If you’re a fan of the unusual and unexpected, plan your fall trip with one of our haunted hotels in mind… Some of your favorite Omni Hotels & Resorts have long had friendly visits by guests from the other side… In fact, four of our hotels made the Historic Hotels of America Top 25 Most Haunted Historic Hotels list.
Here are just a few of the favorite tales to add to your goosebumps…
The Widowed Bride of Mount Washington
As a part of Italian tradition and superstition, the artisans and laborers who built the Mount Washington Hotel varied the number of steps to the second floor (thirty-three from the registration area and thirty-one in the South Tower) to confuse ghosts in the hotel.
The stairs haven’t confused one ghost in particular. Carolyn Stickney, the widowed bride of the Mount Washington Hotel’s owner, played a principal role in the development of the hotel and visited the hotel season every year. She became known as “the Princess” after marrying French royal, Prince Jean Baptiste Marie de Faucigny Lucinge, and often held extravagant parties in her own private dining room, now called the Princess Lounge. After her death in 1936, caretakers and managers prowling the property during the winter hibernation months reported catching glimpses of the Princess descending the stairs for dinner or lights switching on and off in one of the towers.
The Princess often returns to a third-floor guest room at the Mount Washington Hotel, where her four poster maple bed still resides. Several guests staying in that room have reported being awakened to find a woman sitting at the end of the bed, brushing her hair.
Hotel employees often pose for photos in front of the hotels veranda and one year, employees made a startling discovery in an enhanced photo. When the picture was blown up, viewers could see a woman in the window of the Princess’s room. No one had checked into the room and it was said to be vacant.
The haunting of the Carolyn Stickney and the Princess Room also caught the attention of Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters. Watch Video
The Jilted Bride of The Omni Homestead Resort
Built in 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of the oldest resorts in America. Its long history is dabbled with mysterious tales – specifically the tale of the bride that haunts the 14th floor. In the early 1900s, a young woman was set to be married at the resort and on the day of her wedding, her husband-to-be, nervous and having second thoughts, told her to stay in their room while he ran out for a moment. Unbeknownst to her, the groom left the hotel never to return again. Overcome with distraught, the bride took her own life. Legend has it that her spirit roams the resort’s 14th floor and asks guests and staff for the time…still waiting for her groom to return.
Omni Grove Park Inn’s “Pink Lady”
There’s a sad but gentle ghost residing within the grey granite walls of Ashville’s historic gem, The Omni Grove Park Inn. Known as the “Pink Lady”, she’s been seen, felt and experienced by hotel guests and employees for more than a half-century. The Pink Lady is the stuff of which legends are made.
Until recently, what was known about the Pink Lady was just a swirl of stories dating back to the earliest recollections of the most senior Grove Park Inn employees – stories about a young woman, dressed in pink who fell to her death in the Palm Court atrium around 1920. Some dismissed these tales as mere rumors, tales and lore weaving through the Inn’s rich history.
During the first six months of 1996, the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon, using a combination of scientific field work, investigative reporting and interviewing techniques, Joshua P. Warren of Asheville, an expert and author on local ghostly phenomena (the Pink Lady graces the cover of his first book, Haunted Asheville), spent dozens of late-night and early-morning hours in the hotel collecting scientific data. He looked into available public records in search of the historical basis for the Pink Lady. And he interviewed, by phone and in person, nearly 50 people, some 20 of whom had first-hand experiences with the Pink Lady in one form or another over the past 50 years.
In evaluating the compiled results of the research, the inescapable conclusion is that the Pink Lady is more than a collection of crackpot tall tales. Something unexplainable in any other way has been happening – and continues to happen – at the Omni Grove Park Inn.
Although she’s been seen and experienced in a number of places in the historic Main Inn, scientific evidence accumulated without preconditioning honed in on a single Main Inn guest room- room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor. The same room was mentioned twice in subsequent interviews with past and present hotel employees. One, a painter who worked in the hotel from tbe 1950s through the ’80s, told this story:
“Back in the late ’50s or early ’60s, the hotel used to shut down during the winter months, and that’s when we caught up on painting. One cloudy, gloomy day back then, I was checking on some of the guys’ work. As I got closer to 545, I got cold chills that got worse the closer I came to the door. It got so bad, I couldn’t work up the courage to go in at all. In fact, to my last day at the hotel, I never did go back there; sent my boys in instead.”
The other, the hotel’s Engineering Facilities Manager, had a similar experience with the same room more than three decades later:
“One day in early 1995 I was on my way to check a recent bathtub resurfacing in room 545. As I approached the room, my hair suddenly lifted from my scalp and stood on end on my arms. Simultaneously, I felt a very uncomfortable, cold rush across my whole body. I didn’t go in, haven’t gone back and don’t ever intend to.”
Neither the painter nor the Engineering Facilities Manager knew of each other’s experience, or about room 545’s connection to the Pink Lady.
*Some other Pink Lady encounters include the two-year-old son of a Florida college professor who asked, “Who was that nice lady?” and “Where did the nice lady go?” after naps on consecutive afternoons in an empty Main Inn guest room.
*The manager of Elaine’s, the Grove Park Inn’s nightclub, who has seen the Pink Lady several times over the past five years says, “It’s like a real dense smoke, a pinkish pastel that just flows.”
*A former chief of police who swears somebody or something sat down next to him on his Main Inn guest room bed while he was making a telephone call home.
