Part of The Blog Cabin’s 31 Days of Spooky Fun 2017 Series
I came across this Reader’s Digest article today. All credit goes to Aly Walansky and Reader’s Digest.
Planning a Halloween getaway? These hotels are possibly haunted, maybe have a dark and mystery history, and are absolutely more than a little SPOOKY. Proceed if you dare.
BY ALY WALANSKY
Dauphine Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana
COURTESY DAUPHINE ORLEANS HOTEL
In the late 1890s and early 1900s, May Baily’s was one of the better known bordellos in the wildly infamous red-light district known as Storyville. Today, May Baily’s Place serves as the hotel bar at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, where guests and employees have reported hauntings and sightings. Reports over the years indicate that there is perchance more than one ghost that lingers inside the bar. One spirit is believed to be that of a Creole soldier, perhaps a patron of the former bordello, who wanders through the courtyard wearing a military uniform. Larry Montz, Ph.D, parapsychologist, and founder of the International Society For Paranormal Research, conducted an investigation at the hotel and reported several spirits, among them a soldier, general, or other high-ranking officer, wearing a dark uniform that could have been from the Civil War or War of 1812. Another entity is a female, who seems very whimsical and a bit disturbed; guests have reported catching a lightning-fast glimpse of her dancing across the courtyard. It’s believed that she might have been employed by the bordello and eventually became an alcoholic.
Omni Grove Park Inn, Ashville, North Carolina
COURTESY OMNI GROVE PARK INN
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Omni Grove Park Inn seems to have a guest who doesn’t want to leave. There have been reported sightings of a young woman in Victorian dress surrounded by a pink mist—she has lovingly been named “The Pink Lady.” Believed to be the ghost of a young woman that stayed at the Inn in the 1920s, rumor has it that The Pink Lady still haunts the Palm Court where she fell to her death. For modern-day guests who can’t spot the famous pink mist, the Inn serves up a delicious Pink Lady cocktail at the Great Hall Bar.
Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland
COURTESY LORD BALTIMORE HOTEL
The stately Lord Baltimore Hotel consistently makes national listings for haunted hotels and, more importantly, it consistently has reports from staff and guests alike of ghosts wandering the floors. The recurring report is a little girl in a white dress with a red ball who is believed to be the ghost child of a couple that committed suicide amid the Great Depression by leaping off the hotel’s 19th-floor roof.
Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California
COURTESY HOTEL DEL CORONADO
Built more than 125 years ago, the Hotel del Coronado has been a beacon of grandeur and refinement among vacation destinations in Southern California and the world. It’s also a haunted resort as the story goes. Kate Morgan, a young woman who checked into Hotel del Coronado in 1892, never checked out. Instead, it’s thought her lovely likeness and gentle spirit remain as the resort’s resident ghost.
Miss Molly’s Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas
Located in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, Miss Molly’s Hotel is filled with history and haunts as it started as a brothel circa 1910. During this time, Fort Worth was a favorite stop during the cattle drives, and so many cowboys took solace knowing Miss Molly’s Hotel would be waiting for them with a hot bath and ladies of the evening for entertainment. Later converted to a boarding house, and then Fort Worth’s first bed and breakfast in 1989, Miss Molly’s Hotel offers eight themed guest rooms—each named appropriately to reflect the history of that particular room. The premier room, “Miss Josie” was the madam’s quarters during the bordello days and still serves as the most requested room. Sightings of the last madam, Ms. Josie King, have been reported; it is said she stands at the foot of the bed, watching over whomever is sleeping. Reports of hearing footsteps in the room and in the private bath area in addition to hearing a woman’s voice during the night, only validate previous and similar claims. The decor of the private bath takes you back in time to an era of days gone by with the original pull chain toilet, pedestal sink, rose petal wall-paper, draped ceiling, polished hardwood floors, and the claw-foot bathtub and shower apparatus from the Victorian era.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pennsylvania
Legend has it that there are several ghostly spirits lurking in the historic Omni Bedford Springs. Many travelers to the resort claim ghostly encounters with spirits of past soldiers and small children who often creep into pictures. Some of the resort’s staff assert that there is also a ghost who sits in one of the cubicles in the reservations office that types heavily on one of the computer’s keyboards. Much of the paranormal activity may be attributed to the resort’s rich history. Built in 1796, the resort has played host to several U.S. Presidents and dignitaries and the resort’s former grounds were sacred healing grounds of Iroquois and Shawnee tribes.
