- 1 Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
- 2 The Driskill, Austin, TX
- 3 Marshall House, Savannah, GA
- 4 Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
- 5 La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM
- 6 Boston Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA
- 7 Bourbon Orleans Hotel
- 8 The Benson, Portland, OR
- 9 RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
- 10 Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, CA
- 11 Southern Mansion Cape May, Cape May, NJ
- 12 Gettysburg Hotel
- 13 The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
- 14 Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA
14 Haunted Hotels That Will Make Your Skin Crawl
Halloween is just around the corner, and we’re rounding up the 15 spookiest hotels around the country. Here's a sneak peek at some paranormal hospitality that's sure to scare you s-tless.
Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
Any place that can scare Stephen King is pretty downright terrifying in our book. The bestselling author came up with the idea for The Shining during a stay at this hotel in Colorado when he and his wife were the property's only guests. After waking up from a nightmare about the long, empty corridors, his inspiration for the famed Overlook Hotel was born. Today, the place has made multiple appearances on Ghost Hunters, and still welcomes guests from far and wide, who request to stay in room 217—the very place King stayed in back in 1974.
The Driskill, Austin, TX
Another former owner roams the hall of the Driskill: Civil War Colonel Jesse Driskill, who opened the downtown Austin property in 1886. In the year after opening the property, the Col. fell on tough times after losing a high stakes poker game, and died (ridden in severe debt) a few years later. Now, his unlucky spirit haunts the property with spooky behavior and happenings that even celebrities have been privy to (Annie Lenox stayed while on tour and found one of the dresses she'd laid out on her bed, suddenly packed up in her bag when she returned from a shower).
Marshall House, Savannah, GA
A former Civil War hospital, the Marshall House was constructed in 1851, making it the oldest hotel in Savannah. After a particularly cold winter, hospital workers were forced to keep war victims' amputated body parts under the hotel floorboards rather than buried deep underground. As a result, the reported paranormal activity includes war-injured ghosts wandering the halls in Civil War uniforms, water taps and light switches shutting on and off, and a bathroom that repeatedly locks itself from the inside—the staff even keeps a journal of guests' ghostly experiences.
Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Back in 1892, a young guest named Kate Morgan checked into San Diego beachfront property Hotel del Coronado—and never checked out. Morgan took her own life five days into her stay there, and it's said that her ghost still haunts the building today. Both guests and hotel staff have experienced inexplicable breezes, light flickerings, changes in temperature, and even footsteps and faint voices.
La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM
Ghosts of the Wild, Wild, West convene within the walls of Santa Fe’s La Fonda on the Plaza. The original building once served as the town courtroom, where local felons were hanged in the space that now serves as the lobby. The property was also once a gambling hall, with shoot outs and suicides from guests who'd lost their fortunes. Now, their ghosts are said to appear during dinnertime, in the main dining room and the third-floor restaurant.
Boston Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA
For all of you ghost hunters making Halloween reservations – the most haunted floors of the Omni Parker House are reportedly 3 and 10. Founded by Harvey Parker in 1855 and run by him until his death in 1884, current employees believe that Parker is behind the hotel’s 10th floor paranormal sightings since guest reports all mention seeing a friendly bearded man in colonial era garb. As for the third floor, Charles Dickens, who lived in the hotel for 5 months, and actress Charlotte Cushman, who actually died at the hotel in 1876, are said to be wandering the halls.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
We don’t even know where – or in what century – to start with this one, what with the luxury NOLA hotel having worn quite a few hats since the original building was constructed in 1817. Originally the historic Orleans Ballroom and Theater, the Bourbon Orleans was subsequently reincarnated as a convent, medical ward and orphanage (bet the whole "haunted" thing is all making sense now, huh?). During its stint as a convent, a wave of yellow fever hit New Orleans and the epidemic wiped out many who were living and staying there. Today, there's a lone dancer who twirls beneath the crystal chandelier of the ballroom, a number of nuns and ghostly children who play ball on the sixth floor, and a Civil War confederate soldier who splits his time between the third and sixth floors.
The Benson, Portland, OR
The Benson Hotel in Portland is haunted by someone very close to home—more specifically, the ghost of the hotel's former owner, Simon Benson. He was a teetotaler, and today his spirit likes to knock over hotel guests' alcoholic beverages and roam the halls dressed to the nines in a dark suit.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
The 1,000-foot RMS Queen Mary made her maiden voyage in May 1936, and during her heyday, she ushered the likes of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, George and Ira Gershwin, and Sir Winston Churchill across the Atlantic. But when World War II broke out in 1939, the luxury liner was turned into a troopship known as the “Grey Ghost” and suddenly, celebs and socialites were replaced by cargo and military personnel. Once the war ended, the RMS returned to peacetime passenger service, but not without a few scars. Today, the ship is docked in Long Beach California and 150 known spirits roam the halls. There’s a young man in blue coveralls who was crushed to death by the boiler room’s door; a gaggle of women in 1930s-style swimsuits who wander what used to be the pool deck; and then, of course, there’s your typical ringing phones, slamming door, babies crying, and temperature changes.
Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, CA
The award for most famous apparitions on our list goes to the Hollywood Roosevelt, in LA, reportedly home to spirits of famous hotel guests Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. So many guests reported sightings of Monroe's reflection in the mirror of room 1200, her favorite room, that the hotel management moved the mirror into the lobby—and yet still received paranormal complaints (it's apparently now in storage). Some people have even reported scents of her perfume mysteriously lingering in the hotel's Cine Grill, as well as a dancing figurine (and mysterious cold spot) in the property's Blossom Ballroom.
Southern Mansion Cape May, Cape May, NJ
It’s said that building renovations can re-ignite old spirits housed inside, and that’s exactly what may have happened with Cape May’s Southern Mansion Hotel. One of the hotel's known spiritual entities is its former owner Ester Mercur, a purportedly "joyful" spirit who haunts the grounds with scents of her perfume, laughter and wind from her petticoat skirts. The hotel staff makes no attempt to hide news of the other, nonliving guests: front desk agents will happily inform those checking in about their ghostly hallmates and share spooky stories.
Less than a mile from the infamous Gettysburg Battlefield – where Union and Confederate soldiers fought for three days on end, killing and wounding more than 50,000 men – lies the circa-1797 Gettysburg Hotel. Being in one of America's most haunted towns, the hotel isn’t without its own set of spirits. Civil War nurse Rachel is the most-often seen presence, with hundreds of guests having allegedly spotted her rummaging through their belongings (possibly looking for medical supplies) and wandering the halls and streets around the hotel looking for soldiers to tend to.
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection
Step into Ellyngton’s today – the hotel’s main dining room, once known as the San Marco Room – and you might be treated to big band music from a phantom quartet. Along with hearing the ensemble practice, hotel employees have also reported paranormal sightings of a train conductor, waiter, and a bartender who once frequented the Club Room– the former campaign headquarters of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Legend has it that the spirit of socialite Louise Crawford Hill, who lived in room 904 for 15 years, still remains, as well. When the hotel began to offer historical tours, Hill's story became part of the narrative, and groups stopped by her room. Apparently, she wasn't too fond of being talked about, because the hotel's operator soon began receiving calls from the vacant (and phone-less) room.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a city rich in paranormal history, and its hotels are at the heart of it. Hotel Monteleone is a frequent stop on the city's ghost tours, and was even visited in 2003 by the International Society of Paranormal Research, who made contact with two spirits of people who had died inside the hotel, a former employee and a young toddler named Maurice. The hotel restaurant has a door that remains locked, yet opens and closes regularly, and elevators have been known to stop at random floors.