For the average traveler, reports that a hotel might be haunted might not necessarily be perceived as an actual amenity, given that an encounter with unsettled spirits isn't always associated with a refreshing night's sleep in the typical wayfarer's mind.
But, for those seeking palpitations rather than relaxation, the National Trust Historic Hotels of America organization — a collective of 210 historic U.S. hotels, dating back as far as the 1600s, which have "faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance" — suggests a no-kidding haunting Halloween experience with a visit to one of its 40 supernaturally-touched sites. There are group ghost hunting tours available or the option to book a stay in a "preoccupied" room.
Some of the spooky stories:
One morning while slicing and dicing vegetables, Steve Garrison, a cook at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Ark., looked up and saw a little boy with “pop-bottle” glasses, dressed in old-fashioned clothing and knickers, skipping around the kitchen. Another morning, Garrison flipped on the lights to begin the day’s preparations when "some or all of the pots and pans came flying off their hooks."
Guests of the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash. have reported seeing a woman, dressed in 1920s fashion, wandering the mezzanine, peering over the railing as if looking for someone in the lobby. A recent search through the city’s newspaper archives revealed that the apparition may be that of Mrs. Ellen McNamara, who fell to her death through the hotel’s lobby skylights on August 17, 1920. Her final words, spoken to a physician in the hotel that night, were, “Where did I go?”
Guests and employees at the Windsor Hotel in Americus, Ga. have reported a number of strange happenings over the years including the appearance of the silhouette of a woman in a long, black gown reflected in the mirror on the third floor hall. There have also been reports of a ghostly little girl on the third floor of the hotel, who runs laughing through the hallway at night. The little girl is the daughter of a head housekeeper who used to live and work on the premises in the early 1900s. The woman was murdered – pushed down the elevator well – and her ghost and that of her daughter may still haunt the hotel.
Ghosts at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Ore. seem to confine themselves to rooms ending in the number "3." During a visit in 1999, Char, a celebrity psychic staying in room 803 claimed to see a ghost at the end of her bed. “The hauntings have all taken place in the column of rooms between 303 and 1003. My theory is that someone once jumped to their death and is haunting the rooms he passed on the way down,” said the psychic.