It’s Halloween and the search is on for the truly haunted hotels, inns and bed and breakfast to call home for the evening. The sleep over in a haunted location idea is certainly not new but as television reality shows like Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and Ghost Adventures have grown in popularity, the practice has begun to gain mainstream appeal.
There are thousands of locations all over the country that meet the description of haunted hotel, many very well known with an established history of other worldly occupation. Stories abound detailing the happenings at paranormal icons such as the Hotel Chelsea in New York City, the Stanly Hotel in Colorado, and the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado Beach near San Diego. However, for many adventurous souls, the best places to sleep with the spirits are the less famous lodges and inns scattered along the side roads and main streets of small town America.
The Inn at Merridun located in the small town of Union, South Carolina has the reputation of being haunted by as many as 10 different ghosts. Guests of the Georgian style inn have reported the smell of old fashioned perfume, being touched by unseen hands, the apparition of a bosomy woman in Victorian dress, and occasionally the sound of harpsichord and piano music. Another former resident reported as a frequent visitor, is a little white dog that alternately curls up in bed with guests or growls at them. The current owner does not have a dog, only a cat who also reports the presence of the ghostly dog.
Situated in the northwest Arkansas town of Harrison, Kansas the beautifully restored 1893 Queen Anne House B&B is open for business, for folks who don’t mind sharing a room with someone not quite solid, that is. Guests who have elected to spend the night regularly tell of hearing loud, unexplained noises in the dead of night and experiencing a pervasive feeling of being watched. There have also been reports of a man seen sitting in a bedroom chair who, once noticed, disappears. Along with weddings and special events, the property is available for supernatural investigations.
Cimarron, New Mexico’s Saint James Hotel is apparently a very crowed place. Psychic investigations over the years have identified at least seven sprits that live at the hotel but patrons, employees, and the owners of the property are convinced that there are more. There are thirteen original guest rooms but only twelve are available for rent. Room# 18 is off limits to the living due to the shenanigans of a previous occupant. The ghost who inhabits the room prefers his solitude and doesn’t take kindly to visitors. In its heyday, the Saint James was a rowdy saloon, where more than 20 killings have been documented. With all the violence in its history, it is no surprise that it is home to a few reluctant spirits.
Located in the small community of Granville, Ohio, the Buxton Inn was established in 1812 as a stop on the coach route to Columbus. Ghost stories about the inn have been in circulation since 1829, when a young man encountered the original owner of the inn, Orrin Granger, during a late night kitchen run. Contemporary sightings are limited to reports of Ms. Ethel Bounell, a singer who owned the property for close to thirty years in the mid 1900s. Sightings of Ethel, and occasionally her cat, have been the subject of many guests’ excited stories of contact with the afterlife. Her old room, #9, is popular among the ghost hunting set hoping to get a glimpse of the former inn keeper. The bar, which is in the basement is thought to be haunted by the servants of the property who used the space as their living (and dying?) quarters.