Ever fall in love with a hotel so deeply that you feel you could stay forever? You’re not alone. Meet Millie Bailey. Each evening since the 1850s, after climbing into her bulbous wedding dress, Bailey has parted her hair in the center, pinned it up in the back, and paced the balcony of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, hopelessly waiting for her departed fiancée. And there’s William Chancellor of Parkersburg, West Virginia — chronic cigar smoker, hotelier, and long-time resident of the Blennerhassett Hotel. Chancellor has made a ritual of puffing smoke rings through a large portrait of himself and into the path of the hotel’s guests. When the portrait was taken down during renovations, Chancellor, ever-smokey and looking like a daguerreotype photograph, reportedly stood over a sleeping guest and blurted out “I was here first!”
Here, three more haunted Stash partner hotels:
Horton Grand Hotel, San Diego, CA
A 19th century ruffian named Roger Whitaker reportedly occupies room 309 at the elegant and historic Horton Grand Hotel. Two theories explain Whitaker’s longer-than-usual stay.
1. His soon-to-be step-father shot him and tossed him in the swamp over which an unrelated madam named Ida Bailey would later build her brothel–the same site on which the Horton Grand sits today.
2. Whitaker was a professional gambler, and during one of the games he was in in the then Red Light District, his opponents determined he cheated. Whitaker bolted for his hotel room (309) and hid in the armoire, where the mob found him and shot him dead.
Whatever the truth, Whitaker’s presence has been felt in and around room 309 for years. One guest reports seeing Whitaker in the hallway and asking him where the ice machine was. And then, poof, Whitaker disappeared. Other reports of the bed being shaken, the armoire doors swinging open and shut, the sound of shuffling cards in the middle of the night, and loose change being stacked like poker chips give legs to the tales of room 309. In fact, one coaxing couple left a deck of cards on the bedside table and left for dinner. When they returned, the cards had been dealt on the counter. A playful staff or a playful spirit? Visit and find out.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA
The accounts of spectral activity at Bourbon Orleans Hotel seem to match the scene in Ghostbusters following the EPA lawyer’s deactivation of the ghost containment system. Among the 20 different ghosts that are said to haunt the historic property, there is an elderly man who sits in the lobby reading the newspaper, smoking a cigar. And if you stare too long, the man looks back boorishly, roughly folds his New Orleans paper, and stands up in a huff before disappearing. On the sixth floor, a uniformed Confederate soldier paces about while a young girl, claimed to be a victim of yellow fever, said to come from the former convent and orphanage that once occupied the property, chases a ball through the corridors. And I’m not sure what’s more over the top here: the nun, who allegedly jumped to her death from a window, who now slaps people for swearing or the young man who chases women with blonde hair. The entire Stash team once stayed at Bourbon Orleans for a meeting, and while their were plenty of spirits, we (thankfully) experienced no ghost sightings.
Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX
The bar at the Menger Hotel has always been a popular haunt. In fact, in 1859, William Menger opened his eponymous hotel to accommodate the tipplers who frequented his brewery. Later, President Teddy Roosevelt used the hotel bar as a recruitment camp. Roosevelt would court, with a little liquid courage, fresh-off-the-trail cowboys to join his squad of Rough Riders. Over the years, Roosevelt, mustache and all, has been seen with a drink in the barroom off the main lobby. And like the popularity of the bar, the quality of the room service has remained over the years. Sallie White is perhaps the most dedicated maid in the history of maids. Not even her murder (in 1876) has stopped her from delivering clean towels and sheets to the guests. The high-class and historic Menger Hotel is a true gem of the West with tons of spirit.