These charming and historic inns are still in business and welcome guests of all forms. But sleep with one eye open—that chill you feel isn’t the crisp fall air.
From the Florida Keys home of a cursed voodoo doll to a mansion that entranced the King of Horror, join as as we spend the night at the most haunted B&Bs in America.
1. Foley House Inn
Built in 1896 by wealthy Irish widow Honoria Foley, the Foley House was the first bed and breakfast in the haunted city of Savannah. It overlooks picturesque Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump was filmed. Although the home was built atop the grounds of a home burned down by the Savannah Fire of 1889, all was relatively peaceful. Then in 1987, a renovation unearthed human remains rumored to be a well-to-do boarder in the late 1800s, murdered and hidden behind a wall. Since then, there have been stories of a man in a top hat walking in the garden at night, strange noises, and rushes of air from out of nowhere.
2. 17Hundred90 Inn
This bed and breakfast from 1820 keeps guests even in death. Request room 204 if you’d like to meet the B&B’s most famous eternal lodger, Anna. Heartbroken when her sailor lover skipped town, Anna committed suicide by jumping from the balcony. The lovelorn spirit keeps busy at night; you’ll hear her sobs, see her standing by the bed, or find your belongings misplaced.
3. Captain Grant’s
Captain William Grant built this historic New England inn in 1754 for his wife Mercy Adelaide Avery. Unfortunately, Captain Grant died at sea and Adelaide, buried across the street at St. James Cemetery, haunts the inn as she waits in vain for her husband to return. Previous lodgers say she knocks down the shower curtain, turns the TV on and off, and makes spectral appearances on the main staircase.
4. Thornewood Castle
The King of Horror Stephen King was inexplicably drawn to this Tudor Gothic-style mansion, which served as the setting of his scripted miniseries Rose Red. Charles Thorne, one of the three founders of the port of Tacoma, spent four years building the extravagant 54-room castle, completing it in 1911. He’s said to haunt his old room, unscrewing light bulbs and making frequent appearances to guests. Thorne’s wife Anna reportedly appears in the bridal suite gazing down at the gardens, while her reflection has been spotted in a vintage mirror.
5. Pine Bush House Bed and Breakfast
New Yorkers looking for a fresh air scare should head to the Catskills where a Victorian inn erected in 1905 is said to house numerous eternal guests. The current proprietor had the site surveyed by a paranormal investigator and a psychic to verify its otherworldly activity: they identified a jazz musician at the piano, naughty children, and an elderly gentleman who refuses to leave his favorite seat. Beware of footsteps, unknown voices, and foreboding mist.
6. The Artist House
The colorful former residence of painter Robert Eugene Otto is a highly photographed structure in this island city. It was also the home of Robert the Doll, the infamous voodoo figurine that inspired Chucky from Child's Play and which Otto kept by his side even as an adult. If that’s not hair-raising enough, a beautiful apparition has been seen descending the stairs in a wedding gown. The lady in white is believed to be Otto’s wife, Anna.
7. Longfellow’s Wayside Inn
Rest your weary head like a colonial traveler at the country’s longest operating inn—though don’t expect too much sleep. Jerusha Howe, an unwed tenant who died in 1892, is still looking for love in rooms nine and ten. Men have felt her soft breath and awoken to find her spectral visage hovering inches from their faces.
8. Magnolia Mansion
This Big Easy mansion possesses a dark and troubled past. Original owner Alexander Harris died suddenly of illness in 1869, a mere 11 years after the home was built. His brother died less than 24 hours later. Alexander’s widow, Lizzie Thompson Harris, sold the land to the Maginnis family in 1889. Ten years later, John Henry Maginnis, a most influential and wealthy man, was struck dead by lightning. Despite its cursed history, the paranormal activity at the Magnolia Mansion leans toward the friendly. A spectral caretaker tucks guests in under the covers, strokes their cheeks, and sits at the foot of the bed. The ghosts of little ones at play may say “hello” or leave handprints in the bathroom and bounce on the mattresses.
