Historic Hotels of America® have legendary stories to share with travelers searching for things that go bump in the night. The halls of more than 100 Historic Hotels of Americamembers are rumored to have played host to more than just their paying customers. Believe or don’t believe, but one thing is certain – these friendly hauntings are sure to make for a visit travelers will talk about for years.
Historic Hotels of America members invite travelers to spend some time with previous guests and former employees who repeatedly haunt the halls of some of the most iconic hotels in the country. From former soldiers, sailors, and commanders; to captains of industries, city leaders, and entertainers; from broken hearts to former employees who never wanted to leave, members of Historic Hotels of America still play host to past guests from all walks of life.
Here is a sampling of the tales, tours and travel experiences offered at more than 100 Historic Hotels of America rumored to be haunted. For even more offers, visit www.historichotels.org or call 800-678-8946.
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Spirits from various places and various eras make up the “guest register” of those “guests who checked out but never left” at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, what many consider America’s most haunted hotel. This five-story mountaintop spa resort each year seems to discover yet another one of those famous guests by name. This year it was dancing legend of the early to mid-twentieth century, Irene Castle. A frequent visitor of the Crescent, Irene’s spirit is said to still visit guests even 42 years after she passed away in Eureka Springs. Three of the better known spirits at this haunted hotel are Michael, the Irish stonemason who died during construction of the hotel in the footprint of Room 219; Theodora, the cancer patient who fumbles for her key outside Room 419; and even a ghost cat named Morris. Nightly ghost tours are available and guests and visitors are encouraged to purchase ghost tour tickets in advance to ensure their opportunity to walk with these Ozark specters on the night they desire.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
Rich in history, The Queen Mary is renowned as the grandest ocean liner ever built. Since her maiden voyage in 1936, the ship has served as a luxury passenger ocean liner,
one of the fastest troopships sailing the open sea, and now a historic hotel. It is rumored that some 55 ghosts remain on The Queen Mary, including a young girl named Jackie, who has been known to take a swim in the pool every now and then.
Napa River Inn, Napa, California
Stories have abounded for years that the former Hatt Mill Building, now the site of the Napa River Inn, is haunted. The former warehouse and feed store, the Napa River Inn is visited by more than one otherworldly being, at least as reported by several self-described reliable witnesses. One of the most legendary stories from the Inn is that of Captain Hatt. The building’s original owner, Captain Albert Hatt married and had six children. Captain Hatt’s son, Albert Jr., married in 1889 and had five children. Margaret died in 1906. At age 46, apparently overburdened with the responsibilities of caring for his five children, despondent about being sued over the ownership of a company steamboat and in poor health, Albert Jr., committed suicide in the warehouse on April 1, 1912 in the area now occupied by Sweetie Pies Bakery.
The first ghost sightings were visions a woman in a white dress, who seems to be searching, looking for someone. Some say it might have been Margaret, so much in love with her husband, perhaps trying to stop him from taking his life.
In another story occurring in the guest room above Sweetie Pies Bakery, a guest tells of hearing a heavy dress sway down the hall and the door opens in room 208 then shuts. The guest then heard what sounded like a man’s footsteps. A door at the other end of the hall in room 207 opened then closed with force. Next, the guest heard walking down the hallway toward room 208. The guest sees nothing. Could this be Margaret and Albert Jr.?
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel, known for its architecture, magnificent setting and famous visitors, may possibly be best known today for its inspirational role in Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining”. The hotel has been featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels and with the numerous stories from visitors and staff, The Stanley Hotel continues to “shine” today, as it did in 1909 when first opened. The famous haunted hotel features ghost hunts bringing travelers through some of the hotel’s attractions in search of their own ghostly experience.
Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Sans Souci, one of the separate buildings of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel is a handsome four-story structure that was designed by Charles Alling Gifford in 1896. It was originally a condominium with apartments for six members and their families. One of these members, J. Pierpont Morgan, was especially fond of the large porch which graced the front of his apartment and allowed a view of the Jekyll River. He was a phenomenal cigar smoker and would rise every morning at 5:00 a.m. to have his favorite “smoke” there on the porch without criticism from others. Morgan was fond of large, black cigars shaped like Hercules’ club, and they say you’d know where he was by following the trail of the smoke. Contemporary guests who occupy this third floor, north end accommodation usually are not up at 5:00 in the morning. But, several guests who have arisen at that hour have faintly smelled the odor of a cigar wafting about when absolutely no one else had been awake and certainly not one smoking a cigar.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana
In 2003, the International Society of Paranormal Research (ISPR) spent several days investigating the Hotel Monteleone and identified more than 12 earthbound entities that have made the Hotel their permanent resting place. Generations of hotel guests and staff have experienced haunted events such as the unexplained opening and closing of a locked restaurant door and the ghostly images of children playing. The Hotel Monteleone, considered one of the top 10 haunted hotels in the country, is honoring its friendly “guests who never leave” throughout the month of October by serving “spirited” spirits in the famous Carousel Bar. The four spirits – Red’s Rum, Maurice’s Madness, Solemn John and Headless Helen – reflect names of some of the Hotel’s most popular, friendly ghosts including Red, a former engineer employed by the Hotel; Maurice, a young boy from the 19th century; Solemn John, a distraught businessman from Tennessee in the 1920s; and Poor Helen who thinks she’s still alive.
