Spooky Slumbers: 9 Most Haunted Hotels In The US

by | Aug 29, 2023 | Destinations, Family Adventures, USA

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Are you a family of wannabe Ghostbusters? If the idea of combining the thrill of a haunted house with the amenities of a hotel sounds as enticing as a tropical vacation, you’ve come to the right place – our guide to our favorite nine most haunted hotels in the US. 

In the most haunted hotels in the United States, you can expect a lot more than just room service. (Insert distant cackling.) These hotels promise ethereal company and a sprinkling of historic hotel spookiness. Join us on this eerie run-down filled with ghost sightings and strange noises.




The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Think your kids were difficult this morning? Try waking up to the twins from Stephen King’s “The Shining.”  The Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, Colorado, which inspired the aforementioned novel, is renowned for its paranormal activity.

Hang on there, ghostbuster.


Ghost family on Halloween - most haunted hotels in the united states

A family of ghosts needs a vacation full of ghosts. Shutterstock


These apparitions won’t give you an ax-wielding scare. They’re more likely to tuck your kids in at night or serenade you with spectral piano music. Be sure to sign up for the family-friendly ghost tours where you can explore the beautiful hotel.

Word of advice: if room 217 is free, maybe pick another. Just to be safe. However, you must take the stairway to the second floor from the lobby if you would like to walk through what is largely regarded as a paranormal portal and the most haunted section of this hotel.


Haunted hotel on a hill - most haunted hotels in the united states

So spooky it glows! Shutterstock


The Hay-Adams Hotel, Washington DC

This luxurious hotel, rated as one of the top hotels in the world, is located directly across the street from The White House. It has a rich history which also happens to be full of unexplained phenomena.

The Hay-Adams Hotel is named after its famous residents – John Hay and Henry Adams. John Hay played many important political roles, including secretary to Abraham Lincoln. Henry Adams, historian and Harvard professor, was a descendant of President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams. In addition, he was the beloved husband of the hotel’s most famous ghost, Marian Hooper Adams. Upon losing her father, Marian took her own life in 1885. Visitors have often reported feeling her presence, especially on the fourth floor. Faint music and the soft whisper of a woman crying linger there.


Female ghost in old ballroom - most haunted hotels in the united states

Is that you, Marian Hooper Adams? Or is it just my imagination? Running away from me. Shutterstock


Hotel del Coronado, California

Oh, the sun-kissed beaches of San Diego! Where the Victorian splendor of the Hotel del Coronado stands. The current owners have invested more than $400 million dollars into renovations!

This luxury hotel is known for its resident ghost, Kate Morgan, a beautiful young woman who checked into the hotel in 1892 and, well… never checked out. Legend says that she waited for five days for her lover to join her until she took her own life. She’s often seen wandering the halls or gazing out to sea, possibly waiting for her lover, who never came for her. Don’t worry, though. She really is more romantic melancholy than creepy horror.

Speaking of romantic melancholy, Marilyn Monroe is a celebrated guest here too. Whether she still visits is up for debate.

Get acquainted with Kate and others at the Haunted Happenings Tour, which is offered nightly to guests ages 12 and up.

If you grow tired of ghost hunting (it could happen), be sure to check out the golf course. The Coronado Golf Course is regularly ranked as one of the best in the nation!


Eerie image of woman behind a curtain - most haunted hotels in the united states

Girl, it’s been a few hundred years, pretty sure he’s not coming. Shutterstock


1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Arkansas

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs offers incredible amenities- a luxury spa, a rooftop garden, and the hotel lobby marks the spot of a portal to “the other side.” Many people become faint or even pass out when crossing the portal.

Known as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel,” its friendly resident spirits include Michael, a stonemason who fell to his death during the hotel’s construction, and Theodora, a cancer patient from the days when the building served as a hospital. These spirits and their friends make this an ideal vacation destination for ghost hunters.

If your kids are into arts and crafts, they will enjoy folding towels with Theodora, who often assists hotel staff in the task. Show me a Hilton Kid’s Activity Center that offers that kind of magical fun.  Do warn them not to leave their belongings out, though. Michael is known for his “playful nature” and might relocate them. Fun! 

