The Creepiest Places to Stay for a Real Scare in The Golden State
Traveling is one of life’s greatest adventures. From creating memories to seeing new sites, it’s a pass time loved by many young and old. A big part of traveling success is finding the right hotels to elevate your trip.
But what if you are looking for accommodations with a twist? Haunted hotels are more than just a place to rest your head after your travels. They are full of history and excitement, ready to surprise the most unsuspecting guests.
California has no shortage of things to do. And that includes haunted hotels scattered across the state. Check out these top three to make your next stay a spine chilling one.
Most Haunted Hotel on the Coast of California
The coast of California is full of stunning views and breezy weather. It’s also home to some of the state’s best haunts. The city of San Francisco is the ideal place to enjoy the water along with some eerie experiences.
Hotel Union Square, San Francisco
Boutique hotels are a favorite of many travelers and for good reason. They are well-appointed and decorated with a unique charm. The cozy rooms often feel like a home away from home.
Hotel Union Square is no different. Guest rooms have a stunning art deco theme with spectacular views of the city. Splurge for the unique cable car suite with a private patio. Or, really treat yourself and book the penthouse for access to a secluded deck with incomparable skyline views.
This environmentally friendly hotel has a ton to offer guests. The location, for one, is ideal. It’s near all of San Francisco’s must-see spots like Union Square, the Theater district, and incredible shops and restaurants. In the evening, you can return to the hotel and sip wine as you enjoy live music in the lobby.
In fact, the evening is the most exciting time at Hotel Union Square. Ghosts have been spotted in and around the hotel by many guests over the years. The most notable is the woman that seems unwilling to leave room 207. She lingers eternally, shifting objects around and keeping unsuspecting guests on their toes with mysterious sights and sounds.
Some think that the ghost is acclaimed playwright Lillian Hellman. The hotel was the setting of her torrid and not-so-secret affair. She lived a dynamic, roller coaster of a life filled with booze, men, and drama. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she continued her antics in room 207 long after her death.
But she’s not the only female spirit still lingering around. Over a century ago, a young girl tragically plunged to her death from the neighboring hotel. A suspected suicide, her spirit seems troubled with her irreversible decisions. Unable to rest in peace, she wanders the hallways of Hotel Union Square and the parking lot below, looking for answers.
A stay here is sure to be one you won’t soon forget. Keep your eyes peeled for two of San Francisco’s most frequently spotted ghosts. And enjoy the skyline as well as the supernatural happenings.
Things to Do Near The Hotel Union Square:
Just about 20 minutes away at Golden Gate Park sits one of the area’s creepiest spots. Stow Lake is a place of legend. Visit here to enjoy the amazing weather and a possible eerie experience.
You can stop at The Boathouse for lunch at the delicious cafe. Then, rent a paddleboat or rowboat and explore the scenic lake. You might even hear the mysterious sounds that have been noticed by others here.
Legend has it that a young mom was at the lake one day, pushing her baby in a stroller. She sat on a bench and got distracted and when she looked back to where she parked the stroller, the baby had mysteriously vanished. The woman panicked and charged into the lake in search of her little one.
The mother nor the baby ever emerged from Stow Lake. Though she has been spotted several times, still wandering the waters and shoreline. Her desperate calls looking for her baby still echo across the still water to this day.
The Curran Theater
The Curran Theater is a stunning building that dates back to the 1920s. With stunning and ornate detail, the architecture and design are just as impressive as the shows that it stages. Recently restored, it perfectly combines the workmanship of the past with modern conveniences.
A show here is a great activity to add to your San Francisco itinerary. With a variety of shows offered, there’s something for everyone. Plus, you might get a glance at the theaters most notable spirits.
During a busy evening in 1933, tragedy struck at the theater. The treasurer Hewlett Tarr was rigorously working the ticket booth, eagerly preparing to meet his fiance for dinner. However, unfortunately, he would never show up for his meal.
A ruthless criminal approached the booth and shot Tarr point-blank. Emergency personnel were unable to save Tarr and he died in the theater. Today, he can still be seen, roaming the laundry and greeting patrons as they await the show to start.
California Wine Country’s Most Haunted Inn
Southern California wine country is a fantastic place to explore. Drawing visitors from near and far, it’s a West Coast favorite. It’s also a good place for some spooky thrills and creepy encounters.
The Palomar Inn, Temecula
Nestled in the sleepy historic district of Temecula is The Palomar Inn. The Spanish style building oozes Southern California charm. With only ten rooms, it’s a cozy spot to rest your head.
The historical landmark has a welcoming vibe. Feeling quaint and comfortable, you can reserve an authentic guest room or suite that includes a full kitchen. Built in the 1920s, you’ll feel like you are being transported to the past with a stay here.
However, be prepared for an interesting experience. When you first arrive at the inn, the first thing you will likely notice is the bird totem perched above the arched entrance. Over the years, many guests have had creepy encounters with the statue. Some have seen it come to life before their very eyes and others have felt it peck them on the shoulder with its beak!
