20 Haunted Hotels You Can Stay In
By Anna Green
If you’re looking for a good scare this Halloween season, why not plan a spooky vacation? There are plenty of purportedly haunted hotels across the United States that promise both top-notch amenities and otherworldly encounters. With the help of Booking.com, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top haunted hotels across America.
1. Copper Queen Hotel // Bisbee, Ariz.
Completed in 1902, the Copper Queen is Arizona’s longest operating hotel—and, according to hotel visitors and employees, it’s haunted by more than 16 entities. Perhaps the most famous of these is Julia Lowell, a prostitute who worked on the hotel’s third floor in the 1920s and ‘30s. Legend has it that Lowell fell in love with one of her clients but was rejected—and now she haunts room 315, appearing to guests as a cloud of white smoke, or sneaking up behind them and whispering in their ears.
2. Biltmore Hotel // Coral Gables, Fla.
The Biltmore has a lengthy, troubled past. During the roaring ‘20s, the hotel was the place to see and be seen—host to wealthy socialites, celebrities, and some pretty notorious gangsters. But in the ‘40s, the United States War Department shut down the hotel, converting it into a hospital to treat wounded soldiers. By the ’70s, the building was completely abandoned, left crumbling and in disrepair (check out the 1977 B-horror film Shock Waves to see it and its counterpart in Palm Beach in their abandoned states). Nowadays, it’s once again a luxurious hotel—but it hasn’t left its past behind: guests report sightings of past residents, most famously Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, a mobster who was killed over a gambling debt in the hotel in 1929.
3. Colonial Inn // Concord, Mass.
Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
With a history dating back to 1716, the Colonial is said to be haunted by none other than Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other guests report experiencing “phantom presences” in Room 24, once the operating room of Dr. James Minot.
4. Bourbon Orleans Hotel // New Orleans, La.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel has only been a hotel since 1964. Founded in 1817, it has alternately been used as a ballroom, legislative meeting place, and convent. Now considered one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans, it’s believed to be occupied by the ghosts of confederate soldiers, Catholic nuns, and the children who lived at the convent orphanage in the 19th century.
5. Hotel Andra // Seattle, Wash.
Seattle’s Hotel Andra is home to an eternal party of jazz age ghosts: It’s said that 1920s partygoers are often heard playing music and breaking glass on the hotel’s ninth floor. But when anyone ventures up there, the noise is immediately silenced.
6. Captain Grant’s B&B // Poquetanuck, Conn.
Carol Matsumoto, who runs Captain Grant’s, reported hearing loud knocking sounds before she even opened the historic B&B. The house, which was originally built in 1754, is said to be home to several colonial-era ghosts. Guests who stay in the B&B’s “Adelaide” room report seeing a woman holding hands with two children—all dressed in colonial garb—standing at the foot of their bed.
7. Gadsden Hotel // Douglas, Ariz.
Ghost sightings at the historic Gadsden Hotel are so common that guests are invited to write their experiences in two binders kept at the hotel’s front desk. Visitors report having their hair pulled, their televisions turned off, and even being pinned momentarily to their beds, unable to move. Hotel manager Robin Brekhus, meanwhile, insists she’s seen the ghost of a cowboy in a long duster coat on a trip to the basement: “It was like he wanted me to make eye contact with him and acknowledge that I saw him,” she told Reuters.
8. Hotel Monaco Alexandria // Washington, D.C.
Located in the city’s historic district, the Monaco dates back to the Civil War, when it was known as the Marshall House. It’s said the ghosts of James W. Jackson and Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, both of whom died during the war, haunt the sixth floor.
9. The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville // Asheville, N.C.
The Omni Grove Park Inn is said to be haunted by a mischievous ghost known as the Pink Lady. Though her origins are mysterious, she’s supposedly a friendly ghost who delights in pranks rather than frights: She occasionally appears as a pink mist but spends most of her time invisibly turning air conditioners on and off, tickling guests' feet as they sleep, and even holding their hands.
10. French Lick Springs Hotel // French Lick, Ind.
Indianapolis Mayor Thomas Taggart bought the French Lick Springs Hotel in 1901—and though Taggart died in 1929, it's said that his spirit never left the hotel. His ghost still lingers near the service elevator, and he’s even been rumored to help operate the lift when things get busy.
