Ghostly Getaways: Haunted Hotels, Creepy Castles, Mysterious Mansions, Bewitching Bed-and-Breakfasts, and more! (Part I)
October 1, 2020
Many hotels, inns, and even castles offer spooky weekend retreats. Why not have some fun and book a stay at one of the haunted places listed below:
17-Hundred-90 Restaurant & Inn - Savannah, GA
The History: This inn was actually built in 1820, not 1790. First a boarding house and later an inn, this home has had many owners and guests. One of these guests was Anne Powell. The legend says she was unhappily married at 16 years to an Englishman. She fell in love with a German sailor who left her "in the family way." She watched his boat sail away and then committed suicide by jumping from a window, landing on the brick pavement below.
The Haunting: Anne Powell, the most famous ghost at this inn, is believed to haunt guest room #204 from where it is said she jumped to her death. She isn't a menacing spirit: she sits beside the fire, lays out guests' clothes or plays pranks on guests waking them up in the wee hours of the morning by setting off the alarm. Another ghost in the basement kitchen and restaurant doesn't like women very much and shoves them, but he’s countered by the ghost of a merchant marine who helps the staff turn the lights off at closing.
See It: Savannah ghost tours stops for a drink, but you can go for a bite to eat at the restaurant yourself. Or if you really dare, ask for room #204 and spend the night!
Brumder Mansion - Milwaukee, WI
The History: George Brumder had the home built in 1910 for his son, George Jr. After they sold the home, the house was everything from a boarding house to a Lutheran church activity center. They used the home for office space, a theater, and later a coffee house with a live music venue. The current owners purchased the home in 1997 and opened the renovated space as a B&B in 1998.
The Haunting: The Gold Room was once the room of a Brumder daughter who never married after being spurned in love early in life. She is said to still stay in the room; in fact, she was quite appalled and upset when the current owner spent the night in this room with her dogs!
See It: It's a Bed & Breakfast, so you can request the Gold Room and spend the night! You can even join a ghost hunting seminar or enjoy a haunted history dinner!
The Carolina Inn - Chapel Hill, NC
The History: Owned by UNC, this inn was built by a UNC graduate in 1924. Throughout its history, it has been used by the campus to host conferences, guests, and alumni. Today the proceeds from the inn are given to the university library.
The Haunting: Professor William Jacocks haunts room #252. Although guests claim to have encounters with the professor, the hotel staff say he has never frightened anyone to the point of packing their bags and running. Instead, he’s a friendly ghost who plays pranks such as holding doorknobs so doors won't open, rustling papers, and making the occasional noise. Some claim there are additional ghosts walking the halls and looming over their shoulder, but more curious than menacing.
See It: Spend the night in this historic hotel, and receive a jovial welcoming from the resident impish ghost!
Crescent Hotel - Eureka Springs, AR
The History: Founded in 1886, the Crescent Hotel started its career as an elegant hideaway for the Victorian wealthy. However, not able to stay afloat, the hotel closed. It was reopened in 1908 as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women, but closed in 1924. In 1937, it was opened as a hospital and health resort. Norman Baker claimed to have a cure for cancer but was met with scrutiny as it came to light that he had no medical education. He was later imprisoned on mail fraud. The hotel was reestablished in 1946.
The Haunting: The fresh spring water under the hotel must attract spirits thirsting for human interaction! There are many different haunted areas from guest rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds. Guests have seen a woman in the hall, a tall man knocking on doors, and former cancer patients and nurses. The hotel's website posts a long list of guest experiences.
See It: The hotel offers history tours for groups of 10 or more. Ghost tours are available by Eureka Springs Ghost Tours.
Driskill Hotel - Austin, TX
The History: Jesse Lincoln Driskill opened the hotel in 1886. It was grand and luxurious, funded by his success as a cattle baron. In 1888, the family lost its fortune due to drought and a cold winter that killed most of the cattle. The hotel then changed from owner to owner with the most recent change of hands in 1995.
The Haunting: Driskill is claimed to wander the hotel, puffing cigar smoke while he turns lights on and off. There is also the ghost of a small girl bouncing a ball, said to be the daughter of a Senator, who was left unattended playing with her ball and fell to her death.
See It: The hotel is open to guests and offers all kinds of pampering.
The Feathers Hotel - Ludlow, Shropshire, UK
The History: The original building was built as a private residence in 1619 but has been modified. After the English Civil War, in 1670, it was changed to an inn and remained one for 200 years! In 1863, it was changed to a hotel and the owners started to acquire more land and expand. Why the name feathers? There are faded motifs of ostrich feathers on the hotel’s outer woodwork, which were a symbol of the Prince of Wales and "en vogue" at the time of construction, and the town of Ludlow was royalist even during the English Civil War.
The Haunting: There is a female "guest" in room #211 who is known to bother women, pulling their hair and letting them know they are not welcome. There are a couple gentlemen ghosts roaming about, including one who is accompanied by his ghost dog!
See It: You can go on a ghost hunting adventure with Eerie Evenings or Haunted Breaks. Or you may opt to spend the night and enjoy the historic surroundings.
Heceta House - Yachats, OR
The History: Built in 1894, this house accompanies a lighthouse on the Oregon coast. The complex also includes a post office and school. Only the keeper's house has tales of hauntings. Many believe the keeper was the mother of a child who fell off the cliffs at the turn of the century.
The Haunting: A ghost named Rue is said to be an extra caretaker. She makes it known if she’s displeased with any activity in the house, such as the humorous account of her screaming in the middle of a card game!
See It: Now a bed and breakfast, offering guided tours from its interpretive center. Although the owners don't play up the ghost, guests have reported strange encounters.
Hotel Del Coronado - San Diego, CA
The History: Babcock and Story built the resort to be the "talk of the Western world" in 1888. Since then it has been visited by presidents, foreign dignitaries, celebrities, and heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Thomas Edison. The hotel was famous as a backdrop for "Some Like It Hot" starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.
The Haunting: Tales of ghosts started with the untimely death of Kate Morgan, a guest, in November 1892. She came to meet her estranged husband who never showed. Kate was found dead on the hotel steps leading to the ocean. She died of a gunshot wound to the head, which was officially deemed a suicide, but is speculated to be a case of murder. She likes to slam doors and randomly turn on the TV, and some have seen indentations in the sheets as if someone was sleeping on the bed. There are other ghosts in the hotel who love to flicker the lights, provide cold spots, and make some random noises.
See It: Stay at this stunning resort and enjoy the spa, golf course, pool or take surfing lessons. Kate's room has been #312, #3312, and is now #3327 - verify with staff.
Hotel El Convento - Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
The History: This former Carmelite convent named The Monastery of Our Lady Carmne of San Jose was founded in 1651. The nuns left this convent in 1903 and the site fell into ruin, until 1962 when Robert Woolworth purchased it to make it into a resort.
The Haunting: Dona Ana was a noblewoman who lost her husband in the war with the Dutch and then turned to her faith. She donated the land for the Carmelite convent. It is said her spirit and those of nuns can be seen about the grounds and gliding through the halls.
See It: Enjoy a luxurious stay with these faithful spirits.
Jerome Grand Hotel - Jerome, AZ
The History: Built in 1926, this building was originally the United Verde Hospital. The hospital was built to be fireproof and withstand blasts from the dynamite mining nearby. One of the best hospitals in the west, it unfortunately was phased out when the mining in the area began to slow down and closed by 1950. The building stood empty until 1994; it had been a time capsule having been unchanged for 44 years. It is now being restored as a hotel with many of the rooms already completed and open for guests.
The Haunting: Being a hospital, there were many patients that perished within its walls. However, there were deaths of two orderlies that many believed to have been murder. There is also one recorded suicide. When the building lay dormant for 44 years, locals claimed they would still see lights burning in the vacant building. Since being reopened, more paranormal activity has been noticed. The most common is for guests to feel temperature drops and hear coughing or labored breathing in empty rooms or corners of their own guestroom. One ghost is said to be a woman who died in childbirth. She is upset that her child was buried in an unmarked grave and prowls the ground looking for the babe.
See It: Being the highest point in the Verde Valley, the hotel offers some great views and, if you're lucky, maybe a ghost or two!
Kehoe House - Savannah, GA
The History: This home was built in 1892 for William Kehoe and his family. The large family (they had 10 children!) kept the home until 1930. After that the home became a boarding house, funeral parlor, and a private residence. In 1992, the home opened as a B&B; it changed ownership in 2003, but remains an inn with a B&B atmosphere.
The Haunting: The main tragedy of the house, that we know of, was the death of the Kehoe twins who died when playing around the chimney. Children can be heard running the halls and some guests have even had children check in on them in their rooms. But if you don't see the children, their mother Annie is reputed to still wander the rooms, making sure to tuck in all the guests at night!
See It: Ask for rooms #201 or #203 and spend the night!
Kewaunee Inn - Kewaunee, WI
The History: Built in 1912 by William Karsten, this inn is still commonly known as the Hotel Karsten. Father and son managed this hotel until William Karsten Jr.'s death in 1964. The hotel then changed hands and received various facelifts. The most recent owners renamed the hotel to the Kewaunee Inn at Hamachek Village in May 2008.
The Haunting: The ghosts at the Kewaunee Inn didn't start to bug the living until after renovations started in 1966. The inn website mentions that the triad of ghosts include William Karsten, Sr., Billy Karsten III (who died at 5 years of age, shortly after his grandfather), and Agatha the housekeeper. Agatha seems to be the most active, floating about the halls and popping up behind you when you look in the mirror! She doesn't seem to like men much - so any male guests be on your guard! William likes to have a drink at the bar now and then, and Billy still runs up and down the hall playing.
See It: If you’re brave enough, spend the night!
Lemp Mansion - St. Louis, MO
The History: This house was purchased by William Lemp around 1864 to use as a residence and office for the family brewery. William's father had used a family recipe/method to create a lager beer. This beer quickly became popular and William's father abandoned his grocery store to become a full-time brewer. The beer continued to be made by the family until 1922, when family mishap and prohibition forced them to shut down for good and sell. The mansion itself has a sorrowful history with one brother dying under mysterious circumstances, and three other men of the family committing suicide inside.
The Haunting: With three suicides, one can easily guess where the idea of ghosts haunting the mansion started. However, the family’s odd history also adds fuel to the imagination. There is the rumor that William Lemp had an illegitimate son with down syndrome who was kept hidden in the mansion attic his whole life. He is now said to be seen haunting the mansion. Tales of haunting first started after 1949 when the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. Strange knocking and footsteps throughout the mansion scared the tenants away so the house started to run into disrepair. In 1975, the mansion was saved and renovated and turned into a restaurant and inn. All types of sights and sounds have continued and are still reported today.
See It: The mansion is a bed and breakfast, which offers tours and a restaurant for those who don't want to spend the night. They also host a Halloween Party and Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.
Lizzy Borden House - Fall River, MA
The History: As with so many haunted homes, this story begins with a murder. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered by ax in their home. Their eldest daughter, Lizzy, was tried and later acquitted of the murders. However, she was ostracized from the community for the rest of her life. Some consider that she had a split personality, even those close to her recall erratic and violent behavior. And of course, there was the creation of the rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, gave her father forty-one!”
The Haunting: There is a strange woman who tucks guests into bed, and perhaps the same woman can be heard weeping in the night. Objects move on their own and electrical equipment, such as lights and cameras, have some interference. Many claim the most active room is Lizzy's old bedroom, which you can stay in if you want...
See It: The home is now a bed and breakfast. You may spend the night, take a tour, or even spend a weekend at Ghost Hunter University!