An upmarket German hotel has been slammed for holding ‘prison parties’ in their cellars which were once used as torture chambers by the Nazis.
The City of Hamelin Hotel - based in the town made famous by the Pied Piper legend - was a prison for 150 years before being converted in 1993.
Party-goers were charged €44 to attend the functions during which they would dress up in striped prison uniforms and be ordered about by hotel staff dressed as prison warders.
Tasteless: The City Of Hamelin Hotel held prison parties in their cellars despite the building’s Nazi past
The hotel’s website featured pictures of guests being locked in wooden stocks by grinning, uniformed warders.
The accompanying text stated: ‘Every prisoner has to begin detention sober and washed. Anyone who wishes to go to the loo has to report their requirement to the guards by standing to attention.’
The hotel claimed the parties were popular with groups of office workers and usually ended with the boss being locked up in a solitary confinement cell.
Although there was no mention of Nazis on the website, news of the parties provoked fury.
Retired historian Maurice Born, who has spent years researching Hamelin’s wartime past, was horrified when he head about the goings-on.
He sent letters of complaint to both the Hotel and the city’s mayor but received no reply.
He said: ‘When I saw the adverts for the prison parties I simply couldn’t believe it. I was outraged.’
But the manageress of the City of Hamelin Hotel denied any wrongdoing.
He told the German Der Spiegel magazine: ‘We don’t think we’re hurting anyone.’
A spokesman for the Mayor said he hadn’t found the time to reply to Mr Born’s letter.
He said: ‘We understand his feelings very well.
'The hotel can do whatever it wants but if one realises what went on there, it is of course tasteless.'
After the end of the war the building was taken over by the British Army and it was used for the executions of those sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials.
In 2006 the city unveiled a plaque commemorating the plight of it’s wartime prisoners.
Stephen King spent several weeks in room 217 while writing his book, “The Shinning.” The spirits residing in The Stanly Hotel inspired his story, but he took a few liberties with their personalities.
Stephen King is not the only guest or staff member at The Stanley Hotel who has seen and heard the various spirits that reside there. Many of the other spirits mentioned in “The Shinning” have been seen, as well. F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora have appeared on many occasions. The piano in the music room is played by unseen hands and F.O. is still playing pool in the Billiards Room. Several guests of room 418 have complained about the noise the children made while playing in the hallway outside their door in the middle of the night. Naturally, no living children were registered. Actually, the entire fourth floor of the infamous hotel seems to be haunted. The floor used to be where the servants resided. There have been so many spirit sighting at the Hotel that the owners now offer Ghost tours of the place.
Another spirit who hangs out in room 407 enjoys harassing guests by turning the lights on and off. A face has also been seen outside the window, which is quite a feat, since it is on the fourth floor! Unexplained noises and manifestations are reported on a regular basis all over the hotel.
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In a Victorian village tucked away in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas, the Crescent Hotel is rumored to be the most haunted site in a town famous for ghosts. This vintage hotel crowns the top of one of the highest peaks in the area and dates back to 1884.
Designed as a luxury hotel for the wealthy in the decades before air conditioning made summer bearable, the Crescent Hotel drew guests from all over the United States. In the latter part of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century, those who could afford travel left the hot cities for hotels in the mountains or on the seashore.
Even before the hotel was completed, a worker fell to his death in the area of what is now Room 218. Little is known about the man except that he was an Irish construction worker named Michael but many believe that Michael has never left. Those who stay in Room 218 often report a variety of paranormal activities. Most are prankish but the room stays booked because the curious want to experience Michael for themselves.
The Crescent Hotel opened in May 1886 with gala events and a roster of the then rich and famous. For more than twenty years, the Crescent catered to the hotel trade. Guests came to enjoy the refreshing mountain air, made excursions down the mountain into Eureka Springs, and enjoyed many events including grand balls.
By 1908, however, the grand era of the Crescent Hotel was ending. Harsh winters and very slow off season trade led the hotel to close its’ doors. Crescent College, a institution for young ladies, opened its’ doors and operated until 1934.
An event during the college years may be the cause of some of the hotel’s paranormal events. A young lady is said to have thrown herself off one of the hotel’s many balconies, committing suicide because she was jilted by her sweetheart.
After the college closed, the darkest days in the history of the Crescent Hotel began with the arrival of Dr. Norman Baker.
