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    Published 9--2019

    Halloween is an especially good time to seek out haunted hotels. But these are fun any time of year. Southern hospitality mingled with the spirits of long ago.

    Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama

    The high-rise Tutwiler is a National Historic Landmark hotel built in1914. Today it's a Hampton Inn & Suites. 

    The first Tutwiler was demolished in 1972. The city missed its elegance and in 1986 Ridgely Apartments, built in 1913 also owned by Tutwiler, was converted to the new Tutwiler. It underwent another redo in 2005. 

    The most famous ghost drifting around its stately halls is known as the Knocker. For good reason; he/she likes to walk up and down the hall and pound frantically on the guest's doors. 

    It's only natural Colonel Tutwiler, the hotel's namesake and former owner should still be there. He likes to turn on and off lights and even the stove so much so that present day management ordered the staff to address him each evening On closing the kitchen, they now say "Good night Colonel, and please turn the lights and stove off, and don't make a mess!"

    Don Cesar in St Petersburg, Florida

    This St. Petersburg landmark grew out of a doomed romance. Thomas Rowe was an orphaned American. While studying in England, Rowe met a young opera singer named Lucinda. She was the female lead in his favorite opera, Maratina. They fell madly in love and planned to elope and spend their lives in a pink castle by the sea.

    Lucinda's parents broke up the romance. Eventually, Thomas became wealthy and bought eighty acres of an island destined to become St Petersburg Beach. He married another woman but never forgot his Lucinda. He divided the acres into tracts. The streets were named for characters and places in Maritana. But the crowning jewel was the ten-story Moorish Mediterranean pink hotel. It could only be called the "Don Cesar." In the sunroom on the ground floor, Rowe placed the fountain he had once promised Lucinda. A winged angel poured water into a pond encircled by swans.


    The hotel passed through several hands and went downhill until its restoration to the marvelous hotel it is today.But some things stayed the same. People often reported smelling a foul smell. Thomas, who had asthma smoked that contained a medicine with a particularly nasty smell.

    One woman who had arrived to work as a receptionist was at the beach. She saw a man in a white linen suit and Panama hat. Her husband didn't see the man. She gave it no more thought until she was doing her orientation and saw a picture of the same man, Thomas Rowe.

    Another place Thomas Rowe appears is in the kitchen. Workers will see his face in a freezers and then it will be gone as fast as it appeared.
    Many people have reported seeing a man and woman in period clothing walking around near where the original fountain was.

    Perhaps the dashing "Don Cesar" and his beautiful "Maritana" were doomed from the start. Then again, perhaps they have finally reunited in the afterlife and are now living their dream "life" for all eternity in their castle by the sea.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://americanroads.net/inn-roads-fall08.htm

    Casa Monica in St. Augustine, Florida

    Just down the block from Flagler College stands a Moorish Castle, complete with turrets and an unbelievably lavish interior that is St. Augustine's own haunted hotel, The Casa Monica Hotel. It was built by one of Flagler's former business associates, a Bostonian amateur architect, Franklin W. Smith. Never one to suffer competition gracefully, Flagler purchased the hotel April 20, 1888. In the 1960's it was converted the county courthouse but in 1999, it reverted to its former glory and is once again the Casa Monica Hotel.

    Visitors to the hotel have heard voices, seen indents in the carpet as if someone is stepping on it and witnessed furniture shift positions inexplicably. Others have sighted a woman in green strolling around the hotel. The only thing strange about her is that she's not actually there. Some guests have glimpsed a man through the outside windows of the Henry Flagler Suite when the room was known to be empty. Some workers have seen a distinguished looking man in period clothing walking in the lobby, only to vanish when approached. Maybe Flagler just wishes to enjoy the splendor of his new/old hotel.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits.  https://americanroads.net/street_party_winter2016.htm

    Cassadaga Hotel in Cassadaga, Florida

    In most hotels the haunting is an incidental thing. The hotels were not designed with any idea of spiritual inhabitance. Not so in the Cassadaga Hotel. The city including the picturesque Victorian hotel was designed with the concept of reaching out to those who had passed on.

    Cassadaga was founded by George Colby a spiritualist from New York. In 1875, Colby, led by Seneca, his spirit guide, homesteaded this land and, in 1895, deeded over 35 acres to the newly incorporated Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association.

    The hotel is listed on The National Register of Historic Places and has some pretty historic spirits in residence.

    Arthur, one of the better-known ones, possibly was once a clerk at the hotel. He looks dignified, silver gray hair, starched white shirt, dress pants, and vest. He likes to stand at the top of the staircase smoking his cigar and watching over things especially around rooms 17 and 18.

