It’s that time of year again, when shorter, colder days and colorful falling leaves put many in the mood for some spooky Halloween fun. Since Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel isn’t taking reservations, those who want to take their celebration to the next level with a ghoulish getaway could consider a stay in one of Historic Hotels of America’s newly announced 2022 Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels.
While every historic hotel has a story to tell, some offer more than what can be found in a history book. The past is present in the architecture and authentic character of historic hotels, but for some it also lives on through legends of the souls of those who checked in… but never checked out.
Most Haunted Hotels are places where generations of staff and guests pass on tales of spectral Revolutionary War soldiers, smoky silhouettes of U.S. Presidents, the melancholy spirits of tragic would-be brides, unexplained footsteps, as well as friendly phantom bellhops. While hosting ghosts may not seem like an amenity to brag about, some hotels make the most of their spooky reputations by offering “A Room With A Boo” packages, pumpkin carving contests, ghost story readings, haunted history tours, and specialty cocktails.
“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. More than mere ghost stories, these enduring legends contribute to the unique qualities of the inns, resorts, and hotels of Historic Hotels of America.”
So, if you’re in search of a haunted adventure this Halloween, consider checking out (or into) one of the 25 grand hotels, legendary luxury resorts, and iconic inns that made the list this year. Here’s a closer look at a few (facility managers may find Bob, the resident ghost at The Wort Hotel, especially relatable):
2022 Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels
- Concord’s Colonial Inn (1716) Concord, MA
- The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, VA
- Historic Inns of Annapolis (1772) Annapolis, MD
- The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, MA
- River Street Inn (1817) Savannah, GA
- The Sayre Mansion (1858) Bethlehem, PA
- The Menger Hotel (1859) San Antonio, TX
- La Posada de Santa Fe (1882) Santa Fe, NM
- Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, LA
- 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, AR
- Jekyll Island Club Resort (1887) Jekyll Island, GA
- Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, CAa
- The Union Station Nashville Yards (1900) Nashville, TN
- Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods (1902) Bretton Woods, NH
- The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, NC
- Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel (1915) Berkeley, CA
- The Emily Morgan San Antonio – A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (1924) San Antonio, TX
- Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, MA
- The Hotel Viking (1926) Newport, RI
- Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac Lake, NY
- Hassayampa Inn (1927) Prescott, AZ
- Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center (1927) Baton Rouge, LA
- The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1928) Sonoma, CA
- The Wort Hotel (1941) Jackson, WY
- Tubac Golf Resort and Spa (1959) Tubac, AZ
The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, MA
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 hotspot. 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.
River Street Inn (1817) Savannah, GA
Built in 1817 and inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 1999, River Street Inn is home to numerous unexplainable events. As the oldest hotel on historic River Street, the inn is in a beautifully restored, 200-year-old cotton warehouse overlooking the magnificent Savannah River. The inn is located on Factors Walk, one of Savannah’s historic downtown areas and home to hauntings and high levels of paranormal activity. The paranormal “tenants” at River Street Inn do not give the impression that they are evil or malicious; in fact, the few unexplained experiences of the hotel staff and guests hint at the spirits’ playful natures.
The Paranormal Society of Savannah visited the hotel previously and captured multiple instances of unusual activities. Several guests of the hotel have shared over the years the sound and feeling of someone breathing into their ears when no one else is around, drawers opening on their own, items being moved around the room to odd locations, and even their names being called when no one else is around. Children have been seen playing in the halls and then vanishing. In one instance, several employees were together when the entire group saw a man walk past into an area that was for employees only. The team followed the person, assuming they would need to redirect the guest who took a wrong turn, however, when they entered the room no one was there!
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, AR
Among several restless spirits believed to haunt the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa 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 loose change around the room before leaving for dinner. Upon returning, they found the coins neatly reorganized in stacks of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies and all placed together on top of their dresser. Guests have also reported seeing Norman Baker in the hotel lobby. He’s described as a man in a purple shirt and white linen suit, which matches 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 del Coronado (1888) Coronado, CA
Hotel del Coronado, according to medium James Van Praagh, is “besides being gorgeous and completely unique, extremely haunted.” Van Praagh, who held a 2018 séance at Hotel del Coronado was especially impressed by the paranormal activity he perceived in the lobby of the grand resort hotel. Over a century of unexplained phenomena has occurred throughout the resort, where there have been sightings of a small Victorian girl, a man in period clothing, and a woman in white. Pots and pans rattle in the kitchen and objects move in the historic gift shop.
The hotel’s most famous ghost is the tragic Kate Morgan, who died at the hotel in 1892 and is rumored to have never left. Her room (Room 3327) is the most-requested guestroom at the resort. Another room, Room 3519, is also the subject of ghostly reports and interest. In 1992, parapsychologist and investigator of paranormal phenomena Christopher Chacon assessed phenomena reported at the resort. This 12-month investigation yielded nearly 10,000 hours of content and documented over 400 anomalous phenomena in Room 3519.
The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, NC
Travelers, residents, and staff have come to believe in a ghost who roams the hallways of the 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.
The Wort Hotel (1941) Jackson, WY
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 alone. 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 the 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 to be a valuable team member.
Representing more than 300 historic hotels, Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To be nominated and selected for membership into the program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.