*Two Grove Park Inn employees who stood outside the hotel when it was closed and locked for winter and saw all the sixth floor guest room lights come on- then turn off followed by all the Main Inn lights doing the same thing.
*The president of the National Federation of Press Women, who experienced several unexplainable events in her Main Inn guest room, topped off by two incidents of middle-of-the-night toe tickling. And …
*A 4 a.m. New Year’s Eve visit by the Pink Lady to the Inn’s accounting office where she was seen by two employees after an office party. They said, “We heard someone come in the back door. We looked up and she went by real fast- a woman dressed in
party clothes. We thought it was a guest, so we got up to help her. Then she was gone.”
Omni Shoreham’s Haunted Ghost Suite
Back in 1930 when Washington DC’s Omni Shoreham Hotel first opened, the owner, Mr. Harry Bralove, had some financial difficulty. He asked Mr. Henry Doherty to become a minority shareholder in the hotel and thus help the company financially. Mr. Doherty agreed to that proposition and in addition took a suite of rooms where he stayed with his wife.
The Executive Housekeeper of the Hotel, Ms. Juliette Brown, also stayed in the very large suite and took care of the family. Early one morning, Juliette woke up not feeling well, and reached for the phone. As she picked up the receiver, she suddenly died (of natural causes!). An engineer found the phone had been taken off the hook and went to explore the situation and found her in her bed, dead.
The Doherty’s were a very wealthy family and their suite was filled with beautiful furniture and art. Their china was from Napoleon Bonparte and Persian rugs were spread throughout the gorgeous rooms. The Doherty’s, however, were childless, and adopted a daughter named Helen. Some time after Juliette’s death, Helen also mysteriously died in the suite. No one was ever clear on how it happened, but rumors abounded with thoughts of suicide or a drug overdose.
The Doherty’s lived in the suite from 1933 to 1973 at which time the area was closed and basically became condemned. There were holes in the ceiling that pigeons flew in and out of, and the once beautiful rooms existed no more.
Once the Doherty’s were gone strange things occurred in and around the guestrooms in the wing that surrounded the suite. Televisions and lights would suddenly go on at 4AM (the time of Juliette’s death?). Housekeeping carts would be moved, and people reported feeling a breeze, the same breeze you feel when somebody near you runs by. Records from 1975 report that a client staying in room 863, who knew nothing of the story, called then General Manager, Mr. Phil Hollywood, and asked who was in room 864 (Juliette’s bedroom). He complained of noise throughout the past two evenings and said it was disturbing him. Of course, there was no one in the room next door – so who or what was it? It was the hotel employees who named the ghost “Vivica” but who knows if it’s Juliette or Helen who haunt the rooms at the Shoreham.
This wing of the hotel has since been fully redesigned and restored. This suite of rooms is now a Presidential Suite, named appropriately, THE GHOST SUITE and offers some of the most spectacular views of the city.
Ghostly Encounters at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort
Legend has it that there are several ghostly spirits lurking in the historic Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania. Guests claim to have experienced oddities of ghosts appearing in their photos. Many travelers to the resort claim ghostly encounters with spirits of past soldiers and small children who often creep into pictures. Some of the resort’s staff assert that there is also a ghost who sits in one of the cubicles in the reservations office that types heavily on one of the computer’s keyboards. Much of the paranormal activity may be attributed to the resort’s rich history. Built in 1796, the resort has played host to several U.S. Presidents and dignitaries and the resort’s former grounds were sacred healing grounds of Iroquois and Shawnee tribes.
The Ghost of Harvey Parker
“I first heard about the ghost of Harvey Parker when I began Working here in 1941,” explained longtime Omni Parker House bellman, John Brehm, in a 1992 Boston Globe interview. “ They used to say he roamed the halls on the tenth floor annex. There were many stories, but one in particular happened around 1950. An elderly woman guest insisted she saw an apparition outside room 1078. At first it was a misty apparition in the air, then it turned toward her. She said it was a heavy set older man with a black mustache. He just looked at her, then faded away. She came downstairs, a bit jittery, and security went up to the tenth floor. They checked it out, but reported they could find nothing.”
To those who knew Harvey Parker, such sightings — which have not been reported for two decades now — could hardly come as a shock. A perfectionist who kept his hands in every detail of his restaurant and hotel operations, he played the ultimate host to ordinary folks and world-famous guests. A host, it would seem, who could never really bring himself to leave.
Other Ghostly encounters…
Elevators are always called to the third floor (the floor Charles Dickens occupied) without a button being pushed or a guest waiting for the elevator.
A security officer reported that late one evening he saw the shadow of a man on the wall in the Bosworth (oldest) section of the hotel. When he stepped aside to let the man pass there was no one there. One thing he later realized was strange was that the shadow was wearing a stovepipe hat.
In a room on the 10th floor, guests have reported the sound of a rocking chair that kept them up all night. There are no rocking chairs in the hotel.
Bellmen have reported bright “orbs” of light floating down the corridor on the 10th floor then disappearing.
A mother and daughter were spending the night in room 1012. The daughter awoke around daybreak to find a gentleman dressed in period garments of the latter 1800’s standing at the end of her bed. The gentleman sported a large grin as if he was asking, “Are you enjoying your stay? “ When she smiled back the gentleman gracefully disappeared. The woman was amazed to find the portrait of her nightly visitor hanging in the dining room when she went down for breakfast. It was the portrait of Harvey Parker.