Events & Festivals
5 Scary Haunted Hotels
The Crescent Hotel, located in historic Eureka Springs Arkansas, prides itself in being called America’s “most haunted” hotel. While other hotels may lay claim to that title, I can’t argue with the moniker due to the personal experiences I had while staying there in its most famously haunted room – 218.
The Crescent was built in 1886 and has served as a hotel, experimental cancer hospital, and community college over its 120+ year history. Abandoned for several years in the 1940s the hotel was restored to its Victorian opulence in 1972.
Employees of the hotel are accustomed to odd sightings. Several spirits seem to have taken up permanent residence there â€“ that of a woman roaming the hallways and another of a little boy displacing cookware and cutlery in the Crystal Dining Room kitchen.
While hauntings have been reported throughout the hotel, room 218 is perhaps the most famously haunted area. The room is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a stonecutter named Michael who fell to his death in the area where the room is today. Reports of toilets flushing on their own, lights flashing on and off and guests waking in the middle of the night feeling an unseen hand pushing on their backs are quite common.
The Crescent Hotel gained national notoriety in recent years after being featured on the SciFi Channel’s show “Ghost Hunters” and given the hosts’ seal of approval as a legitimately haunted place. Infrared footage of a dark silhouette was captured during their investigation.
During my stay at the Crescent, I couldn’t escape an eerie feeling that enshrouded me during my visit. My wife felt it too and claimed she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched. In the morning our bath water wouldn’t heat up while the rest of the hotel enjoyed hot water. Certainly strange…but perhaps the strangest occurrence of all was the fact that our daughter was conceived there – and born on Halloween.
Castle Leslie, located on 1000 acres of meticulously kept grounds in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland has been home to the Leslie family for over 300 years. What was once Glaslough Castle was originally deeded to the Leslie family in 1665. A popular attraction with celebrities, the goal of a retreat to Castle Leslie is to be cut off from the annoyances of modern day life. Here you will find no telephones, televisions, or radios, but you will find gourmet meals (a cooking school is on site), an equestrian center, and a private hunting lodge. Castle Leslie is 5-star luxury hotel with an eccentric twist. The Castle is famous for its wacky showers and outrageous toilets.
Numerous visitors from the other side are known to reside here. Among the otherworldly figures known to pop up frequently are deceased members of the Leslie clan. Perhaps the most famous story is that of the Normanâ€™s Room, named for the spirit that reputedly haunts it â€“ Norman Leslie. Apparently his mother Lady Marjorie was sleeping in this room one night and awoke to see his ghost standing near the foot of her bed apparently looking through some letters. After a while this apparition of her dead son turned to her, smiled and then faded away. Norman was destined to inherit the castle but died prematurely while charging a German machine gun nest armed only with a sword.
Straying not too far from the Emerald Isle across the Irish Sea is the Langham Hotel in London, England. Originally built in 1865 the hotel was once owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The Langham was opened to the public by King Edward VII to great fanfare. It was Londonâ€™s biggest building at the time, and the cityâ€™s first great luxury hotel.
The hotel was bombed during the Battle of Britain in 1940 and remained in ruins until Hilton International purchased it in the 1990s. Hilton has done a wonderful job restoring the hotel to its former grandeur. Public rooms in this hotel display the power and opulence of the British Empire during its heyday. The private rooms are not as luxurious but are well kept and furnished with French provincial furniture and Red Oak trim.
Perhaps owing to the hotelâ€™s former ownership, hauntings here have been well documented. According to one popular tale, a BBC announcer who stayed in room 333 at the Langham awoke to see a brilliant light in his room morph into an Edwardian gentleman. Ghosts have been seen donning Victorian garb, and a German soldier has been seen roaming the hallways. The most fabulous tale is that of Napoleon III who has supposedly selected to spend eternity in the hotelâ€™s basement. Itâ€™s a safe bet the casual ghost hunter may find ghosts here if he so desires and the truly brave should stay in room 333. If you like scary hotels, theres a few other things that would scare you to death in London.
Hotel del Coronado
Another famously haunted hotel is the Hotel del Coronado of San Diego, California. Built for the then-staggering sum of $1 million, the Coronado opened its doors to business in 1888. It is a landmark to a bygone era of Victorian beach resorts constructed entirely of wood. To this day, it is still the largest beach resort on the North American Pacific coast.
Over the years presidents, movie stars, and royalty have stayed at the hotel. The Coronado appeared in the movies Some Like it Hot, The Stunt Man, and My Blue Heaven. It is thought that Englandâ€™s Edward VII met his future wife Wallis Simpson while staying at the hotel. She was a resident of Coronado.
The hotel now may be most famous for its haunting. The most famous haunting is the story of Kate Morgan. In 1892, she checked into room 302 to meet, and reconcile, with her estranged husband. Her husband, Tom, never showed up. Kateâ€™s body was found six days after checking in on the steps to the beach in front of the hotel. At the time, her death was immediately ruled a suicide when a bullet wound was found in her temple. Circumstances surround Mrs. Morganâ€™s death in mystery. The truth about her death may never be known. Perhaps that is why she haunts the Coronado.
This ghostly tale of reconciliation never realized has fascinated paranormal investigators for years. There is extensive documentation on the presence of Kate Morganâ€™s ghost in the hotel. What was once room 302 is now known as room 3312. Paranormal investigators trip over themselves trying to book this room. It may be the well-documented haunted room on the planet. Numerous times investigators have captured pictures of a smoky haze and recorded sounds that have no obvious source. Ghostly images abound on the Internet of Kate Morgan. If you are not able to check into room 3312 (it is a very popular request), donâ€™t worryâ€¦Kate is rumored to wander around the hotel.
Finally our tour around the globe of haunted hotels takes us a short distance up the coast of California to another famously haunted hotel. This hotel, however, is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a very famous person. The Hollywood Roosevelt, named after President Teddy Roosevelt, opened in 1927. The Roosevelt is another homage to a bygone era. During its heyday, the hotel was the center of Hollywood and served as the location for the first Academy Awards ceremony. The Roosevelt was the place to be during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The hotelâ€™s prime location across the street from the Chinese Theater made it a very popular choice for Hollywoodâ€™s biggest stars. Some of its most famous guest liked the place so much they refused to check outâ€¦ever.
Montgomery Clift, star of From Here to Eternity, stayed at the hotel in room 928 during the making of the classic movie. On windy evenings it is said that one may hear him playing his bugle and reciting his lines from the movie in the hallway or in room 928. The other famous resident ghost is reported to be that of Marilyn Monroe. She was a frequent guest of the hotel in suite 1200. Marilynâ€™s image is said to have been caught in a mirror that was formerly located in the aforementioned suite has been relocated to an area near the elevators in the lobby. Today, Marilynâ€™s former (and perhaps current) haunt is known as the Marilyn Monroe Suite and, yes, the hotel accepts reservations.