These haunted hotels challenge travelers to spend the night in fear
There is an aura around historic hotels that seems to carry stories through time. From worn carpeting to weathered staircases and creaking window frames, it’s easy to imagine travelers of the past laughing, loving, and living in the spacious, barren confines that double as a temporary home away from home. And while most hotel visits go off without a hitch (and these days come without the obnoxious cleaning fees and extra fees of an Airbnb), some properties still give overnight guests more than they’ll pay for. they negotiate at check-in.
A visit to these haunted hotels could well lead to the travel story of a lifetime, written directly from the other side of the veil.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is considered one of the most haunted hotels in America. The hotel, which was built in 1909, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of former guests and employees. The Stanley gained international fame when it was used as the exterior set for Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” and the Stanley’s real-life story may be even scarier than the legendary horror movie.
The most famous ghost on site is that of Elizabeth Wilson, the hotel’s former housekeeper. According to legend, she can be seen on the fourth floor of the hotel, where she continues to make sure everything is in order. Another ghostly presence is that of FO Stanley, the hotel’s founder. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure in the piano bar, where he is said to still enjoy playing the piano. Some guests have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a young girl, who died of an illness while staying at the hotel.
Many Stanely guests have reported strange occurrences such as ghostly figures, unexplained noises, and feeling unwell in certain areas of the hotel. The hotel staff are aware of the ghost stories and legends surrounding the hotel and offer ghost tours for guests who wish to learn more about the ghostly inhabitants.
The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma
Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel enjoys a second life as a Hilton property. The Old West Hotel, built in 1911, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman named Effie. According to legend, Effie was a hotel maid who had an affair with hotel owner WB Skirvin. When the affair was discovered, Skirvin locked Effie in a room on the top floor of the hotel, where she eventually went insane and died. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure in the hallways and sensing his presence in their rooms. Some even claimed to have seen her looking out of the windows on the top floor.
Some guests have claimed to have seen Effie’s ghost in their room or in the hotel elevator. The hotel’s Red Piano Lounge, located off the lobby, plays in legends with a handful of ghost-themed cocktails.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Louisiana
In a town full of ghosts, The Bourbon Orleans Hotel stands out from the parade of spectral spirits swirling around Crescent City. The 206-year-old hotel has a rich history and has been home to many ghostly inhabitants over the years.
One of the most famous prolific legends is that of a young girl named Clara. According to legend, Clara died in the hotel during the yellow fever epidemic of 1853. Guests have reported seeing her ghostly figure wandering the hallways and sensing her presence in their rooms.
The terrifying, ghostly presence of a Confederate soldier, who is believed to have died in the hotel during the Civil War, was also frequently reported on site. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure in the hotel’s ballroom, where he would always have liked to dance. Some guests have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a nun, who allegedly taught at a school on hotel property.
Hotel del Coronado, California
the San Diego one Hotel del Coronado would be haunted by the ghost of a woman named Kate Morgan. According to legend, Kate arrived at the hotel in 1892 under an assumed name and was found dead on the beach five days later. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure wandering the hallways and sensing his presence in their rooms. She is known as “Lady in Black” and is said to be a friendly ghost.
Guests have also reported seeing the ghost of a young girl, who apparently died there while on vacation. The figure is said to wander the hotel pool, where it still enjoys sending dark echoes over the hotel piano. Some Hotel Del guests have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a man dressed in Victorian-era clothing, believed to have been a former hotel employee.
For decades, guests of Hotel Del have reported eerie occurrences such as ghostly figures, unexplained noises, and feelings of unease in certain areas of the property. And while the hotel focuses on annual festivals and events billed to the living, it’s possible that some of its past guests will also attend.
The Omni Grove Park Hostel, North Carolina
Perched in the rolling blue hills of Appalachia, the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville was founded approximately 110 years ago. The brainchild of a budding pharmacist, the Grove Park Inn has hosted former presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. And while its documented history is resplendent, this North Carolina hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former employee named The Pink Lady.
According to legend, she died from the fifth floor of the hotel in the 1920s. Guests have reported seeing her ghostly figure wandering the halls, still wearing the pink dress she wore during her fateful fall.
Besides the Pink Lady, the ghostly presence is that of a man, who died of a heart attack in the basement of the hotel. Customers have reported feeling unwell and hearing strange noises in the basement. Some guests have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a young girl, who is believed to have died while staying at the hotel with her family.
The Queen Mary Hotel, California
Less than a decade after its launch in 1936, the queen mary became embroiled in World War II. Serving as a troopship, she transported over 750,000 troops across the Atlantic, some of whom lost their lives aboard ship; and their spirits are said to still wander the ship to this day.
The ship, which was built to serve as a luxury liner, is said to be haunted by several ghostly figures. One of the most famous ghost stories is that of a former crew member who died during the ship’s service as a troopship. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure wandering the ship’s engine room and sensing his presence in certain areas of the ship.
Another ghostly presence is the ill-fated specter of a young woman, who is believed to have died in the ship’s first-class swimming pool. Guests have reported seeing his ghostly figure in the pool and sensing his presence in their rooms. Some guests have also claimed to have seen the ghost of a child, who is believed to have died while traveling on the ship with his family.