Baker had a checkered past before arriving in Arkansas. Using the new medium of radio, Baker had touted a “cure” for cancer, a non-surgical procedure that relied on a tea made of commonplace ingredients. His first Baker Insitute in Iowa came under fire from the American Medical Association. In 1931, they did not renew his license and soon an arrest warrant for practicing medicine without a license was issued. Baker headed for Mexico and remained for several years.
When he returned to the United States in the late 1930’s, he came to Arkansas and bought the former Crescent Hotel. It became the new location for his Baker Hospital and once again he began advertising his “cure” far and wide.
For two years, Baker made vast amounts of money - more than $500,00 per year by some accounts, worth millions today. Although he drew cancer patients from around the country who sought a miracle cure, treatment did nothing for those who were ill and they died in large numbers.
A morgue was established in the basement of the old hotel and bodies were shipped out to the local railroad station by night.
In 1939, Baker was arrested and after trial served time at the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. His “hospital” closed and the hotel again sat idle.
Many of the ghosts who roam the halls are believed to date from Baker’s era. An apparition that matches Baker’s description has been seen in the lobby and in other areas of the hotel.
In 1946, new owners restored the building as a hotel once again. Over the next few decades, the grand old lady of the Ozarks struggled to gain footing as a hotel again and new owners renovated the building again in 1972, a few years after a fire destroyed the fifth floor and most of the fourth.
Although tourism remained constant in Eureka Springs and continues to increase in recent years, foreclosure hit the Crescent in 1992.
Current owners Marty and Elise Roegnigk bought the hotel in 1997 and have completed extensive work on the hotel that will help the Crescent survive into another century.
Today, the Crescent has been restored to a Victorian Era glory. Many guests come to the Crescent to enjoy a stay in a vintage hotel but others come hoping to see the ghosts.
Each evening, a ghost tour is held and those who buy a ticket can tour the entire hotel. Areas normally off limits to guests - including the old morgue - are included in the ghost tour. Those on the tour are encouraged to snap photographs hoping to catch a ghost. Over the years, countless photographs with unexplained images and orbs have been taken at the Crescent.
In 2006, the members of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and producers of the SciFi channel’s popular Ghost Hunters program spent almost a week at the Crescent. The program captured one of the show’s most shocking images ever, the silhouette of a man captured in the old morgue area. The show has since aired and the segment with the Crescent is included in one of several “Best of Ghost Hunters” DVDs that can be purchased from TAPS or at the Crescent Hotel.
Guests who want to experience a stay in a Victorian hotel or hope to see a ghost will enjoy a stay at The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
A visit to the beautiful city of New Orleans just wouldn’t be complete without also visiting some of the many haunted hotels that you will find here. This beautiful city as you may already know has quite a reputation for being haunted and because of this you pretty much have your choice of haunted places here.
There are a lot of different things that come to mind when you think of the city of New Orleans such as spicy food, jazz music and beautiful stately mansions. And you can find all of that here but there is also a dark and bloody history that makes this city one of the most haunted places in the United States.
In its early days Louisiana and especially New Orleans was no place for the weak or faint at heart. in fact life here could be quite miserable with the heat, high humidity, mosquitoes,tropical storms and disease outbreaks such as Yellow Fever and cholera. But in spite of all of these obstacles the city managed to prosper and over come everything that man and nature threw at it.
You will find the Hotel Provincial to be a beautiful and charming place to stay with enough amenities like secure valet parking, a continental breakfast, free high speed internet and two private swimming pools. to keep most every customer happy.
But something that you may not know about this beautiful hotel is that it was also a confederate hospital during the American Civil War. One can only imagine the pain and suffering that went on here. Many a guest have reported disappearing and reappearing bloodstains, confederate soldiers roaming the halls and moaning sounds.
This lovely hotel constructed in 1775 is famous for being a Civil War bordello. Several hotel guests have reported seeing a soldier wandering through the courtyard at night as well as the figure of a dancing woman. Guests have also reported rooms being locked from the inside and the sound of beds squeaking.
In spite of its sordid past you will find a stay at the Dauphine to be a comfortable and luxurious experience with all of the amenities you could desire. And if you do happen to catch a glimpse of a ghost out of the corner of your eye, all the better.
Also called the most haunted hotel in the city this hotel is said to be built over the site of a school that burned to the ground killing several students and teachers in the process. Hotel guests have reported seeing many different ghosts roaming the grounds.
