The upscale Bed and Breakfast that seems to be a popular San Francisco spot for weddings has passed through many hands oven the years.
But did the previous occupants really leave the pink-colored crown jewel of Victorian architecture?
Is the Queen Anne Hotel haunted?
The Queen Anne Hotel History
The elegant building was constructed by Senator James G. Fair in 1889. Fair had made a lot of money through his silver mines in the Comstock Lode, located in Nevada.
He decided to put some of this money into a elegant boarding/finishing school in his hometown of San Francisco.
The school became known as the Mary Lake School For Girls and it first opened it’s doors to the public in 1890.
The main reasoning behind this boarding school was not only a monetary one – he also built it so his daughters Virginia and Tessie would have a good education when they arrived at San Francisco.
Over the years Fair had managed to create a strained relationship with his daughters due to his success and the work he carried out – he wanted to change this and become much closer to them.
Senator James G. Fair was known as a bit of a ladies man, and his favorite conquest was a lady named Mary Lake.
He employed her as Head Mistress of the school and she took responsibility for the women from upper-class society that attended the school.
She absolutely loved the job and loved her close relationship with the young ladies there – she was absolutely broken when the school closed down in 1896.
Feeling she had nothing left for her in the area, Mary disappeared from the city one night and was never seen or heard of again.
Due to financial difficulties, the building was sold on a few years before the destructive earthquake of 1906. Somehow it managed to avoid any sort of damage from this tragedy.
It went through numerous owners over the next several decades before it was finally converted into The Queen Anne B & B Hotel in 1980.
But this much-needed renovation work seems to have disturbed a past occupant…
The Haunted Queen Anne Hotel
When old buildings are renovated, the spirits get upset – often the spirits who reside there make their presence known to the living.
However, the main spirit who occupies this hotel seems to be overjoyed that the building has so many occupants again.
Many psychics who have visited the hotel claim to have come face to face with Mary Lake. They reassure the owners that the spirit is not in any way hostile, but relieved to have a post there once again!
Mary Lake dedicates herself to making sure that her guests are comfortable and frequently unpacks suitcases and even hangs up the clothing contained inside.
Objects that guests drop are consistently returned to their starting place before anyone has a chance to bend down and pick them up.
Many witnesses have woken in the dead of night to feel their bed-covers tightening around their neck. They claim this is not a hostile move, it feels more like they are being gently tucked in against the cold.
Most of the visual manifestations of Mary have taken place in room 410 on the fourth floor of the building.
This room apparently used to be her Head Mistress Office but now it is converted into a very high-end suite within the hotel.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
The Chelsea Hotel: A rare stop for rare individuals. What seems like an incredible boast on the complimentary bathroom soap in this New York hotel, is in probability a massive understatement.
The Chelsea as it is known has been a cauldron of inspiration, talent and creativity for over a century. No kings or queens have passed through its doors, instead the Chelsea Hotel has opened its portals to writers, musicians and artists.
The Guest Book at the Chelsea reads like a who’s who of major twentieth century influences. The subject of poetry, film and music itself, this shabby hotel with a slightly seedy reputation draws people from all over the world.
No longer open for business as it undergoes a controversial renovation, the only long term guests who avail themselves of its comforts these days are the Chelsea Hotel Ghosts.
The Dream Palace
Designed by Philp Hubert, The Chelsea was originally designed as a complex of cooperative apartments. Situated in the district of Chelsea Manhattan, the 250 unit hotel is now a New York City landmark.
Whether by design or by accident Hubert’s building was constructed in what was the most artistic district in New York.
Keen to attract creative people to his building, Hubert rented out his apartments to actors, musicians and writers.
The top floor of the building accommodated twelve artist studios. Built in the Victorian Gothic style, it was for a short time the tallest building in New York.
By 1905 however, the building was bankrupt, the theaters along with the actors, musicians and writers had moved to other parts of New York.
The building was then converted to a luxury hotel and thrived until the end of the Second World War.
By the fifties it was facing bankruptcy again. The Chelsea Hotel was likely to close until landlord Stanley Bard and his son made the decision to lease long term apartments and rooms to the more Bohemian elements of society.
Despite the hotel continuing to slide into faded grandeur and decay, it attracted some of the most creative people in the world. Whether they stayed for a week or a lifetime, The Chelsea welcomed them all.
