Route 66 has long been noted as the ultimate American road trip. Heavily adorned with oddball attractions such as the world’s largest ball of twine and the Cadillac Ranch, who wouldn’t want to view the life-changing wonders a trip down this historic highway offers?
What’s that? You say you don’t care about a bunch of string? How about if you knew this road was also one of the most haunted in the country? Tale after tale of ghostly encounters have emerged throughout the years.
Perhaps you don’t believe in that sort of thing. Here’s a dare. Here is a list of hotels where sightings have been reported. Some, multiple times. Take some time off from work for a road trip, and forget about staying in one of the Wigwam Hotels. That would be boring.
Stay in one or more of these places. If at the end of your journey you still feel the same way you do now good for you. But if those who stayed before you are telling the truth, you probably won’t.
The Inn at 835 – Springfield, Ill.
Built by businesswoman Bell Miller in the early 1900’s, this hotel is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. These former luxury apartments which were home to local aristocrats were converted into seven posh guest rooms in 1994.
Miller was so proud of her building, legend has it she never left. Not only guests but also the staff, have reported hearing a warm soft voice and witnessing a ghostly apparition float through doorways. A patch of peeling wallpaper mysteriously repaired itself overnight, and a book kept being removed from a shelf no matter how many times a guest kept putting it back.
Watch out for the elevator. You’ll probably end up on the wrong floor. Inspectors say it works fine.
Skirvin Hotel – Oklahoma City, Okla.
Erected in 1910 by oil tycoon W.B. Skirvin, this was the grandest hotel in the Southwest. After having an affair with one of the maids, she told Skirvin she was pregnant with his child. His reaction? According to legend, he locked her in a room on the top floor.
The maid, whose name is unknown, was nicknamed “Effie” by the hotels’ employees. Effie gave birth but later went mad from being confined. She jumped out the window to her death while holding her child.
Male guests claim to have been propositioned by a soft female voice while in their room. Some claim to have been accompanied in the shower by the ghostly figure of a naked woman.
Maid carts have been known to roll down a hallway unassisted, and guests report creepy noises.
Hotel Monte Vista – Flagstaff, Ariz.
Possibly the most haunted of all. John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby have all stayed here. It was John Wayne who first reported seeing the apparition of a bellboy. He said it was friendly.
If you’re really brave, ask for room number 210. You may be one of many who is awaked during the night by a knock on the door. A voice will tell you room service has arrived, but when you open up there won’t be anyone there. Not even in the hallway.
Outside of this room, guests have claimed to see a woman wandering the hallway. If you want to stay in this room, do not bring a dog. They aren’t allowed. They have been known to react with fear and tear up the room.
In room 305, two prostitutes were allegedly thrown out of the window to their deaths. They now haunt the room. Another room has an old woman in a rocking chair by the window, and employees often hear a baby crying in the basement.
Oatman Hotel and Dollar Bill Bar – Oatman, Ariz.
Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their wedding night here. They made frequent trips back to escape the madness of Hollywood, and Gable regularly played poker with the miners. Rumor has it they came back after they died. Guest say they have heard the two of them laughing and whispering from the room that was their favorite.
There’s also the ghost of a drunk Irish miner. “Oatie,” died in the alley out back. Now he wanders around playing the bagpipes. He used to stay at the hotel and still likes opening the window and stripping the sheets off the bed.
Oatie has friends. The bartenders say objects levitate off the bar, toilets flush on their own, lights turn off and on, and they hear voices.
The only problem with the Oatman is you can’t stay overnight. Still, it’s worth a visit to the bar where patrons can often feel the eeriness in the air. Talk to the employees. They have some haunting yarns to spin.
While you are there, tack a dollar bill on the wall. There are over 100,000 of them there.
La Fonda Hotel – Santa Fe, N.M.
When Santa Fe was founded in 1607, one of the first businesses was an Inn. It sat right where La Fonda Hotel sits today.
Legend has it that court was held at the “Adobe Hotel,” as it was called, as well as executions. The guilty were swung from a rope in the lobby.
As late as 1857, an angry lynch mob strung a guy up in the hotels’ courtyard. Ten years later a Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court was gunned down in the lobby.
Another time, a salesman who lost all of his company’s money in the gambling hall jumped down a deep well just outside and was never heard from again.
Today, the dining room is located over where the well was. Guests and employees have seen a ghostly figure walk to the center of the room before falling on the floor and disappearing, and a tall man in a long black coat has been seen wandering the hallways and stairwells.
Noises, objects moving on their own. It’s all part of the package.
There you go. Sound interesting? Pick one and reserve a room. And may you have the sweetest of dreams.