With 300 years of colorful history, it’s no wonder New Orleans is a nexus of paranormal legend and lore.
Haunted Hotels in New Orleans
Whether or not you believe, these spirited tales offer an arresting, often spine-chilling, peek into the city’s rich heritage. Stay in one of these haunted hotels in New Orleans, if you dare.
Legend says one of New Orleans’ best hotels is also tops in ghostly activity. In life, luminaries like Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Tennessee Williams roamed these halls, but it’s the afterlife raconteurs that bring haunt-hunters to this historic spot.
Some guests at this haunted hotel in New Orleans have claimed to see apparitions of former hotel employees still busy at work—a testament to their dedication. Others have reported seeing kids running the long corridors one second … only to vanish the next. Perhaps most chilling of all tales is of a young family staying on the 14th floor. After a night at Bourbon Street’s famous French Opera House, the party ended suddenly when the parents’ carriage overturned en route back to the Monteleone. Many believe faint cries heard in the halls are from the son still waiting for his beloved mom and pop to return.
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Dauphine Orleans Hotel
It’s no wonder this quintessential New Orleans hotel is so rich in charm and legend, with some areas of the structure dating to 1775. But age isn’t the only factor contributing to the hotel’s unique allure. During the city’s Red Light District heyday, a popular watering hole and brothel was housed on the spot that today still serves as a colorful bar (minus the red-light element), May Bailey’s Place.
A popular legend places a prostitute named Millie in the spotlight. It seems Millie and a solider of the Confederacy fell in love and planned to marry, but happily ever after wasn’t in her cards. On the wedding day, as Millie’s dreams were about to come true, the groom was shot over gambling debts. So when you stay at Dauphine Orleans, don’t be alarmed to catch a glimpse of white flowing fabric floating through the bar—that’s just Millie in her wedding gown, still searching for her groom.
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Lafitte Guest House
Like other French Quarter haunts, this space has a colorful and often tragic history. Before welcoming hotel guests to the French Quarter, part of the structure housed a hospital, where many bodies came and souls went. The 14-room haunted hotel in New Orleans is full of tragic stories of yore. The original owners’ daughter is believed to have fallen down the staircase and died—it’s said her ghost can be seen roaming the second floor in a nightgown. And two sisters are believed to have died in Room 21, one of yellow fever, the other of suicide—spectral crying has been heard in the room.
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Bourbon Orleans Hotel
This New Orleans luxury hotel has a long history of hosting prestigious guests and glittering social events. That spirit of playfulness and fun lives on, even among the non-living. Not merely your roaming-the-halls types of spirits, the ghosts at Bourbon Orleans are more interactive in nature.
One guest at this hotel claimed to have been slapped by a spirit after uttering a profanity, while another claimed to have received a soft kiss from an unseen figure. More than a few employees and guests have reported smelling cigar smoke in the lobby before spotting the apparition of an elderly man seated in the corner reading a newspaper and smoking. If you seek ghosts with gusto, this is your haunted hotel in New Orleans.
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Le Pavillon Hotel
Professional paranormal investigators are attracted to Le Pavillion Hotel for more than its beautifully appointed guest rooms. During a particularly active session, a team of ghost-seekers recorded up to 100 distinctive spirits in this haunted hotel in New Orleans.
Fortunately, the hotel’s elegant, spacious lobby ensures it never feels crowded, no matter the number of guests, past or present. Still, be prepared for a bit of give and take. A spirit may give your feet a tickle while you sleep, but you surely will take home an unforgettable memory from haunted New Orleans.
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Le Richelieu Hotel
This French Quarter charmer, composed of two buildings in a quiet, residential area, is known for casting spells. Many guests are bewitched by the classic charm and friendly service, choosing to return year after year. Sir Paul McCartney even called the hotel home for a few heady months.
But another type of lingering guest creates the most fanfare. It’s believed a band of Spanish soldiers was executed on the very spot. Dressed in full uniform and adorned with a defiant spirit, their presence can often be felt and seen marching through the historic courtyard of this haunted hotel in New Orleans.
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Omni Royal Orleans
The Omni is renowned for world-class service, making sure guests to the Four Diamond luxury property receive attention and care. And, apparently, the not-so-living believe in the brand’s philosophy, too.
Stories abound of spirits who delight in delivering personalized attention to guests. Maybe a jacket you threw on the chair somehow suddenly appears in the closet, or you wake in the morning to find your sheets firmly tucked around your feet. Don’t worry, simply let a “thank you” float into the air for the dedicated service at this haunted hotel in New Orleans.
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If these walls could talk, the story likely would tell of suffering and tragedy. Once a military hospital, the space that is now the Hotel Provincial has played witness to the lives and misery of countless wounded soldiers. Reported paranormal activity in the hotel includes ghosts that change the radio station and flashes of the Civil War-era hospital scene as the elevator opens.
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This small boutique property exudes charm, grace, and mysterious allure. If you hear country music drifting through the courtyard, don’t assume it’s coming from a bar in the surrounding French Quarter. A sweet-voiced soldier is said to have once occupied Cottage 4, where his song still lives on, night after night.
Check Prices for Audubon Cottages in New Orleans
More from SmarterTravel:
- New Orleans Travel Guide
- 11 Best Hotels in New Orleans
- 10 Best Cheap Hotels in New Orleans
- 10 Must-See New Orleans Attractions
- 12 Places to Hear Incredible New Orleans Jazz
- 10 Things You Can Only Do in New Orleans
- 10 Best Restaurants in New Orleans
- 12 Best Spots for Cheap Eats in New Orleans
- Everything You Need to Know About New Orleans Food
- What to Pack for New Orleans
- What to Wear in New Orleans
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– Original reporting by Jess Simpson
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