No matter how wonderfully luxurious and opulent the surroundings, hotels always seem to carry a sense of mystique.
They have been the scene of unsolved murders, strange disappearances and bizarre paranormal activity. Here’re a handful of the creepiest ones known to humanity…
The Biltmore Hotel Hauntings
Notorious 1920’s NY underworld figure Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was a frequent guest at Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and regularly ran a speakeasy and casino from his 13th floor suite. In March, 1929, Fatty got into a fight with the hotel manager Eddie Wilson, who pulled out his gun and shot him to death in the casino. Wilson was never charged with murder and reportedly was helped to escape to Cuba by law enforcement. To this day the hotel is recognised as haunted by Fatty Walsh, with several incidents over the years where guests are taken to the 13th floor for no reason whatsoever. Once up on the floor, many smell cigar smoke and hear strange sounds from the supposedly empty suite. Apparently his ghost targets attractive woman, but this didn’t stop him also targeting Bill Clinton during one of his trips, with the then president struggling to work his TV and it just kept turning off and off by itself…
The Murder Of Effie MacDonald
During the 60s, one of the most feared serial killers – the Boston Strangler – was at large. He murdered 13 women in that area during his reign of terror. A few months after he was finally apprehended in 1964, another shocking murder rocked the New England region. 54-year-old chambermaid Ellie MacDonald was employed at the hotel Bangor House. Ellie showed up for work one day, with her last confirmed sighting at noon on March, 18, 1965. As the day progressed, her co-workers became increasingly worried about her welfare but failed to find her anywhere. Her body was finally found two days later, as a chambermaid entered a guest room which had not been rented for days. MacDonald was completely nude, she has been beaten and sexually assaulted before being strangled to death with a nylon stocking. The similarities were staggering between his and the Strangler, but decided they were not connected. They lacked any concrete evidence on other suspects and it ultimately remains unsolved…
The Disappearance Of Jessica Kinsey
On Boxing Day, 1995, 14-year-old Jessica Kinsey from Union, Missouri, should have been enjoying time spent with family over the festive period, but this was not to be the case. She was picked up by Jimmy Hopkins, 23, who paid his friend to secretly drive them to Niagara Falls to get married. Apparently she was pregnant with his child and on that night they stopped at the Dollar Inn in Cloverdale, Indiana. Jimmy’s friend Mark – who stayed in a separate room – believes her heard violent noises from the couples room, but when he investigated Jimmy just said they were having rough sex. Next morning, the couple had disappeared along with Mark’s car. A fortnight later it turned up in Compton, California. Several months later, Jimmy returned to Reunion- without Jessica. When questioned by police about her disappearance he gave several different stories about her whereabouts, claiming she had run off with a Mexican bloke named Capone. Even though his stories didn’t hold up, there was never enough evidence to file charges. We may never find out what happened, as Jimmy shot his wife to death before turning the gun on himself in 2008.
The Mysterious Suicide Of ‘Jeffrey Daniel’
In late ’97, a man who was believed to be in his 30s checked into the Super 8 Motel in Aiken, South Carolina. He paid in cash to rent a room and for his three-day stay he remained anonymous to staff. He hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign with the handwritten message: “I’m not responsible for the consequences.” At the end of his stay, he was found dead inside his bathroom by staff. He had committed suicide, but the way he died never became public knowledge. No I.D could be found and two bottles of anti-depressant had their labels tor off. The investigation eventually found he had stayed at two local hospitals after failed suicide attempts. He was known as “Jeffrey Daniel”, but this was all fake. Two weeks before he cut his life short, he tried to kill himself by slashing his wrist and suffocating himself with cellophane wrap. This was thwarted by motel workers. The man’s identity still remains unknown.
The Hauntings Of La Posada
In 1932, a six-acre estate in Santa Fe was converted into one of the most historic hotels in New Mexico’s state capital- La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa. A Victorian mansion known as the Staab House was the centrepiece and was once owned by a wealthy family. Built in 1882, it was owned by a prominent resident called Abraham Staab. Popular in social circles around the community, Abraham and his wife Julia had seven children. However, their eighth child died of illness shortly after childbirth. Julia spiralled into a deep depression and after more failed pregnancies she exiled herself and spent her remaining days in the room- passing away at just 52-years-old. Once concerted, Julia’s former bedroom or Room 256 allegedly became haunted. Numerous sightings were made of a well-dressed woman resembling Julia and staff also reported phone calls going through the room, even when the line was disconnected. These aren’t purely in her room either. She has been spotted in the dining room, along with glasses being knocked of shelves and candles being blown out randomly.
The Disappearance of Joseph ‘JoeEd’ Edwards
Twenty-five-year-old African American Joseph “JoeEd” Edwards worked as a porter at the Shamrock Motel in Vidalia, Louisiana. In the summer of ’65, JoeEd turned up for work one day, but then mysteriously disappeared. That night, the manager of a bowling alley nearby reported that his car was pulled over by police. Days later, the vehicle was found abandoned in the bowling alley parking lot. Bloodstains covered the interior of the vehicle, along with someone else’s belt. Racial tensions were high during this time and this took place 10 days before the Civil Rights Act was passed. Many believe it was a brutal hate crime carried out by the KKK. Rumours about their reasoning was that he was a pimp, pimping out white prostitutes or that he was murdered because he had a romantic relationship with a white woman. The most disturbing story to emerge was that JoeEd was hung up inside a barn and tortured and skinned alive before being disposed of in a nearby river. Seven suspects were finally named in 2013, but investigation has been officially closed after they were all found to have already passed away. His disappearance remains a mystery.
This might make you think twice about booking a nice hotel for your holidays now, eh?
This post was written by Nadia Vella