But no matter how haunted the hotel seems to be they are never short of guests who enjoy all the amenities that this AAA historic and stately hotel. Located within walking distance of many of the major attractions like Bourbon Street and the French Market you will find the Place D’Armes Hotel one of the best places to stay in the city.
Playing host to as many as 17 different ghosts this gorgeous and stately hotel has a rich and colorful history. Not only was the hotel home to the convent of the holy family ( an order of African-American nuns ). Its ballroom was also host to the infamous Quadroon Ballroom where rich white men would go to meet and acquire beautiful mulatto women.
Dancing ghosts have been reportedly seen in the ballroom and guests have also reported glimpsing children running and playing in the hallways. The elevator is said to play host to the figure of a woman thought to be one of the original nuns. It has been said that when the children see her they run away.
Built in 1886 the Historic Hotel Monteleone which sits at the foot of Royal Street has 600 newly renovated rooms and two award winning restaurants as well as a rooftop spa and valet parking.
Something that you may not know about this beautiful hotel is that it has also been featured in several different movies like Double Jeopardy starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones in 1999 and most recently in 2008 the film 12 Rounds starring John Cena.
But one of the things that this beautiful hotel is most famous for is its hauntings. Supposedly over 12 different ghosts ranging from children playing in the halls to a locked restaurant door that opens on it’s own. A verse that I found on the website for the hotel reads ” Many people who come to Hotel Monteleone don’t want to leave, and some never do.”
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Oscar Wilde was an old comrade-in-arms of the British operetta writers Gilbert and Sullivan (their impressario Richard D’Oyly Carte had organised Wilde’s 1881 lecture tour of the USA). Sullivan was a shareholder of the new Savoy Hotel in London, built and inititated by D’Oyly Carte. Of course one wnated to have Wilde as a patron at the Savoy. Wilde, as author and wit the inventor of today’s ‘beautiful people’, was a much-desired all-purpose party guest. His connection with the hotel was as spectacular as his scandalous fate.
Oscar Wilde and his friend Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas
Wilde, who gave us such delightful plays as The Importance of being Earnest and a good two pages in any reputable dictionary of quotations, stayed at The Savoy in March 1893. While everybody else was totally taken with the hotel’s modern techniques and features, Wilde scorned the idea of plumbed-in washstands with running cold and hot water: ‘What is it good for? If I want hot water, I call for it.’
His homosexual affair with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas brought his flamboyant lifestyle at The Savoy to a bitter end. He had taken adjoining rooms on the third floor for himself and Lord Douglas. After a ‘wilde’ time, Douglas left the hotel and Wilde moved into a suite overlooking the river. He then wrote to Douglas: ‘Dearest of Boys, Your letter was delightful, red and yellow wine to me; but I am sad and out of sorts. I must see you soon. You are the divine thing I want, the thing of grace and beauty. My bill here is £49 for a week. I fear I must leave—no money, no credit, and a heart of lead.’
Bosie’s father took his son’s homosexual relations with Wilde as a personal affront and instituted legal proceedings. In one of the most sensational trials of the 19 century, Oscar Wilde was charged in 1895 with committing acts of ‘gross indecency’ with a string of young men. A handful of Savoy employees were among the key witnesses for the prosecution.
Wilde was found guilty and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. Thus, the hotel lost one of its most flamboyant guests. After his release from prison, Wilde left England and wandered around Europe for what were to be the last three years of his life. He died in 1900, at another hotel, the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris.
This - his last - hotel stay brought us his famous comment: “This wallpaper will be the death of me: one of us will have to go.”
On 30 November 1900, Wilde went.
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Oyster uncovers the truth about hotel photos posted on pamphlets and websites. See the fake photo and then compare it to the real photo taken by an Oyster reporter. The first photo is a marketing fake-out taken of the pool at Jamaica’s Rui Negril Club.
That’s a beautiful woman in the swimsuit, right? Check out the next photo.
Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay's Gym Photo
It’s well-known that Montego Bay has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, the same goes for some Montego Bay hotel websites. Oyster has learned to be distrustful of smiling gym-goers — nobody smiles at the gym unless something fishy is going on.
There are, in fact, very pretty views and decent gym equipment at Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay, but they’re not to be found in the same space. The cardio equipment is located in a plain, yellow room.
