Nestled atop Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains and overlooking the Victorian village of Eureka Springs, the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is considered an icon of Southern hospitality. Still, welcoming smiles give way to a dark history. Called “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” by Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, the hotel was once used as a hospital run by radio host and inventor Norman Baker, who claimed to have the cure for cancer (and was later convicted of mail fraud). Several ghosts are said to have “checked out but never left,” including Theodora, a cancer patient spotted fumbling for her keys near room 419, Breckie, a four-year-old boy seen bouncing a ball, and Michael, who fell to his death during the hotel’s construction. You may want to avoid room 218, his favorite hangout, where guests have reported seeing hands in the bathroom mirror and hearing a man screaming on the ceiling. For a friendlier ghost, look for Morris the cat, who was affectionately called the hotel’s “General Manager” for over 20 years.
If you love traveling and haunted houses, your ideal getaway may very well be an overnight in one of the best haunted hotels in America. Whether you're a skeptic or a die-hard believer, the allure of the paranormal and the intrigue of spine-tingling ghost tales are hard for anyone to resist.
The most haunted hotels in America range from historic inns to grand hotels, but all have stories passed down through generations of hair-raising encounters that defy rational explanation. Guests have reported hearing unexplained whispers or echoing footsteps in empty hallways, faucets or lights randomly turning and specific energies that will have you watching your back. From the iconic Stanly Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, which served as inspiration for Stephen King's chilling novel The Shining, or the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, which was a military hospital during World War II—each hotel has its own charm and eerie history.
Many of these properties embrace their ghostly reputation and offer special packages or tours in October or year-round. Head to one of these hotels where the living and the dead coexist in...harmony? Their reputation may keep you up at night but that's part of the fun.