10 Haunted US Hotels You Can Stay In - If You Dare

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Spooky season has officially arrived; that sweet spot in fall between pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas — assuming you organize your calendar based on Starbucks fall drinks. There are lots of ways to fully embrace the season — Halloween TV shows to stream to watch, parties to throw with spooky and tasty cocktails, and if you want to make a real event out of All Hallow's Eve, you can spend the night in a haunted hotel.

A 2019 Ipsos poll found that 46% of Americans surveyed thought that ghosts are real. And if you're wondering how you might know you're in the presence of an otherworldly presence, Laura Pennace, paranormal investigator, and Joni Mayhan, psychic medium, told House Beautiful that some signs include an unexpected change in temperature, a strong smell without a clear source, strange noises, and rapidly draining batteries.

As for why there might be a ghost or spirit hanging around? "A lot of spirits stick around for unfinished business," Laurie Jacobson, author of "Hollywood Haunted," told the Los Angeles Times.

Whatever you personally believe, these 10 hotels have a history of being haunted. Stay if you dare!

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel originally opened in 1909. They may have recently renovated rooms, but that doesn't mean the long-time residents are gone. Author Stephen King stayed in room 217 at The Stanley Hotel for one night in 1974, and he used the real-life hotel on the hill as inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining," according to Britannica. Now named the Stephen King Suite, room 217 is one of the collection of "Spirited" rooms you can book there, along with room 401, 407, and 428 — all of which have had paranormal activity noted there.

One set of ghosts that are said to haunt the hotel are F.O. and Flora Stanley, the founders of the hotel. It's said that F.O. likes to frequent the bar and billiard room while Flora likes the piano in the ballroom, per Uncover Colorado. Room 217 has the ghost of a chambermaid who managed to survive an explosion in the room in 1911; she will tidy the room, but she doesn't like it when unmarried couples stay there. People have heard children laughing on the fourth floor. The grand staircase itself is also apparently a hotbed of paranormal activity (via Haunted Rooms).

If you don't want to chance a ghostly encounter by staying overnight, there are ghost tours of the property you can go on.

Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana often shows up on lists of America's most haunted cities. And one of the city's most haunted hotels is Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. The hotel has been in the Monteleone family since 1886, and some of the hotel's guests in its early years were Jacques and Josephine Begere and their son Maurice. Jacques and Josephine often went to the French Opera House and left their toddler Maurice with a nurse. One night, while they were at the opera, Maurice became ill and died. His distraught parents would return to the hotel in the years after he died; Maurice allegedly appeared to his mother to reassure her that he was okay. His spirit has been seen by other guests over the years, particularly on the 14th floor. Spirits of other children have also appeared on the 14th floor (via Haunted Houses). 

The hotel was investigated by the International Society of Paranormal Research, and around a dozen entities were identified at Hotel Monteleone, per Ghost City Tours.

The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California

LA's The Hollywood Roosevelt — opened in 1927 — was said to be where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard had an affair, where the first Academy Awards were handed out, and where Marilyn Monroe lived for two years in the 1940s. And Monroe is said to still be seen around the legendary hotel. Some have spotted her spirit in suite 1200, where she used to live, particularly in the full-length mirror that used to hang there. Many guests were bothered by it that the mirror was moved, and some have seen her dancing in the Blossom Ballroom, according to LA Ghost Tours.

Another Hollywood actor's ghost that is said to hang around The Hollywood Roosevelt is that of Montgomery Clift. He stayed in room 928 when filming "From Here to Eternity" in 1958, and some have felt his angry spirit in the room (via Los Angeles Times).

It's not just famous ghosts though. Among others that are said to haunt the place, a maintenance worker at the hotel told The Hollywood Reporter that many "see a little girl in a blue dress."

St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico

Built in 1872, what is now the St. James Hotel in the small town of Cimarron in northern New Mexico was built by Henri Lambert, and it was a popular stop along the Santa Fe Trail. A number of well-known Wild West legends stayed there: Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill Cody, Jesse James, and more with reports of upwards of 26 murders happening there, some evidence of which can still be seen in the bullet holes in the restaurant's ceiling (via Legends of America). And there's at least one guest who just won't check out.

The hotel has been featured on a number of ghost hunting and paranormal TV shows (via the hotel's website), including Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" and "Unsolved Mysteries." The most haunted part of the hotel is room 18. Don't even ask to stay there; the room is off-limits to guests because it's allegedly already occupied by the angry ghost of Thomas James (T.J.) Wright. Rumor has it that Wright was shot in the back after a dispute over a poker game and died at the door of room 18. Other ghosts are still at the St. James Hotel, with psychics identifying seven in specific, including Mary Lambert, the founder's wife, and a few children, according to Haunted Houses.

20 South Battery in Charleston, South Carolina

What's now an 11-room luxury hotel, 20 South Battery in Charleston, South Carolina was first built as a private family home in 1843. But the renovations, expansions, and changes in ownership over the years don't seem to have dissuaded some ghosts from continuing to make themselves known at 20 South Battery. Hauntings have been reported at the spot since the Civil War, according to Ghost City Tours.