Aqua Hotel’s Pool Photo
South Beach’s Aqua Hotel isn’t a horrible place to stay, but it’s definitely not all its website makes it out to be.
Oyster’s Pool Photo
The ‘pool’ — which in fact is no bigger than a hot tub — is laughably less impressive than the carefully cropped images on the hotel’s homepage lead you to believe.
Aqua Aloha Surf’s Pool Photo
Oahu’s Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel shows a zoomed-in, cropped section of the pool on its website to give the illusion that there’s a lot more pool than there actually is.
Oyster’s Pool Photo
This Oahu hotel may be named the Aqua Aloha Surf, but it certainly doesn’t have a whole lot of aqua in its lima bean pool.
Aston Waikiki Joy’s Gym Photo
Oyster continues documenting misleading hotel-gym marketing photos. We turn now to the Aston Waikiki Joy Hotel in Hawaii. This photo is from the hotel’s website.
Oyster’s Gym Photo
Yes, the treadmill and stationary bike are in both photos, as are the glass doors. But what the fake-out photo doesn’t show is that you’ll be working out in what appears to be a basement with old living room furniture
Ayres’ Room Photo
Ayres Hotel's website picture is an example of how simply dressing up a room with a few props — extra pillows here, pretty flowers there — can make an already-luxurious room appear lavish and exquisite.
Oyster’s Room Photo
Don’t be surprised, but here’s the real picture of the deluxe king room at the Ayres Hotel.
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The Emily Morgan Hotel is located at 705 E. Houston Street in San Antonio, Texas.
The Emily Morgan Hotel was once the Medical Arts Building which was constructed in 1924. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in San Antonio. The tower is 13 stories tall and made of reinforced concrete and glazed terra cotta. The Gothic revival influence of the period is quite noticeable in this building. One of the most interesting features are the terra cotta gargoyles that depict various medical ailments such as toothaches, etc.
The 7th and 12th floors seem to be the most active. The 12th floor was where the operations took place when the building was a medical center. Reports of noises, smells of alcohol, and being touched are common on this floor. On the 7th floor witnesses claim to have seen human shapes walking around and then walking through walls or doors. One family staying on the 7th floor reported having everything blast on in their room at 2:30 a.m. Then they saw a shape move through the room and through the wall.
The basement had been used as a morgue and crematory. Voices, footsteps, and orbs are often seen in this area.
The front desk has reported receiving calls that could be traced to the phones in an empty elevator. The elevator has been known to keep going between the sixth and seventh floors with no one in it.
In 1984, the building was transformed into a AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel.
You May be Wondering “Who Is Emily Morgan”?
Legend has it that Emily, at the age of 20 detained General Santa Anna in his tent while the Texans won a decisive battle in only 18 minutes in a charge against a Mexican camp.
Emily is widely believed to be the inspiration for the well-known song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
The Crockett Hotel is located at 320 Bonham Street in San Antonio, Texas. It is located on part of the Alamo battlefield. Hundreds of soldiers once stood where the hotel pool and courtyard are now located. The property sold several times over the years, but the hotel was built in 1909 by the International Order of Odd Fellows as a fellowship lodge hall and hotel. A wing was added in 1927. The property has changed ownership several times since then and is currently owned by San Antonio native John Blocker. The hotel has seen several renovations with the last being in 2007.
The ghosts here seem to inhabit the lobby area, the bar, and a few of the guestrooms. The entrance doors seem to open and close on their own. There are faint whispers, cold spots and some unexplained happenings. Some report seeing a man in a dark blue jacket. The air conditioning and electricity seems to have a mind of their own, footsteps are heard in empty rooms and curtains move on their own.
The Royal Swan Bed & Breakfast is located at 236 Madison in San Antonio, Texas. It is only 6 blocks from downtown San Antonio and only two blocks from the Riverwalk. It was built in 1892 and originally owned by Dr. Jabez Cain. The home has been beautifully restored and is furnished with antiques, wood-burning fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, claw-footed tubs, and beautiful stained glass windows.
They have five guestrooms:
The Royal Swan Bed & Breakfast has reported the presence of a female spirit believed to be the wife of Dr. Cain. Guests report lights being turned on in the middle of the night, footsteps in empty rooms, beds being shaken, cold spots and furniture being moved.
