Reported paranormal experiences include ghost sightings of Revolutionary War soldiers, jilted lovers, a young girl carrying flowers, a man in a top hat, friendly spectral bellhops, and more.
Historic Hotels of America® offers travelers spectacular experiences and stories to take home with them, but some offer more than the usual textbook history. The historic hotels included on the 2021 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Haunted Hotels list are locations for ghost tales of Revolutionary War soldiers, jilted lovers, unexplained footsteps, as well as friendly spectral bellhops. For believers and skeptics alike, these hair-raising tales add another unique facet to each prestigious historic hotel on the list presented here. Adventure seekers in search of “a room with a boo” and heritage travelers interested in a local legend need look no further than the grand hotels, legendary luxury resorts, and iconic hotels found across the United States in Historic Hotels of America.
Concord’s Colonial Inn (1716) Concord, Massachusetts
Due to the hotel’s age and role in the Revolutionary War, Concord’s Colonial Inn has been rumored to have a few resident ghosts. During the Revolutionary War, part of the historic inn was privately owned by Dr. Timothy Minot and where he operated a small medical practice. When American Colonial soldiers were injured at the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the North Bridge, they were brought to his home for medical attention. Dr. Minot used what is now the Liberty Room as a hospital and Room 24 as an operating room. Many guests who have spent the night in the infamously haunted room have reported some strange activity. Thrill-seekers travel great distances to stay at the inn’s infamous Room 24, hoping to catch a glimpse of some supernatural activity. But the inn’s resident spirits do not just confine themselves to Room 24; they like to wander the halls of the Colonial Inn just as much as guests do. Both an older woman and a tall, slim gentleman with a top hat have been spotted in the sitting room – thought perhaps to be former residents Henry David Thoreau himself or his aunt entertaining company. A young girl wearing a bonnet has been seen walking around by the front desk of the hotel. Both guests and employees have spotted spirits in colonial attire sitting in an otherwise empty Liberty Room. Books and décor fall from shelves without earthly cause, and items go missing without explanation for weeks, only to turn up in odd places. Both guests and employees have heard voices coming from right behind them – only to see nothing when they turn around.
The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia
Being widely known for its more than 250 years of grand hospitality and as a favorite vacation spot for European royalty and former U.S. presidents and their families, it should come as no surprise that a guest or two of The Omni Homestead Resort might decide to stay forever. One of the resort’s most legendary spirits involves the spirit of a jilted bride who stalks along the 14th floor. Legend has it that this young woman was set to be wed at The Homestead during the early 20th century, but her groom-to-be had become plagued by second thoughts. On the day of their wedding, the groom instructed the young woman to wait in her hotel room while he ran out for a quick errand. Unfortunately, for the bride, her beloved was never to return. Distraught, she took her own life. Guests and staff have since reported sightings of a ghostly apparition, whose outline resembles that of a woman in a wedding gown. Many believe that she is still waiting in the hotel for her long-lost lover. Some lucky few have reportedly heard the spirit speak before disappearing in a flash. The hotel will host a Mystery Weekend ahead of Halloween 2021, where guests are invited to don their favorite Halloween costume and enjoy a weekend of Halloween cocktails and fine dining, along with light-hearted games, and searching for spirits.
The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Ghostly rumors swirl around the Red Lion Inn, which has been visited by many paranormal investigators and mediums hoping to connect with guests from centuries past. The fourth floor in particular has been said to have the most paranormal activity and Guestroom 301 is also known to be a haunted hot spot. Housekeepers, staff, and guests have claimed to see a “ghostly young girl carrying flowers” and “a man in a top hat.” Cold spots, unexplained knocks, and electrical disturbances have all been reported. A few guests claim they awoke to the feeling of someone standing over them at the foot of the bed, but staff familiar with the goings-on at the Inn describe the spirits as friendly.
