13 Historic Haunted Hotels

Tuesday October 20, 2020

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa  (Source:Historic Hotels of America)

From ghosts who have been around since the Revolutionary War to jilted lovers, heartbroken, ghostly sightings are abundant in historic hotels. Here are 13 of our favorites:

The Red Lion Inn, (1773) Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Ghostly rumors continue to swirl at the Inn, which has seen the likes of many paranormal investigators and mediums. The fourth floor, in particular, has been said to have the most activity. Both cleaning staff and guests have claimed to see a "ghostly young girl carrying flowers" and "a man in a top hat." It has been said that guests have awoken to the feeling of someone standing over them at the foot of the bed. Cold spots, unexplained knocks, and electrical disturbances have all been reported. Guestroom 301 is also known to be a haunted hot spot.

Omni Parker House, Boston, (1855)
Boston, Massachusetts
This hotel was opened by Harvey Parker, who was involved with the building's operations until he died in 1884. Many guests have reported seeing him inquiring about their stay over the years—a true "spirited" hotelier even after his death.

Union Station Nashville, Autograph Collection, (1900)
Nashville, Tennessee
One of Nashville's most iconic landmarks, Union Station Hotel, resides in a building that previously served as the city's buzzing railway station. Guests are reminded of the building's rich history through another kind of encounter: with the hotel's resident ghost, Abigail.

Legend has it that during World War II, a young woman, Abigail, said goodbye to her soldier on the Union Station train platform before he shipped off to France. When she arrived at that same spot to greet him on his return, she was instead met with word that he was killed in action. Distraught, Abigail threw herself in front of a passing locomotive. Abigail's forlorn spirit, still looking for her lost love, can reportedly be seen wandering the main terminal and her presence felt in Room 711. Guests can request to stay in the haunted suite, which is decorated unlike any other room in the hotel with antique furnishings, a four-poster bed and artwork inspired by her tale.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, (1901)
Honolulu, Hawaii
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. 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.

The Seelbach Hilton Louisville, (1905)
Louisville, Kentucky
Legend says two lovers were to be married at the hotel in 1907, but the groom met an untimely death on his way to the wedding. His distraught bride threw herself down the elevator shaft, falling ten stories to her death. The bride is said to continue to haunt the halls of this historic hotel.

The Omni Grove Park Inn, (1913)
Asheville, North Carolina
There is a strange but gentle spirit residing within the gray, granite walls of Asheville's historic Grove Park Inn. Known simply as the "Pink Lady," she has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for nearly a century. Although the Pink Lady is believed to have met her demise on the Palm Court floor after falling two stories from the fifth floor to the third floor, she has been seen and experienced in several places throughout the resort. The Pink Lady has been described as a dense pinkish smoke with a presence that guests can feel throughout the grounds of the Inn.

La Fonda, (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico
Shot to death in 1867 in the hotel lobby, John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, is said to have never left. Meanwhile, a distraught salesman, who jumped into the hotel well after losing a card game, has been seen emerging from the fountain by visitors and guests alike.

Francis Marion Hotel, (1924)
Charleston, South Carolina
In the early 1930s, New Yorker Ned Cohen was visiting his Southern lady friend in Charleston. Whatever happened was never clear, but he was found face down, body smashed in the middle of King Street facing toward the old Citadel's parade grounds. Today, visitors hear eerie and unexplained sounds at night, all too familiar to the bell staff and room attendants walking the halls. Sounds of rustling silk drapes, rattling windows, and an unexplained vision of a man questioning either himself or the witness. Some see the ghost in short sleeves; others just feel his presence throughout the hotel.

Hawthorne Hotel, (1925)
Salem, Massachusetts
The city of Salem is notorious for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and is prone to hauntings and spirits of its own. The hotel has ghost stories, mostly attributed to the sea captains returning to their gathering place. In particular, guests staying in rooms 612 and 325 have reported lights turning off and on and experiencing a general uneasy feeling throughout the rooms.

Hotel Viking, (1926)
Newport, Rhode Island
Hotel Viking has had many guests and staff members come and go, reporting stories of spirited guests. The story that has been reported repeatedly is of a little boy cleaning the floors of the historic wing of the hotel. There have been about 10 different guests regaling a similar story of a young boy cleaning. This has also been confirmed by most of the housekeeping staff.

The Hollywood Roosevelt, (1927)
Hollywood, California
This historic hotel is haunted by multitudes of ghosts, including the most famous, Marilyn Monroe. She has been said to haunt the full-length mirror that was once in her suite. Room 928 is believed to be haunted by the restless spirit of Montgomery Cliff, the film and stage actor best known in the film "Red River" in 1948.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, (1927)
Sonoma, California
It is said that ghosts haunt where they were the happiest. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa welcomes guests past and present and tells the tales of guests who never wanted to leave. When the evenings are still and the fog rolls in from the Bay, a hauntingly beautiful woman has been seen strolling the hallways of the Inn in period dress. Victoria, as she is fondly referred to by many of the Inn's tenured employees and whose family traces back to the founding fathers of Sonoma Valley, is said to have celebrated her wedding and many anniversaries at the resort.

Omni Shoreham Hotel, (1930)
Washington, DC
During the Shoreham's early years, three people died unexpectedly in suite 870. At that time, the apartment was occupied by one of the hotel's owners, Henry Doherty. Juliette Brown, the family's housekeeper, dropped dead mysteriously one night at 4 a.m. Doherty's daughter and wife also perished mysteriously in the same suite. During its vacancy, there were claims of mysterious noises, doors slamming shut and furniture moving—many of which happened around 4 a.m., the time of Juliette's death.

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