Halloween began as an ancient Celtic festival to ward off ghosts and ghouls. Over time it merged with other cultures paying homage to their saints, martyrs, and beloved friends and relatives who had left this life. It’s always carried an air of magic and superstition, so if you have the desire to experience a supernatural encounter, Halloween is the perfect time to go ghost hunting. To that end, here are some of the most famously haunted hotels and the spirits that are reported to dwell there.
The Marshall House – Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia claims plenty of haunted attractions and with its Revolutionary and Civil War history, that’s no surprise. The Marshall House was Savannah’s first hotel. It was used as a hospital for Union soldiers and during two 19th-century Yellow Fever epidemics. Water faucets inexplicably turn themselves on and children that aren’t really there have been heard running in the hallways at night. And that fellow with the Union soldier costume? Well, let’s just say it might not be a costume!
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Hollywood, California
Now declared a Cultural Monument, the boutique Hollywood Roosevelt was a temporary home to many celebrities, including Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway, but apparently some A-listers never left. Marilyn Monroe has been spotted repeatedly in the full-length mirror of the suite where she lived for two years and the spirit of Montgomery Clift is rumored to hang around his old room 928.
Queen Mary – Long Beach, California
Just down the coast from Los Angeles, the once-grand ocean liner is now permanently docked as a maritime museum and hotel. Pre-WWII, it served as a luxurious way for the rich and famous to cross the Atlantic. During the war it became a troopship and afterward transported war brides and children to the U.S. In that time, more than 49 deaths were reported on board and many of its passengers saw the ravages of war firsthand. Today, it’s said that over 150 spirits lurk aboard the haunted hotel slamming doors, dancing in the ballroom, and laughing in the old swimming pool. If you take one of the many ghost-hunting tours of the ship-turned-hotel, you might meet some of them.
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This hotel that dates to 1886 claims to have a “portal” to the paranormal on-premises. Further, this portal happens to be directly above the old morgue from when the building was operated as a sham “cancer-curing” hospital. With many sightings of mysterious orbs and paranormal activity over the years, the hotel now runs a nightly ghost tour. Every couple of weeks, someone tends to grow pale and faint at the same point in the tour. That point, as it turns out, is the same location as the “portal” that was identified many years ago. There is also reportedly a woman in a Victorian nightgown who likes to stand at the foot of the bed in room 3500 staring at the sleeping guest. Now that’s pretty creepy.
Red Lion Inn – Stockbridge, Massachusetts
This hotel nestled in the Berkshires has nearly 250 years of history, including being a Revolutionary-era saloon, welcoming presidents and celebrities, and even being burned down and rebuilt. But some of its original patrons are still hanging around. Guests in room 301 report a top-hatted man pulling the sheets from the foot of the bed in the middle of the night and strange knocks coming from inside the armoire. The housekeeping staff insists the entire fourth floor is haunted and a spectral girl carrying flowers has been sighted.
These and many other hotels are reputed to be inhabited by mysterious spirits that never found their way to the other side. Are the unnerving tales true? The only way to know for sure is to let us reserve one of the haunted hotels for you. You might want to pack a couple of protective crystals just to be on the safe side.