Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts
True crime buffs can spend the final hours of October at this bed-and-breakfast where Lizzie Borden infamously inflicted "forty whacks" on her father and stepmother in 1892. Borden was acquitted of the grisly double murder and vacated the home shortly thereafter, but those who have explored the stately sitting room where Andrew Borden met his end or stayed overnight in the guest bedroom where Abby Borden was found have reported shadowy figures, tousled bed linens, and other surreal sightings that they swear were Borden herself.
Related: America’s 50 Most Infamous Homes
flickr.com via Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Inn at 835 in Springfield, Illinois
High-society florist Bell Miller is thought to have become so enamored of her 1909 Classical Revival-style apartment building and its well-heeled residents that she never left. Some visitors have recognized Bell's friendly ghost by the mellifluous voice that plays on the walls of what is now a historic bed-and-breakfast. Others know the specter by her sweet tooth, signaled by the clink of the lid of a crystal candy jar being removed although there's no one around.
flickr.com via Teemu008
Redstone Inn & Suites in Dubuque, Iowa
It took Augustine A. Cooper only 17 years to ascend from steamship crewmate to proprietor of Cooper Wagon Works and owner of this imposing brick and sandstone Victorian (one of his three mansions). A series of fires, coupled with the decline in importance of the wagon, led to the downfall of his business. But Cooper still makes his presence felt at the 15-room Redstone Inn, in the form of a gentlemanly apparition whose soft footsteps can be heard throughout the property.
Wikimedia Commons via Kepper66
Savoy Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri
Its tragic past as much as its enigmatic Art Deco architecture has made the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi the talk of the town in Kansas City. Thrill-seekers throng the Savoy Hotel on All Hallow's Eve, searching for signs of former residents like Betsy Ward, who died in the bathtub of Room 505, and a girl in Victorian clothing on the fourth floor.
flickr.com via Chris Murphy
Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts
This Federal-style hotel in the city infamous for its 17th century witch trials is believed by some to occupy the site of an apple orchard owned by Bridget Bishop, the first person executed for witchcraft during the trials. Guests at the hotel, which was constructed in 1925, have reported the aroma of apples wafting through the air, though nothing on the hotel's menu could account for the sweet scent.
flickr.com via Henry Zbyszynski
Golden North Hotel in Skagway, Alaska
The distinctive gold onion dome atop this former hotel turned retail center helped illiterate guests identify the building in its early days. But now it's Wild West spirits that are the calling card of this two-story edifice that dates back to the Alaska gold rush. The most notable are a mysterious orb in Room 14 and "Mary" in Room 23, the apparition of a young woman who died awaiting a gold prospector who "ghosted" her after promising to wed her.
Related: The Most Haunted Places in America
flickr.com via Jimmy Emerson, DVM
Erie Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Clyde, New York
This two-and-a-half-story brick beauty has played host to not one but two distinguished families: the original owners, Dr. Smith and his family, and later, their daughter Eugenia and her husband, glassmaker Charles Ely. These residents and their staff are rumored to haunt the stairway, halls, and kitchen of the Classical Revival abode. But the most sought-after specter is undoubtedly that of a headless kitchen staff member who is said to have been murdered at the mansion.
flickr.com via Doug Kerr
Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, Montana
This hotel on the National Register of Historic Places is rumored to have a number of resident ghosts, including a cowhand who rode his horse up the main staircase and was then shot and killed by the hotel's bar manager. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you might detect the shadow of a man donning a long coat and hear the faint hoofbeats of a phantom horse stampeding through the halls.
flickr.com via J. Stephen Conn
The Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia
You'd expect nothing short of a cavalry of ghosts haunting a centuries-old hotel that once hosted both Union and Confederate soldiers—and you'd be right. Wander this eerie, wood-framed accommodation and you may pass through inexplicable cold spots, hear the disembodied laughter of children, and, if you're lucky, spot the genial ghost of a woman in a blue dress in the lobby.