The Sayre Mansion (1858) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
The spirits at The Sayre Mansion have a mischievous nature. Employees and guests report experiencing tugs at their clothing that cannot be explained, as well as television sets that mysteriously turn off. A maintenance tech was alone repairing a toilet when a small washer suddenly disappeared and ended up across the room under the bathmat. It seems a playful ghost wanted to start a game of hide and seek! The standing theory is that these playful spirits are the ghosts of children, because the Sayre Mansion saw more than its fair share of tragedy in its early days. The Sayre family moved into their Gothic Revival style Victorian mansion in Bethlehem’s prestigious Fountain Hill in 1858. Of the family’s 12 children, eight survived to adulthood with six drawing their last breath at the family home. A paranormal investigation two years ago detected supernatural activity in several areas around the mansion. In 2021, the hotel decided All Hallows’ Eve (October 31) is a fitting occasion for the first-ever Paranormal Experience at The Sayre Mansion. The package includes an overnight stay and features a haunted tour and demonstration led by Lehigh Valley Paranormal Investigators. A four-course meal and cocktails served in the mansion’s lower level will be accompanied by psychic readings throughout the night. The brave of heart may also join in an additional paranormal investigation at midnight held in the home’s original wine cellar.
1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Among several restless spirits believed to haunt the Crescent Hotel is Theodora. In the 1930s, the hotel was a hospital for the treatment of cancer patients. Unfortunately, a con man, “Dr.” Norman Baker, claimed to be a licensed physician and charged unsuspecting families their life savings to “treat” patients in his hospital. Tour guides, hotel staff, and guests alike allege that Theodora, one of Baker’s patients who passed away on-site, makes her presence known by folding guests’ clothes, organizing their closet or arranging personal items that had been scattered around the room. Recently, a couple purposefully scattered their loose change around the room on tabletops, nightstand, etc., shortly before leaving for dinner downstairs in the Crystal Dining Room. Upon their return, they were overjoyed to find their coins neatly reorganized in stacks of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies and all placed together atop their dresser. Guests have also reported seeing Norman Baker in the hotel lobby. He is described as a man in a purple shirt and white linen suit matching photographs of the infamous entrepreneur. Some of the most haunting stories about the Crescent Hotel are those recounted during the hotel’s ghost tour guides. A Crescent Hotel tradition is to host an annual Halloween seance for guests to watch two local psychics engage the spirits of the hotel. Year-round, the Crescent Hotel offers a cocktail named “Theodora’s Surprise” in honor of the eternal guest.
Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Monteleone has developed a reputation over the years as being one of the most haunted places in New Orleans, a city widely appreciated for its gothic charm. The most famous of these tales involves that of a young boy named Maurice who stayed at the hotel with his family during the 1890s. The child’s parents were avid theatergoers and regularly visited the French Opera House located along Bourbon Street. But since Maurice was just a toddler at the time, the two often left him in the care of a nurse whenever they went out. On one such night, the Begeres decided to stay at the Hotel Monteleone before departing for the French Opera House. While under the care of his nanny, the young child developed a fever and passed away. Grief-stricken, the couple returned to the hotel in hopes of spotting the spirit of their beloved Maurice. According to legend, the parents did not have to wait long to see the apparition of Maurice. The boy supposedly appeared before his mother, proclaiming: “Mommy, don’t cry. I’m fine.” The experience left the mother in tears, happy to know that her boy was at peace. Many guests have also reported running into his spirit on the 14th floor. Along with Maurice, a maid, known as “Mrs. Clean” reputedly haunts the hotel. Paranormal researchers once asked why she stayed, and the maid, whose mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother also worked at the hotel, said she was picking up after housekeeping to ensure high standards.
Jekyll Island Club Resort (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia
The Jekyll Island Club Resort has seen many families come and go since it opened in 1887. Since that time, there have been seven different ghosts that have been reported to haunt this resort. One story is about a ghostly bellman who regularly delivers a freshly pressed suit to a soon to be married groom. Another story is about the ghost of a former president who walks along the veranda at sunset. Samuel Spencer, a club member who departed from this world under mysterious circumstances, is one of these ghosts. He is said to haunt his old rooms early in the morning, sipping coffee and reading the morning newspaper. Another ghost is a bellman dressed in period uniform from the 1920s with cap and suit and about whom is said to deliver freshly pressed suits to bridegrooms. More than one bridegroom, who had not ordered this service, has asked the hotel staff about the ghostly bellman. Another such encounter involves industrialist J.P. Morgan, who stayed at the resort’s Sans Souci building. Mr. Morgan was a lover of cigars. As the story goes, one could tell where he was by following the trail of smoke. In order to avoid criticism of his favorite hobby, he would rise early every morning by 5 am to have a smoke on the porch. While most contemporary guests are not rising at such an early hour for a cigar, those who have stayed in the historic Morgan apartment swear they have awakened to the faint smell of cigar smoke wafting about when there is absolutely no one else awake.
Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Kate Morgan, age 24, arrived at Hotel del Coronado on Thanksgiving Day in 1892, alone and unhappy. According to hotel employees, she said she was waiting for a gentleman to join her. After five lonely days, Kate took her own life. At the time of her death, police could find nothing to positively identify her, so a description of the woman was telegraphed to police agencies around the country. As a result, newspapers began to refer to her as the “beautiful stranger.” Eventually, she was identified as Kate Morgan, a domestic worker in a wealthy Los Angeles household. The tragic tale of Kate Morgan continues to intrigue hotel visitors, and Kate’s original third-floor guestroom is the most-requested room at the resort. In it, guests have experienced flickering lights, a television that turns itself on and off, breezes coming from nowhere, items moving of their own accord, doors that randomly open and close, abrupt changes in room temperature, and unexplained footsteps and voices. Another very “active” area is The Hotel del Coronado gift shop is one location where visitors and employees routinely witness giftware mysteriously flying off shelves, oftentimes falling upright and always unbroken. The resort offers a nightly ghost tour, Haunted Happenings, that shares staff and guest experiences, photos and videos of paranormal activity and other spooky history. For Halloween 2021, The Hotel del Coronado offers several themed events in October including a Haunted Happenings Tour, Ghost Roast private beach bonfire, Halloween Movies on the Beach, beachfront Pumpkin Carving and an Evening with Spirits event that includes a VIP Ghost Tour and Séance.
The Union Station Nashville Yards (1900) Nashville, Tennessee
One of Nashville’s most iconic landmarks, The Union Station Nashville Yards resides in a building that previously served as the city’s buzzing railway station. Guests are reminded of the building’s rich history through another kind of encounter: with the hotel’s resident ghost, Abigail. Legend has it that during the World War II era, a young woman, Abigail, said goodbye to her soldier on the Union Station train platform before he shipped off to France. When she arrived at that same spot to greet him on his return, she was told that he had been killed in action. Distraught, Abigail threw herself in front of a passing locomotive. The forlorn spirit of Abigail, still looking for her lost love, can reportedly be seen wandering the main terminal and her presence felt in Room 711. Now known as the Abigail Room, guests can request to stay in the haunted suite, which is decorated unlike any other room in the hotel with antique furnishings, a four-poster bed and artwork inspired by her tale and her love for her solder that never returned.
Omni Mount Washington Resort (1902) Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Known affectionately by Omni Mount Washington Resort staff members as “The Princess,” Carolyn Foster Stickney was a long-time inhabitant of the hotel – and perhaps still is. Princess Carolyn Foster’s ties to the resort go back to its inception when her husband, railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, built the grand resort in 1902. Stickney designed an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Carolyn known today as the “Princess Room.” A prominent figure at the resort since its opening, many guests who have visited continue to report sightings of the regal Carolyn. Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, and there are light taps on doors when no one is outside. Objects within the guestrooms will also suddenly disappear and then reappear in the exact place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Carolyn is in Room 314, where guests report seeing a vision of the woman sitting at the edge of the opulent four-poster bed – on which Carolyn herself used to slumber. The tales of the Omni Mount Washington’s hauntings have since inspired many people to hunt for ghosts on the grounds, including the crew of the popular television show, Ghost Hunters.
Mizpah Hotel (1907) Tonopah, Nevada
Built in 1907, the Mizpah Hotel is believed by many to be home to several ghostly figures. Many guests report witnessing one of the former bellhops roaming the halls of the hotel in a vain attempt to give a hand with the luggage. Another paranormal legend involves three miners who once attempted to rob the hotel in the 19th century. Digging a cavern underneath the building, the men tried to steal money out of its massive safe. Yet, one of the robbers betrayed the rest of the party, shooting his two colleagues in the back. He subsequently left them for dead and took off with the loot. Since then, guests and employees alike report encountering two spectral figures in the basement who seemingly match the descriptions of the two deceased miners. Reported sightings of spirit of a woman known as the Lady in Red also remains a legend. The Lady in Red had a notorious reputation for selling companionship to travelers to the Mizpah and Tonopah in the early 1900s. Many guests and employees through the years have sensed her presence and even reported close encounters with her spirit.
