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Picture this: you are traveling in New Orleans and are startled awake from a deep sleep by something strange. A cool breeze that sent chills deep to your bones. There is no open window to be seen; nothing to explain the chill in the room. You have heard the tales of ghosts in the old hotels, but you don’t really believe ghosts exist. Or do they?
We have always been strangely fascinated by the idea of ghosts. Television shows and books highlight haunted. Something about SLEEPING where a ghost may share your room is eerily fascinating and many people have been drawn to these haunted hotels. Are you one of these people? Are you interested in ghosts and love to travel? If so, read ahead to find the most haunted hotels and hotel rooms all over the world.
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is home to some of the most haunted hotels in the world. Find an old hotel in the city and you’re likely to find a ghost story (or ten) to go with it.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, which opened in 1827 as a ballroom, was turned in a convent/orphanage in the late 1800s. Many children and nuns passed away in the medical ward due to yellow fever. They are still said to be hanging around the hotel and can be heard AND seen. It has often been touted as the most haunted hotel in the city. You can still book a haunted hotel room there today, if you dare.
If ghost children aren’t up your alley while visiting the Big Easy, maybe you would prefer to stay in the Audubon Cottages. If you like to actually FEEL your ghosts interacting with you, this is the haunted hotel for you. Built in the late 18th century, these beautiful cottages are known for their unique structural beauty in the French Quarter. However, guests have reported awakening to the feeling of someone pulling on their feet while they slept. A country music loving confederate soldier (who makes sure the radios are always set to country stations) can often be seen roaming the courtyards.
Dauphine Orleans Hotel
Perhaps young female ghosts are up your alley for your haunted hotel tour? Try the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. The building dates to 1775 with an addition of suites across the street in 1834. At one point, the building was a well-known bordello and civil war soldiers and their “ladies” have been seen throughout the historic property.
If you travel to New Orleans looking for haunted hotels, you will not be disappointed if you stay at almost any historic hotel in the Crescent City. If you prefer not to sleep with the ghosts, a haunted tour might be up your alley. Check out the ghost and vampire themed tours (like this one) offered in the city to visit some of these hotels without having to worry about ghosts pulling at your feet while you sleep.
Civil war soldiers are the subjects of many haunted hotel stories, so it is not surprising that the city of the deadliest battle of the civil war (around 51,000 soldiers were killed or injured in Gettysburg) would house some of the most haunted hotels in the United States.
The haunted Lightner Farmhouse bed and breakfast once served as a hospital for injured soldiers. If you like civil war battle reenactments performed by ghosts, this might be the haunted hotel for you. Ghosts of soldiers have been seen in the gardens behaving as if the war is still on.
Farnsworth House Inn Bed and Breakfast
The Farnsworth House Inn Bed and Breakfast, built in 1810, is known as one of the most haunted inns in America. Rooms boast period furniture, including rocking chairs known to rock by themselves. This location was used to house “sharp shooters” and boasts over 100 bullet holes in the brick walls. You might awake at night to feel the need to comfort a crying ghost or to turn off the mysteriously running water. If you like ghost animals, be sure to keep an eye out for the resident ghost cat during your stay.
Savannah is known for its architecture, landscaping, and civil war history. It is no wonder it is also known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. Savannah is well-known for its haunted cemeteries, but nearly every building in the downtown historic district boasts haunted tales of the paranormal.
Hamilton Turner Inn
The Hamilton Turner Inn, built in 1873, was constructed by Hamilton Turner just after the civil war. The sounds of laughing children can be heard along with the sound of rolling balls on the upper floors. So, if you like joyful ghosts, maybe this is your place!
The Kehoe House, built in 1892, is one of Savannah’s most elegant bed and breakfasts. Children have been heard calling to guests as they pass by, inviting them to “come play” during haunted tours such as the Haunted Trolley Tour.