    There are also two little girls, Sarah and Caitlin and a little boy, Jack, who used to live just down the street.  There is even a nun, Sister Victoria.    
    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://americanroads.net/cassadaga_5282019.htm 

    Marshall House in  Savannah Georgia


    The Marshall House  opened in 1851 and was used as a hospital after Sherman conquered Savannah and during yellow fever epidemics in the 19th century. Monica, who led us on a ghost tour in Savannah, told us Sherman commandeered the Marshall House for his injured officers. Amputation was common. After the war it returned to being a hotel. People reported a ghost of a Union soldier going up and down the halls saying "Where's my arm."
    In recent years when they were shoring up the foundation they found some severed arms and legs. After that people no longer saw the ghostly union soldier.

    Guests often see shadows of soldiers in Union uniforms and ghostly children running in the halls, faucets turn on for no reason.  People are reporting waking with an arm outstretched and a hand on their wrist and forehead. As if a ghostly nurse or doctor is checking a patient. Monica said, "Today, it's not so pricey compared to other hotels, but in the old days, it was worth an arm and a leg to stay here."

    Windsor Hotel in Americus, Georgia

    The Windsor originally opened with a great ball on June 16, 1892. Over the years, the hotel's popularity declined and the building was destined for the wrecking ball at several points in its life.

    Today its original golden oak woodwork and the pink and gray marble floor shine. The mirror on the back wall of the lobby dates to pre-Civil War. The mahogany phone booth, in the lobby, is authentic although not original to the hotel. The clock on the second-floor lobby is the only original furnishing.

    The Windsor has a few permanent guests. Her stately halls are roamed by the ghost of a former housekeeper and her daughter who lived in the hotel in the 1920’s. The mother was thrown down a elevator shaft. The mother appears to be looking out for "her" guests. The little girl is playful. Turner Blue Ribbon did a filming reenacting the housekeeper meeting the ghostly girl in a hallway.

    Another spirit was one of the original construction workers of the hotel, Floyd.  He later worked as an elevator operator there when it first opened. He too died by falling down the elevator shaft. (Warning I would be careful near the elevator.) The hotel bar is named Floyd's in his honor.

    There are also stories of a young woman who was decapitated by her boyfriend at the hotel and still roams the halls.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://www.americanroads.net/Windsor.htm

    Ellis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia

    Downtown Atlanta is filled with chain hotels but one small boutique hotel stands. The Ellis Hotel on Peachtree is that special little jewel every traveler loves to discover. It has style. It has history. It has legends. Most of all it has all the comforts and luxuries to coddle a weary traveler. It also has spirits.

    The hotel on this site originally was the Winecoff Hotel built in 1913 and later dubbed "The Titanic of Peachtree" - largely due to claims from the owners that is was "fireproof".

    Then on December 7, 1946, it was destroyed by the most deadly hotel fire in U. S. history. That night, 119 people lost their lives including some of Georgia's high school students in town for a mock-legislative session at the Capital.

    A new hotel, The Peachtree, was built on the site. It passed from owner to owner and in October, 2007, this sleek 127 room beauty opened as the Ellis Hotel. Its history has earned it a spot on the National Historic Register.

    Many people report seeing ghostly figures in the halls and at windows, sounds of chaos, and strange smells of smoke. The fire alarm sometimes goes off at 2:48AM - the time the original fire started.

    It is common for people to hear what they describe as heartbreaking screaming of women and children paranormal investigators believe is a residual energy from the past. 

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://www.americanroads.net/winter09-inn-roads.htm

    Monteleon in New Orleans, Louisiana

    The Monteleon is reflective of old New Orleans. It has the distinctive French feel with modern amenities. Since all of the Crescent City had more spirits than you can shake a broomstick at, the Monteleon has its share.

    The most commonly seen spirit is Maurice,  a young boy who may have either died ther or suffered great trauma. There are several versions of the story. All agree that in the 1800s, Jacques and his wife Josephine Begere left the child in the care of a nanny while they went to the French Opera House. Some stories say Maurice developed a fever and died in the room. Others say that his father was killed returning form the Opera House when the carriage horse bolted. Josephine died of grief.  Maurice returns to the room because of that trauma he experienced there. He is seen on the 14th floor.(It really the 13 floor but the hotel chose to skip having a 13th floor.

    One of the Monteleon's favorite places is its rooftop pool. Guests lounging ther have reported seeing the Poolside Lady. Her story is that she and her boyfriend mand a suicide pact and she carried it out. Her boyfriend didn't. Maybe she is still waiting for him to join her in eternity.

    One of the French touches is an ornate lobby clock.  Antonio Puccio sculptured the clock's woodwork. Legend says he was so enamored with his work he still appears some nights and works on his clock.

    Not only guests but employees have seen some of the Monteleon's ghosts. Former cashier Cleatter Landry experienced a strange phenomena several times. The closed and locked cafe doors which wer closed and locked would just swing open. No one was in the cafe any of the times when it happened.It is believed to be the work of one of two overzellous employees, a cashier or waitress,who both died the same year.