Can you believe it gets even better? Morris, a beloved cat who once prowled the hotel halls, is still seen (and sometimes tripped over) by guests. His ghostly feline presence is most enjoyed by the younger kids. Word of advice: Do check your luggage on your way out. No one wants to take a spooky cat ghost home. Meow.


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Cat's shadow against full moon - most haunted hotels in the united states

What could be creepy about a cute cat ghost? Insert Stephen King’s Pet Cemetary. Shutterstock


Bourbon Orleans Hotel, New Orleans

In a city famous for its embrace of the supernatural, it’s no surprise that the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, one of its oldest hotels, is home to a slew of friendly spirits. The hotel offers an excellent package for hotel guests who love ghost stories called “Spooky Stays with Ghost City Tours.” You can get 15% off of your guest room and your ghost tour tickets.

Really, you don’t need paranormal experts to encounter the hotel’s most celebrated guests. Largely regarded as one of the most haunted places in New Orleans, the ghosts are everywhere. If you want a guaranteed encounter, then you should request to stay in one of the guest rooms on the fourth floor.

This place is family-friendly too! Young guests, in particular, will enjoy making friends with the ghost children from the hotel’s stint as an orphanage, seen and heard playing in the halls. Sweet! Everyone loves making friends on vacation. 



Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida

With its history of gangsters and lavish parties, the Biltmore Hotel, which opened in the early 1900s in Coral Gables, provides more drama than a reality TV show.

If you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you see it), you might run into Fatty Walsh, a mobster killed over a little gambling disagreement. Hey, it happens. Nowadays, Fatty haunts the hotel elevators, playing pranks and causing mischief. (Elevator rides really should be more thrilling.) His afterlife motto? ‘Why rest in peace when you can party in the afterlife!’


Not often used hotel desk bell - most haunted hotels in the united states

Did you ring? Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Shutterstock


Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, California

In the heart of Tinseltown, glitz meets ghostly glamor at the Hollywood Roosevelt. American screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, lived here for two years. She loved it so much that she apparently never left. Monroe’s spirit has been spotted primping in a mirror she once owned and dancing in the hotel’s ballroom. If your kids are aspiring stars, they’ll be thrilled; it’s not every day that you get to see a legend like Monroe!

Another superstar in her own right is a little girl or spirit named Caroline, who is probably one of the most frequently spotted at the Roosevelt. She wanders the hallways in a pink jacket looking for her mother.


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Creepy little girl's shadow in hallway - most haunted hotels in the united states

Are you my mother? Nope. Not even a little bit. Shutterstock


Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island takes the phrase ‘vacationing in another era’ quite literally. The hotel is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a musician who never quite made it off the stage. The phantom fiddler entertains guests with impromptu concerts. His melodies can often be heard in the middle of the night. Who needs a white noise machine when you’ve got a ghost violinist on call?


Mom and daughter check under the bed for monsters. - most haunted hotels in the united states

Bring a small flashlight. It’s best to check thoroughly for monsters upon arrival. Shutterstock


Omni Parker House, Boston, Massachusetts

As America’s longest continuously operating hotel (and birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie), the Omni Parker House has had plenty of time to gather a gaggle of ghostly guests.

Famous guests, or ghosts, include Harvey Parker, the hotel’s founder, who enjoys checking in on guests, and Charlotte Cushman, an actress who dramatically recites lines in the halls. The Omni embraces its eclectic paranormal history; ask any hotel employee, and you will get ghost stories galore.


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These ghostly getaways prove there’s more to family holidays than theme parks and beach resorts. Remember, in these haunted hotels, you’re never alone – and that’s part of the fun! You never know who (or what) might show up in your family vacation photos.




Steffy McCourt married her college sweetheart and is mom to three active and awesome boys, two budgies, one cockatiel, and a mischievous corgi. She is currently an ELA Teacher On Special Assignment in Plymouth, Michigan, and she is a freelance writer for parenting magazines, education websites, meditation apps, and travel magazines. She has an MS in Educational Leadership from Butler University and a BA in English from Indiana University. Find out more at www.steffymccourt.com.