Is it that time of year?
Haunted hotels are getting more active
If you are looking for a chill other than from the cool outside air, you may want to think about a more spooky source. Whether you are on a Halloween getaway or looking for fall colors turning into winter's fallen dead, we found some places that just may chill you to the bone. Across the country and around the world, there are many places where you can stay the night alone, with a loved one or perhaps with someone of a ghostly nature. From the beaches of Florida and southern plantations in the southeast to the heart of hollywood in California, you can explore a bit of history and maybe even feel the past come back to you.
AllStays.com has a feature section on haunted hotels and other lodging (//www.allstays.com/Special/haunted.htm) with links, stories and guest comments. “It is probably the most interesting project when dealing with lodging research,” says Jonathan Stocker of AllStays.com. “We started working on it a few years ago, along with our Pet Friendly, Bed and Breakfast and Lighthouse rental directories, to give travelers something different.”
There are places in almost every state in the United States, in all different price ranges and AllStays is constantly adding more each month as they find them and try to fill in the history. For something warm and on the high end, you can visit St. Pete Beach, Florida.
“Time is infinite. I wait for you by our fountain . . . to share our timeless love, our destiny is time.” Thomas Rowe received the above note upon the death of his beloved Lucinda. The two met in the 1890s when Rowe was attending school in Europe. Lucinda's parents forbade the relationship and the forlorn Rowe returned to America. For years his letters to her were returned unopened. Then in 1925, Rowe built the Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa in St. Pete Beach , Florida. The lobby of the hotel included a replica of the courtyard and fountain where Rowe and Lucinda used to meet. Although the fountain no longer exists, employees at the Don CeSar tell tales of seeing a couple who suddenly appear walking hand-in-hand in the hotel and then disappearing.
For another example, and perhaps one of the most haunted, there is the Myrtles Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana . It is on the Smithsonian's list of the most haunted places in the world and you could argue that it may have as many ghosts as any place in America. No less than ten murders have been committed here since it was built in 1794 by General David Bradford. It is said that he built it on an Indian burial ground, which is not usually a good start for a haunting depending on how you look at it.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel , in Hollywood, California, was named after President Theodore Roosevelt. After opening in 1927, it became the center of Hollywood. The first Academy Awards ceremony (then called the Merit awards) was held in the Blossom Room in 1929 and the Academy held their meetings here from 1927 to 1935. Montgomery Clift stayed at the Roosevelt for three months during the making of “From Here To Eternity” and some say his ghost stayed here for eternity. On windy nights, some may hear his bugle playing in the hallway or his room 928. Marilyn Monroe lived on and off in Cabana 246, posing for her first ad on the diving board of the swimming pool. Her own mirror is still there, only now located in the lobby. Some have seen her reflection still gazing back from this mirror.
Not all ghosts behave as though they know they are depressingly dead. A happy ghost known as The Lady in White haunts the Flanders, a grand historic hotel, located on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey . Within this architectural masterpiece on the Jersey Shore, Emily, as she is affectionately known, appears and disappears into walls, plays with door locks, unscrews light bulbs, and sings happily in its halls.
If smaller places are more to your interest, there is the bed and breakfast at the Haceta Head Lighthouse at Yachats, Oregon . Many say the Keepers House is haunted. The folklore is documented in such notable publications as “Life Magazine.” Several books chronicle the tales and the lighthouse and keeper's house are featured in the PBS Television series “Legendary Lighthouses.” If you go, look here along the coastline's rocky cliffs for a ghost named Rue. This 1893 Victorian bed and breakfast, which was a former lighhousekeeper's house, says it is home to her. She is believed to be the mother of a girl who fell off the cliffs and died.
Various residents and visitors to the lighthouse have reported similar unexplained occurrences over the years. One family heard screams and would find things moved around or even missing. In the 1970s, a worker cleaning the attic windows said he went face-to-face with Rue, who he described as a woman with silver hair in a long, dark dress. And still others have reported hearing small, light footsteps up top in the attic. And reports have come in of seeing an elderly woman looking down at them from an attic window or spotting a glimpse of a shadowy female shape.
“Many people contact us for our best recommendations for one night or want to know where they can get a real fright,” says Stocker. “Ghost encounters are never for certain. In fact, most of these places only have a few documented events spread out over many years. And many of these seem to be from people who didn't know the stories or didn't believe in ghosts before something happened to them. It's more about the history, the imagination and what you think could happen while visiting. You just never know what may be around the next corner, in the shadows or what may wake you up at night. It's fun and adds a little something to another night away from home.”
So if you are looking for something really different in this world, try spending some time at places with occasional visitors from another world. Plan ahead if you are looking to stay around the end of October as many of these places are busy or have special events for Halloween. Some of them wish the ghost would move on and others relish the added attention and business. Many of the larger hotels will not deal with reserving of a particular room tied to a ghost story, but you may get lucky. Or unlucky depending on your point of view.