The hotel has an overall eerie vibe. Don’t be surprised if you feel a cool chill or hear a mysterious sound. In a hotel with so much history, it’s no surprise that many guests have simply forgotten to check out over the years.
Things to Do Near The Palomar Inn:
Old Town Ghost Tour
The Old Town area of Temecula dates back to the Old Wild West days. The wooden sidewalks and dusty streets have seen many a cowboy and pioneer pass through. Drunken fights and ruthless robberies have caused countless deaths in the historic area.
The best way to check out these haunted hot spots is a haunted ghost tour. You’ll ride along in a cable car with your guide, stopping at all of the area’s most notorious haunts. Learn about the Wild West days and the most famous ghosts that frequent Old Town.
This experience gives you an inside look at the historic district. Watch out for echoes of the past that still remain here. Plus, you’ll get to treat yourself to pizza and beer at the end. Eerie encounters and a delicious meal, what’s not to love?
Santa Margarita River Bridge
Taking the short drive to the Santa Margarita River Bridge can give you the chance to check out one of the area’s hot spots for paranormal activity. This narrow bridge, once used for wagons to make safe passage, now marks the most haunted area of the whole river.
One prom night, back in the 1900s, tragedy struck at the bridge. Six students that attended the nearby Fallbrook High School never returned home from the dance. Their bodies were later found in the river under the Santa Margarita Bridge.
What happened to those teenagers is still a mystery to this day. However, many have crossed the bridge and felt their presence. The whole area has a spooky feel, still reeling from the unsolved mystery that occurred here so many years ago.
The California Capital’s Most Haunted Accommodations
Sacramento is one of the most beautiful capitals in the country. With a rich and complicated past, it’s also one of the most haunted. A visit here can allow you to witness the history and mystery that this city holds within its streets.
The Delta King Riverboat Hotel, Sacramento
One of the most unique places to stay, The Delta King Riverboat Hotel, is a restored paddlewheel riverboat that dates back to the 1920s. The historic craft has been fully restored and is docked in an ideal location for exploring the city.
The cozy rooms have views of either the river or the city’s historic district. Featuring, modern amenities paired with classic elegance, a stay here is a memorable experience. You can even book the captain’s quarters complete with the ship’s wheel and private verandah.
The Delta King has plenty to see and do aboard. There are two restaurants for your dining pleasure as well as a dinner theater. You can also catch some live music or attend one of the many special events planned throughout the year.
However, there’s something even more exciting about The Delta King. It’s known as one of the most haunted places in all of the city. A stay here might even earn you a supernatural experience of your own.
The ship was once a floating hospital during World War II. It was the sight of more than a few painful tragedies. With all of this history, there’s no wonder that the ship has an overall eerie feeling.
The previous captain of the ship also seems unwilling to leave his post. He’s been spotted wandering the ship, gazing into the water from the deck, and relaxing on the balconies. Strolling across the wood planks, his footsteps from the past can still be heard aboard this floating piece of history.
Things to Do Near The Delta King:
Old Sacramento Tunnels
Under the historic streets of Sacramento, there is a complex network of tunnels. These tunnels date all the way back to the 1800s. During the time, flooding threatened to destroy the city. The tunnels were created to raise the city above floodwaters to avoid its destruction.
The combination of history and underground seclusion make The Old Sacramento Tunnels a hotspot for paranormal activity. As time passed, many devious things occurred in the depths of the tunnels. Lots of criminal activity and immoral acts happened within the tunnel walls over the years.
Today, the homeless people that frequent the tunnels have many a story to tell. They have heard strange noises and seen unexplainable images. There are even certain areas of the tunnels that are so creepy that they completely avoid them.
It seems that the hauntings aren’t confined to the tunnels themselves. Those working above them have heard strange noises and have seen eerie sights. They can even feel the undeniable energy drifting up from the spooky spaces below.
Historic City Cemetery
The oldest cemetery in the city is home to some of its richest history. Dating back to the mid-1800s, the Historic City Cemetery is listing on the National Registry of Historic Places. The sprawling Victorian Gardens are a stunning place to visit.
With over 25,000 graves here, there’s plenty to see and explore. It’s also no surprise that it makes this burial ground one of the city’s most haunted spots. A visit here can put you face to face with some of the area’s residents from long ago.
The ghosts here are diverse and many different sightings have occurred. A man in a black suit and a little girl have been seen, wandering amongst the tombstones. The spirit of a dog that’s said to be the old caretaker’s, has even been spotted, trotting around the grounds. Which spirit will you see on your visit to the city’s most haunted cemetery?
Planning Your California Haunted Hotel Stay
Be sure to make a reservation early at one of these haunted hotels. Ask the staff for the inside scoop for the rooms and areas that see the most supernatural action.
All of these hotels have a ton to do and see in the surrounding areas so you can create your own adventure. So, pack your bags and your courage and get ready to check-in for your spooky stay!