Haunted Halloween Getaways

Posted Oct 4th 2010 12:50 PMUpdated Oct 4th 2010 12:53 PM



Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Go somewhere spooky for Halloween

As Halloween approaches, it seems young and old alike get into the spirit of ghosts and spooky, supernatural happenings. At a number of historic hotels and resorts throughout the country, guests can enjoy not only a chance to get away from the daily grind, but possibly a brush with the unknown.

Built in 1913 out of granite boulders hewn from the surrounding countryside, the historic Grove Park Inn enjoys a panorama that takes in Asheville, N.C., the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. During her recent visit to this AAA four-diamond resort and spa, television news producer Amy Burkholder experienced something quite out of the ordinary. "I was staying in the historic section in a room with a beautiful view of the mountains. I didn't know anything about the ghost at the time. On the last day of my stay, it was about 7 a.m. and I was lying in bed talking on the phone. I had the 'Today Show' on the TV and the channels started to change. The remote control wasn't stuck or anything like that. Then, the volume went way up, and the channels started to change again. I turned the TV off and went into the shower -- and the TV came back on again." Shaken, but not frightened, Burkholder said later, "There was no sense of negative energy, it was just very persistent."

Photo by Sharon Pearce, a guest at Grove Park Inn

Her story hardly surprised Susan Philips, Director of Marketing at Grove Park Inn, who receives numerous reports of strange happenings from guests and staff, and even photos of a hovering pink orb. They call this resident spirit the Pink Lady, and most of the odd occurrences center on room 545 in the historic Main Inn -- footsteps, doors opening and closing, TV and water going on and off. There are several stories of children walking along the fifth floor hallway talking to someone unseen by their parents. When questioned, several have explained that they were talking to "the nice lady in the pretty pink dress." Records at the Grove Park Inn indicate that many years ago, a young woman in a flowing pink dress fell to her death from the fifth floor balcony; whether she may have jumped or been pushed is also cause for speculation.

If you'd like to meet the nice lady in the pink dress, perhaps she will oblige; the Fall Splendor package at Grove Park Inn starts at $298 a night.

Haunted Hotels Halloween

A glowing figure is seen in the upper right hand of the balcony; Hotel Andaluz

The Hotel Andaluz in downtown Albuquerque, N.M. also has a resident ghost in a pink dress, an elderly woman who haunts the fourth floor. The Hotel Andaluz has collected a number of resident spirits since it was built by Conrad Hilton in 1939, and they have lingered on throughout the hotel's recent $30 million renovation. They mostly wander the fourth and seventh floors, but occasionally stop by the main ballroom on the second floor. The ghost most frequently encountered is a young woman dressed in 1940s party clothes, wandering in search of her room on the hotel's seventh floor. Overnight rates at the Hotel Andaluz start at $249.

Dramatization; Hotel Monteleone

New Orleans may be America's most haunted city, with numerous stories of violent death and betrayal -- and other spirits who just had such a fine time here that they never want to leave. The Hotel Monteleone, the largest and most luxurious hotel in the French Quarter, has welcomed an impressive list of famous authors from William Faulkner to Truman Capote -- as well as its share of unregistered guests.

Phyllis Paulsen, a financial planner from California, described a surprise visitor to her suite on the 14th floor (which is actually the 13th floor). "I was just relaxing in bed one morning when I looked up to see a young boy about three years old walk by the foot of my bed," she recalled. "Since he had come from the sitting room, I immediately got up to see if the door was open and to check if a parent may have followed him into the room. My husband had just left for a meeting, and I thought he may not have closed the door all the way."

The door was securely closed. "It didn't take me long to realize that I had seen a ghost," she continued. "He was a friendly little fellow wearing a striped shirt. One moment he was there and the next he was gone."

For Paulsen, the experience was not at all unpleasant; in fact, she requests the same room whenever she returns to New Orleans. "I've been back twice since I first saw the child and he hasn't reappeared, but I am always thinking that maybe he will next time."

The story of the young boy has been repeated many times by other guests, and legend has it that he was the son of Josephine and Jacques Begere who stayed at the Monteleone in the late 19th century. The boy, Maurice, was left with his nanny while the couple went to the famous French Opera House on Bourbon Street. On the way back from the opera, Jacques was killed when he was thrown from a horse-drawn buggy. Josephine died within a year of a broken heart, and the ghost of young Maurice sometimes roams the halls searching for his parents -- who were staying on the 14th floor. Fall rates the Hotel Monteleone start at just $159 a night.

