- Across the US, some of the country’s oldest hotels are more than ready to inspire their guests with a little spooky superstition.
- From passed-along tales of ghost sightings to unexplained noises, many historic hotels take a lot of pride in their paranormal pasts.
- With Halloween approaching, we selected the most haunted hotels in the US with incredible stories to tell, which range between $105 and $298 per night to start.
- And while creaky floorboards and ghostly characters are spooky scary, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is scary scary. As such, we included each hotel’s protocol for keeping guests safe.
- Read more: 7 of the most haunted places around the world.
Even for the least superstitious travelers among us, spending the night in a purported haunted hotel can be exhilarating.
Hotel employees are often more than eager to pass on their local legends and share personal paranormal experiences, or what they’ve been told by past guests.
While there’s hardly concrete proof, for the open-minded, these stories often spur a state of hyperawareness that greatly impact their stay, where the possibility of the unknown may lurk in any corner.
Upon checking in, the owners welcomed me to their regal 19th century home and regaled me with stories. Their ghosts were friendly, I was told, and some not even human — the owners maintained multiple guests have woken up to the sensation of the resident ghost cat sleeping on top of their feet. Although I didn’t experience anything paranormal, the possibility of such an encounter in the middle of the night made it feel as if I had suddenly become the main character in a Tim Burton movie.
Indeed, the US is filled with historic and iconic hotels that claim to have haunted roots. These hotels pride themselves on their more permanent guests and are quite happy to share haunted histories during your stay.
Of course, most lore is conjecture and depends on your level of openness to the idea of otherworldly activity. And since I’m not an official ghost hunter, you’ll have to call a paranormal investigator if you really want to find out which hotels are considered the most haunted.
However, we compiled hotels that are sufficiently spooky, with great stories to tell at any time of year, though, there’s nothing quite like visiting around Halloween.
And while creaky floorboards and ghostly characters are spooky scary, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is scary scary. As such, we included each hotel’s protocol for keeping guests safe in an era of social distancing.
Across the country, restrictions are lifting, but according to experts, traveling at this time is still somewhat risky, particularly in hotels where you are more likely to cross paths with many people. Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.
The most haunted hotels in America were selected based on the following criteria:
- Hotels must be historic, dating back to the 1920s or earlier.
- With respect to the hotel’s age, we were more lenient in considering reviews from guests unhappy with the wear and tear that comes along with a centuries-old hotel.
- The hotel must show that they embrace their ghost stories by:
- Offering tours
- Dedicating a section of their website for guests to learn more
- Stories about the hotel are commonly known and shared in the ghost-hunting community.
- Every hotel has a Booking.com rating of 7 or higher and is priced between $105 and $298 per night to start.
- In regards to COVID-19, every hotel must have social distancing and enhanced sanitation protocols in place.
Here are the most haunted hotels in the US sorted by price from low to high:
1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
In the Arkansas Ozarks, the grand 1186 Crescent Hotel and Spa has long been a symbol of hospitality with 72 rooms and four luxury cottages. But it also touts itself as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” for the sheer number of paranormal experiences guests here have claimed over the years.
According to the hotel website, mediums hired by the hotel believe there is actually a portal to another world in the hotel, which explains the high frequency of encounters. Guests on the hotel’s nightly tours have said they’ve experienced sudden lightheadedness when passing a particular spot outside the hotel’s annex and this old building has had many tragic chapters. It was once a women’s college and also used as “hospital” by a mad doctor who was later discovered to be a fraud conducting ghastly experiments. A nightly tour is available for guests who want the full story.
Whether or not you believe the lore, you’ll stay in rooms that channel southern hospitality with bold color combinations, fanciful wallpapers, and opulently-upholstered furniture in the Governor and Parlour Suites. There are also modernly-designed penthouses, which boast incredible panoramic views of the treetops below.
