Travelife shortlists the top 10 most haunted hotels in the United States.
The original part of the Concord’s Colonial Inn was built in the early 1700s before the Revolutionary War. With such a long history, it’s no wonder that spirits still wander the halls of this historic hotel. One of the most famous, haunted and sought-after guest rooms is room 24. During the Revolutionary War, the right side of the Inn was privately owned by Dr. Timothy Minot.
When patriot soldiers were injured at the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the North Bridge, they were brought to his home. Dr. Minot used what is now the Liberty Room as a hospital and room 24 as an operating room. Several soldiers in room 24 died during surgery and then brought directly downstairs into room 27, the makeshift morgue.
It’s no wonder then that guests have reported lights flickering in room 27 or turning on and off completely. One guest woke up in the middle of the night and every light was on in the room. Others heard hushed whispers from the closet and have seen the door to slamming shut on its own.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, well known today as being a mountaintop spa resort in the Arkansas Ozarks, was once used as a Cancer Curing Hospital which was under the control of the hospital’s owner, reported charlatan Norman Baker from Muscatine, Iowa. Baker operated his Eureka Springs’ facility from 1937 until December 1940.
There are many paranormal patrons with terrifying tales to tell. Among those are Michael, the Irish stonemason who, while constructing the building back in 1885, fell to his death in the footprint of what is now Room 218. He has thought to be a frequent visitor to the room since the day of his death. There’s also Theodora in Room 419 – a patient and helper during the days when Norman Baker owned the hotel. She reportedly puts bags in front of the door from the inside, making it hard for guests to enter upon their return. Dozens of ghost like encounters and creepy, unexplained occurrences happen at this haunted hotel on a regular basis.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
The Jekyll Island Club Resort has seen many families come and go since it opened in 1887. With all that time, comes the stories and mysteries, the staff and guests have encountered firsthand. One such encounter involves the family of J.P. Morgan.
Sans Souci, is a four-story structure erected in 1896 as one of the first condominiums for families to use, including the family of J. Pierpont Morgan. His family rooms were located on the third floor, facing the Jekyll River.
Mr. Morgan loved cigars. As the story goes, one could tell where he was by following the trail of smoke. To avoid criticisms for his hobby, he rose early every morning to smoke on the porch.Those who have stayed in the Morgan’s old apartment swear they have awakened to the faint smell of cigar smoke wafting about when there is absolutely no one else awake.
One of Nashville’s most iconic landmarks, Union Station Nashville, Autograph Collection is also reportedly one of the most haunted hotels in America. It resides in a building that previously served as the city’s buzzing railway station. Guests discovers 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. When she arrived to greet him on his return, she instead learned that he was killed in action. Distraught, Abigail threw herself in front of a passing locomotive. Her forlorn spirit still wanders the main terminal and in Room 711. Now known as the Abigail Room, guests can stay in the haunted suite. It features antique furnishings, a four-poster bed, and artwork inspired by her tale.
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 Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa.
People say that the ghost of Stanford still frequents this hotel. Guests and hotel staff have said that they’ve seen her walking at night trying to find her room.
Known affectionately by staff members as “the princess”, Caroline Foster, was a long-time inhabitant of Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods. Her husband, railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, built the grand resort in 1902.
Incorporating special accommodations for his wife, construction of the resort included an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Caroline known today as the “Princess Room.” Many guests continue to report sightings of the regal Caroline. This hotel is considered among the most haunted hotels in America.
There are reports of an elegant woman in Victorian dress wandering the hallways of the hotel; there are light taps on doors when no one is outside; and items suddenly disappear and then reappear in the place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing a vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their bed.
Asheville, North Carolina
There is a strange, but gentle spirit residing within the walls of Omni Grove Park Inn. Known simply as the “Pink Lady”, she has been a fixture in the hotel for nearly a century. She reportedly died on the Palm Court floor after falling two stories from the fifth floor to the third floor. The Pink Lady is a dense pinkish smoke with a presence felt by guests throughout the hotel grounds.
San Antonio, Texas
The Emily Morgan is known to be one of the most haunted hotels in all of Texas. According to various reports, even some given by the hotel’s own management team, the most haunted floors are the seventh, ninth and fourteenth floors in addition to the basement.
It was these particular floors that at one time functioned as the psychiatric ward, surgery level, waiting area and morgue, respectively. At the Emily Morgan, almost all of the paranormal reports involve ghosts and spirits from days gone by when the building was the medical building.
Guests have reported strange things occurring on these particular levels. Those staying on the fourteenth level of the Emily Morgan generally have one thing to say: that the smell is acutely reminiscent of a hospital. Guests have reported to opening the doors to the hallways only to find a scene from a hospital waiting right inside.
The city of Salem is notorious for the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and is prone to hauntings and spirits of its own. Hawthorne Hotel has ghost stories, mostly attributed to the sea captains who were returning to their gathering place. In particular, guests staying in rooms 612 and 325 have reported of lights turning off and on and experiencing a general uneasy feeling throughout the haunted rooms.
Saranac, New York
This historic Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton was built on foundation of a former High School. It is the only hotel building remaining of 13 luxury hotels that once served this community. While fires led to the downfall of some of the area’s hotels, survived by design: made of steel and brick, Hotel Saranac was the area’s first fireproof hotel. The hotel had a civil defense tower on top, where it is said that Boy Scouts wait to watch for Russian Bombers.
Room 308 – Emily Balsam, was a guest at Hotel Saranac and worked at a local college. She had a cat. She was not feeling well and got tired of people checking on her and just wanted to be left alone. Then she disconnected her phone and stopped all housekeeping.
No one saw much of her after that. At some point the guest and staff started to complain about the smell coming from that room and the cat always “crying” and Emily refused to answer the door. The manager at the time went up to talk to her and found she had been dead for weeks and the cat was still alive. The cat was taken to a shelter but it is said that the ghost of Emily’s cat can still be heard crying or scratching at the wall, perhaps wandering the hotel looking for her.
Read more about the most haunted hotels around the world in Travelife Magazine.