The Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana is said to be haunted by more than 12 ghosts | Courtesy of The Myrtles Plantation / Booking.com
Are you looking for a spine-chilling stay that’s a little out of the ordinary? Then why not spend the night at any one of these 12 historic hotels, spread across the United States and known for their paranormal activity?
Haunted hotels might sound like the stuff of nightmares, but if you’re envisioning run-down deserted motels or isolated cabins in the woods, guess again. Some of these hotels are as fancy as they are phantom-filled, from a stately Louisiana plantation to a glamorous 1920s resort on the coast of Florida. Each one has a history that has inspired plenty of myths and legends, along with specter sightings that could convert even the most skeptical ghost-hunters.
This Creole cottage-style plantation home in Louisiana is rumored to be built on top of an old Tunica Indian burial ground. Allegedly home to more than 12 ghosts, the 22-room bed and breakfast is haunted by the ghost of William Winter, an attorney who lived on the plantation in the 1800s. When shot by a stranger, he staggered up the stairway and died on the 17th step. Today, guests in the hotel claim to hear his dying footsteps.
Confederate soldiers walking the corridors and figures dancing beneath the chandeliers in the ballroom have reportedly been seen at this historic hotel, which lies just steps from the atmospheric French Quarter of New Orleans. The grand Orleans ballroom is particularly haunted, and guests have reported hearing the rustling of a person hiding behind the curtains. The hotel once invited Chip Coffey, an internationally acclaimed psychic, to perform a reading there, and the medium communicated with two children who passed on perhaps during the yellow fever epidemic. Want to know more? Ghost tours are offered every Thursday night.
A favorite of past literary and political figures from Ralph Waldo Emerson to John F Kennedy, the Omni Parker House is one of the oldest hotels in Boston and boasts an old-world elegance. Open since 1855, the historic property was founded by Harvey Parker, whom guests have reported sighting in their respective rooms. Room 303 has been described as having paranormal activity, and also served as the inspiration behind horror author Stephen King’s short story, “1408.”
Perched five miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, this historic hotel was the setting that inspired Stephen King’s best-selling novel The Shining after one evening spent in room 217. The story may be fiction, but guests and employees at the 100-year-old hotel claim to hear a piano playing by itself in the hotel’s music room and the laughter of children on the fourth floor, while room 217 is claimed to be haunted by a Ms Elizabeth Wilson, a former housekeeper who was electrocuted during a thunderstorm.
The Logan Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania is said to house spirits from the colonial era. As the story goes, during the Revolutionary War some of the dead were stored in the basement of the inn until a proper burial could be made for the soldiers elsewhere. One of these soldiers is said to haunt the grounds, and guests have also spotted spirits of both children and adults. Windows are also seen to open themselves up in the night.
Known as “America’s most haunted hotel,” the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas was once a hospital. It’s now said to be haunted by patients and doctors, and visitors have even claimed to spot the spirit of a pet, Morris the cat. The hotel hosts ghost tours every evening, and some stories are told around a campfire with a creepy midnight visit to the morgue.
From headless torsos to spooky floating orbs, guests at the Battery Carriage Inn have experienced their share of spirit encounters. The historic Charleston inn is a waterfront property dating back to the 1800s, with cozy furnishings, romantic gardens and a few uninvited guests. Book room 3, 8 or 10 for a night of otherworldly visits.
Built in 1924, The Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, Texas once served as a Medical Arts Building housing doctors’ offices and a hospital. The hotel boasts eerie Gothic architecture with an array of gargoyles each portraying a medical ailment. Guests have described hearing noises and seeing spirits on certain floors of the hotel.
Check into the quaint Malaga Inn where beds shake, furniture rearranges itself, and the ghost of a lady in white strolls across the veranda of room 007. Situated in the old town of Mobile, Alabama, the historic rooms are furnished with antique Charleston four-poster rice beds and an old Southern-style decor once part of two carriage homes built in 1862 during the Civil War.
Stay in for a taste of Southern hospitality and a dose of disturbing nightmares. This Savannah hotel on Broughton Street served as a hospital during the Civil War and lived through two yellow fever epidemics, making it a hotbed for ghost stories. Faucets have reportedly turned on by themselves, and the eerie voices of children are rumored to be heard alongside the sound of running down hallways. Reputed to be one of the most haunted hotels in the US, the Marshall House’s peak visiting season is October, so early booking is recommended.
The glamorous Don CeSar Hotel, or “Pink Castle,” in St Pete Beach, Florida is haunted by its original founder, Thomas Rowe. Stories have been recounted of Rowe in his traditional white suit and Panama hat strolling through the hotel, hand-in-hand with his forbidden raven-haired lover, Lucinda. A courteous spirit, he opens doors for staff members and greets guests in his gentlemanly manner.
A bustling railroad station in the 1800s, Union Station Hotel in Nashville is reportedly haunted by a love story gone awry. It was here a young bride by the name of Abigail took her own life, jumping from the balcony onto the train tracks when she learned that her love had been killed on the battlefields of World War II. Her ghost has been spotted roaming the balcony and haunting room 711. Moreover, numerous hotel guests have reported unexplained tapping, and lights turning off with an overall creepy sensation looming in the rooms during the night.