Looking for a spine-chilling place to stay? Then spend a night at any of these 15 historic hotels across the United States. From Boston to Nashville, each is known for its paranormal activity, so be sure to keep one eye open during your stay.
Haunted hotels might sound like the stuff of nightmares, but if you’re envisioning run-down, deserted motels or isolated cabins in the woods, then think 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. Regardless of how they look, each one has had reported specter sightings that could convert even the most skeptical ghost hunters.
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 French Quarter of New Orleans. The grand 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.
A favorite of past literary and political figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and 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, who guests have reported sighting in their respective rooms. Room 303 has been described as having paranormal activity, and served as the inspiration behind horror author Stephen King’s short story, 1408.
Known as “America’s most haunted hotel,” the Crescent Hotel, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a former hospital, is said to be haunted by patients and doctors, and visitors have even claimed to have spotted the spirit of a pet cat, Morris. The hotel hosts ghost tours, and some stories are told around a campfire with a creepy midnight visit to the morgue.
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.
In the old town of Mobile, Alabama, 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. Originally built as two townhouses during the Civil War, this inn offers rooms that are furnished with antique Charleston four-poster rice beds and old southern-style decor.
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 feet running down hallways. Peak season here is October, so early booking is recommended.
The glamorous Don CeSar hotel, or the Pink Castle, in St Pete Beach, Florida, is said to be haunted by its original founder, Thomas Rowe. Stories of seeing Rowe strolling through the hotel, in his traditional white suit and panama hat, hand in hand with his forbidden raven-haired lover, Lucinda, abound. A courteous spirit, he opens doors for staff members and greets guests in a gentlemanly manner.
A former cruise liner with one or two spooky tales to tell, the Queen Mary gives you the chance to stay on a cruise ship without leaving dock. The scene of its most famous story is Stateroom B340, where one unlucky person was supposedly murdered in a case that’s never been solved. Guests have reported a phantom knocking on the door, bathroom lights turning on and off by themselves and the sink faucet turning on at random. Luckily for those on a mission to stay in haunted hotel rooms, you can book Stateroom B340 on request.
Dating back to 1770, Baltimore‘s Admiral Fell Inn was once a theatre, then a boarding house, before becoming a hotel. It has hosted countless guests over the centuries – any of whom could be responsible for the allegedly inexplicable goings-on of today. Guests have reported hearing parties coming from unoccupied rooms next door, and a manager is said to have once heard a party occurring after the hotel had been evacuated during a hurricane. Some even report sightings of sailors floating down hallways and opening the door to a butler – only for him to suddenly vanish into thin air.
Built in 1892 by William Kehoe, this hotel is a great place to base yourself if you’d like to learn more about Savannah’s reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the US. Its spooky reputation stems from two separate eras – the first involving the rumored death of two of Kehoe’s 10 children, and the second owing to the building’s time as a funeral home where bodies were kept before being laid to rest. In recent years, some guests have reported being tapped on the shoulder, being touched on their arms while sleeping, and hearing the sound of children playing nearby – despite being completely alone at the time.
A hotel so noteworthy that even its former guests can’t bear to leave, Jekyll Island Club Resort is allegedly home to a series of benign ghosts who’ve appeared over the years. The Wall Street financier JP Morgan was a regular guest here, and – according to living guests – still likes to sit out in front of his favorite room and smoke a cigar in the mornings (guests are supposedly awoken by the smell of smoke). General Lloyd Aspinwall, a brigadier-general in the US National Guard, has also been seen on the veranda of his eponymous suite, if reports are to be believed – and a former bellhop has been known to knock on guests’ doors before disappearing without a trace. Now that’s commitment to the job.
A bustling railroad station in the 1800s, Union Station Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, is reportedly haunted by a love story gone awry. It was here that 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.
This 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.
Just 5mi (8km) 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 an evening spent in room 217. The story may be fictional, 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.