Haunted houses, ghosts in hotels, and
supernatural legends are something that we see on TV all the time.
The question is do you believe in ghosts? Are you curious enough
about the supernatural to stay in a hotel that has legends of ghostly
visitors. Check out the stories below and make that decision for
Historic Hotels of America, part of
the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has gathered dozens of
ghostly accounts from its member properties around the country. Below
are six stories from its archives. Fact or fiction? I suppose that
depends on whom you ask.
|Guests and employees of the Hotel Monteleone in New
have reported unusual activity at this French Quarter landmark. Some say
they've come across the invisible "doorman" of Le Cafe, who likes to
open and shut the restaurant's doors, or the ghost called "Red," a hotel
engineer from years ago who still dutifully makes his rounds. One entity
known as "Solemn John" is thought to be a Tennessee businessman who took
his own life after losing money in a deal during the Great Depression --
look for the dapper gentleman in a suit, circa the 1930s.
|The Menger Hotel opened in 1859 next to the Alamo in San Antonio
and is reported to have so many resident ghosts that it's a wonder
there's any room left for the paying guests. Supposedly, at least 32
apparitions have been spotted here. Among them is chambermaid Sallie
White, killed by her jealous husband in March 1876. The bill for her $32
funeral was paid by the Menger and recorded in the hotel ledger. She
walks the halls in her late 19th-century housekeeping uniform, carrying
towels that she never delivers. Then there's Capt. Richard King, who
enters his old suite through a spot in the wall -- it's where the door
used to be during his time. One modern-day guest said he stepped out of
the shower and found the figure of a man in a buckskin jacket and gray
trousers standing next to the bed and talking to an unseen person.
Perhaps he wandered over from the Alamo?
|The Don CeSar Beach Resort near St. Petersburg, FL, has strange
of its own. While studying in Europe in the 1890s, Thomas Rowe fell in
love with a young woman named Lucinda, but eventually her disapproving
parents quashed the relationship. He went on to build the Don CeSar,
known for its distinctive pink facade, in 1925. In the lobby he placed a
replica of the courtyard and fountain where he and Lucinda used to meet
in Europe. The fountain is no longer there, but some report the sudden
appearance of a dark-haired beauty and a man in a Panama hat, walking
hand-in-hand and then fading away.
|The art deco Georgian Hotel in seaside Santa Monica in Southern
California housed a popular speakeasy toward the end of the Prohibition
era. It attracted mobsters like Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone, as well as
Hollywood folks like Clark Gable and Carol Lombard. Nowadays, the hotel
gets attention for spirits of another kind, mainly in the hotel's
Speakeasy Restaurant, which is used for special events. Some have heard
running footsteps and seen transparent figures. A chief engineer
repairing a pipe said he felt an unseen visitor sit down beside him and
then let out a deep sigh. Another employee often heard a disembodied
voice offer a friendly "good morning" in the restaurant. This continued
until the day the staffer decided to respond with the same greeting.
Henry Doherty was a minority
shareholder in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, and in
1933 he moved into a suite of rooms here, living with his wife, daughter
and the hotel's executive housekeeper, who looked after the family. The
daughter and housekeeper died suddenly and mysteriously, just a short
time apart from each other. It's said that after Mr. and Mrs. Doherty
moved out in 1973, strange things started to occur at the hotel: TVs and
lights would turn on at 4 a.m., housekeeping carts would move on their
own and people reported feeling a breeze where there were no open
windows or doors. One guest staying adjacent to the former Doherty suite
complained of strange noises coming from next door, although the room
was unoccupied. The Omni Shoreham has restored these accommodations and
now calls it the "Ghost Suite."
|At the grand, seaside Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego, guests
and staff have reported strange occurrences. A traveler
who neatly placed his shoes and socks by his bed each night would awake
to find them tossed across the room. In the gift shop, some say they
have seen cocktail glasses fall off a shelf yet land upright and
undamaged on the counter below. One of the most enduring supernatural
legends is that of Kate Morgan, who is thought to have committed suicide
on the property in 1892. Since then, witnesses have reported odd noises,
eerie faces and the ghostly figure of a young woman in a black dress.
Check into room 3327 for a possible encounter with Kate.