If you’re spooked by the supernatural, staying at a haunted hotel probably isn’t on your travel bucket list. If paranormal activity is an appealing hotel amenity, however, consider these hotels below. Some former guests, it seems, have never been able to fully check out. Are you brave enough to check in?
THE EMILY MORGAN HOTEL—SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
This hotel near the Alamo has a reputation for hosting more than just the tourists who sleep here. Repurposed into a hotel in 1984, The Emily Morgan Hotel once housed a hospital complete with crematorium and morgue. Even the gargoyles on this gothic-style masterpiece dating back to the 1920s depict ailments and afflictions, a nod to the building’s original purpose: to treat the sick and injured. Staff and guests of the hotel have experienced strange occurrences on the seventh, ninth, and fourteenth floors, as well as the basement—floors that reportedly once housed the psychiatric ward, surgery level, waiting level, and morgue, respectively. Doors have been known to spontaneously open and shut; shadows will appear where none should be; apparitions of nurses and patients will appear then disappear; unexplained shrieking will awake guests; elevators will ride up and down with nobody (alive) on them. Even creepier: Elevators are known to mysteriously bring guests down to the basement level where the morgue once was.
ADMIRAL FELL INN—BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
The spirits of rowdy sailors are said to haunt the halls of Admiral Fell Inn. Originally opened in 1770 as a Christian boarding house for seamen, this historic hotel in Baltimore’s Fell’s Point neighborhood eventually found itself surrounded by shady bars and brothels. It wasn’t uncommon for people to die here after heavy nights of drinking and other nefarious activities. Today, the ghosts of some of these sailors have reportedly been heard partying upstairs (even when the building is empty) and wandering the halls of the Inn. The most haunted room is 413, where a former boarding house tenant is said to have mysteriously died. Housekeepers have been known to refuse entering that room because of the disturbing presence inside. Guests of the hotel can schedule a free ghost tour, which takes you through the Inn’s seven buildings and ends with drinks at the bar.
BOURBON ORLEANS—NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
Paranormal investigators have identified up to 17 different ghosts residing at The Bourbon Orleans, making it one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans. The French Quarter building dating back to 1817 was once an orphanage and convent. The specters of little children and nuns have been seen and felt throughout the hotel. One of the most frequent sightings is that of a little girl who rolls her ball, chasing it down the sixth-floor corridors. But the hotel is also home to older forever residents from other eras, like the ghost of a Confederate soldier who is said to stalk the third and sixth floors, as well as the lonely ghost dancer who twirls beneath the crystal chandelier of the hotel ballroom.
THE STANLEY HOTEL—ESTES PARK, COLORADO
Steven King was so spooked by a stay at The Stanley Hotel in 1974, it inspired one of his most famous horror novels-turned-movies, “The Shining.” He stayed in Room 217 of the run-down, Victorian-era hotel as it was closing for the winter and only a few staff remained. “I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming,” King later wrote. Guests have since reported all sorts of spine-tingling sensations and apparitions at this hotel that’s found a second life, ironically, thanks to its dearly departed residents. Occurrences range from flickering lights, luggage being packed up, and items moving on their own. Along with Room 217 being a popular request, guests who stay on the fourth floor have reported hearing children running, laughing, and playing. The hotel embraces its paranormal notoriety with Spirited Night Tours.
THE 17HUNDRED90 INN—SAVANNAH, GEORGIA
Count Miley Cyrus among the many who’ve claimed to have had an encounter with the eternal guest who haunts The 17Hundred90 Inn. The bed-and-breakfast is home to Anna, the lovelorn ghost who resides in Room 204. Legend says she became heartbroken when her sailor love left town, and threw herself out the room’s window. Some say her spirit lingers in the room, sobbing and standing by the bed, waiting for her love to return. Cyrus tweeted a photo while staying in Room 204 on a film shoot, citing a souvenir from Anna: a mysterious handprint on her boot.
THE QUEEN ANNE HOTEL—SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
The Queen Anne Hotel is home to one of the nation’s friendliest ghosts. Originally built in the 1890s as the Mary Lake School for Girls, the historic Victorian mansion is said to still be home to the former headmistress of the school—who reportedly still lingers in her old office, now Room 410. She’s been known to unpack suitcases, tuck guests in, and sing to them while they fall asleep. Hauntings are not limited to Room 410, as guests have reported feeling cold spots and seeing strange reflections in mirrors all around the hotel.
THE CONGRESS PLAZA HOTEL—CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
The Congress Plaza Hotel has hosted countless guests over its more than 120 years—so it’s only fitting that some have chosen to linger well past check-out. One of the hotel’s most famous patrons was Al Capone, who set up his headquarters here back in Chicago’s 1920’s gangster era. His ghost has been spotted near his suite on the eighth floor. Another infamous apparition is Peg Leg Johnny, a mischievous spirit who likes to turn room lights and electronics on and off. Among the most popular room requests is Room 441, where a female ghost reportedly kicks guests awake from the foot of the bed. The hotel embraces its reported paranormal activity with a tongue-in-cheek gala each year that invites the living: The Haunted Halloween Ball.
20 SOUTH BATTERY —CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
A caution to solo-traveling ladies: You may want to steer clear of Room 10 at 20 South Battery, unless you’re open to sharing your bed with its resident ghost. Nicknamed “The Gentleman Ghost,” this sensitive specter reportedly crawls into bed with women who stay in the room, only to make a prompt exit through the wall (where an original door used to be) when the woman awakes and screams. The ghost is thought to be a young man who once lived in the building with his family, but committed suicide by jumping off the roof. The Inn is also home to a less-friendly ghost in Room 8. Described as a “headless torso,” he’s been known to visit guests in the middle of the night, breathing a raspy breath beside the bed and banging on the walls. He’s believed to be either the ghost of a Confederate soldier or the infamous pirate Steve Bonnet.