Its residents included; Bob Dylan, Madonna, Arthur Miller, Jack Kerouac, Quentin Crisp, Jimi Hendrix and Andy Warhol, to name but a few.
The hotel and the people who lived there spawned a thousand ideas, great works of literature and paintings were created within its walls.
By the end of the twentieth century it was fondly nicknamed ‘The Dream Palace’ and was high on the list of must see places for those visiting New York.
A Lot of Funky Things Happen in The Chelsea
When rock star Janis Joplin made this glib remark she was probably referring to the permissive lifestyle led by many who have occupied the building.
Forty years later and the same statement could refer to the strange paranormal events that occur. If true, it is hardly surprising that The Chelsea Hotel is haunted.
Home to many long term guests who have died tragically young, it is also a hotbed of creative energy and angst. Identified as one of New York’s paranormal hotspots, visitors to the hotel in recent years have experienced many strange occurrences.
The phenomena recorded at the hotel include, full body apparitions, the sound of heated arguments coming from empty rooms, sobbing, orbs, strange lights, disembodied limbs, feelings of being touched or stroked and strange feelings of foreboding.
Who Are The Ghosts of The Chelsea Hotel?
A multitude of ghosts are said to haunt The Chelsea Hotel, some famous, some infamous and some unknown. Below are just a few to whet the appetite.
Sid Vicious: The year was 1978, the height of the Punk Rock era. Sid Vicious a guitarist with the British cult band The Sex Pistols had taken up residence in room 100 with his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
Their relationship was volatile and destructive and both were heavily into drug taking. Sometime during the night 12th/13th October a cry was heard from the room but ignored by other residents used to the couple arguing.
In the morning someone called down to the desk requesting help. When staff investigated they found Nancy stabbed to death in the bathroom.
Sid Vicious, crying, upset and clearly under the influence of drugs was arrested for her murder. Vicious later confessed to the crime but retracted it almost immediately.
Heartbroken without Nancy he died of a drug overdose whilst out on bail.
Surprisingly it is not Nancy but Sid who is said to haunt The Chelsea. A number of people who have stayed in room 100, have reported paranormal experiences.
These include massive temperature fluctuations, orbs and the sound of a couple arguing when there is nobody there.
The apparition of Sid Vicious has been seen in the elevator, helpfully opening and closing the doors and operating the buttons.
One of the most bizarre claims about room 100 is that it acts as a portal. Sid Vicious is said to move between two worlds searching for Nancy. Sadly it appears Nancy doesn’t want to be found.
The Vain Lady: One of the most witnessed apparitions at The Chelsea is Mary. Mary was a passenger on The Titanic. Unfortunately her husband, like many men, did not survive the voyage.
Mary stayed at the hotel after her husband’s death but could not get over his loss. Driven mad by grief, she is rumored to have committed suicide by hanging herself in her room.
This sad lady is often witnessed staring at her reflection in a mirror. Said to spend hours preening and admiring herself she is irritated when observed.
One of the most interesting things about Mary’s ghost is that she has been seen by celebrity Michael Imperioli.
Arriving back at his hotel room late one night, Imperioli observed a woman sobbing whilst looking at her reflection in a hall mirror. When he approached her to ask if she was alright, she evaporated before his eyes.
Dylan Thomas: The welsh poet Dylan Thomas, spent the last days of his life at The Chelsea Hotel. Not a well man by any means, Thomas indulged in a last bout of heavy drinking.
Dangerously ill with pneumonia and other complications he was removed to a nearby hospital where he died. Since his death he has been seen on a number of occasions around room 206.
Said to appear as a disembodied head, he sometimes hovers at the end of beds in the middle of the night, silently watching those who are asleep.
Other writers who are rumoured to haunt the corridors of the hotel are Thomas Wolfe, Eugene O’Neill and Charles R. Jackson who have all been witnessed as full body apparitions.
Nadia: Nadia and her family are rumored to have lived at the Chelsea Hotel in the early twenties. The daughter of a wealthy silk merchant, she was a talented artist.
After making an unfortunate marriage in her teens Nadia and her children were left destitute. Falling on her family for help and support she was allowed to move back in with her parents in return for carrying out domestic chores.
