11 October, 2023

Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Haunted Hotels

Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels in the United States, offers travellers spectacular experiences and stories to take home with them, including the folklore of where they stayed the night. For some hotels, the past is not only present in their historic architecture and authentic character but also—according to legends—in the souls attached to them. 

The historic hotels highlighted in the 2023 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Haunted Hotels List 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 and engineers. For believers and sceptics alike, these hotels offer legends of guests who never want to leave and staff who never stop helping. Some historic hotels celebrate the spooky season with “A Room With A Boo” packages, pumpkin carving contests, ghost story readings, haunted history tours, and speciality cocktails. Adventure seekers and heritage travellers interested in a local legend need to look no further than the grand hotels, legendary luxury resorts, and iconic inns 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 during the American Revolutionary War, Concord’s Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts, is rumoured to have a few resident ghosts. During the war, part of the historic inn was privately owned by Dr. Timothy Minot; it was where he operated a small medical practice. When Continental 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 Concord’s 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 apparitions in 18th-century attire sitting in an otherwise empty Liberty Room. Books and dรฉcor fall from shelves without worldly 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.


Being widely known for its more than 250 years of grand hospitality and as a favourite 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 in Hot Springs, Virginia, 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. In addition to this legend, overnight staff tell stories of sightings while being on late-night duty in the Great Hall. There, some believe they have seen well-dressed couples descending the stairs, but when they look up to greet them, no one is there. Similarly, there is a man in a dark suit who stands at a balcony overlooking the opposite end of the Great Hall. Again, staff say they approach to greet him only to find no one there. The Omni Homestead Resort was established in 1766 and has been a Charter Member of Historic Hotels of America since 1989.

Historic Inns of Annapolis (1772) Annapolis, Maryland

The Maryland Inn, one of the Historic Inns of Annapolis in Annapolis, Maryland, is reportedly haunted by a variety of specters since it was established in the 1770s. Supposed sightings by employees and guests include glimpses of shadowy figures dressed in Revolutionary War-era uniforms and 19th-century clothing. Unexplained noises, scents, and missing objects–experienced by some employees–are thought by some believers to have supernatural explanations. Local legend suggests that at least two of the ghosts are that of Navy Captain Charles Campbell and his intended bride, known only as The Bride. According to the tale, Captain Campbell and The Bride were separated while he was at sea, during which time The Bride waited for him at the Maryland Inn. Campbell was killed by a horse carriage as he was returning to be reunited with his love and she took her own life minutes later, both dying right outside the historic inn. Both The Bride and Captain Campbell are rumoured to haunt the Maryland Inn to this day. According to authors Mike Carter and Julia Dray in Haunted Annapolis, The Bride paces around the fourth floor and Captain Campbell has been seen in his naval uniform in the basement taproom. For guests, experiencing the ghosts in residence is uncommon but not unheard of. Some guests in the fourth-floor rooms have felt a cold presence.

The Red Lion Inn (1773) Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Ghostly rumours swirl around The Red Lion Inn, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which has been visited by many paranormal investigators and mediums hoping to connect with guests from centuries past. Its idyllic setting, comforting atmosphere, and dedicated staff make The Red Lion Inn an exceptional example of New England hospitality and make the 250-year-old hotel a perfect place to spend eternity. The fourth floor 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. The Red Lion Inn was established in 1773 and has been a Charter Member of Historic Hotels of America since 1989.


The spirits at The Sayre Mansion in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, reportedly have mischievous natures. 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 as if 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 into adulthood with six drawing their last breath at the family home. A paranormal investigation several years ago detected supernatural activity in several areas around the mansion. Throughout the year, including during the Halloween season, The Sayre Mansion hosts a Paranormal Experience. The overnight stay features a catered dinner in the mansion’s refurbished basement, and a paranormal presentation and investigation led by a team of ghost hunters. The Sayre Mansion also periodically offers 60-minute evening Ghost Tours. Upcoming guided tours are scheduled for October 14 and 19. Contact the hotel for more information.

The Menger Hotel (1859) San Antonio, Texas

Three ghosts are rumoured to haunt The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas: a chambermaid, a U.S. President, and a Texas rancher. Established in 1859 and a Charter Member of Historic Hotels of America since 1989, The Menger Hotel embraces its hauntings. In fact, it was its kindness toward chambermaid Sallie White in her life and in her death that supposedly keeps the tragic young woman's spirit tied to the hotel. When Sallie White was killed by her jealous husband, the hotel paid for her funeral. Guests and staff have reported seeing Sallie White in the halls of the historic section of the hotel, and her popularity led to the hotel putting the funeral's receipt on display in the hotel lobby. The other two spectres are attributed to U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt and Captain Richard King, the founder of the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas, and a frequent guest of The Menger Hotel. King died in his suite on April 14, 1885, and his funeral service was held inside the lobby. King is said to still be wandering the halls and is often seen entering his suite, where the original furniture, including his bed, is preserved. Roosevelt's connection to the hotel dates to 1898, when he recruited his Rough Riders in the Menger Bar for the Spanish-American War. According to rumours and reports, Teddy Roosevelt is often seen in the bar alone or with his men, having a drink or ordering one.