11. Hotel Blackhawk // Davenport, Iowa
Built in 1915, the Blackhawk hosted socialites and celebrities during the first half of the 20th century. But by the ’90s, the hotel had fallen into disrepute, and in 2006 a meth lab exploded on the eighth floor. The hotel has since been renovated, and returned to its original state. But guests report some strange apparitions—including women in red and blue evening gowns, and even the ghost of actor Cary Grant, who in 1986 collapsed in Suite 903 before being declared dead at a nearby hospital. (Suite 903 was removed in the remodel.)
12. The Inn on Ferry Street // Detroit, Mich.
The Inn is supposedly haunted by two nameless ghosts: a woman in a wedding dress who wanders the halls at night, and a shadowy man who lives in room 4102 and grabs the arms of hotel guests as they fall asleep.
13. Lord Baltimore Hotel // Baltimore, Md.
The Lord Baltimore is full of unseen spirits: invisible hands brush against people in the elevators, the rooms are filled with the sense of an invisible presence, and spirits run the elevators at night. But there is a visible ghost too—a young girl in a long dress and black shoes is often seen on the 19th floor bouncing a red ball.
14. Beechwood Inn B&B // Barnstable, Mass.
A mischievous lady in her late seventies is said to haunt this Cape Cod hotel—the spirit blows back curtains, bolts doors from the inside, and even unscrews light bulbs on her own. But she means no harm: Innkeeper Debra Traugot reports that the ghost sometimes wishes her good morning, and has spoken politely with several guests.
15. Hotel Parq Central Albuquerque // Albuquerque, N.M.
Once a psychiatric institute for children and young adults, the Parq building has been reportedly haunted for years. Guests as well as former hospital patients and staff all report strange apparitions. Ghost hunters known as Los Muertos Spirit Seekers investigated the hotel in 2011 and reported unexplained voices, temperature shifts, and a feeling of being watched.
16. The Notchland Inn // Hart’s Location, N.H.
Steven & Courtney Johnson & Horwitz, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
In the parlor of the Notchland Inn sits a peculiar gravestone, which reads, “Nancy Barton—Died in a Snowstorm in Pursuit of Her Faithless Lover.” According to legend, in 1778, back when the Notched Inn was still a private residence, Barton worked as a maid at a nearby house. Shortly before her wedding, Barton’s fiancé abandoned the bride-to-be, stealing her money and riding away on horseback. An anguished Barton ran after her fiancé on foot, but never caught him, instead getting lost in a storm near the Inn. To this day, she is said to haunt the premises of the Notchland Inn, writing strange symbols on the bathroom mirror in steam—even when the showers aren’t running.
17. The Stanley Hotel // Estes Park, Colo.
After staying in the Stanley Hotel’s room 217 for just one night, Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. It was the last day before the hotel closed for winter, and King and his wife were the only guests. The grand dining room even had an orchestra that was playing exclusively for them. Then King had a dream that featured his “3-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming.” Though King experienced no ghosts, other guests report hearing laughter and the tinkling of a grand piano. Hotel staff explain that most of the ghosts are past employees and guests, though some—like a malodorous ghost known as the “Stinky Man”—have no known affiliation with the hotel: perhaps, over the years, it’s simply become a beacon for lost spirits.
18. Stay on Main // Los Angeles, Calif.
Formerly known as the Cecil Hotel, the Stay on Main has been famously seedy for nearly a century. A 600-room budget hotel, the Stay has been the site of suicides, mystery disappearances, and at one point was home to serial killer Richard Ramirez. Though amenities at the Stay have improved since it was branded a “suicide hotspot” in the 1960s, it still bears the weight of its dark past—hotel visitors have long believed the hotel to be haunted, and some have even published photographs they say prove the presence of ghosts at the hotel.
19. Ruebel Hotel // Grafton, Ill.
Nyttend, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
During the early 20th century, the Ruebel Hotel was known for having the best saloon in Grafton. Host to river travelers, and the site of plenty of raucous parties and brawls, the hotel was famous for its exciting atmosphere and interesting characters. But the Depression and the Second World War took their toll on Grafton—and on the Ruebel Hotel. By the ‘80s, the hotel was abandoned and in disrepair. It reopened under new management in 1997, and shortly thereafter guests started to complain of ghostly disturbances. Most guests describe seeing a little girl named Abigail who roams the hallways at night.
20. Hawthorne Hotel // Salem, Mass.
It’s no surprise that the Hawthorne would be a hotspot for paranormal activity—the Salem witch trials of the 17th century surely produced their fair share of restless spirits. Guests report invisible hands touching them in room 325, as well as the sounds of a crying child pealing through the hotel at night. The hotel also has its own witchy history—several episodes of the classic TV show Bewitched were shot there.
All photos courtesy of Booking.com unless otherwise noted.