    A somewhat morbid spirit that remains her is "Solemn John." He is a well dressed 1920s era business man who was John Wagner in life. He was staying at the Monteleon and committed suicide when the depression bankrupted him

    Psychic investigators also communicated with a former engineer who just gave his name as "Red."
    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://americanroads.net/Monteleonhotel.html

    Bourbon Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana

    Of all the historic hotels in New Orleans,  Bourbon Orleans is perhaps the most interesting. It has a unique history and a few spirits of the past that still remain. It was not always a hotel.  What is now a popular wedding and meeting room in the hotel was  the site of the historic Orleans Ballroom where the infamous Quadroon Balls were held. It became a a convent and orphanage in the late 1800s. The hotel's ghosts range from many era's.

    There is a lonely ghost dancer  who is sometimes seen dancing by the light of the ballroom's crystal chandelier. Was she one of the beautiful quadroom's condemned to a life of inequality and shame? 

    On the sixth or third floor, you may run into "The Man." He's a  Confederate Soldier that may not know that war is over.

    Yellow fever epidemic occurred often in New Orleans during the time the the hotel was convent and orphanage.  There are ghost children and female apparitions, probably nuns, at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel from the era of the Sisters of the Holy Family Convent. The most commonly seen spirit from that time is a little girl who is playing with her ball on the sixth floor.  People sometimes hear her footsteps in the hallways.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://americanroads.net/innroads_summer2015.htm

    Driskill Hotel in Austin


    The Driskill is pure Texas at its best. It started when Jesse Driskill purchased an entire city block for his hotel that opened in December of 1886. The Daily Statesman called it "One of the Finest Hotels in the Whole Country." Texas prides itsllf on being bigger than life.  That holds true for the Driskill's resident spirits.

    Yes, there is more than one ghost at The Driskill. Naturally any Texan worth his Stetson would expect Colonel Driskill to still inhabit his masterpiece. You'll often smell phantom of cigar smoke even if you don’t see him. Driskill was known to always be smoking his cigar.  Lots of folks have seen him standing with a hand on a chair as if inviting you to sit and enjoy your stay.

    One security guard was in his second week on the job and on the stairwell between the fifth and sixth floor. He stopped and bent over to tie his shoe when someone tapped him on the back and said in a gruff male voice, "Do you have a match?"  

    Having heard the stories he knew Col. Driskill had smoked cigars. Not daring to turn around he rushed down to the lobby. The desk clerk remarked "Are you alright, you look kind of white."

    The terrified watchman replied, "I don't know! I heard all the stories but I never believed them but I think I just met Col. Driskill."

    Colonel Driskill isn't the only soul hanging around. In the Maximilian Room, named for the mirrors destined for Emperor Maximilian and consort Carlotta's Palace in Mexico but instead ended up in the hotel. A somewhat psychic visitor who was checking out the ballroom as a possible venue for a meeting saw an apparition of a woman with a young boy sitting in the corner. She claimed the boy was "very sad." The woman was wearing a long flowing white dress of the style popular in France in the mid 1800s.  Carlotta? Perhaps. 

    One of the most common specters seen at The Driskill is "The Bride." Actually, there are two "brides" one is believed to have committed suicide after being jilted in the 1920. She is seen mostly in the ladies rest room. The other "Bride" dates to the 1970's and is seen on the stairs or in the hall of the fourth floor carrying lots of bags. She took revenge by using his credit cards for a shopping spree of more than $40,000 then went to her room, picked up a pillow to muffle the sound and killed herself with a bullet to her stomach. She wasn't found until three days later when a housekeeper wondered about the constant Do not disturb sign.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://www.americanroads.net/spring09-inn-roads.htm

    The George Washington Hotel, Winchester Virginia

    Exterior of George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA

    When you first step into the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, you are walking on history. That distinctive Tennessee pink marble floor in the lobby is the same floor on which the ordinary people and the famous visitors have walked since the hotel opened on June 18, 1924. Ed McMahon, Jack Dempsey, Lucille Ball, James Cagney, Lucy Baines Johnson, President Lyndon Johnson's daughter, and President Gerald Ford's daughter, Susan, are some of its celebrity guests. 

    The hotel was located close to the railroad making it a convenient stopping point for travelers. With the decline of passenger rail travel the hotel closed in 1978.It went through several owners unitl it was renovated and re-opened as George Washington Hotel in April 2008.

    Through the years of change and vacancy, the property retained much of its Colonial Revival-style and Neoclassical Revival-style integrity. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

    Today, the George Washington Hotel combines the best of the historic and modern with a few spirited guests. Room 301 seems to operate on some ghostly channel.  People staying in that room sometimes hear voices. Other guests tell of hearing footsteps on the roof. One story tells of a child's footprints embedded in the middle of a freshly painted hall floor.  No other footprints lead to or from the footprint. Ballroom doors are known to open and close on their own.

    For more about this hotel and its spirits. https://americanroads.net/innroads_summer2018.htm





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