The Seelbach Hilton Louisville (1905) Louisville, Kentucky
On a cold winter day in 1987, as the chef at The Seelbach Hilton Louisville was preparing waffles and omelets for Sunday Brunch, he looked out toward the number 3 elevator, and to his surprise, he saw a lady with long dark hair in a blue chiffon dress walk inside. This would be unremarkable except that she walked through the closed elevator doors. He reported what he observed to security immediately and within minutes of his report, a housekeeper from the second floor reported seeing the very same lady. In both reports the doors to the elevator were never open. Who is the “lady in blue?” One possible answer was found in a newspaper article from 1936. The story revealed that a lady working at the Starks Building came across the street to the Seelbach Hotel to meet her husband. He, unfortunately, was killed on his way to the hotel. Legend is that she was so upset that she plunged to her death in the number 3 elevator shaft – wearing a long blue chiffon dress. Along with these rare sightings, guests have reported feeling cold spots in the hotel.
The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, North Carolina
Since the mid-twentieth century, travelers and residents have come to believe in a ghost who roams the hallways of Asheville’s historic Omni Grove Park Inn. A strange but gentle spirit residing within the gray, granite walls and known simply as the “Pink Lady,” has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for nearly a century. The Pink Lady has been generally described as a dense pinkish smoke, although some report the mist materializing into the shape of a young woman donned in a pink ballgown. The Pink Lady is believed to have met her demise on the Palm Court floor after falling two stories from the fifth floor to the third floor in the 1920s. While no written records have been found that support any of these claims, sightings of her are still reported. Some claim they have seen a pink mist, while others report seeing a full apparition of a young long-haired lady in a pink gown. Guests have reported that they have seen objects move in the middle of the night, as well as being awakened by feeling a tickling sensation on their feet. While the Pink Lady is keen to reveal herself to everyone, she is said to particularly enjoy the company of children.
Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel (1915) Berkeley, California
Over the years, the Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, has built a cherished reputation for its luxury accommodations, beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, pampering spa services – and for being one of the most haunted places in California. From reports of phantom elevators to eerie disembodied voices, the resort has been the source of countless paranormal tales for generations. Of all the stories, the spookiest involves the fourth floor. Specifically, one room seems to attract the most activity: Room 442. Guests have reported, at times and at random, a cacophony of noise fills the room, coming from nowhere. Local lore is that one couple even alleged that the sounds made the room seem as if they were sleeping in an active construction zone. They simply ignored the ruckus as best they could, assuming that the work was being done in the rooms opposite theirs. When the two addressed the event with the staff the following day, they were stunned to learn that both spaces had been, and still were, completely vacant! It is common for people to experience extreme temperature changes in rooms or walk into a room that has cold spots. Other guests have encountered an elevator that will go to floors not requested or simply not start to move until an unseen force allows it to move. Additional stories abound throughout the Claremont Club & Spa about the spirits of children. One such tale pertains to a 6-year-old girl. While no one exactly knows why her ghost haunts the hotel, all who encounter her admit that she is peaceful, reporting that she has visited them at night and gently reached out as if to say “hello.”
La Posada de Santa Fe (1882) Santa Fe, New Mexico
The first sighting of Julia Staab’s ghost at La Posada de Santa Fe was reported in 1979. A janitor was mopping when he noticed a woman in a black Victorian dress with her hair pulled back into a severe bun. This was followed by several more stories of resort staff noticing the same woman, disappearing as suddenly as she appeared. Julia Staab was the wife of Abraham Staab, the wealthy merchant who built the original three-story brick mansion on the site of the current resort. Julia passed away at the age of 52 in 1896. But while her body had expired, many who lived in the house over the years believed that her spirit had not. In one instance, she was spotted wandering the hallways by a security guard, who immediately took off running. Nevertheless, Julia’s ghost is not described as “unsettling” or “frightening.” Recorded sightings of the ghostly activity include flickering fireplaces, swaying chandeliers, and certain hotel items, but never items belonging to guests, vanishing in certain guest rooms. A bartender once stated that on a particularly busy evening, all the glasses on one shelf flew off and crashed to the floor. During her life, Julia loved gardening and decorating the house with roses. As such, some visitors have even referenced encountering the distinct smell of roses throughout the building. Many visitors who have had these supernatural experiences stayed in Room 256 (also known as Suite 100) which is the room Julia Staab inhabited when alive. All alleged activity is confined to the former Staab House, so guests staying in the other accommodations have never reported any such tales.