Haunted Hotels Halloween

Courtesy of Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Originally built in 1886 as a hunting retreat for the Rockefellers, Astors, Goulds and the like, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel enjoys a unique setting on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. The Southern Hospitality here is so memorable that a number of the hotel's elite clientele don't seem to want to leave. Samuel Spencer was a railroad magnate who died mysteriously in 1906 -- in a train crash. Spencer is said to haunt his favorite suite on the second floor of the hotel's Annex, the "airiest and brightest of all." Appearing in the early morning hours, Spencer enjoys sipping coffee and reading the news of the day.

Staff, too, seem to linger on at Jekyll Island; a bellman in a 1920s cap and suit is especially diligent about delivering freshly pressed suits to new bridegrooms on the second floor of the Club building. He has been seen by present-day bellmen and has baffled guests who had not requested this service.

With this sort of dedication to service, it's no wonder that a member like JP Morgan would be reluctant to give up his splendid apartment on the third floor of the Sans Souci building. A rabid cigar smoker, Morgan would rise every morning at 5:00 a.m. to savor a large, black cigar on his porch overlooking the Jekyll River, leaving a cloud of smoke in his wake. A number of early-rising guests who occupy this third floor accommodation have detected the odor of a cigar -- when no one else is awake.

Fall Getaway packages start at $169 per night, but a special Halloween Package called A Spirited Weekend at Your Favorite Haunt, Oct. 29-31 is $795 per couple and includes readings from a Dominican clairvoyant named Veronica, and a Tarot reader and karmic counselor named Jean, both of Psychic Solutions.

With a history that dates back to 1607, Colonial Williamsburg has had its share of strange sightings, some dating back hundreds of years. Employees have seen people dressed in colonial attire, and assumed they were fellow workers -- until they vanished into thin air.

Haunted Hotels Halloween

Wythe House; Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

Among the original structures in this restored 18th century town is the George Wythe House, named for its first inhabitant, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who taught law to Thomas Jefferson. This two-story brick home dates to the 1750s and served as George Washington's headquarters just before the British siege of Yorktown. Legend has it that the house is visited by a frequent houseguest of the Wythes, Lady Ann Skipwith. Lady Ann died mysteriously -- some say she was murdered by her sister -- who then married her husband Sir Peyton.

The George Wythe House is an important stop on one of the evening walking tours of Colonial Williamsburg called Ghosts Among Us. Considered unsuitable for young children, this tour takes visitors into the haunted buildings to meet ghostly inhabitants and those who have lived to tell of their supernatural experiences. More appropriate for children is the Tavern Ghost Walk, in which guests learn of the ghosts that still haunt the taverns and historic buildings of Colonial Williamsburg -- from the outside.

One of the stops on the Tavern Ghost Walk is the Peyton Randolph House, a large wooden home that dates back to 1715, and once welcomed the Marquis de Lafayette. One of the specters spotted here is the Lady in the Pink Gown, who was seen on Valentine's Day of 2008. Dressed in a pink, 18th-century gown, the lady believed to be Elizabeth Harrison, niece of Elizabeth Randolph, was seen reading in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

With or without ghosts, the Spirit of the American Revolution certainly lives on at Colonial Williamsburg, offering an educational experience for parents and children alike.

For $449 per couple, the 3-day/2-night Autumn Stories package includes accommodations at the Williamsburg Lodge, breakfast, Historic Area passes, $100 activities card, and Tavern Ghost Walk tickets.

Haunted Hotels Halloween

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast; dbking, flickr

Strictly for those with a taste for the macabre is the Lizzie Borden House Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts. The stately 14-room Victorian home entered into infamy on August 4, 1892 with the axe murders of Andrew Borden and his second wife Abby. So common was the belief that Andrew's youngest daughter Lizzie had committed the gruesome murders that soon little children were chanting, "Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks..." Lizzie was however tried and acquitted.

It doesn't take much imagination to believe that an evil spirit lingers in this house, though no one has yet reported seeing a vision of an axe-wielding Lizzie. One paranormal investigator has reported encounters with Andrew Borden, and others claim two young children said to have drowned on the Borden property some years ago still haunt the place.