The Veranda Suite is the suite you want if you’re into good haunting fun. This suite has reports of people feeling that someone was there, particularly in the bed. There are also reports of a woman who rocks in the rocker on the veranda. Sometimes, the rocker just rocks on its own. The ceiling fan will begin to turn even though the switch is off and then abruptly stop. Pictures fall from the wall without breaking. Closet doors open and close on their own. The room temperature has been known to drop 30 degrees without the assistance of air conditioning.
Cleaning staff reports having faucets and radios that turn on and off on their own and seeing a woman sitting in a room where guests have already checked out.
The Camberley Gunter Hotel is located at 205 East Houston Street in San Antonio, Texas. In 1909, at the time the Gunter Hotel was completed, it was the largest building in San Antonio. The hotel actually had its beginnings in 1837 as the Frontier Inn. It became the site of the US Military Headquarters in 1851. It served as the Confederate Headquarters from 1861-1865. In 1872 he became the Vance House, in 1886, the Mahncke Hotel and finally the Gunter Hotel in 1909.
The 9th floor was added in 1917 and the 10th-12th floors were added in 1926. The hotel was restored in the early 80s and is operated by the Sheraton chain.
Room 636 (now changed) became legendary as the location of one of San Antonio’s greatest unsolved mysteries that took place in 1965. This mystery also involved Room 536 of the St. Anthony Hotel. Hotel staff found Room 636 of the Gunter Hotel covered in blood but the body of the tall blonde woman staying there was ever found. The only suspect was Albert Knox who was staying at the St. Anthony Hotel in Room 536. He was found in his room dead from an apparent suicide. There was no motive, no confession, no missing person report, no information to go on.
Photographs taken in the ballroom area show ghostly guests amongst the living. Voices are heard coming from empty rooms and hallways. Parties can be heard in unoccupied rooms. A man named Buck who resided at the hotel for a number of years and died there is sometimes seen picking up the newspaper and wondering around. A lady in blue and a lady in white have been seen floating through walls.
The Menger Hotel is located at 204 Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, Texas. The original two-story, 50 room hotel was built of limestone in 1859. Over the years many additions and changes have taken place with restoration being completed in 1992.
The oldest parts of the hotel report gusts of cold air, unexplained voices, knocking sounds, cigar smoke appears in a non-smoking bar, lights turn on and off, doors open and close, and sightings of ghostly figures.
A former security guard reports seeing a man in western attire and a black hat who walked through walls and the elevator would stop on the 3rd floor no matter what button he pushed. A hotel manager at the Menger insists that Teddy Roosevelt’s spirit visits there. Maintenance men report doors that open after being locked, hearing musical noises and marching footsteps coming from unoccupied parts of the hotel. Housekeeping has reported seeing a blonde woman dressed in blue 30s or 40s attire sitting in one of the rooms.
The ghost of Sallie White, a chambermaid who worked at the hotel in 1876 and was shot there by her jealous husband is sometimes seen walking around the hotel wearing a floor-length skirt, a bandana around her neck, and a long strand of beads.
The famous ghost guest is Captain Richard King. He is the founder of the famous King Ranch south of San Antonio. Furnishings in the King Suite are the same from when he stayed there. He died at the hotel and his funeral was even held in the front parlor at the hotel.
Guests have reported seeing shot glasses levitate and relocate themselves, ghosts entering or leaving the elevators, televisions that turn off and on by themselves,
The St. Anthony-A Wyndham Historic Hotel is located at 300 East Travis Street in San Antonio, Texas. It was built in 1909 by two prominent cattlemen, B.L. Naylor and A.H. Jones. During the 20s until 1941, the hotel’s roof top nightclub was the host to the nation’s top big bands. The concerts held there were broadcast live nationally each week.
The hotel has changed hands a number of times over the years and is now under the Wyndham group and has been the choice of many celebrities such as Eleanor Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, General Douglas McArthur. Prince Ranier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Albert of Monaco, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Lucille Ball, Fred Astaire, Lyndon Johnson, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Arnold Schwartzenegger and Maria Shriver, Patrick Swayze, George Clooney, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and Matthew McConaughey.
The roof area is considered a hotbed of paranormal activity. Guests report hearing loud parties and children laughing coming from the roof only to find it completely vacant. The fourth floor, the men’s locker area in the basement, and the kitchen corridor all report unexplained activity. Room 536, where Mr. Knox committed suicide (see the story in the Gunter Hotel segment) also reports a ghostly figure.
