Haunted Hotels

Anywhere where people do their living or dying is prone to becoming haunted and so it is with haunted hotels. Sometimes people stay in hotels for only a short time and most times, hotel visits are happy occasions. They’re celebrations of life in some fashion.

Haunted Hotel - Stanley Hotel
Haunted Stanley Hotel

But other times, those stays are not necessarily happy. Folks check into hotels to get away and de-stress. They could be there to get away from problems, like bad marriages. Those places that cater to the rich have long-term visitors who stay for weeks and months at a time.  Sometimes, people check in and never check out. They die either by accident, murder or self-termination.

Whatever the cause, those who are living that would like to encounter a spirit might do well to visit a haunted hotel and that is why this list is here. Maybe you can find a place near you where you can check in and do some mingling with a former celebrity or even a former member of staff who will be making your visit scary good. This list is expanding, so come back for updates!

Haunted Hotels No. 1
Hotel Roosevelt

Hollywood, CA – The Hotel Roosevelt is a classic, 1920s “Golden Age of Hollywood” style hotel located in the heart of the city on Hollywood Boulevard.  The place fairly reeks of “Old Hollywood” and all the classic stars of the 1920s and 1930s.  It’s very easy to imagine Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, or Humphrey Bogart lounging about the bar, each with a drink in hand, nattering about the studio bosses and how oppressive that system was.

It was originally built in 1927 and was financed by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Louis B. Mayer. In 2005, it was renovated and has since become quite popular with both young Hollywood, local hipsters and tourists alike. The interior of the hotel is filled with hardwood paneling and vaulted ceilings and looks like the kind of place where you could sit for hours with your friends drinking single malt Scotch and smoking expensive cigars. (That is if they allow smoking, which they don’t.)

Any place with a history like that, that catered mainly to celebrities, artists, and stressed out producers, studio executives and plenty of pitiful wannabes (Little Mary Klopinski who showed up from Sheboygan, Wisconsin with dreams of becoming the next Liz Taylor) was bound to have plenty of “sturm und drang”. Fertile ground for suicides, passion killings, murders, various and sundry sexual escapades and excesses and simply “fading away” into oblivion.

You know a place like that has to be a haunted hotel with a ton of ghosts hanging around in it, all of whom have their axes to grind. Some of the more famous ghosts that have appeared there are:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Montgomery Clift
  • Errol Flynn
  • A “mysterious little girl in a blue dress”

Haunted Hotels #2
The 1886 Crescent Hotel

1886 Crescent Hotel Photo
The Haunted Crescent Hotel Tennis Courts

Eureka Springs, Arkansas – The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and is a typical product of the gilded age of the late 1880s and 1890s, the age of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt. An age dominated financially by railroads, an up and coming oil industry, the rapid expansion of industry brought about by the aforementioned and the voracious expansion of our military brought about by America’s first forays into colonialism and the Jingoism that followed from that.

The Crescent had numerous incarnations.  In 1908 it became a College and Conservatory for Young Women, then became a Junior College, then became a Hospital and Health Resort run by a quack doctor who wound up in jail, and then back to being a hotel in 1946 until the present.

Let’s see…first a hotel for the decadent “leisure class” of the 1880s and 90s (well-known for various perversions and excesses peculiar to the idle rich.), then a “Conservatory” for forcing young women into the straight jacket of Victorian manners and morals, then a hospital where God knows how many trusting, ingenuous people came to be relieved of their suffering and hopelessness, only to be betrayed utterly and relieved of their life savings.

Think this might be a haunted hotel with a few ghosts hanging around? Well, a workman who was killed while building the hotel has been seen as well as several patients, from when it was a hospital, a dapper man in white pants, a cat and others.

The Stanley Hotel

Estes Park, Colorado – Built in 1909 by Frelan Oscar Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame (an early steam-powered car) the Stanley was also a product of “nouveau riche” of the early 20th century.  Built mainly as a resort for wealthy outdoorsman, hunters, and fisherman, it looks the kind of place Teddy Roosevelt would come to after a long days’ worth of hunting.

The interiors are massive, to say the least. Everything is overstated as was the style in those days when America still had a massive inferiority complex and felt it had to make up for the lack of a true aristocracy as enjoyed by the Europeans and English.

There is something tremendously overbearing about the place. One gets the impression of some young, socially inept and recently enriched Texas oilman talking and guffawing much too loudly at some polite, blue-blooded East Coast “old money” dinner party.

It was in this oppressive, dank atmosphere that Steven King was inspired to write “The Shining”.

Does it seem like this could be one of those haunted hotels? Yah betcha.

Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado
Hotel Del Coronado

Coronado, CA – The Hotel del Coronado was built in 1887 in Coronado, California (near San Diego). It’s one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Southern California and is a wonderful example of the Victorian, wooden hotels that cropped up in various coastal towns during the 1880s and 90s.

It became a very popular spot with the Hollywood crowd during the 1920s and saw visitations from the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Mae West. Many American Presidents stayed there as well.

Kate Morgan was a guest in the hotel in 1892 and her dead body was found on the stairs that lead to the beach. She had told the staff that she was awaiting the arrival of her doctor brother to treat her stomach cancer. It was determined that she was a suicide (She had been shot in the head) but many other theories, both believable and ridiculous, abound.

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