880s that one of the Irish stone masons plunged to his death in what is now guestroom 218. This room proves to be the hotel’s most spiritually active room and has attracted television film crews for decades because of the quantity and quality of the ghost sightings reported. Throughout the history of the hotel, employees have referred to this entity at “Michael,” a classified poltergeist due to the nature of the unexplained activity. Guests have told of hands coming out of the bathroom mirror, cries of a falling man in the ceiling, the door opening then slamming shut, unable to be opened again. The intrigue of this activity had drawn guests to specifically request the historic accommodations of guestroom 218 for the chance of experiencing something.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia
Sans Souci, one of the separate buildings of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, is a four-story structure that was designed by Charles Alling Gifford in 1896 as apartments for six families. One of the tenants, the millionaire J. Pierpont Morgan, was especially fond of the large porch which graced the front of his apartment and allowed a view of the Jekyll River. He was a cigar smoker and would rise every morning at dawn to have a smoke on the porch. Morgan was fond of large, black cigars shaped like Hercules’ club, and they say you’d know where he was there by following the trail of the smoke. While most modern guests who occupy this third floor, north end accommodation usually are not up at dawn, several who have arisen at that hour report the faint odor of a cigar wafting about when absolutely no one else had been awake and certainly not one smoking a cigar.
The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, North Carolina
For nearly half a century there has been the belief by many employees and guests that there is a ghost who roams the hallways of the Main Inn. She is called the Pink Lady because of the flowing pink gown she wears. It is believed the young woman was a guest in guestroom 545 in the 1920s who either jumped or was pushed to her death in the Palm Court, five floors below. No records exist that support any of these claims, but it may have been hushed up to avoid negative publicity. Reports of her sightings range from guests reporting they just see a pink mist to others seeing a full apparition of a young long-haired beauty in a pink gown.
The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Ghostly rumors continue to swirl at the inn which has seen the likes of many paranormal investigators and mediums. The fourth floor, in particular, has been said to have the most activity. Both cleaning staff and guests have claimed to see a “ghostly young girl carrying flowers” and “a man in a top hat.” It has been said that guests have awoken to the feeling of someone standing over them at the foot of the bed. Cold spots, unexplained knocks, and electrical disturbances have all been reported. Guestroom 301 is also known to be a haunted hot spot.
The Stanley (1909) Estes Park, Colorado
When precisely the strange events began happening at the Stanley Hotel has never been documented, but interesting occurrences are a part of the history of this hotel. Ms. Elizabeth Wilson was the chief housekeeper in its very early days. On the evening of June 25, 1911, during a storm, she was involved in an explosion caused by her lighting the acetylene lanterns that were the back-up system for the hotel’s electricity. She was blown from what is now guestroom 217 to the floor of the MacGregor Room one story below. She was not killed, but her ankles were broken. Since the 1950s, it has been reported that she might take special care of people who stay in 217. Sometimes guests staying in that room encounter extra housekeeping services, including having their things put away or unpacked. Stephen King and his wife Tabitha stayed in this room in 1974, inspiring the film The Shining, one of the scariest movies ever to come out of Hollywood.
You can book haunted hotel packages directly from Historic Hotels of America.
Have you ever stayed in a haunted hotel, like the one in the classic movie The Shining? I have, in the room said to be haunted by a young woman who committed suicide because Daddy wouldn’t let her marry the man she loved. Yes – I did leave a light on.