Haunted hotels in the US: An interactive map
Haunted hotels in the US: An interactive map
28 OCTOBER 2014 6:39 AM
STR Analytics has found 419 hotels in the U.S. that are said to be haunted by at least 629 ghosts. View an interactive guide of the haunts.
You might not believe in ghosts, but there is definitely something to the stories told about spirits looming in hotels where life and death often meet.
Certainly, a haunted aspect to a hotel adds to its mystique and can help with marketing. Given the volume of ghost stories throughout the industry, it is difficult to doubt their credence. Sometimes people witness apparitions. Other times things move around inexplicably. Other encounters still are more subtle:
Several years ago, my wife and I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a weekend getaway. My wife was five months pregnant with our first child, and by all accounts, it was a normal and smooth pregnancy. 
As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Santa Fe is rich with history, and we decided to venture on a ghost tour through the heart of downtown. It seemed like a mellow tour and was even scheduled during the daytime. How spooky could it really get? 
We passed through La Fonda, a haunted hospital that had closed (and since converted into the Drury Plaza) and a couple of other harmless locations. Then we went to La Posada de Santa Fe, a resort property that was once the estate of the Staab family. The Staab House still stands as the main building to the resort. We proceeded to a suite in the original mansion, which was the bedroom of Abraham Staab and his wife, Julia. As we settled in the room in anticipation of the next folktale, my wife suddenly felt hot and queasy and endured a sharp stomach cramp that prompted her to exit the mansion to get fresh air. I remained in the room while our tour guide proceeded with the story behind the Staab House. Given what my wife just experienced, the tale she told was a bit unnerving.
The master suite in the Staab House is reportedly still home to Julia, even though she died in 1896. Abraham convinced Julia to move to Santa Fe from Germany so she could produce heirs to his fortune. Over the course of 18 years, she had eight children and reportedly experienced 11 miscarriages. Her youngest child died shortly after child birth, which caused Julia to fall into a deep depression. She became a recluse and remained in that room for 13 years until she supposedly killed herself at the age of 52. To this day, numerous guests and employees at the resort claim to see her spirit in that room on occasion.
After we exited the Staab House, I reunited with my wife outside. She was feeling much better—until I relayed the eerie story to her. And no, she did not have any other such incidents for the remainder of the pregnancy.
It might be easy to propose various logical explanations rather than paranormal activity, but experiencing something like that firsthand can make you question your understanding of the hereafter. 
As Halloween approaches, many people flock to find haunted venues in hopes of connecting with spirits that have yet to pass on to the next realm.
Interactive apparitions
We have found 419 hotels in the U.S. that are said to be haunted by at least 629 ghosts, perhaps more. (If we included smaller inns and bed-and-breakfasts, the number would undoubtedly rise.) For those interested in finding a spooky presence, the interactive map below allows you to sift through the hotels with supernatural activity and the details about the spirits and their stories.

In most cases, these entities can be tied to a particular incident and often a specific person. It appears these post-life visitations are the result of either an unexpected departure from this world at or near the hotel, or the death of someone who had an extremely strong connection to the property.
We were able to identify the cause of almost half of the reported hauntings. Some were one-time incidents, while others were the result of tragic events, such as the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of the Alamo or the yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans.  

Cities with longer histories, such as St. Augustine, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Santa Fe; San Antonio; and New Orleans obviously have older buildings and thus have a higher potential for hauntings. While one would think those in the afterlife would prefer to spend eternity in luxury, ghosts apparently are not that particular. The spirits researched are housed almost evenly among the various classes of hotels.

The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Columnists published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.   


  • Scared! October 28, 2014 5:45 AM

    I've stayed in the haunted room just off the lobby at the Don Cesar. TV turned on in the middle of the night. Thank you for this great story!

  • Dr.PeterVenkman October 28, 2014 8:32 AM

    I always ask if there's a haunted room to stay in, especially when I'm staying at older historic hotels. Most of the time the clerk is happy to talk about it but sometimes they get uptight about it. A fact is a fact and you have a haunted room you should celebrate it. What's the worst thing that can happen? Maybe a guest will come to the front desk and tell you "He slimed me."?

  • jeffhigley11 October 28, 2014 8:37 AM

    Hey Dr.PeterVenkman, I usually don't chuckle when I read comments on the site, but I have to hand it to you--great Ghostbusters reference! You came, you saw and you kicked (butt). Thanks for reading HNN.--Jeff Higley, editorial director

  • MJones October 28, 2014 9:25 AM

    Happy to see you have Chico Hot Springs Resort in Montana on the map - the ghost is Percie Knowles, the original owner of the resort. While she did not die at the resort, she did confine herself to her room (346) for an extended amount of time, and she continues to visit that room. Percie is also known to frequent other areas of the Main Lodge including the third floor, lobby, dinning room, lounge, and kitchen.

Comments that include blatant advertisements or links to products or company websites will be removed to avoid instances of spam. Also, comments that include profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, solicitations or advertising, or other similarly inappropriate or offensive comments or material will be removed from the site. You are fully responsible for the content you post. The opinions expressed in comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Please report any violations to our editorial staff.