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It’s that time of year, when the spotlight shines on spirits, and the darker side of life takes center stage. For the more daring of us, there are a number of hotels across the U.S. that are not only believed to be haunted, but embrace their spirits as forever guests and openly tell their stories. Here, we showcase 13 hotels that will have you spooked this Halloween. Several of them even tout themselves as “the most haunted hotel in America.” We’ll let you decide for yourself after your stay–if you dare!

RELATED: Why don’t hotels have 13th floors?

Photo courtesy of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort: St. Pete, FL
Ask several Major League Baseball players and they’ll tell you, the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort is haunted. Though the hotel doesn’t have any documented evidence, more than a few players visiting town to challenge the Tampa Bay Rays have described the sensation of someone sitting on their chests while they slept, or spotting a man in a top hat and young boy. You can decide for yourself whether The Vinoy is haunted at the hotel’s Veuve Clicquot Yelloween masquerade fête on October 28.

Photo courtesy of Planters Inn

Olde Pink House: Savannah, GA
Adjacent to The Planters Inn on Reynolds Square in downtown Savannah, the Olde Pink House Restaurant is a terrific option for those who might like a little fright over dinner, but not throughout the night. Built in 1771 as the Habersham House, guests of the home-turned-bank (and more)-turned-restaurant dine on Lowcountry cuisine while at the same time possibly dining alongside the spirits who freely roam the rooms, staircases, vault wine cellars and the Planters Tavern in the basement.

Photo courtesy of the Francis Marion Hotel

The Francis Marion Hotel: Charleston, SC
A broken heart led to the demise of Ned Cohen, a shoe salesman who took his life at The Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston. After Ned met and fell in love with a Southern belle while she was visiting his hometown of New York with friends, he traveled to South Carolina (during the South’s Civil War Reconstruction efforts) to visit his beloved and meet her family. At the end of their weekend together, his belle may have decided, unbeknownst to Ned, that their North/South differences were too great for her family, and left him in the night without so much as a goodbye. Though he’s buried in New York, Ned’s spirit remains at The Francis Marion, where guests may spot him in his shirt sleeves, or feel his presence, usually around midnight, by a brush on the cheek or the feeling of someone watching while they sleep. Is Ned still hoping his Southern belle will return and rekindle their love?

Photo courtesy of Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Bourbon Orleans Hotel: New Orleans, LA
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter opened in the 1960s, but before that, the buildings were a part of the grand Orleans Ballroom, opened in 1817. After hosting elaborate masquerades and celebrations for society’s elite for more than 60 years, the ballroom was converted into an orphanage in 1881. Today, spirits from the centuries continue to dance and make their homes in the hotel. Take the Haunted Hotel Tour, offered every Thursday night, and see if you can spot the ballroom dancer, the wounded warrior, or the suicidal nun who haunts Room 644.

Photo courtesy of Kingsmill Resort

Kingsmill Resort: Williamsburg, VA
If you’re walking through the halls of the Pettus House at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, you may just see a “woman in a white dress” who seems to be there, yet at the same time doesn’t. Or, perhaps you’ll hear the sounds of a giggling child around midnight. Neither should come as a surprise: The manor house is partially-constructed over a 17th-century cemetery. The resort doesn’t mind, however, that the woman in white has yet to check out, or pay for any incidentals!

Photo courtesy of Concords Colonial Inn

Concord’s Colonial Inn: Concord, MA
Concord’s Colonial Inn was built in 1716, and one of its original buildings was used to store arms and provisions during the Revolutionary War; Henry David Thoreau stayed at the inn when he was attending Harvard from 1835 to 1837. It was in 1966, however, when the inn received a letter from a woman who had stayed a few nights during her honeymoon. The letter read, “I was awakened in the middle of the night by a presence in the room—a feeling that some unknown being was in the midst. As I opened my eyes, I saw a grayish figure at the side of my bed, to the left, about four feet away. It was not a distinct person, but a shadowy mass in the shape of a standing figure. It remained still for a moment, then slowly floated to the foot of the bed, in front of the fireplace. After pausing a few seconds, the apparition slowly melted away. It was a terrifying experience. I was so frightened I could not scream. I was frozen to the spot…” She honeymooned in Room 24—will you?

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Photo courtesy of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa: Eureka Springs, AR
Perched above Eureka Springs and surrounded by 15 acres of woodlands, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is ideally situated for haunted happenings, which is perfect, since guests and visitors at the hotel have reported dozens upon dozens of spirited encounters. Four of the hotel’s most famous “guests who check out but never leave” are Michael, an Irish stonemason who helped build the hotel in 1885; Theodora, a patient of Baker’s Cancer Curing Hospital in the late 1930s; the ghost in the morgue; and “the lady in the Victorian nightgown,” who enjoys standing at the foot of the bed in Room 3500 and watch guests while they sleep. Unsurprisingly, the hotel offers nightly ghost tours. Throughout the month of October, late-night “Spooky Bedtime Stories” and “Ghost Tour Guides: Their Inside Stories” will be held exclusively for hotel guests, and for two weekends in January, 2018, amateur ghost hunters and those interested in the paranormal are invited to the hotel’s ESP (Eureka Springs Paranormal) Weekends.