Unexplained noises, voices, shadows, a rocking chair that rocks on its own, and assorted things that go bump in the night are enough to give thrill-seekers what they came for. Plan ahead if you want to stay in the very guest room where Abby Borden was butchered -- it tends to be booked up to a year in advance. Nightly rates are $150-$250.
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I can tell by your comment that you're blond but how much fun can you be , if you're a born again tea partier?

October 12 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dear John,
Unfortunately I was not using a cheap camera. I am not a believer myself but I must say I cannot explain what occurred in this and many of the pictures I made. I made hundreds, down numerous halls and the pink orb repeatedly showed up in front of the one door at different heights ie:moving.....I have many more than the one in this article and I have no explanation and it has not happened again, anywhere else.....if you think $500 is cheap for a camera, then I do not want an expensive one.
Sharon Pearce

October 12 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My daughter and I use to watch all these things on telavision about the parnormal and we were into it hot and heavy. My daughter had alot of ailments with alot of complications and we always said that if something ever happened to either one of us we would come back and let the other one know we are there, and we were alright. My daughter has since passed away and I havent seen or head one thing to lead me to believe any more that there is such thing as hauntings and spooks. I think any more it is just your mind playing tricks on you and you imagination running wild. I know if there was any way possible for my daughter to respond to me or let me know she was around I know I would of seen or heard something by now . She and I were very very close at it is very very hard on me since she has passed and she was only 29. I know the the bible states that when a person dies they are dead there soles turn back to dust and there spitits are at rest (asleep)until the lord calls on them. So if there is some one who can prove me diffrent I am always open. I would be the first to and willing to be proved wrong on my oppinon becouse she was my world. And I have 2 small grandbabies she left behind. Until then it is just another ploy to get you to spend your hard earned money and staying in there motel or hotel . SOme one prove me wrong I was always told you never mess with the dead. and the Movie white noise freaked me out. becouse if there is something I can do . I would.

October 11 2010 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
F Murphy

It's amazing.....a miracle........such BS. The mind is a wonderful and powerful thing. We can imagine many things in our mind's eye, even will ourselves to death. Combine the power of the mind with a night at the bar, and there's no limit as what you can imagine. The TV show Paranormal is funny as hell. People buy into this crap......It makes for good entertainment if nothing else. I saw Elvis outside of our hotel at Disney one evening. He was walking hand in hand with Mickey.

October 11 2010 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Call it what you want but there is definitely something at the Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. I'm not sure it's bad or mean or whatever, but it will wake you and your roommate up , and you'll both wondering what just stepped in (and out) of the room.

October 11 2010 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Parad E. Makewater

Uh, Simp, the jokes on you because my post was a joke making fun of the "spamers". Studsdointime.com, really??

The reason people are leaving AOL isn't because of the stupid spammers who fill the comments with their stupidity, it's because of AOL's liberal bias. The same reason newspapers, newsmagazines, and many of the news channels are dying.

October 11 2010 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have reason to believe ghosts exist. I have taken pictures multiple times to see weird "lights" appearing in them. At a youth conference at my church two years ago, I took some pictures to see a strange, bright, yellowish light, which I believe to have been the Holy Spirit, flowing in the room, concentrating around some people in the background. Also, once at my friend's house, I went into the bathroom and heard the voices of two young men when there were no guys to be seen in that floor of her house. (The only other guys in her house were asleep in the upper floors of the house.) Those two ghosts are known guests to her house. There was also a demon reported to have been hiding inside her sauna, which was proven to have been in there when another of our friends was suddenly pinned to the wall opposite the sauna when the sauna door was opened.

October 11 2010 at 4:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to requiemchan's comment
roswell surviver

You know yall be freakin me out,you know, cause yall be trippin. you know.

October 12 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's a freakin "Dust-Partical" that is "out-of-focus"!
'Out-of-focus' objects appear bigger than they really are and are softer and fuzzier in the images/photographes.

I am a photographer of 12 years, and I don't "fall" for everything someone else says.

There are so many 'Con-artists', users and fakes. People,..you need to 'Wake-Up'!

October 11 2010 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Actually, it's no longer believed that orbs are dead spirits. The new theory is that orbs are cloaked extra terrestrials and that what causes the orb is actually radiation from a power pack. usually they are white. This pink one is nothing more than a gay alien.

October 11 2010 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tradervic's comment
roswell surviver

Gay alien? Man you be so funny, you know aum sayin? You know.

October 12 2010 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't see the ghost. Is it behind the pinkish lens flare?

October 11 2010 at 1:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply