Check into These Haunted Hotels for an Overnight Fright
This Halloween season, book a stay you won’t forget at one of these haunted hotels around the West.
As they say, many guests have checked into these hotels but a select few have never checked out. Let’s just say these spooky stays are not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to run into otherworldly guests, as these hotels have a cool air that cannot be explained.
These hotels are each rumored to have at least a ghost or two roaming the halls. Now, they’re not all ghouls as some of the beloved ghosts are known to staffers and guests alike. One is even nicknamed the friendly ghost and has been spotted enjoying dinner and a drink with guests, while others have pulled pranks and left the staff wondering where that bottle they just put down went.
From the Old West to mining towns, these hotels have played a role in the region’s history and many have left an impact that can still be felt today. At an old saloon where outlaws celebrated success and death, for example, many souls are still sitting at the bar waiting for their chance to find that precious gold. The storied history of the West (good and bad) shines through each of these hotels in a mysterious way.
Whether you’re fully immersing yourself in spooky season or just want to explore the thrill of the otherworldly spirits, these hotels are sure to give you a fright. Pack your bags for a night or two and cross your fingers. Let’s hope your stay is not unwillingly extended.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
The Stanley Hotel is mostly known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s 1977 bestseller The Shining. It opened in 1909 and is now a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts. Some of its “permanent” guests include noisy children and original owner Freelan Oscar Stanley and his wife, Flora. Stay on the fourth floor if you’re curious and—if you’re really brave—room 418.
Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee, AZ
Phelps Dodge Mining Co. built the Copper Queen as a luxurious place for dignitaries, investors, and politicians to stay while visiting Bisbee, Arizona. Completed in 1902, it was one of the most modern hotel in the West at the time, and it’s considered to be the oldest continuously operated hotel in Arizona. According to rumored lore, men may have an encounter with the ghost of Julia Lowell on the third floor or in room 315, and a little boy named Billy sometimes comes out to haunt.
Historic Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, AK
Established in 1916, the Anchorage Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. It was renovated in 1989 and is the only historic hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. Sightings are so frequent at the property that the owners keep a ghost log to detail the experiences. The second floor is home to some guests who have yet to check out.
The Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco, CA
The Queen Anne is not only an elegant bed and breakfast, it is home to several invisible guests. The hotel was originally built as the Miss Mary Lake’s Finishing School for Girls in 1890. The school closed in 1896 and ownership changed hands many times over the years. In 1980 it was renovated and eventually reopened as the Queen Anne Hotel. Mary Lake haunts the hotel and spends time in room 410, which was once her office.
The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR
Simon Benson is such a workaholic he still stops by to check on this Oregon hotel even in death. Benson built the Benson Hotel in 1913 and today it stands as one of Portland’s finest stays. Some say the ghost of Benson can be seen throughout the hotel on the seventh, ninth, and twelfth floors dressed to the nines in his most formal, and ghastly, suit. Benson sightings have also been recorded in the bar where it has been reported that he knocked guests’ drinks out of their hands, misplaced items behind the bar, and gave guests the old tap on the shoulder and run. Sometimes Benson is joined by his son who enjoys jumping out from behind and scaring guests.
St. James Hotel and Restaurant, Cimarron, NM
The stories of the Wild West come to life at the St. James hotel. Built in 1872, this hotel and saloon was a one-stop shop for outlaws, with a record 26 murders occurring within its walls. Many cowboys stopped by for a cold drink and possibly never left. In a 1901 renovation, more than 400 bullet holes were found in the ceiling above the bar. It is rumored that many restless spirits still reside at the hotel but one room in particular exhibits more paranormal activity than most. Thomas James Wright haunts room 18, where he was shot in the doorway after winning the rights to the hotel in a poker game. The room is not available for guests to stay in due to Wright’s supposedly reckless behavior, which includes pushing a prior owner down and a number of mysterious deaths within the room.
National Hotel and Resturant, Jamestown, CA
Only an hour away from Yosemite National Park, the National Hotel and Resturant has one guest that never fully departed. Casper’s girly cousin, Flo, is the hotel’s friendly ghost. Flo died of a broken heart after her fiance was shot to death by a drunken stranger on a cold December morning. Some say they can hear her sobs late at night and have spotted her gliding through the halls in her lace wedding dress. Each room has a journal so guest can record their run-ins with Flo.
Hotel Parq Central, Albuquerque, NM
What started as a hospital for railroad workers and later became a psychiatric facility is now the boutique Hotel Parq Central. Patients and hospital staff report feelings of being watched, strange scratch marks suddenly appearing on their bodies, bedsheets being ripped off, and whispers in their ears. This was enough evidence to have the Los Muertos Spirit Seekers hold an investigation where they successfully performed the flashlight technique (or the answering of questions from spirits by turning on a flashlight). The hotel has used this spookiness to its advantage as the rooftop bar is apothecary-themed.
Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Regarded as a Southern California dream, not all guests enjoyed their stay at the Hotel Del Coronado. As the story goes, Kate Morgan checked into the hotel on Thanksgiving Day in 1892, where she waited several days for her male companion to show up. He never did and on the fifth day, she allegedly took her own life. Ms. Morgan’s spirit is still checked into the hotel with guests reporting flickering lights, a television that turns itself on and off, breezes that come from nowhere, strange scents and sounds, items moving of their own accord, doors that randomly open and close, abrupt changes in room temperature, and unexplained footsteps and voices. The ghostly happenings have attracted many to pay tribute to Kate’s spirit as the room she stayed in is the most requested at the hotel.
Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs, CO
Opened in 1893 to attract the wealthy to the mining town of Glenwood Springs, Hotel Colorado is said to be cursed by the Ute Indians, who were driven off the land in 1880. But that is just the beginning of supposed paranormal activity within the walls of the hotel. Bobbie, a World War II nurse who was murdered by a jealous lover, can be seen in the dining and kitchen areas, and sometimes you can smell her perfume, “Gardenia,” a scent from the ’30s and ’40s. In 1933, a wife and her ill husband checked into room 661 where she tended to him by opening the windows. When his wife left the room, a woman proceeded to come in and close the window, insisting the man needed to avoid the draft. The wife returned to the room and reopened the window but moments later it shut. This went on for the entirety of the man’s sickness. The strange woman has also been recorded by other guests who stayed in the room.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
The historic ship has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began and there’s no telling when it will reopen. We can’t round up haunted places in the West and not mention it, however. Now docked in Long Beach, California, the ship has been a floating hotel and museum and is thought of as one of the most haunted places in the world. The first-class pool is one of the most active areas but encounters happen throughout the ship.