We are well into the season of hauntings and witchings, not to mention corn mazes, Bugs Bunny Halloween cartoons, and the world’s scariest haunted house. We prefer free-range frights that are as goreless as possible, so give us an overnight in an authentically haunted hotel. We used the fantastic database at HauntedPlaces.org along with our own experience to come up with six paranormal pensions where we wouldn’t mind spending a night or two … at least until the folks in the frilly nightshirts come calling.
- Old Yarmouth Inn, Yarmouth, Mass.: Not too many people stay at the old inn anymore; it’s too busy being one of Cape Cod’s finest restaurants, and the new Yarmouth Inn next door is so much more spacious. But the ghost stories continue to haunt the cape’s oldest inn in the form of specters in flounced white blouses that sit on the bedstead and shake the bedposts. If you like your ghosts on the pre-Colonial side, this is the place to go.
- Cedar Grove Inn, Vicksburg, Miss.: Once you get over the fact that this luxurious, beautifully restored inn, a former Civil War hospital, has a cannonball sitting in the wall, you can get down to the business of scaring up the apparitions of recuperating Union soldiers and gothic southern belles. You can live out the War of the Rebellion every night, though our guess is one or two nights re-enacting the siege of Vicksburg will be plenty.
- St. Vincent’s Guest House, New Orleans: This former orphanage is unsurprisingly haunted by ghost children that run through the halls and giggle in the walls. Some people also report seeing the specter of a nun in the upstairs hall. No report as to whether the nun is slapping a ruler in the palm of her hand. Ectoplasm aside, it’s a nicely located, affordable place to stay in the heart of New Orleans. Of course, that’s what they said about Count Blood Count‘s place, too.
- The Creede Hotel And Restaurant, Creede, Colo.: The Creede, the only place the spend the night in this bandbox-pretty town in the San Juan Mountains, not only has ghosts, but big-name ghosts. Its list of celebrity haunters supposedly includes Jesse James, Bob Ford (who shot Jesse James), and Calamity Jane, former guests all. We hear breakfast is wonderful at the Creede — assuming you make it through the night, of course.
- American Club, Kohler, Wis.: Wisconsin’s best hotel is also Wisconsin’s most-haunted location, according to HauntedPlaces.org. The resort’s old wing was the scene of an industrial accident and a subsequent hanging, and both ghosts supposedly roam the halls. There’s also supposedly security-camera footage of an encounter with a Man Who Wasn’t There. Golf, spa, five-diamond cuisine and ghosts — the perfect combination.
- Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, S.D.: The only hotel named after a 1960s batting champion evidently had jumpers launch themselves off the eighth floor while leaving a piece of their ectoplasm behind. It’s a nice place to flop regardless. Based on personal experience, the Villa Theresa in Hot Springs would be our pick if it were open, but it’s currently being haunted by a lack of paying customers. Its precarious hilltop setting and tales of murder and revenge from beyond the grave are chilling as ever, though.
You have a favorite haunted getaway? Share it with us. We love a good ghost story — especially when we’re not one of the main characters.