flickr.com via NCinDC
Saxtons River Inn in Rockingham, Vermont
What would a quintessential 19th century New England inn be without its requisite company of ghosts? This lodging on the National Register of Historic Places has two reputed spooks to its credit—a female ghost in Room 3 and a second spirit sashaying in the ballroom. Given the inn's long life and many manifestations, it's had ample opportunity to collect a few specters along the way. The site has over the years served as a meeting place for local groups, including the Masons; a social gathering spot; a private residence; and, of course, a hotel, restaurant, and bar.
flickr.com via Doug Kerr
The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
In a routine that dates back to the 1930s, the "Peabody Ducks" leave their rooftop "duck palace" and waddle over a red carpet to the hotel lobby fountain every day at 11 a.m. to the strains of John Phillip Sousa's "King Cotton March." At 5 p.m., they march back to their quarters. Yet the ducks aren't the only unusual fixtures of this 464-room hotel. The 11th floor is said to be a hotbed of paranormal activity, including a whispering ghost, unexplained noises, and cold spots that would give even lionhearted lodgers the goosebumps.
flickr.com via Sean Davis
Union Station in Nashville, Tennessee
Rarely, if ever, do ordinary hotels furnish their rooms with the design tastes of a particular guest in mind. But then again, Union Station is anything but ordinary. The hotel has furnished Room 711 in honor of Abigail, a young woman who bid farewell to her soldier beau at Union Station (then a train station) during World War II. When she returned to the station after the war to meet her beloved, she threw herself in front of a speeding train when she learned that he was never coming home. Although the ghost continues to make her presence known in the room through flickering lights and loud noises, the hotel insists she's a harmless soul searching for her lost love.
flickr.com via Geoff Stearns
The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon
The bronze bulldog statue that stands watch at the entry of this 10-story Jacobean Revival hotel hasn't managed to protect the building from spirits. Legend has it that a guest once leaped off the building to his death and now haunts the rooms he passed on the way down. As a result, guests staying in rooms ending in 03—most notably 1003, 803, and 703—often report poltergeists and temperature drops.
Wikimedia Commons via Steve Morgan
The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida
If you have a penchant for the paranormal, 13 is your lucky number when you stay at this Mediterranean Revival-style hotel that has hosted the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Greta Garbo, and a number of less savory characters. The 13th floor, where mobster Thomas Walsh was shot dead by a rival, is the source of much of the otherworldly activity that has been witnessed at the hotel. If you notice doors that inexplicably open and shut, flashing lights, or an elevator that mysteriously drops you off at the 13th floor—it may well be Walsh at work.
flickr.com via Wally Gobetz
Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming
Serving at various points as a saloon and a bordello as well as a hotel, the Occidental once witnessed the tragic death of a young woman on one of the upper floors. If you feel a tap on your shoulder, hear the creaking of furniture, or see the full-bodied specter of a woman with long dark hair and a white dress during your stay, you can be sure it's not the hotel's receptionist!
flickr.com via Andrew Miller
Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The Crystal Ballroom of this historic haunt hosts annual seances, ghost talking sessions, and live hypnosis events in memory of Anna Eva Fay, a famous vaudeville spiritualist, and "Dr." Norman Baker, one of her great admirers. Baker, himself once a vaudeville performer, was also a quack who opened a cancer hospital on the hotel's premises in the 1930s. While visitors do report Victorian ghosts, many of the spirits believed to haunt the edifice date back to Baker's era. You can search them out by taking a ghost tour of the hotel, which includes a stop at a room above a morgue where some visitors swoon or grow mysteriously pale.
flickr.com via Scutter
Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky
Ghost hunters from around the country check into The Seelbach to delve into the real-life whodunit involving Patricia Wilson, an enchanting, raven-haired guest. She was found at the bottom of the hotel's elevator shaft one day in 1936 after learning that her husband, from whom she had recently separated, had died in a car accident. Was it suicide or an accident? While no one has yet unraveled the mystery, many guests have encountered Wilson herself, wearing a blue dress and wandering the eighth floor or the mezzanine of the French Renaissance-inspired hotel.
flickr.com via Local Louisville
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
Dubbed "Disneyland for spirits" by paranormal investigator Lisa Nyhart, this Colonial Revival-style hotel promises a spine-tingling experience no matter which room you enter. You can frequently find the ghost of F.O. Stanley's wife, Flora, tapping away at the keys of the piano in the ballroom. Room 418 is rumored to be haunted by a small boy in need of his nanny. And perhaps most bone-chilling of all, guests have reported seeing a face looking out from the window of Room 407!
Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in Death Valley, California
After a fortuitous flat tire led New York City dancer Marta Becket to this down-on-its-luck hotel and opera house, she abandoned the Big Apple to restore the building and turn it into a vibrant performance venue for herself and other local artists. But evidently, it's not only the living denizens of Death Valley who have descended on the Amargosa. A menacing miner skulks in Room 32, a crying child reportedly haunts Room 24, and a ghost cat has been known to prowl around the opera house.
flickr.com via David Kamada
Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California
You won't find the occupants of Stateroom B340 on the manifesto of this 1,019-foot-long retired passenger liner, but you'll certainly feel their presence. Guests who have spent the night in the recently reopened room have reported lights turning on and off, bed linens being pulled off, and even a specter looming above them as they awoke—so you'd do well to sleep with one eye open!
Parks-Bowman Mansion: The Haunted Bedroom in New Orleans, Louisiana
While the skeleton and mounted cow skull that adorn this one-bedroom rental are purely ornamental, make no bones about it: The Parks-Bowman Mansion is haunted. You'll be sharing the cozy room in the palm-tree-shrouded pad with the friendly ghost of a young girl who lived at the turn of the 19th century. Although the wee wraith is said to be shy, you can't miss her trademark yellow frock!
Civil War Farmhouse in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The past will both charm and haunt you at this farmhouse that once served as a Civil War field hospital. In addition to architectural holdovers from the antebellum era, from the stone exterior to the paneled walls, the house retains a gang of friendly ghosts that the owner claims have peacefully shared the property with him for decades.
The Manor in Saint Paul, Minnesota
The owner of this Airbnb once told Reader's Digest that an old barrette he found at the property years ago could be traced back to young Rosalia Fihn, a girl who died of typhoid fever in the home in the early 1900s. Residents and visitors have reported a supernatural force at The Manor ever since. Although the barrette is now nowhere to be seen, you'll find an abundance of other thoughtfully curated objects in the master bedroom that hint at Rosalia's eternal presence at the estate, including a teddy bear and a wall-mounted portrait of a cherubic child.
Shamrock House in Sunset, South Carolina
Whether the weeping heard within this chilling cabin emanates from the emotional resident ghost, Nancy, or merely the creaking floorboards boils down to whether you're a believer in or a skeptic about spirits. Either way, you're in for a memorable Halloween when you stay at the 3,500-square-foot lodge situated, in the owner's own words, "in the sticks," far away from the throngs of noisy trick-or-treaters.
Related: America's 50 Most Famous Houses
Laura's Cottage in Savannah, Georgia
This quaint 1,000-square-foot cottage that dates to 1799 served as a filming location for Robert Redford's 2010 crime drama, "The Conspirator." But the phantom presence on the property is anything but a conspiracy. The ghost of Laura, a woman who reportedly lived at the cottage for 50 years, is often blamed for unexplained phenomena such as the opening and shutting of windows, flickering lights, and the scent of burning wood that hangs in the air long after the last fireplace embers have been stamped out.