The Kennebunk Inn, Kennebunkport, Maine
COURTESY KENNEBUNK INN
Known to many for its incredible food (their owners also happen to be celebrity chefs), there’s also a serious haunting story behind the homey Kennebunk Inn. Built in 1799 as a private residence, it went on to become a tavern and then a hotel. Rumor has it that Silas Perkins, a clerk at the inn who passed away in the mid-twentieth century, continues to inhabit his former place of employment, his presence visible occasionally by flying or falling wine glasses and other objects.
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Known affectionately by staff members as “The Princess,” Caroline Foster is a long-time inhabitant of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, despite having passed away in 1939. Princess Caroline Foster’s ties to the resort go back to its inception, when her husband, railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, built the grand resort in 1902. Incorporating special accommodations for his wife, construction of the resort included an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Caroline, known today as the “Princess Room.” A prominent figure at the resort since its opening, many guests who have visited continue to report sightings of the regal Caroline. Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, there are light taps on doors when no one is outside, and items that suddenly disappear and then reappear in the exact place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing the vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their guest bed—the same custom-made four-post bed Caroline shared with her husband.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Lousiana
COURTESY HOTEL MONTELEONE
Generations of hotel guests and staff have regularly experienced haunted events that would cause even the staunchest skeptic to take pause. The haunted Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans has a restaurant door that opens almost every evening and then closes again—even though it’s locked and an elevator that stops on the wrong floor, leading to a hallway that grows chilly and reveals the ghostly images of children playing. Hotel Monteleone is known for being one of the premier haunted hotels in New Orleans. In March 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days at Hotel Monteleone. While at the hotel, the team made contact with more than a dozen earthbound entities. Among them were several former employees; a man named William “Red” Wildemere, who died inside the hotel of natural causes. Another spirit is that of a friendly toddler named Maurice Begere. The boy died in the hotel, and his distraught parents returned frequently in hopes he might visit them. Maurice eventually appeared to his mother and comforted her, and to this day, guests report seeing him near the room where he died.
The Bullock Hotel, Deadwood, South Dakota
COURTESY BULLOCK HOTEL
Built by and named for Seth Bullock, the famed Deadwood lawman (portrayed by Timothy Olyphant in the HBO Deadwood series), The Bullock Hotel is said to be haunted by its namesake. He died in 1919, and he’s buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery. But the hotel’s workers and guests still report seeing the lanky lawman’s ghostly figure in various parts of the hotel late at night. There are also unexplained cases of items moving of their own accord, appliances turning on and off by themselves and voices coming from dark hallways.
Casa Monica Resort and Spa, St. Augustine, Florida
COURTESY CASA MONICA RESORT AND SPA
On January 1, 1888 Franklin W. Smith opened Casa Monica Hotel with only three guests. After struggling for months, Henry Flagler purchased the hotel for $325,000. He then re-named it Hotel Cordova, and business boomed. The hotel closed its doors in 1932, later to be purchased in 1962 for $250,000 and served as the County Courthouse for another 30 years. In 1997, hotelier Richard C. Kessler, chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection, acquired the extraordinary property. Following two years and $10 million worth of restoration, Casa Monica Hotel debuted once again as a luxurious St. Augustine hotel in the same splendor guests would have experienced during the height of the Guilded Age nearly 125 years ago. Casa Monica Resort & Spa’s Henry Flagler Suite is rumored to be the most haunted guest room. Often people will see a man looking out of the very top window of the tower when no one is in the suite. He is thought to be Franklin Smith, the distraught architect who built the house, or possibly even the ghost of Henry Flagler.