Eventually, ground down by domesticity and fearing she was losing her artistic talent Nadia began to suffer mental illness.
Frustrated, unhappy and unable to express herself artistically, she deliberately fell upon a large pair of shears, severing her right hand. Horrified at what she had done, she threw herself off the 3rd floor balcony of her apartment fracturing her skull.
Guests to the hotel claim to have seen Nadia hovering near their balconies on moonless nights, unable to enter the building. At least one unfortunate person has witnessed the severed hand inside the hotel itself.
There Will Not be a Seat for Any Ghost
Strangely prophetic, the poem ‘The Chelsea’ written by Edgar Lee Masters over seventy years ago, predicts the demise of The Chelsea Hotel.
Sold in 2007 the hotel is now in the hands of developers and many worry for its future. The biggest fear for many people is that this unique and inspiring firmament of creativity will be lost to corporate blandness.
At the moment it is closed and only a few long term residents and the Chelsea Hotel Ghosts remain. Facing disaster many times before, the hotel has emerged triumphant, inspiring world class literature, music and art.
Who is to say then that it will not rise again, inspiring new generations and offering a welcome seat to the many ghosts that dwell within its walls.
The Banff Springs Hotel must surely be one of the most beautiful in the world. Set in the landscape of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and surrounded by deep forest it could have been plucked from the pages of a Fairy Tale.
For over a century the Banff Springs has attracted visitors from all over the world. Movie stars, celebrities and royalty have all enjoyed its opulence and luxury.
Spoilt by the lavish surroundings, few who stay here are keen to leave, in fact there are a few guests of the spectral kind who refuse to move on.
Over the years The Banff Springs Hotel Ghosts have become an attraction in themselves and earned the hotel the reputation of being one of the most haunted in Canada.
The Castle of the Rockies
The hotel was built in 1886 by Cornelius Van Horne. Van Horne was the General Manager of The Canadian Pacific Railroad and was responsible for driving its route through the Rockies.
Realising that the beauty of the area would attract tourists, he began a building project along the railroad’s path to provide luxury accommodation for visitors. In 1888 the Banff Springs Hotel opened its doors to the public for the first time.
Described as the jewel of Alberta, the hotel was built in the Swiss Chalet style and nicknamed The Castle of the Rockies. Originally a wooden construction, the hotel was rebuilt after a fire in 1926.
The Secret Room
The fire in 1926 was to reveal a hidden secret in the Banff Springs Hotel. When clearing the debris, a hidden room was discovered which some suggest was the seat of the fire.
Further probing revealed that the room was probably an accidental creation by bungling builders. During the construction process the builders had read the plans incorrectly and managed to create a room without any windows.
Rather than confessing to their error, they sealed up the room and hoped it wouldn’t be noticed. Over the years strange noises and paranormal phenomena were experienced in the adjoining corridor.
While it didn’t fully explain the strange events it came as a relief to staff to know that a secret room was hidden just beyond sight.
If you go in search of room 873, you are unlikely to find it. The hotel staff would suggest that it has merely been incorporated into the room next door to create a larger suite.
Those with a suspicious nature believe there is a more sinister reason for the disappearance of room 873. At some point in the hotel’s history a murder is rumored to have taken place in the room.
A father is said to have killed his wife and daughter before committing suicide. Attempts were made to clean the room afterwards but the tiny blood soaked fingerprints of the child could never be wiped from the bathroom mirror.
Eventually, the room was sealed up when staff refused to enter and guests reported that they had been attacked by an unseen force.
Since the room has been sealed an impression of a small child sometimes appears on the wall where the door should be. The image has been successfully photographed by some guests.
The Tragic Bride
One of the saddest ghost stories emanating from The Banff Springs Hotel is the story of the tragic bride. A beautiful venue for a wedding, it proved to be a fateful choice for one young couple.
There are two different versions of events that took place. In the first version a beautiful young bride was descending a curved marble staircase to dance with her new husband in the ballroom. As she walked down the stairs she tripped on her gown and fell down the steps breaking her neck.
The second version is more horrifying if that is possible. The stairs had been lined with candles which must have created a stunningly romantic effect.
As she descended, the bride’s dress brushed against a candle and caught fire. Panicking, the woman stumbled and fell to her death.