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One of the absolutely most famous haunted hotels in America is the Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, Colorado. Stephen King, a world-renowned writer famous for his horror fiction, based his book and Kubrick’s movie, The Shining, on this world-class haunted hotel. He didn’t write the book at this hotel; he ony stayed there for one night, but that one night was enough to give him the basic outline for one of the most haunted and haunting tales ever written. Stephen King was living in Boulder, Colorado at the time, and most of the book, The Shining, was written in Boulder.This most haunted hotel in America made Mr. King a FORTUNE!
The hauntings at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado were the subject of paranormal interest and psychic experimentation long before Stephen King stayed one night there, at a time when the hotel was almost empty and about to close down.
The ghosts, for the most part, seem harmless. The ghost of the founder of the hotel, FO Stanley, who invented the Stanley Steamer automobile, rambles the corridors with his wife, Flora. Flora also still plays the piano in the ballroom, though both she and her husband have been dead for many years. Present day guests see the piano keys moving and hear faintly delightful music from a bygone era; there is no one at the piano but the ghostly Flora, who most often remains unseen. It is a much “friendlier” haunted hotel than the book or movie makes it seem.
The Stanley Hotel, built early in the 20th century and opened on July 4, 1909, has seen many famous guests come and go, including Theodore Roosevelt, and the Emperor of Japan. There have been some famous Hollywood actors and actresses visiting, as well as John Phillips Sousa, the man who wrote the marching music. The temporary home of both the famous, and, may we say, sometimes the infamous, this hotel has a particular resonance; its corridors are packed with the memories of a bygone era; the ballroom, especially, carries you into the flavor of another time. This great American hotel is most truly haunted by the past.
The fourth floor of this hotel seems to be haunted by the ghosts of many lively children, who are now long since in their graves. Employees and guests alike hear children playing, making noise as children do, running and bumping each other and laughing; whenever a person goes to investigate the sounds, there is no one there. Spooky enough, but what Mr. King made ot it! The ghosts of twin girls DO haunt this hotel. Were they murdered? No one knows.
When Stephen King and his wife stayed at this hotel in Room 217, he saw the ghost of a young boy crying out for his Nanny. When he and his wife came back from dinner, they noticed all their clothes had been unpacked from their suitcases and had been put away neatly into drawers or hung in the closet. There was no one available to perform this service; the event remains unexplained to this day, and there have been other sightings of a chambermaid in room 217 vanishing before a guest’s very eyes.
Many guests have experienced presences which appear suddenly before their eyes and then vanish. One lady guest was very startled to suddenly see a man at the foot of her bed, who, when he noticed the lady occupant of the room, threw up his hands and ran into the closet, where he vanished.
For this most haunted hotel in America, the ghosts are still lively and the New Year’s Eve party is still going on.
Next on the list of the most haunted hotels in America is definitely the Sagamore hotel, located at the edge of Lake George on a private island called Green Island, in the Adirondack mountains of New York State. It’s a beautiful hotel, a gorgeous Victorian-style mansion of a hotel, built in 1882 and rebuilt after being damaged by fire in 1920 by the very prominent architect, Robert Rheinlander. It was a vacation location for many of America’s rich and famous for many years; like Martha’s Vineyard or Palm Beach, Florida. Eventually, as it lost its panache to America’s wealthy jet set, the Sagamore fell into disuse and disrepair.
Norman Wolgin, an entrepreneur, builder and developer, bought the property in 1983, and restored it to its former glory, also adding the more modern amenities; the golf course, the guest condominiums. Though listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it remains in private hands, now owned by Ocean Properties, Ltd, out of Delray Beach, Florida.
Though many apparitions have been sighted at various locations on the property, the most frequent ghostly visitors seem to be hungry, because they are always going to the restaurants in the hotel.
One ghostly couple from the late 1800’s floats down from the second floor, to take a seat in the reception area of the Trillium dining room, seeming to be waiting for a table, before vanishing completely. These two ghosts have been seen often by both guests and staff. No one minds very much; one waiter said he wished he could finally serve them dinner; perhaps they could then be at peace, at last. It is thought they are the very first guests of the hotel, who have never left it since.
