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Checking In: 5 Must-see haunted hotels

Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance travel writer specializing in hotels and resorts. She's the author of The Food Lovers' Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appea...

Spirited stays

Ever stayed at a hotel you loved so much, you didn't want to leave? These ghosts have. The following haunted hotels have a spooky history that's more alive than some of its residents.

Checking in

5 Must-see haunted hotels

Ever stayed at a hotel you loved so much, you didn't want to leave? These ghosts have. The following haunted hotels have a spooky history that's more alive than some of its residents.

The Driskill Hotel, Austin

Built in 1886 by cattle baron Jesse Driskill, The Driskill Hotel is the oldest building in Austin, Texas. Driskill died three years after the hotel's completion but continues to enjoy the fruits of his labor even in the afterlife. The smell of faint cigar smoke and flickering bathroom lights are attributed to this playful ghoul. But Driskill wasn't the hotel's first sprightly spirit. That title goes to the young daughter of a senator who fell to her death while chasing a ball down the lobby's grand staircase. Her spirit has been spotted in the lobby, the ladies room and the stairs, always with a ball in tow.

The Driskill Hotel, Austin

The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite National Park

Legend says that the ghost of Mary Curry Tressider, a woman instrumental in The Ahwahnee Hotel's development who passed in 1970, haunts her old apartment on the California hotel's sixth floor. On the third floor, creepy experiences are more high-level. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy stayed here during a visit to Yosemite. By special request, hotel staff placed a rocking chair in his room, a way for the president to relieve chronic backpain. After Kennedy's death housekeepers began reporting the presence of a moving rocking chair in the room, despite the fact that it hadn't been furnished with one since the president's last visit.

Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown

From 1920 to 1954, the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York, was home to the Knox School for Girls. Today, guests report hearing children playing and giggling in the third floor hallway and apparitions have been seen walking hand in hand in period clothing. But it doesn't end there — staff members have heard their names being called from unseen sources and full on conversations have taken place in the Glimmerglass Room without a soul in sight. Not to worry, though. None of the reported experiences have been malevolent. Apparently, girls just want to have fun — even after they're dead.

Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park

Colorado's The Stanley Hotel served as inspiration for Stephen King's bestseller, The Shining. King stayed in room 217, which is otherwise occupied by Miss Elizabeth Wilson. Once the hotel's chief housekeeper, Wilson was injured by an explosion in 1911 that shot her from the room to the floor of the MacGregor Room. Since the 1950s, guests staying in room 217 have enjoyed some extra care courtesy of Wilson, who does things like unpack guests' suitcases. For the full experience, book the five-hour ghost hunting session with The Stanley Hotel's paranormal investigator. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at areas inaccessible to the public.


The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

The Carolina Inn's most notable ghost is that of former longtime resident Dr. William Jacocks. A physician with the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, Jacocks made the North Carolina inn his permanent home after retiring in 1948. History depicts Jacocks as a fun-loving prankster and that's continued even after his move to the "other side." The friendly ghost likes to lock and jam doors and makes himself at home in room 256, not even bothering to straighten the bathmat after he's rumpled it. It seems Jacocks has a sweet side, too. He often fills the room with the distinct aroma of fresh flowers.

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The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill

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