The ghost of the beautiful bride has been witnessed waltzing alone in the ballroom. Perhaps she is still pining for that first dance with her husband that she never had.
Others have felt the woman’s presence in the bathroom at the top of the stairs where she is said to watch people. Those who descend the stairs she died on can sometimes feel a chill breeze even when there is no draft.
One thing that is certain is this lovely bride bears no malice. A young couple being given a guided tour of the hotel in preparation for their own wedding tell the following tale.
As they descended the stairs the prospective groom caught his foot and tripped. Stumbling, he reached out to grab something but could not save himself.
Almost immediately, he felt a pair of steadying arms pull him back. When he turned to thank his saviour, there was nobody there.
The Helpful Bell Boy
Browse the photographs of staff in the last century and you will find pictures of a group of happy, smiling bell boys. Taking center stage in these largely youthful groups is a cheerful older gentleman, Sam Mc Auley.
Sam was originally from Scotland but moved to Canada in his youth. After gaining a bell boy’s post at the hotel, he went on to work at the Banff Springs for many years.
To say Sam loved working at the hotel would be an understatement. Retiring from his job on numerous occasions he was always drawn back to the role he enjoyed so much.
At one point the ageing Sam informed his friends and colleagues that when he died he would return to haunt the Banff Springs Hotel. It seems that Sam was true to his word as he has been witnessed all over the hotel, but particularly on the ninth floor.
The kindly and benign Sam continues to help people and can be seen dashing about carrying luggage. One of the most convincing reasons for accepting that Sam’s spirit haunts the hotel, is the number of guests who see him who know nothing of the hotel’s history.
Numerous people have enquired after the elderly bell boy in the green uniform who helped them earlier in the day, only to be told no such person exists.
A local businessman relates the story of when he and his bookkeeper visited the hotel to attend a meeting. After the meeting both gentlemen availed themselves of the washroom facilities.
The businessman left the washroom first and went to browse the gift shop while he waited for his bookkeeper. When his friend hadn’t turned up half an hour later he became concerned.
After forty minutes the bookkeeper turned up in an agitated state. He explained that he had left the washroom by the wrong door and ended up lost. He would have remained lost but a kind, elderly bell boy guided him to the gift shop.
The businessman describes his friend as a committed Christian who did not believe in ghosts and knew nothing of Sam Mc Auley.
The two men went back into the washroom to discover that there was only one door to enter or leave by. The door the man said he had used was a fixed mirror.
The kind bell boy was nowhere to be found and enquiries at Reception confirmed the hotel did not employ a bell boy matching the description given.
It would be easy to be skeptical about lots of the ghostly sightings at The Banff springs Hotel. Why is there no record of the young bride’s name or of the family who died in such chilling circumstances?
Are these stories merely the product of an overactive imagination that have since become local folklore?
What isn’t so easy is the debunking of the masses of video, photographic and eye witness testimony recorded by guests and visitors to the hotel.
Strange lights, orbs, unexplained noises and ghostly images have all been recorded.
Many people arrive at The Banff Springs Hotel unaware of its history but leave after experiencing spine tingling paranormal events. Surely their testimony is the most compelling.
For those that wish to investigate the Banff Springs Hotel ghosts themselves, the stunning setting is well worth a visit.
If you do make the trip to this magnificent building, there is just one more apparition that may chill you to the bone. Over-indulge in spirits of the wrong kind and the ghostly bar tender who haunts the hotel may send you to bed early with the warning , ‘I think you’ve had enough’ ringing eerily in your ears.
Nothing beats a good ol’ haunting story. Whether it’s a good or bad ghost, the audience is always eager for the sweet scary tale. One question that has lingered for a while however is… “Are ghosts real?”
Now, many of you will be quick to answer yes but no one will give you concrete proof. Yes, no one! And that includes you. But wait minute… what about the Stanley hotel haunting?
Fact: Spirituality and religion has taught man to be superstitious and very, very nervous.
Of course science has thrown in a bit of weight in support of existing supernatural forces outside our realm but is it true that the dead are not really dead? Can they still be here… with us? Is Elizabeth Wilson still folding laundry in room 217 at the Stanley right now?
The Stanley Hotel was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley, one of the Stanley twins who co-owned several businesses together (the other was Francis Edgar Stanley). He had moved to Estes Valley with his wife Flora.
