Lindsay and I have drastically different feelings about seeing ghosts. When I check into a hotel that’s known for having ghosts, like Murphys Historic Hotel (in photo above), I light candles, talk to the walls, open the windows and invite them to my room to chat. Lindsay, on the hand, wants nothing to do them and keeps the windows and doors of her room locked tightly, barely sleeping in fear of a visitation. If you are ‘dying’ to have a ghost visitation like I am, here are our picks for America’s 10 Most Haunted Hotels and which rooms to sleep in (i.e. the one with the most reported hauntings).
1. Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Ghost: Although she died in 1939, “The Princess,” aka Caroline Foster, is still a long-time inhabitant of the hotel. Princess Caroline Foster’s ties to the resort go back to its inception, when her husband, railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, built the grand resort in 1902. Incorporating special accommodations for his wife, construction of the resort included an indoor swimming pool and a private dining room for Caroline, known today as the “Princess Room.”
Sightings: Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, there are light taps on doors when no one is outside and items that suddenly disappear and then reappear in the exact place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing the vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their guest bed—the same custom-made four-post bed Caroline shared with her husband. We can provide an image of Room 314 and images of the hotel.
2. Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK
Ghost: William Balser Skirvin, the owner of the original Skirvin Hotel, had a mistress, named Effie, that got pregnant with his illegitimate child some time in the early 1930s during Prohibition. To avoid public detection, Skirvin kept Effie, who had worked as a maid in the hotel, on the top floor of the building as her pregnancy advanced. After the birth of the child, Skirvin continued to imprison Effie and the infant on the top floor, never allowing them to leave. According to local lore, Effie became so stir crazy that she jumped – with the baby in her arms – from the hotel’s highest point, killing them both.
Sightings: The legend of Effie, her crying baby and the woman’s nude apparition have been associated with the Skirvin Hotel for decades now. Legend has it that Effie’s baby could be heard crying throughout the hotel, so much so that many guests complained about losing sleep due to the constant sobbing. Some male guests also reported hearing a woman’s voice propositioning them, as Effie was known for her loose morals and promiscuity. Other men reported seeing the image of a naked woman while in their rooms.
3. Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina
Ghost: The 100-year-old Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC has had a ghost roaming its halls for over half a century. She is referred to as the ‘Pink Lady’ because of the flowing pink gown she wears. It is believed that this young woman was a guest in Room 545 (see photo below) in the 1920s and that she either jumped or was pushed to her death in the Main Inn’s Palm Court, five floors below.
Sightings: New reports of her sightings still occur, especially by young children. Some say they just see a pink mist, others a full apparition of a young long-haired beauty in a pink gown.
Ghost: Murphys Historic Hotel’s most frequent phantom, Eleanor, worked as a chambermaid in the early 1860s. It was there she fell in love with a gold miner who went to seek his fortune, promising to return for her. Sadly, he never did. Legend has it she is STILL waiting in spirit form for him at the hotel.
Sightings: Despite being eternally scorned, Eleanor is a friendly ghost. She likes to haunt the kitchen, where she tends to throw small objects like coffee beans, and also hangs out in the Mark Twain Ballroom. In 2009, the American Paranormal Research Association (APRA) conducted a paranormal investigation of the hotel. An unexplainable piece of audio — many locals say was Eleanor — was collected in the Mark Twain Ballroom. Read on HERE to find out what ghost visited Lindsay and me when we stayed there.
Ghost: As one of the oldest resorts in America (built in 1766) and has a long history including reports from the 14th floor located in the resort’s oldest wing. As the story goes, in the early 1900’s, a woman was set to be married at the resort, but on the day of her wedding her husband-to-be ran out and never returned. The bride became so distraught that she took her own life.
Sightings: Now her spirit roams the 14th floor of the resort asking guests and staff for the time with hopes her groom will return.
Ghost: The hotel has a rich history dating back to 1882 when a Santa Fe Trail merchant, Abraham Staab, built it as a three-story Victorian mansion for his family. When Julia, Staab’s wife died in 1896 at the age of 52, her presence continued to live on throughout the home.
Sightings: Today, the Staab House at La Posada de Santa Fe retains its original structure and is home to a cozy bar, and Suite 100, which used to be Julia’s bedroom. To honor her, the hotel staff makes sure to invite her to parties held in the house and to greet her when they enter her bedroom.
Ghosts: The story goes that in 1936, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the hotel’s swimming pool during a family trip. Now, a dripping-wet boy is said to appear near room 310 — the room his family had stayed in.
Sightings: In the 120-year old hotel, supposedly there are ample opportunities to see ghosts. As far as the little boy is concerned, guests say he remains silent, but leaves behind a trail of wet footprints.
Ghosts: As one of the only places a full-bodied apparition on infrared camera was captured, there’s plenty of ghostly faces and orbs to see. Michael, a young Irish stonemason who came to America to help build the hotel, and is the property’s ‘friendly’ ghost. When he leaned over the landing to check out a girl passing by, he fell to his death near room 218, one of the rooms with the most reported paranormal activity.
Sightings: Head to the 4th floor as well where Dr. Baker, who treated patients with cancer at the former hospital, lived. Baker, along with some of his patients and nurses, have reportedly been seen roaming the halls as ghosts. One patient has been seen numerous times fumbling for her keys outside of room 419. The former morgue is also a good place to hang out to see apparitions.
Sightings: Flip through the “Ghost Diary” in your room. You’ll discover lots of harrowing tales of sightings or a feeling of presence. It’s said most of the sightings happen on the upper floor. In fact, when we stayed there last winter, I took a picture of my room, and there was a ghostly, blue orb that appeared on the bed’s wooden headboard – and I did NOT have the flash on! Spooky, indeed.
Ghosts: The 126-year old historic hotel has been around long enough to warrant some ‘full-time’ paranormal residents. A young woman who worked in the dining room around the time it opened it 1887, Eller Day, was murdered by her boyfriend in the servants’ quarters of the hotel. It is now where the spa is and there have been reports of her haunting the scene of her fatal ending.
Sightings: Happy ghosts also have been seen. Neighbors of the hotel have reported a couple dancing on the hotel roof at night. Books are said to float off the shelves at the Buckskin Booksellers, within the hotel. A physic visited Ouray before the Beaumont’s renovation and heard music emanating from within when she walked around its perimeter, saw horse-drawn carriages, and generally got a very happy feeling about the building. Lindsay on the hand, felt a spooky, female presence in her second-floor room, particularly in the bathroom and behind the draperies next to the bed.
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Photos courtesy of respective hotels, unless noted.