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Mysterious America

North America’s Haunted Hotels

From the smallest bed & breakfast to luxurious five-star resorts, nearly every hotel is believed to have an uninvited guest or two.

With their storied history, famous guests, and romantic atmosphere, hotels attract quite a number of legends and ghostly tales. From the smallest bed & breakfast to luxurious five-star resorts, nearly all of them are believed to have an uninvited guest or two. The following are just a few of the more interesting I have stayed at over the years. Have you ever spent the night in a haunted hotel? Leave your story in the comments below!

Copper Queen

Rising above the colorful tapestry of tightly clustered homes and businesses blanketing the Mule Mountains in southeastern Arizona, the Copper Queen Hotel stands as a gilded monument. For over 100 years, it has served as a social anchor for the former mining town of old Bisbee. I first stayed at the Copper Queen Hotel in 2009 while visiting friends from Phoenix. I heard rumors it was haunted, but it wasn’t until I returned a few years later that I discover just how much. In the interim, the hotel had published its logbook of ghostly encounters from 2000 to 2008, and the book contains many interesting gems.

Fairmont Château Laurier

Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario, is Canada’s most lavish and elegant hotel and sits just up Wellington Street from Canadian Parliament. The granite and white Italian marble building was designed in French Renaissance and neo-Gothic style and built in 1912 for $2 million at the behest of railroad baron Charles Melville Hays. Tragically, just twelve days before the Château Laurier opened, Hays drowned when the RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean on April 14, 1912. Since then, the ghost of Charles Hays is believed to roam the Château’s halls. The encounters, including a disembodied voice singing, brushes with unseen hands, and doors opening and closing, are not very frightening.

Hotel Monteleone

Hotel Monteleone is such a fixture of cultural life in New Orleans, the city’s fabled French Quarter is said to begin in its lobby. Antonio Monteleone, a Sicilian immigrant, opened this beautiful and historic Beaux-Arts style hotel at 214 Royal Street in 1886. It contains 600 guest rooms, two restaurants, a heated rooftop pool, and a rotating bar called the Carousel Piano Bar and Lounge. Over the years, the hotel has developed a reputation for being haunted by as many as a dozen different specters, including a man named William “Red” Wildemere and a toddler named Maurice.

Hotel Alex Johnson

The Hotel Alex Johnson sits at the heart of beautiful downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. It is a luxury hotel with stores, a coffee shop, and a bar and restaurant on the first floor and a swanky rooftop club on the tenth floor. Prices are reasonable in the off season. Its famous guests included President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Alex Johnson died in 1938, but according to some hotel employees, part of him never left. There are two rooms on the eighth floor that are widely believed to be haunted, so much so that the Hotel Alex Johnson offers a special “ghost adventure” guest package to stay there. The rooms are 802 and 812.

Hotel Congress

Located at the corner of Toole Avenue and Congress Street in downtown Tucson, Arizona, the Hotel Congress has had an interesting history, including a brush with the notorious outlaw John Dillinger. Dillinger’s ghost, however, is not believed to reside there. Instead, visitors have reportedly encountered the ghost of a former handyman, as well as a forlorn woman who haunts Room 242. These apparitions are only a few of the nightly attractions at the Congress. Club Congress is considered to be one of the 10 best rock clubs in the United States.

Bullock Hotel

The historic Bullock Hotel, located at 633 Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota, is one of the most famous haunted hotels in the United States. In 1992, it was featured on the TV program Unsolved Mysteries. It is reportedly haunted by none other than the ghost of its namesake, Seth Bullock, the first sheriff of Deadwood, as well as a host of other spirits. Whether it is the scent of his cigar, the sound of his boots in the hallway, or seeing his image in the mirror, many hotel patrons have reported feeling his presence. A mysterious “tall man” matching Bullock’s description has been seen strolling down the hall on several occasions.

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