9. Farnsworth House Inn
During the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate snipers hid in the attic of this old inn, shooting down soldiers from a small window. When one took a bullet from a Union sharpshooter, his body was piled into a corner, and a new gunman took his place. The restless spirits of these dead soldiers haunt the inn to this day—as well as a Gettysburg nurse named Mary, who treated wounded fighters after the battle and now appears dressed in blue in the building’s lower level. In addition, current lodgers report eerie experiences in the Sara Black room. A young boy named Jeremy died in the adjacent room (now a bathroom), after being struck by a horse-drawn carriage. His father still pounds on the door, trying to get information from the physician on his dying son. Book a ghost hunt if you dare.
10. Little A’Le’Inn
If you like your paranormal encounters to be of the third kind, head to Alamo, Nevada near Area 51. Little A’Le’Inn is a desert bar, restaurant, and motel that attracts UFO aficionados from around the world. Many have sensed an extraterrestrial energy and beams of light that somehow implant knowledge. Current owner Pat Travis-Laudenklos was a Vegas cook who came to the desert town more than 20 years ago to take over the restaurant (formerly Rachel Bar and Grill). The kitschy tourist stop attracts guests from galaxies near and far.
11. Myrtles Plantation
Given the opulent touches of this grand Southern mansion—its stained glass windows, 300-pound crystal chandelier, and 125-foot veranda—it’s no wonder eternal guests stick around. Visitors have had numerous run-ins with the paranormal, including ghostly children at play, the apparition of a slave girl named Chloe, a young girl with curls peering out from the game room window, and the sound of the first floor’s piano playing on its own.
12. Tuck U Inn at Glick Mansion
Atchison is considered the most haunted town in Kansas. It was a natural stop for east coast settlers traveling to California. But judging from the heightened paranormal activity throughout Atchison, some never left. Inside Glick Mansion, the historic Governor’s home, a friendly force opens and closes doors, and clomps around the property.
13. The Excelsior House Hotel
In operation since the 1850s, the Excelsior House has played host to Oscar Wilde, Lady Bird Johnson, and Ulysses S. Grant, among others. But one famous guest was so freaked out by his stay, he split before the sun came up. Steven Spielberg tried to spend the night in room 215 (what is now known as the Jay Gould room) while shooting his film, The Sugarland Express. But when a poltergeist threw his briefcase back at him and the specter of a young boy appeared to ask what he wanted for breakfast, the filmmaker roused his entire crew and fled to a Holiday Inn. Interestingly enough, he made the film Poltergeist soon after.
14. Battery Carriage House
This 1843 carriage house has seen its ups and downs. It required renovation after the Siege of Charleston, and was a seedy hourly establishment in the 1940s before becoming the bed and breakfast it is today. The owners of the dwelling have since documented the strange experiences reported by their guests—from sightings of a headless man and a tortured college student who took his life by jumping off the roof, to foreboding presences in various rooms.
15. Three Chimneys Inn
Dating back to 1649, Three Chimneys Inn is the oldest house in the city of Durham, and was part of the settlement at Oyster River Falls. The original owner, Valentine Hill, built a sawmill on the banks of the property and prospered. Sadly, Hill’s daughter Hannah drowned in the Oyster River. Her spirit is mischievous and playful, often playing with the hair of the staff, levitating glasses, and locking locks.
Photos (in order): Mr. Jason Hayes / Flickr (CC); Foley Inn; Captain Grant’s; Jay Huggins / Flickr; Aliza Polkes / The Lineup; Wikimedia Commons; Pine Bush House; Lizm1118 / Flickr (CC); Massachusetts Office of Tourism / Flickr (CC); Magnolia Mansion; Wikimedia Commons; Travel Nevada / Flickr (CC); Andrew Nicolle / Flickr (CC); Kansas Tourism / Flickr (CC); Nico las Henderson / Flickr (CC); Battery Carriage House; Three Chimneys Inn