Try to book Room 218, the most frequently requested (and allegedly haunted) room, which is decorated in homage to the hotel’s most famous ghost, a builder who died while the building was under construction.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 12 out of 35 hotels in Eureka Springs
Booking.com Rating: 8.1 out of 10
Pros: Guests frequently praise the beautiful valley views from the balcony rooms.
Cons: It’s an old hotel, so rooms will show their age and some guests did not find the rooms as clean as expected.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: In addition to checking the temperatures of their staff and enforcing social distancing and mask usage, the hotel is also installing hand sanitizer dispensers, disinfecting high-touch surfaces like buttons and handrails, and removing couches from the lobby.
Omni Parker House in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston’s Omni Parker House is famous for two things: Boston Cream Pie and the ghost of Harvey Parker.
According to the Omni Hotels blog, the 19th-century hotelier still haunts the 10th floor of the hotel and past guests have reported eerie whispers and elevators that are repeatedly called to the third floor, despite no button being pushed. The hotel does not offer ghost tours, but you can learn all about it on the Ghosts & Gravestones tour that will also expand on the haunted history of one of America’s oldest cities.
Rooms at the Omni Parker House are classy and contemporary and some come with great views overlooking the Park Street Church Tower and the Boston Common. Room sizes range from the 90-square foot Economy Petite rooms, which are cost-effective, to the 210-square foot Deluxe rooms, which are decorated with cherry wood furnishings and include a sitting area.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 60 out of 96 hotels in Boston
Booking.com Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Pros: Steps away from the Boston Common, this hotel is a centrally-located and elegant choice for anyone visiting Boston.
Cons: Being in the heart of the city, rooms tend to be small and it can be noisy outside, especially on weekends.
COVID-19 cleaning protocol: Omni hotels have enhanced their cleaning routines to disinfect frequently touched items in guest rooms and public spaces. Hand sanitizer is provided at the front desk and staff is equipped with disposable wipes to clean commonly-used surfaces throughout the day.
Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina
In the historic city of Charleston, the Francis Marion Hotel originally opened in the 1920s and is believed to be haunted by Ned Cohen, a heartbroken New Yorker who jumped to his death after getting dumped by his Southern belle.
According to the hotel’s blog, many guests have purported to feel his presence at night, reporting a bizarre rustling of the drapes, or even feeling a caress on their cheek. Some guests and hotel staff have even claimed to see a man crying in the hallway.
With 234 rooms, this historic hotel was one of the grandest in the city when it was built and today is still one of the top-rated hotels, revered for its historical significance and elegantly furnished rooms. They’re bright and modern, decorated in a calming color scheme of light blue and muted shades of gold. Traditional rooms are spacious and feature marble and granite bathrooms and the best views overlook the Charleston Harbor. If you need extra room, the Deluxe rooms have an extra seating area and more desk space.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 21 out of 68 hotels in Charleston
Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Pros: Guests laud this hotel’s great service and how well it balances modernity with old-world charm.
Cons: Some guests find the room layouts awkward and outdated.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Francis Marion is frequently disinfecting high-touch areas like door handles and handrails, limiting elevator usage to one group at a time, and enforcing masks in public areas.
The Wolf Creek Inn in Wolf Creek, Oregon
In Southern Oregon, the Wolf Creek Inn is housed in a 135-year old building with nine rooms and a long list of strange occurrences.
According to Travel Oregon, the inn originally welcomed pioneers traveling the Applegate Trail and the parlor still has the original flooring and bricks, with real bullet holes from this era.
The owner describes the haunting sounds of doors slamming or piano playing when no one else around as acts of friendly mischief, and paranormal investigators that have visited the hotel have called out Room 8 for being particularly “heavy.” The hotel appeared on Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” among other television specials, and offers guided tours with a focus on the paranormal.
Aside from such legacy, the rooms maintain old-world charm with whitewashed paneled walls and pioneer era-inspired artwork, but still feel modern and clean with plush linens and elegant bed dressings. The hotel is small, so room choices are limited to two Twins, a Full, or Queen-sized bed.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 2 hotels in Wolf Creek
Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Pros: The hotel is fully-renovated and feels like new without losing the historic touch.