Perhaps the most haunted hotel in Savannah is the Marshall House. The Marshall House, built in 1851, was used as a hospital for federal troops during the civil war. The ghosts are known to be friendly and non-threatening, so you might sleep a little easier here as long as you don’t mind hearing ghost children run down the hallways in the night.
Personal Story: My sister and brother-in-law stayed at the Marshall House last Christmas and think they may have heard ghosts in the hallway near a supposedly haunted room. They did not hear the sound with their naked ears but heard it in playback from a recording of the knocking sound they captured on their phone. Yikes!
San Antonio and Galveston, TX
Some of the least friendly ghosts seem to spend their time in the hotels of Texas.
The Menger Hotel, located in San Antonio, is touted as the most haunted hotel in Texas. The hotel boasts stories of some 38 spirits, including a maid reportedly murdered at the hotel by her husband. She survived in the hotel for 2 days and then succumb to her injuries. This maid, Sallie White, has been seen performing her duties in the Victorian wing of the hotel. An older woman has been spotted in the hotel quietly knitting. When approached by hotel staff, she snaps at them. Another asks three times, “Are you gonna stay or are you gonna go?” before disappearing. Creepy? Definitely!
The Hotel Galvez (run by the Whyndham chain) in Galveston, Texas has a room (501) known as the “Evil Room”. A young woman discovered that her fiancé had perished at sea and hanged herself in the hotel. She was staying in room 501 and has claimed that room for herself, making anyone who stays in that room keenly aware. Staff members have also reported rattling doors and randomly flushing toilets in the bathrooms.
Try the Haunted Legends Segway Experience to fully experience all that haunted Galveston has to offer beyond just one of the most haunted hotel rooms in the United States.
Eureka Springs, AR
Arguably the most haunted hotel in America is located in the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was built in the early 1800s. In 1937, Norman Baker, took over the hotel and turned it into a hospital and health resort. He proclaimed himself a doctor even though he had no medical training. He claimed he had cures for a number of ailments, including cancer. This history may play a role in the haunted history of this hotel in that patients checked in, but never checked out. In fact, the Crescent Hotel has a history of guests who stayed and never left the hotel. The hotel was once a hospital. It is rumored that a nurse who worked in the hospital still remains. At least eight spirits remain to haunt this hotel. In the 1920s or 30s, a young woman fell from the roof. An Irish stonemason lost his footing and fell from the room in the late 1800s. It’s even rumored to be haunted by Norman Baker himself.
Learn more about the Crescent Hotel in this episode of Haunting History:
International Haunted Hotel Destinations
If you’re up for international travel on your ghost quest, here’s a few international haunted destinations that may have you shaking in your nightcap.
- The Grand Hyatt in Taipei, Taiwan was built on World War II execution grounds and cemetery. Ghosts can be heard and seen, and they are not of the friendly sort.
- The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India is haunted by its architect who killed himself in the hotel when he returned after a trip out of the country to find that the hotel had been built facing the wrong direction. He was so distraught he took his own life in the hotel. He’s now said to roam the halls lamenting the mistake.
- Leaving Asia and heading the jolly old England may not bring you a peaceful night of sleep if you stay in room 333 in the Langham Hotel where a ghost may just roll you right out of your bed at night.
- Rolling along to Germany and the Hotel Burg Eisenstein that is haunted by the headless ghost of Dietrich von Hoeffel (who was killed by the owner of the, then, castle).
- In Romania, you’ll find the Decebal Hotel where a lady in white guards a legendary treasure hidden in the spa area of the now abandoned hotel.
GoodNight, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The Ghosts Creep You Out at Night
If ghosts are up your alley, there are probably hundreds of hotels to choose from. Each haunted city also typically offers many different types of ghost tours to get your fill of spirits without having to sleep with them (visit Viator for information on haunted tours including these, and other, haunted hotels). However, if you’re really feeling adventurous, give one (or all) of these haunted hotels a try. Just be prepared to possibly share your room!
Do you have any haunting experiences from your hotel stays around the world?
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