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Haunted Hotels in America
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Stanley Hotel, Estes, Colorado
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.
The Queen Mary
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 troopship 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 epitome 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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