Have you ever stayed in a haunted hotel?

There are travelers who actually seek out such places. At these historic properties, many guests have checked in – but, as legend has it, not everyone has checked out.

Ghost sightings and strange happenings are known to occur at these locales, and each has a unique story to tell. Though we can’t confirm from personal experience, guest and psychic accounts are convincing enough to quote a line from Macbeth that, “something wicked this way comes.”

Instead of rounding up a list of America’s most haunted hotels, let’s look at a more intimate experience with the “hereafter,” where friendly spirits (or not so friendly) linger at quaint bed and breakfast inns waiting to meet yet another mortal.

Manor House at The Blackhorse Inn, Warrenton, Virginia

A former Civil War hospital built in 1850, this historic inn is located in the heart of horse country, less than an hour from Washington, D.C.

The Inn’s eight rooms all come with their own private baths, many with four-poster canopy beds, Jacuzzi tubs, and fireplaces.

Three ghosts are rumored to hang out here. The first is a woman, believed to have been a nurse in the hospital, who is reportedly inclined to laugh only in gentlemen’s ears. The second is called “The Dancer” because the tap of his shoes is heard throughout the night as he dances at the top of the stairs. And a male ghost is said to have tipped over the Christmas tree — breaking all the ornaments — each year for the past three years. As a result, the tree is now wired to the corner of the room.

Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco, California

Ghost hunting enthusiasts will love this elaborate Victorian-style hotel built as a girls’ finishing school during the Gold Rush days. The inn is nestled amongst the charming Pacific Heights Victorian and Edwardian mansions, affectionately referred to as “the Painted Ladies.”

The 48-room bed and breakfast exudes a timeless romance, but it’s also said that its headmistress Miss Mary Lake, remains in the hotel and manifests herself in Room 410, the Mary Lake Suite. She is said to tuck visitors in at night and even unpack visitor’s bags. She has also been seen wandering the hallways and playing the piano in the lobby.

Foley House Inn, Savannah, Georgia

Built in 1896 by wealthy Irish widow Honoria Foley, the Foley House was the first bed and breakfast in the very haunted city of Savannah. It overlooks picturesque Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump was filmed. Although the home was built atop the grounds of a home burned down by the Savannah Fire of 1889, all appeared relatively peaceful.

Then in 1987 a renovation unearthed human remains rumored to be a well-to-do border from the late 1800s, murdered and hidden behind a wall. Ever since, there have been stories of a man in a top hat walking in the garden at night, strange noises, and rushes of air from out of nowhere.

The Inn makes no “bones” about admitting that it’s haunted.

The luxurious historic inn with a definite boutique ambience features 19 guest rooms and definitely oozes authentic Southern charm.

Inn at Herr Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

You have to know that places in and around Gettysburg are haunted. After all, the deadliest battle of the Civil War was fought on these hallowed grounds.

The Inn at Herr Ridge, a former tavern, was once an impromptu field hospital for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Battle of Gettysburg. Regular strange occurrences include mysterious whispers, cold spots, glasses and silverware flying off tables, even knives and forks falling blade- or prongs-first into the floor. Computers type gibberish messages, lamps relight and unexplained crashes occur in the kitchen. 

If you’re willing to give the Inn a try on your next visit to Gettysburg, this lovely Victorian gem offers guest rooms overlooking the Gettysburg Battlefield.

20 South Battery, Charleston, South Carolina

20 South Battery, Charleston, S.C.
20 South Battery, Charleston, S.C. Photo by Noreen Kompanik

“If our walls could talk” has more than one meaning in one of Charleston’s most haunted bed and breakfast inns.

The luxury boutique property was built in 1843 as a private mansion, and recently underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and its grand, but intimate eleven-rooms make guests feel as though they’ve traveled back in time.

Staff and guests have reported sightings that include strange glowing lights. An engineer staying there reported seeing the torso of a barrel-chested man reaching out to a live cat in his hallway. Other supposed incidents include a ghost frequenting room 10 who floats in through the door before settling on the edge of the bed.

Brass Lantern Inn, Stowe, Vermont

Historic photo of the Brass Lantern Inn, Stowe, Vermont.
Historic photo of the Brass Lantern Inn, Stowe, Vermont. Photo courtesy of Brass Lantern Inn

Stowe is a stunning mountain ski town, but it’s also one of the most haunted small towns in the state.

The charming nine-room inn was originally an 1810 farmhouse offering amazing mountain views, and intimate, peaceful guest rooms. That is except for one.

Paranormal activity details vary slightly, but one detail remains consistent. Guests always hear noises coming from the same guest room. Some report hearing people arrive late in the night, speaking loudly and talking about the good time they had at a party. Yet in all cases, the front desk confirmed that no one staying in the guest room or even in a nearby room.

The Artist House, Key West, Florida

The colorful former residence of painter Robert Eugene Otto is a highly photographed structure in this island town and was also the home of Robert the Doll, the infamous voodoo figurine that inspired Chucky from “Child’s Play” and which Otto kept by his side even as an adult.

If that’s not hair-raising enough, a beautiful apparition has been seen descending the stairs in a wedding dress. The lady in white is believed to be Otto’s wife, Anna.

This historical Key West bed and breakfast is only one mile from the Southernmost Point and a three-minute-walk from iconic Duval Street. Apparitions aside, the seven-room elegant Victorian guesthouse will delight with its accommodations, breakfast and daily happy hour.

Three Chimneys Inn, Durham, New Hampshire

Dating back to 1649, Three Chimneys Inn is the oldest house in the city of Durham, and part of the settlement at Oyster River Falls. The original owner, Valentine Hill, built a sawmill on the banks of the property and prospered.

Sadly, Hill’s daughter Hannah drowned in the Oyster River. Her spirit is mischievous and playful as reported by staff and guests, often messing with the hair of the staff, levitating glasses, and locking doors.  

That being said, the historic home and carriage house located on a hill overlooking gardens, the Oyster River, and Old Mill Falls, has been lovingly restored. The inn features 23 elegantly appointed rooms in its 1649 homestead and 1975 carriage house, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Borland House Inn, Montgomery, New York

Built in the 1780s in the Greek Revival style, the Borland House invites guests to step back in time and experience the grandeur of history and the charm and elegance of a bygone era.

But this haunted bed and breakfast has long captivated paranormal enthusiasts. Once home to Charles Borland Jr., a prominent lawyer and politician, and Isabella Hill Borland, the Borland House Inn today is rumored to be host to a myriad of spirits.

As a matter of fact, the Haunted History Trail of New York State offers an evening paranormal investigation experience, or for those looking for more “beyond the grave” encounters, they can book an overnight stay.

Though the consensus of science overwhelmingly denies the existence of ghosts, those who do believe in ghosts do so because of a personal experience.

As American actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell once said, “Our feet are planted in the real world, but we dance with angels and ghosts.”

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