Hotel Congress, Tucson, Arizona
COURTESY HOTEL CONGRESS
Originally opened in 1919, the third floor burnt down in 1934, and since the Hotel Congress reopened in its more current form in 1985, rumors of ghosts abound. These include room 242 where a woman committed suicide; many guests refuse to stay in the room overnight due to the uncomfortable feelings that inevitably come up. The hotel capitalizes on its creepy history by hosting a month’s worth of illusions and séances for Halloween in October on what’s left of the third floor. It’s a fun (and creepy) time.
The Hotel St. Nicholas, Cripple Creek, Colorado
COURTESY HOTEL ST. NICHOLAS
Thousands came to seek their fortune in this small Colorado town, the home of the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush. Hotel St. Nicholas was originally built as a hospital during the boom, and today the hotel has a few haunting additions. One of the most seen apparitions is “Stinky” who stands behind a staircase and is often followed by a sewage-like stench. Another, a half-missing miner, is sometimes spotted along with a little boy known as “Pete” who often steals cigarettes and other items. Many of the paranormal beings are believed to be from the mental ward of the hospital, which finally closed its doors in 1970 before opening again as the hotel.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
COURTESY THE QUEEN MARY
The stately retired ocean liner, The Queen Mary, is as well-known for its historic travels as its haunted encounters. She may seem like a normal large ship from the outside, but once guests step aboard, they’ll learn that she is anything but typical and full of stories. Some guests who have stayed overnight on the ship reported lights being turned on by themselves, seeing the “lady in white,” and more. The Queen Mary gets even more haunted as October comes around with Dark Harbor, their annual Halloween event that is full of monsters and frightening mazes.
The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
COURTESY THE CAROLINA INN
Built in 1924 by university trustee John Sprunt Hill, along with alumnus and local businessmen, The Carolina Inn was constructed to be a first-rate establishment accommodating visitors and graduates of UNC-Chapel Hill. The design combined classic elegance with Georgian style that was meant to mirror the facade of George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. In 1948, The Carolina Inn’s most memorable guest arrived – Dr. Jacocks – memorable because after more than 60 years, the good doctor still takes up residence at The Carolina Inn, even though his soul passed on almost a half century ago in 1965. After retirement, Dr. Jacocks made the historic hotel his permanent home. He stayed in what is now room 256 for a total of 17 years before his passing. Guests that have stayed in his old room have claimed such oddities as the bath mat being rumpled, as if someone had gotten out of the shower recently, and the curtains being pulled wide open after having been closed the night before. The distinct aroma of flowers has been said to arise in the room, especially in the morning. Guests, as well as the staff, have witnessed a finely attired, portly man walking the halls, apparently seeking an unlocked door. He tries the knobs, rattles them to see if they are locked, then moves onto the next door. When guests from within the rooms open the door, he often gets scared and runs away. In 1990, The Carolina Inn was renovated and Dr. Jacocks’ room 256 (formerly 252) became what is now portions of four separate rooms. Electronic doors were put in place to eliminate the mysterious locking of the room, a ghostly prank that went so far as to require a maintenance worker to use a ladder to break into the room. The electronic door locks didn’t help. Jacocks still manages to jam the locks now and again.
The Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, Tennessee
COURTESY THE READ HOUSE HOTEL
In Chattanooga, the Read House Hotel is known for the haunting of room 311. Many believe the room harbors the spirit of a woman named Annalisa Netherly. There are many legends as to who this woman was and how she became the famous spirit to haunt the hotel, but it is most well-known that Ms. Netherly was a prostitute in Chattanooga during the 1920s and 1930s. She supposedly resided in room 311 for an extended time. While details are hazy, Ms. Netherly, in fact, died in that very room.
Thomas House Hotel, Red Boiling Springs Tennessee
COURTESY THOMAS HOUSE HOTEL
The famously-haunted Thomas House Hotel is tucked away on a secluded hillside on city limits edge of Red Boiling Springs… so no one can hear you scream. One of the city’s oldest landmarks, the Thomas House Hotel has served guests since 1890. And in those years, some strange events have happened including—but not limited to—murders, accidents, and three fires. As a result, beds move, dark figures appear, and feelings of terror, disembodied voices, and mysterious cold spots are experienced. The hotel also sits on the path of an ancient Native American trail.
Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, South Dakota
COURTESY HOTEL ALEX JOHNSON
The Hotel Alex Johnson, has long been known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country. From the “lady in white” to the ghost of Alex Johnson himself, there have been countless reports of spooky activity over the years. Guests and employees have witnessed everything from actual ghost sightings to water turning on, lights flickering, and unaccounted noises. The front desk staff even keeps a “ghost journal” for visitors to record their unexplainable experiences and take guests on ghost tours upon request. The Alex Johnson has become so well-known for reported hauntings that the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters traveled to Rapid City to do a segment on the hotel. The investigators reported that they experienced significant paranormal activity throughout the hotel.
Admiral Fell Inn, 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. The Admiral Fell Inn is no stranger to ghost stories. “Guests have often reported seeing floating sailors 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,” shares Heather C. Taylor, senior manager, marketing communications of Historic Hotels of America.
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
COURTESY 1886 CRESCENT HOTEL AND SPA
As host to a wide variety of spirits, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa has earned the moniker “America’s Most Haunted Hotel.” It is said that after the skeleton frame of the hotel had been constructed in the 1880s that one of the Irish stone masons plunged to his death in what is now guest room 218. “This room proves to be the most spiritually active room in the hotel and has attracted television film crews for decades because of the quantity and quality of the ghost sightings reported,” Taylor says. “Throughout the history of the hotel, employees have referred to this entity at ‘Michael.’ Guests have witnessed 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 guest room 218 for the chance of experiencing something.”
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina
COURTESY FRANCIS MARION HOTEL
In the early 1930s, New Yorker Ned Cohen was visiting his Southern lady friend at the historic Francis Marion Hotel. Whatever happened was never clear, but he was found face down, body smashed in the middle of King Street. “Today, visitors hear eerie and unexplained sounds at night, all too familiar to the bell staff and room attendants walking the halls,” Taylor says. “These include sounds of rustling silk drapes, rattling old windows without the wind, and an unexplained vision of what may be a man questioning either himself or the passerby. Some see the image in shirt sleeves, others just feel his presence. Even though Ned Cohen’s body is buried in Cooperstown, New York, everyone at the Francis Marion knows his spirit resides here in Charleston,” says Taylor.
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Honolulu, Hawaii
COURTESY HISTORIC MOANA SURFRIDER, WESTIN RESORT AND SPA
On February 28, 1905, the untimely death of Jane Stanford, co-founder of Stanford University, made headlines everywhere. “Stanford, who was vacationing in Hawaii following a strychnine poisoning attempt on her life, died in her room at the Moana Surfrider,” Taylor says. “There have been reports that the ghost of Stanford still frequents the hotel, whose beautiful ocean vistas brought her short-lived peace. Guests and hotel staff have said that they’ve seen her walking at night trying to find her room.” If you spot her, try out these Hawaiian words and phrases that capture the spirit of zen.
Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast, Covington, Georgia
COURTESY TWELVE OAKS BED AND BREAKFAST
The Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast was built around 1836 and is the oldest mansion still standing in the Atlanta area (in fact, the mansion is older than the city of Atlanta), so naturally, it has a spooky past. Supposedly, a woman lived in the mansion and lost her young son there and their spirits still visit. The owner, Nicole Greer, has found windows open on the third floor, even when no one is staying on that floor, and doors that wouldn’t open, but then when a locksmith came, opened easily. The mansion has also been the site of numerous movies and TV shows, including Halloween II, Southern Fried Homicide, and The Vampire Diaries.
La Posada Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
VIA FLICKR.COM, OLDTOWNWINTEREATON TYNIGH 2008 CREATIVECOMMONS
Located on six historically rich acres in downtown Santa Fe is the historic and haunted La Posada Hotel. Within its landscaped grounds and fountains sits the hotel’s centerpiece, the Staab Hous which was built by a merchant named Abraham Staab in 1882. The three-story brick French Second Empire-styled mansion was developed for Abraham and his wife, Julia, to entertain Santa Fe society. Julia Staab, who died in 1896, is said to appear on La Posada’s staircase and in her second-floor suite in the 1970s as recounted by guests and staff. The legend tells that Mrs. Staab loved her home so much that she has never left it.