Concord's Colonial Inn in Concord, Massachusetts
Given its close proximity to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, visits from beyond the grave are to be expected when you stay at Concord's Colonial Inn. But to up the fear factor, spend the night in Room 24. Previous guests have frozen in fear at the sight of the shadowy figure that is said to float across the room and vanish before people can make sense of what they have seen.
flickr.com via Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Mrs. Plumb, the wife of Mr. Charles H. Plumb and the original co-owner of this former saloon, helped assemble the vast collection of antiques that adorn the hotel to this day. But little did the Plumbs know that 245 years after the hotel's opening, its most impressive collection would be that of its ghosts. The fourth floor is credited with most of the paranormal action, which includes unexplained knocking, cold spots, and full-bodied apparitions of a girl with flowers and a man donning a stovepipe hat.
flickr.com via Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana
Maurice Begere, a toddler on a mission to reconnect with his mother, and William “Red” Wildemere, a man who died of natural causes, are but a few of the ghosts who are said to call Hotel Monteleone home. In fact, the International Society of Paranormal Research identified at least 12 resident ghosts during a paranormal investigation of the property. Even if you don't come face-to-face with a phantom during your stay, you may notice haunted happenings, such as a restaurant door that occasionally opens after it's been locked and an elevator that drops guests off on abandoned floors.
Wikimedia Commons via Bart Everson
Jekyll Island Club in Jekyll Island, Georgia
While this private club off the coast of Georgia once catered exclusively to highfliers the likes of the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, it's an equal-opportunity haunt for its live-in spirits. Guests of the Sans Souci cottage can reportedly catch a whiff of cigar smoke from J.P. Morgan himself, while grooms-to-be who book the venue for a wedding have been known to be visited by the well-wishing ghost of a bellhop on their big day.
flickr.com via Evangelio Gonzalez
Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Known for his service-oriented mindset, businessman Guido Pfister never stopped overseeing the Romanesque Revival-style hotel that he opened with the help of his son, Charles, way back in 1893. Keep your eyes peeled on the ninth floor, in the Minstrel's Gallery, and at the top of the grand staircase for a glimpse of the friendly ghost of Guido keeping an ever-watchful eye on the crowds of hotel guests.
flickr.com via Sarah Everson
Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
More than a century after the death of her first and second husbands, a ghost named Carolyn continues to haunt this Renaissance Revival hotel where she lived with her first husband, businessman Joseph Stickney, until the early 1900s. Still determined to be the belle of the ball, the elegant apparition has been known to survey the guests from the balcony or gracefully descend the stairs at dinnertime.
Boone Tavern in Berea, Kentucky
Guests of this more than 100-year-old hotel have a ball at the murder mystery dinners regularly held around Halloween. But for real-life chills, head down to the basement of Boone Tavern to witness a flurry of paranormal activity. The hotel maintains that most of the ghosts down there are shy when it comes to meeting strangers, but you should prepare for at least a few jump scares if you stay long enough.
Wikimedia Commons via Parkerdr
La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Local lore has it that this hotel is located on the former site of a courtroom and that hangings were conducted in what is now the lobby. Possibly as a result, it's believed that La Fonda continues to be haunted by a parade of poltergeists, from the Honorable Judge Slough to a sorrowful salesman who is rumored to have jumped into the well that was once located beneath the hotel after his finances took a dive.
Wikimedia Commons via Atakra
The Hollywood Roosevelt in Hollywood, California
Frequented by the likes of Shirley Temple and Brad Pitt, the guest list—and the ghost list—of this hotel named after Teddy Roosevelt reads like a who's who of Hollywood elites. The specter of Marilyn Monroe is believed to linger in Suite 1200, and Montgomery Clift can be seen in the hallway outside Room 928. Others, like the spirits of two Oscar hopefuls that haunt the Blossom Ballroom, were never on the silver screen, but seem content to be in the midst of red-carpet royalty.
Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown, New York
The living and dead mingle at this upstate resort aptly named after the Iroquois term for "a place of meetings." If you're after a close encounter with the supernatural, hie on up to the fifth floor of the hotel, which has been owned by the Clark family since its construction in 1909. There, you may hear the ghastly giggling of running children, espy a specter looming across the hallway, and perhaps most mysterious of all, detect strange noises emanating from above the fifth floor—the topmost floor of the hotel.
flickr.com via Caitee Smith
Sign up today to get crucial reminders and good-to-know tips for maintaining and improving your home!