Admiral Fell Inn, Baltimore, Maryland
In September 2003, during Hurricane Isabel, guests of the Admiral Fell Inn were evacuated to safety. Hotel Manager John Lowe and several other managers stayed behind in the lobby of the inn to wait out the storm. During the evening, the group left the lobby area for dinner and left Assistant Hotel Manager Iwona Diaz in the lobby to keep watch and listen for the phones. When the group returned, Iwona reported hearing a lot of noise, footsteps, and loud talking in the rooms directly above the lobby. It was jokingly suggested that is must be the inn’s ghosts who were celebrating the fact that the hotel was empty and they could reclaim their rooms.
The following evening, John Lowe kept watch in the lobby while every else was enjoying dinner. Suddenly, John was aware of muffled sounds and many footfalls on the ceiling above. He reported even seeing the floors above vibrate! The “dancing” grew louder and it began to sound as though 20 people had joined the party. It wasn’t until another Hotel Manager returned to the lobby that the celebration above stopped.
Radisson Martinique on Broadway, New York, New York
Martinique M.A.D. Tour Package
If the walls of the Radisson Martinique on Broadway could talk, they would whisper the tales of espionage, detectives and the infamous human fly – maybe a few rumors of bumps in the night. Tales of intrigue pack the rooms, restaurant, and private areas of this 100 year old landmark. The Martinique M.A.D. Tour Package includes VIP accommodations, full American breakfast, pre-Martinique After Dark (M.A.D.) tour Bloody Mary in the 19th floor penthouse and a 60-minute evening guided tour of the Martinique, ending with a cocktail originally served in 1920. Tours scheduled 8pm and 10pm Halloween weekend only (October 28-October 30).
The Heathman Hotel, Portland, Oregon
Every historic hotel has its ghost stories, and The Heathman Hotel is no exception. Guests and employees have reported breezes, as if someone has just hurried past, the sound of footsteps descending the hotel’s grand staircase, whispering voices and old spots in the halls. Among favorite stories from the hotel is the history of room 703 where, as the story goes, a guest jumped from the window, subsequently “haunting” all the rooms ending in -03 as he passed them. Guests have reported leaving the room for a few hours, coming back to find a glass of water on the desk. When the concierge checks the electronic key record, they find that no one has been in the room since the guest first left. Things of this nature have been happening in 703 for years.
Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina
Wicked Good Fun Package
Hey, it’s scary out there! Join the fun by going deep into the night in historic Charleston with a choice of one of four different walking tours. Then, after a frightfully good time, relax in a guest room with luxurious European bedding and peruse a copy of the Francis Marion Hotel’s own ghost story with the hotel’s signature Spooky cookies. Starting from $199 per night, the Wicked Good Fun Package includes overnight accommodations, two tour tickets per night (choice of four different tours), Francisco Marion’s Ghost Story and Turndown with spooky cookies. Taxes and parking are not included. Offer is based on availability and rates vary by date.
The Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
One night after an argument with her husband, Sallie White, a chambermaid at This Menger Hotel in San Antonio, stayed at the hotel presumably with another man. Upset about what had happened, Sallie’s husband attacked her and sadly she passed away two days later. The hotel paid for the funeral cost of $32 and legend has it that Sallie White still roams the halls of the Victorian wing of the hotel. In fact, a few years ago, a guest requested extra towels. The opened the door of his room and called out to a maid who ignored him. The guest called the front desk to inquire why the maid was so rude. He described the maid and her uniform — one that was worn in the late 1800s, about the time of Sallie’s employment at the hotel. Could it have been Sallie?
Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America.
With more than 235 hotels that have faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity in the United States of America including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. Historic Hotels of America partners with Historic Hotels of Europe, a federation of 21 hotel associations in 21 countries, and with Historic Hotels of Mexico, an association of hotels and restaurants located in buildings of historical significance including haciendas, palaces, monasteries, convents, fortresses, country estates.
For more information, links to hotels and access to packages, visit www.historichotels.org.