Stay If You Dare: 7 Haunted Hotels for Overnight Fright
Haunted hotels in the United States number in the hundreds, according to Historic Hotels of America, with Confederate soldiers, abandoned brides and ever-welcoming hoteliers refusing to vacate the premises even after death. For those looking to book an overnight thrill this Halloween season, we’re sharing our favorite ghost stories from hotels so great that some guests refuse to ever check out.
Opened in 1928 as Maryland’s largest hotel, the Lord Baltimore sadly became the site of several suicides during the Great Depression, including the murder-suicide of a family of three who jumped to their deaths. Forever 7-year-old Molly wanders the halls rolling her red ball and leaving handprints on glass doors while her parents can be seen dancing in the ballrooms.
In the golden age of Hollywood, this hotel directly across the street from the TCL Chinese Theater was the “it” place for screen stars to wine, dine and recline. Almost a century later, some of the biggest names of Hollywood’s past can still be spotted on site. Marilyn Monroe appears behind patrons’ reflections in the mirrors of her regular suite, No. 1200, and Montgomery Clift keeps visitors up late as he practices the trumpet in room 928.
The Equinox was Mary Todd Lincoln’s preferred escape from humid summers in Washington, and it was no surprise when the family permanently relocated to an estate adjacent to the hotel after Abraham’s assassination in 1865. Contemporary guests recognize the former First Lady’s spirit on the hotel’s third floor, often accompanied by her sons.
On Thanksgiving Day 1892, young Kate Morgan checked in to the beachfront Hotel del Coronado and waited five long, lonely days for her estranged husband to meet her. When he did not show up, she took her own life on the 5-star property’s sandy shoreline. An unexplained breeze still wafts through Morgan’s room, and a vision of a woman in a black lace dress has been reported on the beach.
A popular speakeasy during the Prohibition era, Seattle’s Hotel Andra still hosts regular paranormal partygoers. The ghoulish guests may be almost 100 years past their prime, but they still know how to party. After dark, the ninth floor erupts with swing music and breaking cocktail glasses as the Jazz Age revelry gets underway — only to go quiet when mortals arrive to investigate.
The Roaring ’20s brought celebrities, royalty and future President FDR as overnight guests to the Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables — but the beachfront property’s 13th floor was the site of the murder of gangster Fatty Walsh before the hotel was repurposed into a military hospital during World War II. When it was reopened after the war, visitors reported men in army uniforms floating above the ground and vanishing into thin air. The only remaining original elevator goes to the 13th floor without being called, even though the floor requires a key card — Fatty wants company.
On the heels of its grand opening, the Mayflower Hotel hosted President Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural ball; however, the man of the hour was not in attendance — instead he was grieving the recent death of his teenage son. Twelve years later when the celebration was moved to Jan. 20, the lights in the Grand Ballroom dimmed and flickered, and an elevator stood frozen until descending from the eighth floor, where the president had stayed, to the lobby in time for the party to begin at 10:15pm. Like clockwork, staff can anticipate this phantom presidential appearance every year on that day.