Get Spooked at the Most Haunted Hotels in the West
Toast spooky season with a stay you won’t soon forget.
If harrowing haunted houses or deserted ghost towns fail to raise your adrenaline, perhaps it’s time you book into a haunted hotel this Halloween. Thanks to the storied history of the region (both good and bad), some of the most haunted hotels in America are right here in the West. These stays have a mysterious air about them, perfect for those who dare to interact with the afterlife. So, pack your bags for a night or two and cross your fingers for some paranormal activity. Let’s hope your stay is not unwillingly extended.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
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 the 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.
Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California
While San Diego is indeed a Southern California dream, for some, it induces nightmares. As the story goes, Kate Morgan checked into the Hotel Del Coronado 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.
The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, Canada
The Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Canada, with a long history of spooky stories, including a slender mustached man walking the halls with a cane (thought to be the building’s architect, Francis Rattenbury) and on the sixth floor, guests have reported an elderly woman in pajamas knocking on their door and leading them toward the elevator before vanishing.
The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, California
The Santa Barbara–based hoteliers who recently restored the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley may have meticulously updated the historic property, but that doesn’t mean they were able to clear out the ghouls. Paranormal investigators have visited and claimed that they have experienced a presence in the 165-year-old building, and given the history of this Gold Rush town, we wouldn’t be shocked if it were true.
National Hotel and Restaurant in Jamestown, California
Only an hour away from Yosemite National Park, the National Hotel and Restaurant 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 fiancé 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.
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Both staff and guests have reported the presence of a woman in the penthouse of this five-star property in Colorado Springs. Some say that presence is the founder of the hotel, Julie Penrose, who mysteriously went missing in the woods nearby, and was found shaking and disoriented in the dark of night. About a week later, she suddenly died. Some say she still lurks throughout the hotel, watching over the property and seeking answers about her own mysterious death.
The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California
Though the hotel is currently closed for restoration and has been since the start of the pandemic, it’d be impossible to write this list without mentioning what has been dubbed by some as the most haunted hotel in America. Adorned in Art Deco grandeur, guests can sleep surrounded by the original wood paneling and portholes as its guests did when it first crossed the Atlantic on its maiden voyage in 1932. The now-abandoned pool is one of the most active areas that encounters happen throughout the ship, though several of the rooms on board are also said to be haunted, with sightings of apparitions that have done everything from turning on the water taps to pulling off guests’ bedsheet covers.