Cons: It’s a small inn, so staff shortages will affect service and cars outside can be noisy.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Wolf Creek Inn is following the protocol set by the Oregon Health Authority to sanitize and promote social distancing, requiring all guests to wear masks when they are in any common area of the Inn.
La Fonda on the Plaza in Sante Fe, New Mexico
One of the most iconic hotels in Santa Fe, La Fonda on the Plaza is said to be haunted by a man in a long black coat believed to be the ghost of a local judge from the 19th century. Previous guests claim to have seen him roaming the halls, and according to a post by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, he is among a cast of other commonly-seen spirits. Legend says a cowboy often looms at the bar, as does a young bride who met a tragic end on her wedding night.
Sitting on the same plot of land as Santa Fe’s first-ever inn from 400 years ago, this hotel is a historic and luxurious place to stay with an on-site spa and rooms that exude Southwestern elegance with colorful and elaborately designed headboards. Deluxe rooms are worth the splurge for their adorable elevated seating area or fireplace and balcony combination.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 7 out of 64 hotels in Santa Fe
Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10
Pros: Located in the middle of the Santa Fe, the location is hard to beat and exciting amenities include an outdoor pool and rooftop hot tub.
Cons: Fees for parking can be costly and rooms are on the smaller side without bathtubs.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: This hotel has committed to New Mexico’s safety commitment in addition to closing the pool and gym in addition, thoroughly sanitizing rooms thoroughly, allowing a few days to pass between guest stays, and washing linens at high temperatures.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel is a grand hotel that first opened in 1909 and is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s epic horror novel “The Shining.” However, it was Stanley Kubrick’s film interpretation that showed audiences just how unnerving a large hotel can be.
With over 400 rooms offered in this sprawling complex, claims of ghost stories run rampant and the hotel offers an hour-long night tour, which is open to non-guests as well. According to guests who have been on the tour, each section of the hotel has its own story from an alleged energy vortex underneath the main staircase, to Paul, who yells at guests to “get out” if they stay in the concert hall past 11 p.m.
This is a huge resort, so accommodations depend on whether you stay in the historic section, or the lodge, which is a newer boutique-style hotel. The latter includes updated rooms that feature spacious, contemporary layouts, while rooms in the older hotel are similarly decorated, but lack that modern touch.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 22 out of 28 hotels in Estes Park
Booking.com Rating: 7.7 out of 10
Pros: Besides the bragging rights of staying in this historic hotel, the Stanley is also in a great location with many things to do nearby, and places to eat in Estes Park.
Cons: This older hotel shows its age through in-room features like ceiling fans and tubs, which may not be a fit for travelers who prefer modern design.
COVID-19 cleaning protocol: Face coverings are required at all times in the hotel’s public areas and the hotel has added hand sanitizing stations in key locations and introduced additional sanitation to high-touch areas to their cleaning procedures. Tours will be limited to groups of 10.
The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California
The longest-running hotel in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Roosevelt has welcomed many stars through its doors from Shirley Temple to Brad Pitt.
However, according to rumors, the hotel’s most famous ghost haunts Room #1200, where pasts guests have claimed to glimpsed a starlet’s reflection in the mirror — and she’s not alone. Other claims include spirits that lock guests out of their rooms and mysterious noises like somebody stomping with boots.
Guests can choose to stay in the classic tower, where the supposed haunted rooms are, or in one of the modern Hollywood-style cabana suites if they’d rather keep their distance. Rooms feel fresh and young with trendy furnishings and colorful decoration, while suites and Superior rooms boast sleekly-tiled bathrooms and four-post beds.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 29 out of 390 in Los Angeles
Booking.com Rating: 8.4 out of 10
Pros: This historic building has kept up with the times, meaning the rooms are modern and fashionable.
