Our Stays In Haunted Hotels

by joeheg

If you search the internet enough, you can find a ghost story about almost anywhere. I try to avoid these stories if I can. I’ve talked about how I feel about ghosts before, so I’d prefer to avoid spending the night with them if I can.

As it turned out, without knowing about ti ahead of time, I’ve apparently stayed at several haunted locations in my travels. I didn’t know these places were haunted before we stayed there, but who knows…maybe I was drawn to stay at these places by the spirits????

Savannah hotel

Hotel Bardo Savannah, Savannah, GA

This hotel is currently closed and undergoing renovations, due to reopen in 2024. It will be a member of the Leading Hotels of the World program, which just became a Citi transfer partner.

When we stayed there back in 2008, it was part of the independent Kessler Collection (we had a friend who was able to get us a great rate to stay here). Little did we know the history of the hotel as described in South Magazine:

In 1953 the Lewis Kayton mansion became the home of Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, one of Savannah’s oldest and most respected undertaking businesses. For the next five decades the red-brick and terra cotta mansion served as Savannah’s finest mortuary, hosting the funerals of notorious Savannahians such as Danny Hansford, the high-spirited victim of Savannah’s most notorious crime made famous by John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The stylish hotel where we stayed was previously a mortuary. We got such a deal on the room that I’m not sure it would have mattered to us, but the place was always a little creepy.


La Concha Hotel and Spa, Key West, FL

You may have gotten the hint from reading our blog that we love Key West. We’ve stayed at many hotels around the island in our travels, including the La Concha Hotel on Duval St. While now a Crowne Plaza, part of the IHG family, the hotel has a long history, dating back to its opening in 1926. We loved this hotel when we stayed here in 2014. According to this Key West Paranormal article, we apparently aren’t the only ones who didn’t want to leave:

Like the island itself, La Concha had weathered many changes and had undergone numerous face-lifts. The hotel had been restored, reopened, and had recovered from its fall, but one New Year’s Eve a waiter who had been cleaning up after a party had pulled his cart full of dishes down the hallway on the 5th floor and was patiently waiting on the elevator. As the elevator doors opened and the bell sounded, he backed into the elevator pulling his cart in with him. Unfortunately the elevator had malfunctioned and the car stopped at the floor above him. He stepped into an empty elevator shaft and fell to his death. His spirit seems most active on the fifth floor and to no surprise, around the elevator. Many guests have reported hearing his scream followed by a deafening crash, while others have seen the young man in the elevator perhaps trying to complete his task.

This seven-story hotel has also been the scene of many suicides as some 13 people leaped to their death from the rooftop observation deck, and some of these spirits may also remain. A lawyer who leapt to his death in 1992 after being accused of embezzlement can still be seen pacing back and forth contemplating. One gentleman who took the leap in 2006 reportedly downed a glass of Chardonnay before doing so. Since then, patrons have reported their glasses of Chardonnay were sometimes suddenly jerked from their hands by some unseen force. Could the spirit of a former employee be trapped within these walls for all of eternity?  Is the La Concha home to several unknown guests who have remained on long past their check out date?


Bourbon Orleans, New Orleans, LA

I didn’t even know the most haunted hotel I’ve ever stayed in was also haunted until years after my stay. My parents and I stayed here using a discount from our Entertainment Book back in our road trip days in the ’80s (incidentally, Entertainment Books were how I learned the art ofupgrading the way we travel). I was way too young to appreciate Bourbon St., jazz, New Orleans’ rich history or anything else going on around me but I did like the way this hotel looked and we had a lovely room looking over the pool. Had I known the haunted history of this hotel, I would have been terrified.  Just so you know, I think we stayed on the third floor. Here’s just a bit from the HOTEL’S OWN WEBSITE!!!

A Confederate soldier. Children and nuns from the former convent and orphanage. And a lonely ghost dancer. All stories that help rank the Bourbon Orleans Hotel among the top 10 most haunted hotels in the U.S. according to USA Today’s 10Best, Top Ten Haunted Hotels In America.

And it’s no surprise. A building that’s had so many different lives is bound to have smany different stories. Stories of the rooms and corridors of the Bourbon Orleans Hotel being haunted. The ghosts who roam the halls and rooms of the Bourbon Orleans today lived during many different eras of this building’s history. Gather round, we’ve got some stories for you.

First, there is the story of the Confederate Soldier or “The Man” that surrounds both the sixth and third floors. Then there are the sightings of a little girl rolling her ball and chasing it down the sixth floor corridors or light footsteps often heard in the hallways. The ghost children and female apparitions at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel are most likely from the era of the Sisters of the Holy Family when the hotel was a convent, girls’ school, medical ward, and orphanage.

And lastly, the famous Orleans Ballroom, home to the grandest social events of the nineteenth century, is also home of a lonely ghost dancer seen dancing underneath the ballroom’s crystal chandelier. Several reports have been made of the rustling and a person hiding behind the draperies in the ballroom, without a window open or person actually there.

Have you stayed at a haunted hotel?


Many other hotels in the United States are reportedly haunted. My dad visited The Stanley Hotel, which is the hotel that inspired Steven King to write The Shining after he stayed there for one night as the only guest.


For those of you who prefer non-fiction, you could always reserve a room at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, MA. You can even stay in the John Morse Room, the same room where the body of Abby Borden was discovered. No refunds are offered if you need to leave in the middle of the night.


That may be scary, but in my opinion, if you really want to be creeped out, you need to stay at the Clown Motel in Tonopah, NV. Clowns everywhere. Do I need to say more?

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Would YOU stay in a hotel if you knew it was reportedly haunted? What about staying overnight to investigate a haunted location? There are some really nice mansions in Louisiana that I’d love to stay in, but I’m afraid to do too much research because I might not want to stay there when I’m done reading about them. Thoughts? Ideas? What do you think?


Scared Ya, didn’t I?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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[…] I mentioned earlier (and as he has said himself, here and here), Joe is a fan of ghost shows and Ghost Adventures is one of his favorites. In fact, that post I […]

Fred February 26, 2019 - 12:19 pm

with all those stays and years… how many times have you actually seen ghosts??? where and which hotel?

joeheg February 26, 2019 - 12:36 pm

I never saw or even felt the presence of any ghosts while staying in those hotels. The only places on our travels that didn’t feel right were the Sorell-Weed house in Savannah and the old church and graveyard in Killarney, Ireland. I feel that the house I grew up in was haunted, but not in a spooky way. Using that memory, I’ve gone into places and had the same feeling that something is there watching me.

Scott White October 31, 2023 - 8:53 pm

The Camberly Brown hotel in Louisville, KY. Beautiful old hotel and stayed there many times because the airline I worked for had a contract for flight crew. Many strange happenings there, but somehow always managed to sleep well.

John B November 1, 2023 - 5:37 pm

I believe the Bourbon Orleans actually has a brass plaque next to the main entrance regarding its history and its haunted status. Of course here, many times, haunted, spooky, the occult, and all things Rice are actually a selling point (almost to the point that it has become stereotype).


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