The hotel opened its doors to the public in 1909 after 2 years of construction and only accepted the crème of society. The elegant 48 room hotel sitting in front of the Colorado Rockies has since grown to a world class historic establishment. It still had an elevator and piped water plus electricity back then thanks to Freelan’s genius.
Haunting Claims at the Stanley
Despite its grandeur, the Stanley regained its former glory in the 70s after almost fizzling out of fame and marked for demolition. This is the time when stories of paranormal activity in the Stanley took center stage and spread like wild fire.
Long serving employees and guests are guilty of propagating these claims to everyone who sets foot within the property’s compound and anyone else interested in a juicy tale! Is it all sales gimmicks? Are they all looking for a minute of fame? Is it a case of visitors wanting to be associated with the paranormal craze? And who is Scary Mary?
Rumors have it that Elizabeth Wilson, one of the ghosts haunting the hotel, was once the head housekeeper at the Stanley and had a fatal gas explosion accident in room 217 where the king of horror novels Stephen King once set camp with his wife Tabitha.
The story goes that she only broke her legs and didn’t die here despite the entire floor caving into the room below where she was found. Why then would she still be haunting the hotel? What’s even more puzzling is the fact that none of the newspapers that reported the incident wrote similar details about her…
Other people have told of hearing Flora play her piano and filling the corridors with nice tunes or laughing and playing children. Other ghosts; Eddie, Lucy and Paul (a former doorman and hotel curfew enforcer) have been reported to roam around the premises carrying out their mischief.
Eddie kisses the ladies and strokes their hair. He was also once known as a stinky ghost but he has since reformed and even got a nicer scent go to with his new ghostly lifestyle which includes more cheeks to smooch.
The Stanley may owe its continued strong existence to Stephen King who not only stayed at the fine establishment, but also has a novel themed after the hotel to support the ghost stories. He apparently ran into a young boy during his stay which inspired him to write the 1977 serious page turner The Shining.
Recent stories have been told by random people especially couples who swear that Elizabeth is also not a fun of sex outside the marriage institution and doesn’t let you have peace if you’re an unmarried couple spending a night in room 217.
More paranormal activity has been reported in the Stanley’s concert hall where the playful Lucy puts on a laser light show to answer questions!
The Truth is Out There!
So what do we make of the Stanley’s haunted mansion story? Numerous big names in the paranormal activity investigations field such as the RMPRS (Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society) and the APS (Atlantic Paranormal Society) plus myriads of popular TV show producers in the ghost hunting niche have made the Stanley their home in search of answers and proof.
Nothing substantial has ever been reported so far. That can only mean one thing; the Stanley hotel haunting will stick until someone can prove it a lie.
What are your take ghosts and haunting stories? Do you believe the Stanley is really haunted?
The ghost of Beth has been heard on numerous occasions throughout the hotel, softly playing her violin lines through the night.
The room 403 is also thought to be a hot spot of paranormal activity with many guests claiming to have seen her ghostly apparition tread gently across the floor.
A young Confederate soldier in Abingdon fell deeply in love with a young lady that used to attend the hotel building when it was a college.
When it was time for him to face battle he decided to risk saying one last goodbye to his loved one. He traveled through the cave system underlying Abingdon and used a secret stairway to enter the college.
He managed to find his love within the building but was spotted by a pair of Union officers. Before he had a chance to explain his situation he was shot in front of his partner.
The blood that poured out of the young soldiers bullet wound that night refuses to disappear from the hotel floor. Carpets over the area often develop mysterious holes over the stains and even refurbishing the floor doesn’t help.
The historic blood stains always find a way to reappear.
The Phantom Horse
In 1864 a union soldier was shot down in front of the building with his horse left watching nearby. Several recent reports claim to have witnessed the horse standing alone near the hotel entrance – always on a moonless night.
The Ghost Soldier
The final spectre that frequents the halls of this historic hotel is one of a young soldier. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know who this apparition is.
He is always leaning on a crutch walking down various hallways, leaving a trail of dirt and mud in his wake.
Speculation leads many paranormal investigators to believe that this solider was yet another visitor to the hotel when it was a war hospital – although nobody knows for sure…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Martha Washington Inn Ghosts please leave them in the comment section below.