Cons: Rooms are on the small side, and because of the hotel’s age, the layout of some may feel outdated with large closets and tiny bathrooms.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The Hollywood Roosevelt has added to their cleaning protocol by disinfecting high-touch items in guest rooms, public spaces, and in the back of the house. All guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask and only one guest, or group of guests, will be allowed on the elevator at one time.
Belhurst Castle in Geneva, New York
Sitting on Seneca Lake in Upstate New York, Belhurst Castle is comprised of three hotels in one, however, the castle’s resident woman in white appears most often to those staying in the Chambers.
Isabella, for whom the spa is named, was an opera singer and according to legend, she was tragically killed in a collapse when trying to escape the authorities through a secret tunnel built under their home. According to the Haunted History Trail of New York State, guests have reported seeing her standing on the front lawn at night, and hotel staff have noticed unusual activities like the sound of furniture being moved about in a room that once housed illegal gambling activities during the castle’s speakeasy days.
From the outside, this castle hotel is so picturesque that it’s one the Finger Lakes’ most popular wedding venues. In the chambers, guest rooms include regal details such as high-end furnishings or stained glass windows. However, the prize room is the Tower Suite, which has a curved staircase and a balcony overlooking the castle’s distinguished grounds.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 7 out of 12 hotels in Geneva
Booking.com Rating: 8.0 out of 10
Pros: This castle is thoroughly unique in design and feels classic in every way. It’s a castle!
Cons: Because rooms are fitted inside an old building, each layout is one-of-a-kind and not immune to design flaws like faulty fuses and awkwardly-placed A/C units.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: All guests will be required to wear a face-covering and room keys, which are physical, will all be sanitized and non-essential objects that are purely decorative have been removed from every room.
The Cavalier Resort in Virginia Beach
Originally opened in 1927, The Cavalier Resort has welcomed presidents and celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.
It’s still just as grand as it was in its heyday, however, this historic hotel also comes with a few ghostly tales according to Visit Virginia Beach. Over the years, guests have reported hearing strange sounds like cats scratching at doors, pianos playing on their own, and some guests even claimed to have seen a soldier roaming the halls at night.
The sixth floor is believed to be particularly haunted as that was the floor where the body of the Coors Brewing Company founder was found. Guests who have stayed in the same room have reported cold spots and waking up to open windows.
The rooms come with gold-trimmed headboards, colorful pillows, and marble-adorned bathrooms. Heritage Suites were each designed by one of the hotel’s partners and make bold statements with color.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 110 hotels in Virginia Beach
Booking.com Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Pros: This highly-rated hotel impresses guests with elegant touches, marble countertops, and clawfoot tubs, and great service.
Cons: Some recent guests report that social distancing isn’t being enforced in the restaurants as it should be.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: Rooms will be cleaned with attention to touchpoints and the hotel has increased how often their public spaces are cleaned.
Jekyll Island Club Resort in Jekyll Island, Georgia
Dating back to 1887, this hotel was once a Victorian-era club and playground for elite 19th-century figures like J.P. Morgan, whose spirit is said to visit from time to time according to HauntedHouses.com. Guests staying in the same condos he once occupied sometimes report the smell of cigar smoke early in the morning.
Other ghosts spotted at the hotel allegedly include the Union General John Lloyd Aspinwall, and a bellhop, who sometimes appears in his uniform to honeymooning couples. Historical tours are offered but focus on the prestigious founding of the island, rather than ghostly claims.
Today, Jekyll Island is a state park and the resort offers a wide variety of accommodations from cottages to a boutique hotel. Rooms in the Island Club are large and updated, while the Island Club Cottages, are charming with large porches outfitted with classic southern-style rocking chairs.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 10 hotels in Jekyll Island
Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10
Pros: The sprawling grounds are very peaceful and the food and service are highly praised.
Cons: The buildings are old and some guests have reported leaky pipes and malfunctioning A/C units.
COVID-19 cleaning procedures: The resort is keeping the pools open, but lounge chairs will be set up for social distancing and the hotel has committed to disinfecting high-touch surfaces in the rooms and also behind the scenes.
Article Source – BusinessInsider.com