In 2005, the hosts of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters arrived at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with thermal cameras in hand. What they saw at what is called “the most haunted hotel in America” was bone chilling. The image of a man in a top hat standing in the doorway of the morgue was only a few feet away from where they stood. Both of the hosts were shaken, as it’s very rare to see such a clear and complete form in thermal imaging. That’s only the beginning at the Crescent Hotel where there are plenty of guests who “checked out but never left.”
Over 100 years have passed since the hotel was built in 1885 and has been a luxury resort, hospital, and a college since that time. The Crescent is said to be haunted by at least eight ghosts including a young lady who either jumped or was pushed from the roof in the 1920s or 30s when the building was a college. Theadora—a cancer patient from the Crescent’s hospital days—is said to roam the halls looking for the key to her room. Then there’s the woman in Victorian lingerie in room 3500 who sometimes makes an appearance at the foot of the bed. Even the ghost of a cat, Morris, still makes the hotel home.
Why ghosts keep hanging around this hotel may be a mystery, but this isn’t the only hotel that reports hauntings. There are a handful of haunted hotels scattered across the nation that are worth a visit. In the spirit of Halloween, Daltile takes a closer look at our favorite haunted hotels.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel, New Orleans
We start our ghostly tour in one of the most haunted of cities in America, New Orleans. Originally, this French Quarter building opened as a ballroom in 1827. In the late 1800s, the Sisters of the Holy Family transformed the building into an orphanage, school, and medical facility. When a yellow fever epidemic struck, many children fell ill and died.
Today, there are reports that the ghosts of children and nuns lurk about the hotel. There are also rumors that there is a lone, ghostly dancer who waltzes in the old ballroom.
Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island, San Diego
This historic resort on lovely Coronado Island was built in 1888 and remains a beloved destination today. It is reportedly the home of the ghost of disaffected lover, Kate Morgan. In 1892, Kate checked into the hotel to meet up with her estranged husband—who never showed up. Days later, she was found on the beach, dead from a gunshot wound.
Visitors and staff report cold spots, breezes that come from nowhere, odd noises, and even sightings of a woman in a black lace dress. Room 3502, Kate’s room, is especially paranormally active.
Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Stephen King thought up horror novel, The Shining, while staying in room 217 of this hotel nestled in the Rockies. But it’s the fourth floor that you should visit if you want a ghostly experience.
The hotel was opened in 1909 by F.O. and Flora Stanley, whose ghosts are often spotted in the billiard room or music room where the piano sometimes plays on its own. Guests occasionally report hearing the laughs of children even when there are no children present in the hotel.
Omni Parker House, Boston
The Omni Parker House opened in 1855 and was run by Harvey Parker until 1884 when he died.
Guests have reported seeing the ghost of Mr. Parker and hearing him ask about their stay. Room 303 became the stuff of legend when Stephen King took inspiration for his story 1408 from when a businessman died in room 303. There are have been reports of laughter and the scent of whiskey in the room ever since.
The Marshall House, Savannah
Savanah, Georgia is often hailed as the most haunted city in America. The Marshall House, the oldest hotel in the city, was built in 1851 and was converted to a hospital once for Union soldiers during the Civil War and twice for outbreaks of yellow fever.
Guests report seeing ghosts in the hallways and hearing children running. Occasionally, faucets spontaneously turn on and doorknobs are rattled. But that’s just the beginning. During a renovation, human remains were found beneath the floorboards, probably the result of surgeries during the winter when nothing could be buried.