The scariest haunted hotels that have existed in the U.S. may not come equipped with a wall warning of “redrum” or a man going slowly but surely psychotic because he didn’t take the advice of Samuel L Jackson and pick a different room, but they are still pretty scary.
Let’s face it, it’s tough to be scarier than the combination of Stephen King’s warped mind and Jack Nicholson’s being Jack.
These five haunted hotels, however, take a heck of a run at it and deliver some seriously disturbing paranormal thrills.
At least that’s what the survivors say…
In reality, none of these hotels have claimed any lives under circumstances laid at the feet of paranormal activity, at least not lately.
Two in fact are not open for business any longer due to fires, but can still be visited to some degree which in all honesty is more than enough. A stay overnight really is not needed for those.
That, however, does not mean they are not disturbing in their own ways and have left some people so disturbed they can’t even describe what they felt. In one case a patron reported being so scared he soiled himself, and that’s no joke.
When you’re so scared you shake in your boots, it’s for real.
LIZZIE BORDEN HOUSE – Massachusetts
A favorite is the Lizzie Borden house In Fall River Massachusetts.
Yes, the same Lizzie Borden of the rhyme nearly everyone learned that went: “Lizzie Borden took an axe, And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.”
The Lizzie Borden House, now often known as the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast located on Second Street, is not really a place for the faint of heart.
Some of the reports of weird activity have been laid at the hands of sensationalism for tourism, much like the rhyme stating she doled out eighty-one whacks to her parents when twenty-nine is actually all she needed to dispatch them.
Either way, it’s pretty bad.
While many have said they saw Lizzie or her parents, and some have even said they experienced an actual contact of sorts with an apparition, from personal experience I can say I didn’t get any of that.
It was chilly, it was creepy, it certainly didn’t feel right, but voices and visions? None of that was experienced.
It was just a place that made you feel as though you were on the cusp of something very very wrong about to happen.
Perhaps you can chalk that up to the power of suggestion and good marketing, or maybe it is something truly is about to happen.
Hotel Provincial – New Orleans’ French Quarter
The next on the list comes from no other place than New Orleans, Louisiana, in the famed French Quarter. Already world renown for some very creepy things going on surrounding the world of the paranormal.
While a dozen or so locations in the Quarter have a reputation for being haunted, a few of which are hotels, The Hotel Provincial takes the cake with little competition.
Guests have been reporting doors slamming, the sound of footsteps where there are no feet, and drawers opening and closing of their own accord.
Even some voices and apparition like visions have been reported.
One thing reportedly overheard by several guests visiting on different occasions is the sentiment “Tell Dianne I have to go.”
That is supposed all the doing of a soldier that died on the grounds and has never made his way to the other side.
The thing many people are unaware of is countless soldiers died there as this was once the location of a military hospital as far back as 1722, which also helps account for the numerous sightings of surgeons plying their trade in some rooms.
In 1831 houses were built on the site and they then burned down in 1874 which is when the Provincial was born.
While staying there you may not be dragged kicking and screaming across the room, or even see a soldier in full dress uniform materialize and dissipate before your eyes, but it’s a pretty safe guess that with all these seeds planted in your mind you’ll be pretty creeped out.
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Crescent Hotel – Arkansas
One of my all time favorites is a hotel that served as a hospital for cancer patients in the 1930’s, The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs Arkansas.
Even for people that are prone to be the ultimate skeptics, this place is just too weird to want to stay in unless you really are into accidentally evacuating your bodily waste.
Guests have reported seeing things like ghost doctors and nurses roaming the halls for years.
Sometimes they are alone, sometimes carrying out duties like transporting dead patients to the morgue.
Guests have regularly complained about waking up to find their clothes and possessions tossed all over the room as if someone was searching for something.
It is possible people are making it up, but do you want to take that chance?
If you are a true glutton for punishment the room to request is 218, and if so you better do it well in advance as it books up with no problem.
The story behind that room, or more aptly the area of that room, is that a stonemason fell to his death in that vicinity during the construction phase and has never left.
The staff calls him Michael, but nobody really knows his name. They say he at times lets out blood-curdling screams as if he were just above people in beds.
Others have said he appears in the mirror and actually tries to reach out and take a hold of them!
Maybe you don’t buy into all that, but then again, do you really want to find out?
You don’t want to miss my personal ghostly encounters at the Crescent Hotel that I’m sharing over here.