Another ghostly guest, a tall golden lady wearing a white flowing evening gown, all on her own, also visited the Mr. Brown’s dining room of the hotel. She roamed the room several times; a frequent visitor who never seemed to be able to settle anywhere in the room before vanishing mysteriously. One day the ghostly lady actually spoke to a prep cook, while walking towards him. She walked right through the poor cook, who was frightened out of his wits, before she vanished. The prep cook quit abruptly and has never since been seen in the hotel, though the Lady in White still occasionally appears.
Walter is another familiar apparition at the Sagamore. He is a portly man with a walrus mustache and a three-piece suit with a golden watch fob. He likes his cigar, so he often heads for the Trillium dining room, which was once the smoking lounge for gentlemen, at the hotel. One time a lady guest entered an apparently empty elevator. She bumped into something invisible, who materialized into Walter. Walter politely tipped his hat to the lady as he rolled his unsmoked cigar between his fingers.
Aside from being a famously haunted hotel in America, the Sagamore is a wonderful place to stay.
One of the most darkly haunted hotels in America is the RMS Queen Mary. The RMS Queen Mary began her life as a luxury ocean liner in 1936, for the Cunard Line, a shipping operation that included many famous luxury ocean liners. Her port of registry was Liverpool, England, and she was built by the famous Scottish shipbuilders, John Brown and company. She peacefully sailed the North Atlantic Ocean for many years, making the trip from New York City, USA, to Cherbourg, France, to Southhampton, England, and back again to New York City, carrying the wealthy and famous to trans-Atlantic locations.
The Queen Mary became a troop ship during World War II, and was painted grey to render her less visible to fighter planes on the open sea. She was nicknamed the Grey Ghost at this time, a nickname which was also a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In 1942, the Queen Mary accidentally sank one of her escort ships, her prow slicing right through the light cruiser HMS Curacoa, which sank immediately, as they were performing maneuvers off the coast of Ireland. The Queen Mary was ordered not to stop for anything, because she was carrying 20,000 trooops and was at high risk for U-boat attacks, so she steamed ahead into the dark with the screams of drowning men filling her ears. Almost 240 men died that night; now, today, at Queen Mary’s permanent dry dock on Long Beach in California, those same men can be heard pounding the sides of the ship, still screaming not to be left behind.
Also during the war, a young man named John Henry met his death by fire in Engine Room 13. Engine Room 13 is haunted by knocking sounds, bright lights, wisps of phantom smoke, and sometimes the door of that engine room is hot to the touch for no apparent reason.
Another casualty of war aboard the Queen Mary was a navy cook whose troops didn’t like the meals he served. The story goes, he was crammed into the oven by these same rambunctious troops, and the oven was turned on, where the poor cook met his grisly death in a hazing incident gone way too far. That oven is haunted by the screams and horrible cries of the man being burnt alive.
After the war the Queen Mary returned to the open seas, carrying luxury passengers as well as immigrants in steerage. She made her last voyage in 1967, and found her permanent home as a hotel/restaurant/tourist attraction on Long Beach, in California. Transatlantic air travel had become the more common method of crossing the seas, making the Queen Mary unprofitable as a passenger ship.
The Queen Mary is also haunted by a guest from after World War II, while returned to passenger service—a little girl who slid gleefully down the shiny bannister outside the pool area, until a violent pitch from a rouge wave sent her hurling headmost to the stairs and her death from a broken neck. She haunts the pool area and stairs, crying for Mommy.
Even though this haunted hotel is the epitomy of elegance and class, the dark side of its history still lives, in ghostly manifestations. No amount of gild or glitter can completely hide the haunted lives who linger on.
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While in San Antonio, you know to visit the Alamo, but you may not all know, to visit the Menger Hotel. I had my first glimpse at this haunted beauty this year, guided by an old friend of mine. Less than two dozen steps from the Alamo and planted right on top of the bloody battlefield, this hotel is loaded with legend and lore. The truth is in fact, stranger than fiction. The hotel is now 151 years old, and was built about 23 years after the battle, many of the items in the oldest part of the hotel include hand made grandfather clocks also 151 years old, 17th century paintings, and of coarse pictures of the presidential guests from Teddy to Clinton.
In the original bar, Teddy Roosevelt recruited some of his Rough-riders and there is a table in one of the hallways that they were sitting at during that meeting.
The King Ranch Suite is the legendary haunted room where Richard King died in his bed, and guests still stay the night there. You can see him walk through the wall, where a door way used to be or sit on top of the bed your about to sleep on….