The Emily Morgan San Antonio – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (1924) San Antonio, Texas
The Emily Morgan Hotel is known to be one of the most haunted hotels in all of Texas and it was even ranked by USA Today as the third-most most haunted hotel in the world in 2015. According to various reports, some given by the hotel’s own management team, the most haunted floors are the seventh, ninth, and fourteenth floors. It was these floors that at one time functioned as the psychiatric ward, surgery level, waiting area and morgue, respectively. At The Emily Morgan, almost all the paranormal reports involve ghosts and spirits from when the building was a hospital. Guests have reported strange things occurring on these levels. On the fourteenth level of The Emily Morgan hauntings have been associated with a smell reminiscent of a hospital. Some guests claim when opening guest-room doors from the hallway finding a scene from a hospital waiting right inside. On the twelfth floor, guests claim to have witnessed their bathroom doors opening and shutting of their own. Others have seen lights flashing in their rooms. And yet others have reported seeing actual apparitions of nurses in the hallways as they push rickety gurneys down the corridor. Then the scene disappears into thin air, as if the ghostly image was never there in the first place. In 2021, the hotel offers a special spooky 1-night package (“Room with a Boo!”) available October 23rd – November 7th that includes overnight accommodations, a complimentary “Boo-Berry Scream” Cocktail (Vodka, Berry Fusion Schnapps) and “Boo” Berry Pancake Breakfast, as well as a copy of The Haunted Emily Morgan Hotel written by the hotel’s own general manager.
Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts
The colonial seaport town of Salem is notorious for the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, and the historic Hawthorne Hotel is prone to hauntings and spirits of its own. Often ranked as one of the most haunted hotels in America, its guests have reported moving furniture, sightings of a ghostly woman, and unexplained noises. Many of its hauntings are attributed to the sea captains who were returning to their gathering place. According to lore, Room 325 is the most haunted room in the hotel, where guests have claimed to feel cold spots and smell fresh-cut flowers. Guests staying in Room 612, as well as on the sixth floor in general, have reported witnessing a ghostly woman walking the halls. Rooms 621 and 325 have also had reports of lights and faucets turning off and on. In 1990, the hotel held a séance in the Grand Ballroom to try and contact Harry Houdini. In 2007, SyFy’s popular paranormal show, Ghost Hunters, visited the hotel to investigate.
The Hotel Viking (1926) Newport, Rhode Island
Hotel Viking was built by the community, for the community, and entirely through community investment at the height of the roaring twenties. This civic undertaking helped keep Newport and its people afloat through wars and recessions by offering the same thing in 1926 as it does today: a genuine sense of belonging for both visitors and residents alike. Perhaps it is this sense of belonging that keeps guests checked in long after they checked out. Hotel Viking has had many guests and staff members report paranormal experiences. One kind of sighting that has been reported many times is of a little boy seen cleaning the floors of the historic wing of the hotel. This has also been confirmed by most of the housekeeping staff, who very much appreciate the help! Hotel Viking is also believed by some to be haunted by a ghostly group of partygoers. Frequently, the staff hears the noise of a grand party at odd hours of the night when no events were planned. This noise was originally heard above one of the ballrooms in a space that was used for storage. But after renovations, the location of the spooky soiree seemed to have changed to the hotel’s lower levels. At the end of October, Hotel Viking hosts a Halloween Spooky Time-Portal to the Gilded Age 1920s. The event is held just steps away from the hotel in the Kay Chapel, a historic landmark in Newport, Rhode Island dating back to 1859.
Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac Lake, New York
Goblins, ghouls, spirits, and specters all promise to be wandering the streets of Saranac Lake on Halloween night. Of course, most will be children dressed in costume for the occasion. But deep in the heart of the Hotel Saranac, there may be a sighting of a distinguished man dressed in a black suit with tails and top hat. Believers think the man is Howard Littell. And, no, he is not in costume. Saranac Lake’s high school once stood on the grounds where the Hotel Saranac currently is located and the dearly departed Littell was the superintendent of schools for close to 35 years. Littell was known for roaming the high school’s hallways and keeping the students in line. The high school moved in 1926 and the Hotel Saranac was built on that land the following year. Littell moved on with the new high school, but – apparently – his spirit did not; people have claimed to have seen him wandering the halls of the hotel, perhaps looking to keep a stray student in line. Every floor has a story, from the specter sightings near the ballroom on the second floor of Frances Peroni, who taught there when the hotel was owned by Paul Smith College, to the scratching of a ghost cat on the third floor. Stories abound about guests hearing singing on the sixth floor. Of course, some report signs that Howard Littell is still roaming the basement.
Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center (1927) Baton Rouge, Louisiana
It has long been reported by staff that the tenth floor of the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center is haunted by the ghost of the infamous politician Huey P. Long. Known as the most colorful politician from Louisiana, the infamous Huey P. Long’s favorite saying was, “Every man is a King.” His dream was to become the President of the United States and, while governor, he built a mansion that resembled the White House. He frequented the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, then known as the Heidelberg Hotel, so often that he even had a tunnel dug to the hotel across the street, so he could escape his enemies and visit his mistress. The spirit of Long is thought to walk the 10th floor at a leisurely pace, puffing away on a cigar. Reports claim he will look in a guest’s direction and then fade away when acknowledged, extremely polite and well-mannered. A night security guard claims to have spoken with the cigar smoker. Though the hotel has been smoke-free since 2006, housekeepers have reported catching a whiff of cigar smoke from rooms they’ve just cleaned. In recent years, a general manager – a skeptic – was living in the hotel and reported that he experienced unexplainable activity: he witnessed lights turning on when no one was around and repeatedly saw a shadow of a person walking by the Mezzanine Suite, back and forth on the catwalk, but when he opened the door to the room no one was there.
The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida
Over the years there have been a number of reported “sightings” and strange occurrences at this historic hotel. The most common presence felt through the building is that of Mr. Thomas Rowe, the man who brought the Don CeSar to life and is the focal point of the love story surrounding the hotel. In the 1890s, Thomas Rowe attended the opera Maritana where he met Lucinda, a beautiful opera singer. Thomas and Lucinda fell in love. They met in secret. He called her Maritana, and she called him her Don César, after the characters in the opera. But Lucinda’s parents disapproved, and the lovers were parted in life. Heartbroken, Thomas moved to Florida and dreamed up the beautiful Don CeSar hotel, a vessel for romance he lost. While there have been reporting of various spirits or ghostly sightings, the most popular spirit to be reported is that of a gentleman, presumably Rowe, in a white linen summer suit and a Panama hat. He is said to be accompanied at times by a raven-haired beauty in a white flowing dress wandering the grounds of his hotel. By all accounts, he is said to be a friendly and helpful spirit with a warm smile. A banquet employee reported that he was working one evening alone in the kitchen. He stepped outside to take a quick break and when he returned to the mound of dirty dishes, he found every dish cleaned and dried and neatly stacked in the middle of the room with no one around to have put them there. Housekeepers also have reported their housekeeping cart almost magically restocked during a long day of cleaning rooms, or an elevator door held open for them when they were rushing to catch it before closing. In 2021, the Don CeSar offers a Seven Deadly Sins Dinner at the Maritana Restaurant the week leading into Halloween.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California
The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa welcomes guests past and present, believing that their ghosts haunt where they were happiest. The Inn’s tenured employees will testify that when the evenings are still and the fog rolls in from the San Francisco Bay, a beautiful woman has been seen strolling the hallways of the Inn in period dress: Victoria. One of the early European settlers of Sonoma Valley, Victoria is said to have celebrated her wedding and many anniversaries at the resort. For decades, guests have even commented on the otherworldly presence at the Inn. A handsome room in the original Inn building is reportedly haunted by a ghost of an elderly man. Guests have for years noted a ‘feeling’ of not being alone in the room at night. They have described hearing doors slam, catching sight of something out of the corner of their eye, or seeing something run down the hall and around the corner. The hauntingly famous ‘Round-Room’ is perhaps one of the most haunted hotel rooms in California. It was in this room in the 1920s where a hotel guest was allegedly beheaded in the bathtub by a jealous lover. Since then, guests have reported paranormal activity in the room, including flickering lights, unexplained noises, shadowy figures, running water and more. The hotel lobby bar, 38 Degrees North, offers cocktails for grown-up goblins. For October, mixologists created a menu of seasonally inspired potions including a Bloody-Tini and the Twilight Cocktail, a frighteningly delicious concoction of three rums and fruit juices.