Maribel Caves Hotel – Wisconsin
The Maribel Caves Hotel is another place from personal experience (many years ago) I can say will scare the hell out of you, hence the name it is mostly known by; “Hotel Hell.”
The Hotel Hell is located in Wisconsin (Manitowoc County), but be advised it is against the law to visit there anymore so saying it makes the list a bit unfair in some regards, but people regularly take their chances and sneak onto the property looking to basically experience a slice of something that is beyond fear they have ever known.
A little history can help set the vibe about this extraordinarily chilling place. The Hotel Hell has burned down three times, each incidence being on the exact same date, save the year of course.
The final time it burned down was in 1930 and reports state that every patron died in their sleep.
While that is hard to believe, those on the scene at that time swear it was true, and to this day there are human skeletons scattered throughout various locations.
Again, according to some people, but reportedly debunked. The Hotel Hell was the scene of mass murder in which a guest apparently experienced a psychotic break murdering everyone in the hotel before taking his own life.
People still claim there are sightings of people or ghosts staring out windows, and that if you shine a flashlight at a second-story window a ghost will shine one back at you.
People have reported feeling threatened in the basement area.
Books that remain from the old days when the hotel was open have reportedly spontaneously combusted.
There has been “new” blood on the walls, and apparitions congregate on the front lawn and by the side of the road.
The final bit of “history” takes some real suspension of disbelief to digest, but as the legend goes the spirits were trapped which attracted a local coven of black witches that used the site for their rituals.
Intentionally or not they supposedly opened a portal to hell itself through the fountain that sat in the front of the hotel.
When this happened many believe that evil spirits made their way from the hell through the portal to that location and terrorized the locals until a white witch performed a cleansing ceremony that sealed the portal.
The problem is, as some state, not all the evil spirits were expelled, and some of the spirits of remaining guests remained tethered to the hotel still wandering around to this day.
In fairness, Unexplained Research, an organization specializing in investigating such phenomena has noted the following bits of history. They are supplied along with what many believers say are the reasons to refute their findings.
Their research states the hotel only burned once in 1985 contrary to other reports and eyewitness accounts delivered by people years after the supposed last fire. Perhaps the fire did occur but was not quite the massive blaze reported.
They report finding no skeletal remains, but others say that perhaps the county removed them and transported them to a paupers grave.
There is no evidence of mass murder and suicide at the hotel, but many say that was deliberately not recorded to preserve the limited tourist attraction the former spa once was. With all that said, they are still investigating because apparently something unnatural is going on one would assume.
Personally, I never made it to within ten yards of the fountain before wanting to turn tail and run, and that was in the mid-afternoon. It was a feeling of knowing you just weren’t supposed to be there. Again, it is private property and entering the grounds is at this time trespassing, so please respect the law.
You can, however, observe the grounds from just outside the restricted boundaries and see for yourself what many others have felt before.
Holmes Murder Castle – Chicago
The scariest hotel in the U.S. by far, in my opinion, is in Chicago of all places and is simply known as Holmes Murder Castle.
Dr. H.H. Holmes as he was known most of his adult life is reputed as one of America’s grisliest mass murderers ranked up there with the most despicable known in the nation’s history.
Everything he had was primarily gained through less than virtuous means.
He showed a penchant for torturing animals as a child, but people turned a blind eye wanting to believe he was just “inquisitive” about anatomy and biology.
What they failed to admit was this was a sick twisted man.
Holmes reportedly murdered the woman that hired him to work in her Chicago pharmacy in order to wrest control of it.
This was nothing new as he murdered for insurance scams and reportedly to sell cadavers to medical schools as well as feed his blood lust.
Many believe that to some degree the Saw movies are rather loosely based on some of his exploits although presented a bit different.
He admitted to 28 murders although it is believed that is a mere fraction of the amount he truly carried out.
The real horror of this location was the basement, or more aptly the torture chamber. Eventually, the building did burn to the ground and was replaced by a post office, but to this day there are people that say the spirits are still roaming around searching for peace and that just standing on that parcel of Earth is enough to bring on waves of anxiety and a feeling of being stalked.
Maybe these places really are haunted and maybe they are not. It is possible it is all hype and imagination overpowering our sensibilities.
Then again maybe there really is more to these locations than meets the eye.
Maybe just maybe there really are spirits waiting and looking or a way to the other side.
Whether you believe the affirmative or not on this is irrelevant as these are great places to visit, especially with Halloween coming up so be sure to book in advance and bring an extra change of underwear.
It never hurts to be prepared.