If you listen to the videos one story is of a black housekeeper who was common-law married to a large white man and he murdered her in a jealous rage, no one was there to claim her body, she died slowly, from a stomach shot, he fled, and the hotel she worked for, paid for her funeral, so she returns there to this day, even though the murder was not in the hotel itself.
While I was there just to tour it, because it was a little too expensive for us that weekend, we talked to a British couple that traveled all the way from the UK and chose the Menger, and they were very satisfied with it. The only strange experiences I had, being it was so early in the evening, were just odd energy, thick dense spots, that you usually only get in a haunted place, or touching an old object from an antique store, you know that fuzzy dizzy feeling, sensitives are drawn too. Also a strange woman who was old and in a wheel chair I think, stopped my friend to tell him how beautiful I was. It was very strange the way she complemented me, or maybe I am not used to compliments, but I just wondered what prompted her to do that and who she was.
If you are going to San Antonio you should try to stay at the Menger. Being right there at the Alamo, and the River walk its pure vacation, its a very romantic vacation and everything along the River walk is all you need to enjoy the visit. Across from the Alamo are the Ripley’s museums and haunted ride. Good margarita’s, bars for young or family, and a very relaxed environment. After living in Houston, I must say the traffic and crowds are not as hectic at all.
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The Driskill Hotel in located on the corner of 6th and Brazos Streets in downtown Austin, Texas. “Colonel” Jesse Lincoln Driskill, a Missouri-born cattle baron made his fortune from providing beef to the Confederacy during the Civil War. He built the hotel in 1886 at a cost of about $400,000 which was a huge sum of money to spend on a hotel. Unfortunately, he built it a bit too upscale for the area at the time. He then lost it in a poker game shortly thereafter.
The hotel was built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style with arched windows, spacious balconies and exceptional ornamentation. The hotel has a beautiful corner entrance with large floor-to-ceiling arched doorways.
The ghosts said to haunt the Driskill include Jesse Driskill, a small child, Mrs. Bridges, Peter J. Lawless, two brides who died tragically, and a few others.
Jesse Driskill is said to be fond of smoking his cigars in guests’ rooms and playing with their bathroom lights.
The small child is the 4 year old daughter of a U.S. Senator who was playing with a ball near the grand staircase and tripped and fell down the stairs to her death. Her giggles and the bouncing ball are said to be heard on the staircase. There are also cold spots reported on this stairway.
Mrs. Bridges is a former front desk employee from the early 1900s. Even though she didn’t die at the hotel, she still visits the area where the front desk used to be. She is clothed in Victorian dress and seems to be fussing with the flower arrangements where they used to sit. She is seen only at night and usually accompanied by the smell of roses.
Peter J. Lawless lived in the Driskill hotel from 1886 to 1916. His occupation was selling tickets for the railroad. He even stayed at the hotel during periods when it was closed. He is usually spotted on the 5th floor near the elevators. When the elevator doors open, he checks his pocket watch. Housekeeping reports having trouble keeping room 419 tidy. Often after vacuuming, they find footsteps across the carpet, the bed covers ruffled, dresser drawers opened and report the feeling of being watched or followed.
Tragic Bride #1 is the most active ghost at the Driskill. She was a bride who was supposed to be married at the Driskill, but her future husband called it off the night before. She hung herself in her room. She is usually seen on the fourth floor walking the hallways in her wedding gown. I found this part interesting. She is most often spotted by guests who are at the Driskill to attend a wedding or bachelorette party. It is considered good luck for brides to see the ghost before their weddings.
Tragic Bride #2 is a great story that I’ll let the hotel narrator in the video below tell you. He has a great way of telling a story.
Hotel elevators randomly go up and down with no one on them and no one operating them. Guests have reported being pushed out of bed. Other guests have reported their furniture being moved during the night.
Singer Annie Lennox, while staying at the Driskill on a concert tour, laid out two dresses on her bed prior to an appearance. After her shower she found one of the dresses put away. Johnette Napolitano, the lead singer of alternative rock group Concrete Blonde wrote a song about the experience called “Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man”.
Hotel staff have reported hearing noisy guests on elevators and corridors only to find no one there, lights being switched on and off, water running in the sink or tub, and doors opening and closing. A gentleman wearing a tuxedo is often see walking through doors with only the scent of cigar smoke left behind.