A psychic felt the presence of spirits in room 3, the ghost tour company said. But it's not just room 3. Room 8 is said to be haunted by a legless Confederate soldier, per Viator. And in room 10 is the hotel's friendly "Gentleman Ghost," who likes to lay in the bed, Discover South Carolina reported. One time manager of the inn Elizabeth Kilminster told Live 5 News that lots of people come to the place specifically to investigate ghosts, and for her part, Kilminster's strategy for not having to deal with ghosts was to tell the ghosts "'If you're here, that's fine — I just don't want to see you. Leave us alone.' So it's worked so far."

Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts

Even if your awareness of Salem's historic connection to witches, hauntings, and Halloween is limited to the movie "Hocus Pocus," you'd still be able to guess that there's likely to be paranormal activity around town. One such spot is at the Hawthorne Hotel. The stately building opened as a hotel in 1925 named for author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The hotel is also home to the Salem Marine Society. Originally founded in 1766 to provide aid for the families of sea captains who died at sea, it has operated since 1830 from the hotel's spot; it currently occupies the top floor of the building. Some say it's possible the ghosts of some of the captains have returned to the spot and wandered the building; the ship's wheel on display in the hotel's restaurant has been seen to turn seemingly on its own, per Salem Ghosts.

And even before the Salem Marine Society, the site is rumored to have been the location of Bridget Bishop's apple orchard — though some say it's more likely to be in the nearby Lyceum hall — per Ghost City Tours. That would be the same Bridget Bishop who was the first person to be executed for witchcraft in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Regardless of where Bishop's orchard was, some guests noted a strong, inexplicable scent of apples. Rooms 325 and 612 are said to be the most haunted.

Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, California

The Queen Anne Hotel is a renovated Victorian mansion in San Francisco with 48 rooms all uniquely decorated. And while it's now a boutique hotel, it was originally an exclusive girl's boarding school when it opened in 1890. The school was run by Miss Mary Lake, who allegedly had an affair with Senator James G. Fair, the man who provided the funding for the school (via Thrillist). Both denied it, according to SFGate. The school closed in 1896, and Lake was said to be devastated. The building survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, and it was converted into a hotel nearly 100 years after it was opened as a school, per TimeOut. Lake's presence is said to still be felt at the Queen Anne Hotel, particularly in room 410 which was her former office, and a number of those who've encountered her say she's a friendly ghost, tucking people in and carefully unpacking their suitcases.

Omni Parker House in Boston, Massachusetts

Omni Parker House in downtown Boston, along the city's Freedom Trail, was founded in 1855 by Harvey D. Parker. Over its storied history, many celebrities have visited including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Babe Ruth, Bill Clinton, Judy Garland, Stevie Nicks, and Ben Affleck. And who knows, they may have encountered some of the hotel's resident ghosts while there.

One of those ghosts is Parker himself. Bellman John Brehm started working at the hotel in 1941, and he told The Boston Globe in 1992 that since he started working there, he'd heard stories of Parker's ghost roaming the halls, particularly along the 10th-floor annex, per Unpacked. Some guests have said they've been kept awake with the sound of a rocking chair, despite no rocking chairs being present, and security has been called for excess noise in room 1040, but upon arriving, no one is in the room to make any noise. And elevators will be called to the third floor, with no one waiting for them. 

Charlotte Cushman, an actor who died in her room on the third floor of the hotel, is said to have remained on the premises, according to History of Massachusetts. Before Cushman, Charles Dickens spent six months in the same set of rooms on the third floor (via Atlas Obscura). The mirror hanging in his room is still at the hotel, hanging at the end of a hallway, and some say they've seen the author appear in the mirror.

The Marshall House in Savannah, Georgia

The Marshall House first opened on Broughton Street in Savannah, Georgia in 1851. However, from 1864 to 1865, it was occupied by Union troops under the leadership of General William Tecumseh Sherman and was used as a hospital for the wounded Union soldiers. It was also used as a hospital two more times during yellow fever epidemics in the 1800s, per Ghost City Tours. With such a history, it seems like it's the ideal spot for ghost hunters to visit. It became a full-time hotel again in 1999, and it's been featured on a number of haunted hotel TV shows.

On the fourth floor of the property, people have reported hearing unexplained loud noises in the middle of the night and door knobs being turned and jiggled like someone is trying to get in (via Ghost City Tours). Other guests have said they've heard children running along the halls or had faucets turned on by themselves. 

If you want to amp up the spookiness during your stay in Savannah, the city has a number of ghost tours, including a tour of Bonaventure Cemetery by Dash Tours and The Restless Souls Tour by Afterlife Walking Ghost Tours that includes a stop at The Marshall House.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, California

The perspective on ghosts at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in the heart of California's wine country is that ghosts haunt where they felt the most joy, per Historic Hotels of America. So if ghosts hang out there, it must be because they liked it there the best. Due to the natural hot springs in the area — first discovered by Native Americans — a bathhouse was constructed in the area to entice travelers, and a resort was opened in 1927 (via The Telegraph).

An elderly man is said to haunt one of the rooms in the origins building, with guests saying they didn't feel alone, per Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Then there's Victoria, as she's called by some long-time employees, who can predominantly be found in the "Round Room" but also wanders the halls and lobby at night, according to Fairmont Moments. The hotel's "Round Room" was also supposedly the site of a guest's beheading in the 1920s, done by a jealous lover while the guest was in the bathtub, and ever since, the room has been beset by the unexplained phenomena.