Photo courtesy of Congress Hotel

The Congress Plaza Hotel:  Chicago, IL

The Congress Plaza Hotel in downtown Chicago is said to be the most haunted building in all of Illinois. That is, according to a story published in Travel + Leisure. Spirited legend has it that the ghost of gangster Al Capone roams the hotel, particularly close to his eighth-floor suite. He did, after all, headquarter his goings-on within the hotel. The Congress doesn’t shy away from its guests whose presence is felt rather than seen, either, and welcomes revelers to its annual Halloween Ball.

Photo courtesy of the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, CO
It should come as no surprise that the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining has its own haunted stories to tell, and wants guests to experience them—or not—as they please. At The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, guests can request to stay in a room with high paranormal activity, including the famous Stephen King Suite 217; room 401, the Ghost Hunters’ favorite room; and rooms 407, 428 and 1302. The Night Spirit Tours invite guests and visitors into darkened spaces and introduces them on how to interact with spirits, but the hotel also advises, “Due to the fact that spirits are not on payroll, we do not guarantee any interactions.” This month, the Stanley is hosting Twin Terror Weekends, featuring a Murder Mystery Dinner (October 20), The Shining Ball (October 21) and a Halloween Masquerade Party (October 28).

Photo courtesy of Mizpah Hotel

Mizpah Hotel: Tonopah, NV
The Mizpah Hotel is long on haunted history, which may not be surprising considering the hotel first opened its doors in 1907. From the keno game board that still lights up, though it’s been unplugged since the 1980s; to the sounds of children playing in the third floor hallway late at night, though there aren’t any children around; to the Lady in Red, whose spirit wanders the fifth floor, especially in front of room 502, where she met her everlasting fate. Just how scary is the Mizpah? Our own editor had a night booked at the hotel, but cancelled her reservations after watching an episode of “Ghost Adventures” on The Travel Channel featuring, you guessed it, the Mizpah Hotel.

Photo courtesy of the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary: Long Beach, CA
The Queen Mary ocean liner, who makes her watery home in Long Beach, takes guests back in time to the mid-1900s with its Art Deco decor, original 1930s artwork and operating portholes. A night aboard the Queen Mary also has guests staying amidst her otherworldly guests, such as a sailor who died in the ship’s engine room; a “lady in white;” and, sadly, children who drowned in the ship’s pool. Get ready for your spook-tactular overnight with one of the ship’s Attractions at Night: Go on a Paranormal Investigation with ParaXplorer Project founder Matthew Schulz; or explore the Queen’s paranormal hot spots on a Paranormal Ship Walk. For those guests who would rather seek out their ghosts during daylight rather than under the cover of darkness, daytime Haunted Encounters tours are offered, too.

Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego, CA
It’s hard for any guest to want to leave the Hotel del Coronado on the sandy shores of San Diego, but it was especially hard for one guest in the 1890s. In fact, she never left! Kate Morgan arrived at The Del on November 24, 1892 at the age of 24, said to have been waiting on a gentleman to join her. After five nights alone, she took her own life; it was discovered after her death that Kate was indeed married, and had planned a romantic rendezvous with her lover at the hotel. Kate’s tragic story is told in Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado, in which employees’ and guests’ encounters with Kate are detailed. In her third-floor guest room, guests have seen flickering lights, a TV that turns itself on and off, items moving on their own, doors that open and close on their own, and have felt breezes coming from nowhere. Kate doesn’t stay in her room, however–she’s been seen along the seashore, and in the hotel’s hallways and gift shop.

Photo courtesy of The Benson

The Benson Hotel: Portland, OR
In 1913, lumber baron Simon Benson opened the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland, and it seems he enjoyed his hotel so much, he hasn’t left! Rumor has it that Simon can be seen coming down the grand staircase dressed in his best dark suit, and sometimes knocks over cocktails in the Palm Court in the hotel’s lobby. In addition to Simon, former guests who couldn’t bear to leave the hotel and whose spirits have been seen roaming the hallways are those of a little boy and a woman in a dress.



Tagged: Feature, Top 10 Lists

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Susan Barnes

Susan Barnes

Susan B. Barnes, aka travlin’ girl, is a freelance travel journalist whose bags are always packed and ready for her next adventure, preferably with her rescued Miniature Schnauzer, Scout, aka travlin’ pup. Follow along on Susan’s travels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and with Scout on Instagram.

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