We’ve Stayed Where Ghosts Stay: Haunted Hotels

The splendid lobby of the Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, South Dakota

The splendid lobby of the Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, South Dakota

Historic hotels seem to be a guarantee for ghosts. Perhaps its their longevity and rich history that adds to the paranormal possibility. There are a few hotels where we’ve had personal experience with an overnight stay. Although, we haven’t had any ghost encounters, what we have discovered is fascinating history, glorious architecture worth savoring and a good night sleep.

When my husband and I checked into the Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, S.D. the summer of 2015, I didn’t know we were checking into one of South Dakota’s most haunted hotels. I didn’t think a thing that our room was on the 8th floor until I heard from a guest that ghosts – specifically, a “lady in white” and a little girl, have been sighted on that very floor. The “lady in white” is said to roam the halls, and the little girl knocks on doors and giggles.

alex-johnson-outside-croppedThe hotel’s original owner Alex Johnson, who passed away in 1938 is also thought to make appearances. The Hotel Alex Johnson’s ghost action is robust enough that an episode of  “Ghost Hunters” was filmed here.

For guests with a special interest in the paranormal, take advantage of the Ghost Adventure Package which includes: one K2 meter for detecting ghosts, a $25 dining voucher, free valet parking, and accommodation in a room with paranormal activity.

During our stay we didn’t experience anything paranormal despite our 8th floor lodging. But, we were tired and so enamored with the hotel’s historic beauty with its Lakota Sioux fused with a rustic Art Deco ambiance, we may not have been tuned in. The Hotel Alex Johnson is fabulous. Ghosts or not, this is a South Dakota gem.

Diana Rowe, who’s a Colorado whiz when it comes to hotels, has the pulse of Denver’s paranormal places to stay. One of the stand outs is the Patterson Historic Inn.

The inn, operating as a B&B is the former home of Thomas Cooke who had this red sandstone beauty built in 1890. Like the Hotel Alex Johnson, there’s a ghost girl who is said to wander. What is about these wandering ghost girls? I rarely have heard of wandering boys.


Historic Patterson Inn in Denver has a ghost girl visitor–or does it?

During renovations in the 1970s, workers found the items they left for the following day’s work was out of place which some attributed to the work of that pesky girl.

The Stanley Hotel of The Shining fame

The Stanley Hotel of The Shining fame

In another quest for Colorado’s haunted hotel history, Diana braved a stay at a Historic Hotel of America, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Built in 1909, this stately hotel with its Rocky Mountain backdrop was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining after King stayed in room 217. Granted, King does have an active imagination, but others have experienced paranormal activity as well.

The original owner Freelan Oscar Stanley (inventor of the Stanley Steam Engine) and his wife Flora Stanley are said to be still very much present in a ghostly fashion. Flora still plays the hotel’s piano late at night, for example. Considering just how gloriously this hotel has been renovated and updated since the Stanleys owned it, who can blame them?

stanleylodgebuffet-300x225When Diana stayed, she didn’t encounter F.O. Stanley or his wife, but she did encounter a restful night sleep and the pleasure of enjoying the offerings of the hotel’s elegant complex and wonderful complimentary continental breakfast.

To up the ante on paranormal possibility at the Stanley Hotel, opt for the Ghost Adventure package that includes: a guaranteed stay on the 4th floor, the hotel’s most haunted, a REDRUM mug for each guest, a glow-in-dark squishy ghost person, and a K2 meter.

Post and photos of Hotel Alex Johnson courtesy of Jamie Rhein. Photos of Stanley Hotel by Diana Rowe. Photo of the Patterson Historic Inn courtesy of the hotel.

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