Most Haunted Hotels in Southern California
This post was so fun to write! And it’s just in time for Halloween… : ) Perhaps you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in ghosts. Fair enough. But would you stay alone overnight on Alcatraz Island, even if someone paid you?! I’m not a much of a ghost-believer, but there’s not enough money in the world that would convince me to stay by myself on Alcatraz! I think it’s pretty clear that certain places develop, over time, a kind of energy. Sometimes it’s good ~ & sometimes, it’s not. In this post, we’ll look at five of the most haunted hotels in Southern California…& luckily, they’re also amazing & historic places to stay!
(The more history…the more potential ghosts… ; )
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Queen Mary Hotel
Hotel Del Coronado
Mission Inn Riverside
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Have you ever wanted to meet the ghost of Marilyn Monroe? Or do you love vintage, Hollywood glamour? Then head to our first stop on the “Most Haunted Hotels in Southern California” tour: the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Roosevelt was all-Hollywood right from the start ~ financed by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, & studio titan, Louis B. Mayer. The first Academy Awards was also held there. And Marilyn Monroe stayed frequently during the height of her modeling career. Some guests report having seen her ghost in the mirror ~ but don’t worry….she’s friendly ; )
Most Haunted Room(s) = The “Marilyn Suite,” Suite 1200; & Room 928, where Montgomery Clift stayed.
Towering above the legendary Sunset Strip, lies the historic Chateau Marmont. Built in 1929, countless celebrities have stayed here. But the hotel’s most famous guest was John Belushi, who died of an overdose during his stay. In one chilling story, a couple staying at the Chateau heard their young son laughing to himself. When they asked what was making him laugh, he said: “the funny man!” They didn’t know what he meant. But later, while flipping through a book of celebrity guests, the boy pointed to John Belushi & said: “the funny man!” You can bet his parents were seriously disturbed!
Most Haunted Room(s) = Bungalow 3, where Belushi died in 1982.
Hotel Del Coronado, in San Diego
We’ll now leave Hollywood, & venture down to San Diego’s most famous hotel: Hotel del Coronado. But did you also know that it’s haunted?! The story goes, in 1892, a woman named Kate Morgan checked in; she was allegedly waiting for her lover to join her ~ but he never showed up. After staying several days, she shot herself, & has been allegedly haunting the Del ever since. Guests staying in her room report lights flickering, contents in their luggage being removed, & all kinds of odd happenings. Employees have also reported seeing a woman in Victorian dress, sitting outside on the terrace….then suddenly disappearing.
Most Haunted Room(s) = Room 3327, where Kate Morgan checked in, & never checked out…
The Mission Inn, in Riverside
Now we’ll head inland, to the grand Mission Inn, in Riverside. The hotel opened in the 1800’s, built as a modest adobe boarding-house. But when Frank Miller took ownership in the early 1900’s, he spent 30 years turning the hotel into the ultimate Spanish Gothic castle. He obsessed over every details: creating secret passageways, hidden staircases, & underground catacombs. But don’t worry ~ the ghosts here seem to be friendly. It’s said that Frank Miller & his sister, Alice, still haunt the hotel, because they like to “keep an eye on things.” They loved it so much, they just don’t want to leave…
Most Haunted Room(s) = Venture down into the “Catacombs,” beneath the hotel ~ or to Alice Miller’s former room, next to the Honeymoon Suite, where the most unusual activity has been reported.
The Queen Mary, in Long Beach
And now, the most haunted of all the most haunted hotels in Southern California: the iconic Queen Mary. Docked in Long Beach, Mary wins the title for the sheer number of ghost sightings, as well as tragic events that have occurred on-board.
Queen Mary carried over 2.2 million passengers during her lifetime ~ but she also carried over 800,000 military personnel during World War II. At the time, she was one of the fastest ships in the world, & could “zig-zag” quickly, making her ideal for combat. In one chilling encounter, the Queen Mary collided with her own escort, the HMS Curacao. The Curacao ended up sinking, taking the lives of 338 men. This, perhaps, gave rise to the beginning of Mary’s haunted past: because her captain was ordered not to turn around & save the men of the Curacao…
Current engineers who work on Queen Mary late at night have sworn they’ve heard anguished cries of men in the sea. And yet, when they run outside: there’s nothing there. Likewise, more than 49 people have died while on-board Queen Mary. Two men were crushed by infamous “Door 13,” down in the bowels of the ship, near the engine room. Several people report having seen the ghost of one of these men, John Pedder, near the doorway, dressed in blue overalls.
And then there are the pools on-board, where there have been many ghost sightings. A little girl named Jackie was reported to have drowned in one of the pools, & it’s said that her spirit remains there today. You can also find a ghostly “lady in white,” dancing alone in one of the ships ballrooms…
But perhaps the most haunted place in all of Queen Mary is Stateroom B-340. It’s said that a man became possessed, killing his wife & two daughters in that room. But this story has never been confirmed. Many strange things have happened in this room, though, like sinister dark shadows looming over people ~ so much so, that Queen Mary CLOSED it in the 80’s, due to complaints. BUT ~ because so many people have requested to stay in this room (paranormal history buffs, I guess?!), it was re-opened in April 2018!
Which means, you can stay there, if you dare…
Most Haunted Room(s) = Too many to count! But try: Door 13, down by the engine room (on a tour ~ not by yourself); any of Queen Mary’s pools; the ballroom; & of course, newly re-opened Stateroom B-340.
Most Haunted Hotels in Southern California
That concludes my picks for the most haunted hotels in Southern California. Personally, I’m pleasantly creeped-out by all this “haunted” information! And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little interested in heading to the Queen Mary next time I’m in town….just to feel those ghostly vibes for myself!