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 theatregoers 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” reportedly 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.


Among several restless spirits believed to haunt the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, 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 closets or arranging personal items that had been scattered around the room. In recent years, a couple purposefully scattered their loose change around the room on tabletops, nightstands, 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 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 sรฉance for guests to watch two local psychics engage the spirits of the hotel. Year-round, the 1886 Crescent Hotel offers a cocktail named "Theodora's Surprise" in honour of the eternal guest.

Jekyll Island Club Resort (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia

The Jekyll Island Club Resort on Jekyll Island, Georgia, 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 a period uniform from the 1920s with a cap and suit and who 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. To avoid criticism of his favourite hobby, he would rise early every morning by 5 a.m. 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.

Casa Monica Resort & Spa (1888) St. Augustine, Florida

Built as a labor of love and as an ode to Moorish architecture by Franklin W. Smith, this majestic St. Augustine, Florida resort has been a landmark of the historic city since 1888. Unfortunately for Smith, financial troubles forced him to sell the hotel to his business rival after only a year in operation—a dream ending in despair. In 1911, Smith died in anonymity and poverty. Did his spirit return to haunt his beloved Casa Monica Resort & Spa? Some guests and staff believe it did. From glowing lights on the 3rd floor and mischievous pillow fights in rooms staged for photography, it was decided a paranormal expert was needed. A local tour guide accompanied a medium to witness the haunting, and on the top floor of the Kessler Suite, the medium reported seeing a man with big bushy sideburns pacing back and forth. She encouraged the tour guide to approach the man who was clearly in despair. The guide only remembers being completely frozen, a feeling unlike any other she had felt in ten years of tours, and a confusing vision of broken tiles crashing outside the window. Later, while researching the history of the hotel, they discovered that not only did the medium describe the physical characteristics of Franklin W. Smith, but he would have been heartbroken to know that the building's original terracotta roof had been replaced. Perhaps after a life full of hardships, Franklin W. Smith is trapped in the home of his greatest heartbreak. Guests can discover more haunted history by joining that same tour guide for complimentary hotel tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 3 p.m., or Saturdays at 10 a.m. The paranormal hotspot of St. Augustine is also home to many ghost tours which can be arranged with the help of a Concierge.

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California

Hotel del Coronado, according to medium James Van Praagh, is “besides being gorgeous and completely unique, extremely haunted.” Van Praagh, who held a 2018 sรฉance at Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California, was especially impressed by the paranormal activity he perceived in the lobby of the grand resort hotel. Over a century of unexplained phenomena have 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 rumoured 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. And in 2023, for the first time ever, Hotel del Coronado is offering visitors the opportunity to explore Room 3519 and view some of the recorded footage firsthand.

Airlie (1899) Warrenton, Virginia

In the heart of Airlie, a historic resort in rural Warrenton, Virginia, in a dimly lit meeting room, there hangs an antique portrait of a grand lady that has sent shivers down the spines of those who dared to venture close. Painted by the renowned 18th-century English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds, the depiction shows a woman posing with such pride and elegance that her likeness has been said to captivate the soul of anyone who gazed upon it. At Arlie, some guests and staff over the years came to suspect the Lady's portrait held a sinister secret. Whether you crossed the boardroom to fetch a forgotten document or sat at the grand dining table for a meeting, the Lady's gaze remained locked upon you, unwavering and unnerving. On stormy nights when the winds howled and the rain beat against the windowpanes, some have claimed that her lips curled into a sly smile when thunder rolls and lightning illuminates the room. Despite the spine-chilling tales that surround it, the portrait remains a cherished heirloom, an integral part of the Airlie history. To some, it is a source of fascination, drawing visitors from far and wide, eager to experience the eerie sensation of the Lady's gaze. To others, it is a dreaded presence, a reminder that even the most beautiful things could conceal the darkest of secrets. And so, the portrait of the Lady, with her haunting eyes that seem to pierce the veil between the living and the dead, continues to watch over the boardroom of Airlie Main House, a silent sentinel of a bygone era. Established in 1899, Airlie was inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 2015 and is significant for hosting Civil Rights Movement and Environmental Movement meetings in the 1960s.

Omni Mount Washington (1902) Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Omni Mount Washington in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, is known for its winter sports and luxury accommodations, as well as a place in the history of international relations–it was the site of the Bretton Woods conference of 1944 from which the World Bank was established–and for its ghost, affectionately known as The Princess. The Princess is believed to be the spirit of Carolyn Foster Stickney, who lived at the hotel and was the wife of railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney. Stickney built the resort in 1902 and designed an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Carolyn, a room 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 from where 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. Omni Mount Washington was established in 1902 and has been a Charter Member of Historic Hotels of America since 1989.


Travellers, residents, and staff have come to believe in a ghost who roams the hallways of Asheville, North Carolina’s historic Omni Grove Park Inn. A strange but gentle spirit residing within the gray, granite walls, 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. Established in 1913 and inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 2000, Omni Grove Park Inn was ranked #8 by public voting in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2023 Best Haunted Hotel contest.

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 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. 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 Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico

After dark, Santa Fe, New Mexico, promises to enchant visitors with its paranormal legends and ghost stories from its 400-year history, and La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) offers guests a first-hand look at the myths surrounding Santa Fe Plaza. This October, the historic hotel offers a ghost tour and a special room package. On the tour, guests are invited to listen for mysterious harp music in the historic plaza and to watch for the spectral echoes of tragic brides, mournful mothers, and headless horsemen. Of course, the hotel itself is no stranger to ghosts: several apparitions have reportedly been seen at the hotel, including one thought to be John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court. Slough frequented La Fonda, then the Exchange Hotel, and was shot and killed in 1867 in the hotel lobby. Another sighting at the hotel is attributed to the spirit of a distraught salesman, who jumped into the hotel well after losing a card game and guests have claimed to see his form emerging from the fountain. The La Fonda Ghost Tour Package includes accommodation and breakfast for two at the hotel, two tickets for the tour, plus a copy of Haunted Santa Fe by Ray John De Aragon.

The Emily Morgan San Antonio - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (1924) San Antonio, Texas

The Emily Morgan hotel, which is located across from The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is known to be one of the most haunted hotels in all of Texas. It was even ranked by USA Today as the third-most haunted hotel in the world in 2015. According to various reports, 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. It is uncommon, but not unheard of, for guests to report having a vision of a hospital scene–rather than a guestroom–when they open their door from the hallway. On the twelfth floor, guests claim to have witnessed their bathroom doors opening and shutting on 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.

Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts

The Colonial seaport town of Salem, Massachusetts, 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. Named after well-known resident and author Nathaniel Hawthorne, many of the hotel’s 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 sรฉance in the Grand Ballroom to try and contact Harry Houdini. In 2007, SyFy's popular paranormal show, Ghost Hunters, visited the hotel to investigate. Established in 1925 and inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 1991, Hawthorne Hotel was ranked #9 by public voting in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2023 Best Haunted Hotel contest.

The Hotel Viking (1926) Newport, Rhode Island

The Hotel Viking was built by the Newport, Rhode Island, 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. It is this sense of belonging, perhaps, that keeps guests checked in long after they check 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 are 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.

Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton (1927) Saranac Lake, New York

Goblins, ghouls, spirits, and spectres all promise to be wandering the streets of Saranac Lake, New York, 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 a 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 spectre 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 that Howard Littell is still roaming the basement. Established in 1927 and inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 1998, Hotel Saranac was ranked #3 by public voting in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2023 Best Haunted Hotel contest.

The Hassayampa Inn (1927) Prescott, Arizona

With a variety of experiences reported in the century since it opened, Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, Arizona, 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 from 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 open 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 haunting at the hotel, the desk clerk said, “Oh, that’s just Faith.”

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 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is haunted by the ghost of the infamous politician Huey P. Long. Known as the most colourful politician from Louisiana, the infamous Huey P. Long's favourite saying was, “Every man is a King.” 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. 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 self-described sceptic–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. When he opened the door to the room to see who was inside, no one was there.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, California, 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 the 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. Since then, guests have reported paranormal activity in the room, including flickering lights, unexplained noises, shadowy figures, running water and more.

The Wort Hotel (1941) Jackson, Wyoming

The Wort Hotel in Jackson, Wyoming, 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.

Tubac Golf Resort and Spa (1959) Tubac, Arizona

The history of the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Tubac, Arizona, can be traced back over four centuries to a young man named Don Toribio de Otero. Generations of Oteros lived on the ranch for four centuries before they were forced to sell, and the core of the estate was reinvented as a luxury resort in the 1950s. Harkening back to the days of the Otero family, occupants and guests 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 grey, 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. More than mere ghost stories, these enduring legends contribute to the unique qualities of the inns, resorts, and hotels of Historic Hotels of America.”

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