The Hassayampa Inn (1927) Prescott, Arizona
With a variety of experiences reported in the century since it opened, Hassayampa Inn has a reputation as an active haunt. Most of its paranormal tales involve a ghost that many have called “Faith.” Legend has it that in 1927, “Faith” and her newlywed husband checked into the Hassayampa Inn on their honeymoon. On their first night, her beloved husband left to supposedly purchase a pack of cigarettes but he never returned. After waiting for nearly three days, “Faith” passed away of a broken heart. Yet, many say that “Faith” never left the grounds. Instead, her spirit returned to the Hassayampa Inn, where she continued to lament the loss of her husband. Many tales today abound of how disembodied crying occurs throughout the inn, as well as the strange disappearance of random objects. The staff themselves have specifically reported that “Faith” has occasionally turned off the gas burners in the kitchen. Perhaps the most frequent sightings of “Faith” have occurred in Grand Balcony Suite 426. In one fascinating story, an employee remembered how a wreath hung on the suite’s door suddenly fell off following some hard knocking that had come from inside the room. When the man thrust opened the door, he was astonished to find no one inside. Others have reported strange cold spots. Frequently the smell of flowers emanates from the empty room. Faith never appears threatening in these encounters. One recent guest, a young man, said he sensed someone in his room when he awoke. He drifted off and awoke to someone hugging him. When he asked if there had been incidents of hauntings at the hotel, the desk clerk said, “Oh, that’s just Faith.”
The Wort Hotel (1941) Jackson, Wyoming
The Wort Hotel is home to a friendly, mischievous ghost named Bob, a former engineer at the Hotel who likes to play tricks on his successors. Robert “Bob” Tomingas took a job as The Wort Hotel’s maintenance engineer in 1950. Bob was a mechanical genius, and over the course of his career he rebuilt the hotel’s heating, water, and electrical systems. During the winter nights in the 1950s when the temperature would drop below zero and the hotel’s overworked boiler would begin to act up, Bob would arrive in the middle of the night to nurse the system along. Hotel workers arriving in the morning would find him asleep on a blanket next to the boiler. In life, Bob was known for being able to fix the impossible. He spent his time off repairing and maintaining equipment around the valley. In his later years at The Wort, Bob was often consulted on the whereabouts of wiring, pipes, valves, and all the secrets of the old hotel. Current engineers credit Bob for helping them solve mysteries of burst pipes and broken wiring. On occasion, Bob also enjoys rearranging the maintenance shop, to the delight of the hotel’s engineers. While Bob never appears to hotel guests, the staff at The Wort consider him a valuable team member.
Tubac Golf Resort and Spa (1959) Tubac, Arizona
The history of the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa can be traced back over four centuries to a young man named Don Toribio de Otero. Generations of Oteros lived on the ranch before it was reinvented as a resort in the 1950s. Harkening back to the days of the Otero family, residents have claimed to hear, see, and experience unexplainable activity. In recent decades, resort guests have reported at least four unique ghosts including a boy, a lady in gray, a very active gentleman spirit, and a cowboy. Some of these spirits are believed to date back to the early age of the resort when it was the Otero Ranch. The haunts have been investigated by the Phoenix Arizona Paranormal Society and featured in the society’s DVD, The Haunted Series (Arizona). Learn more about the Tubac hauntings in Haunted Otero: Ghost Tales from the American Southwest by Diana Hinojosa-DeLugan, who has given ghost tours of the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa.
“The spirits reported to reside within these Historic Hotels of America have been described as sad to happy, shy to friendly, slowly meandering to in a rush, in casual coveralls to elegant finery and range from young to old,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Some pre-date the construction of the hotel and others figure prominently from the early years of the historic hotels.”