California, also known as the Golden State, has a long and storied history that is often intertwined with tales of the supernatural. From the coastal cities to the rugged mountains and everywhere in between, countless ghost stories and legends have emerged throughout the years, capturing the imagination of both residents and visitors alike.
In this article, we will explore the 14 most haunted hotels in CA, where guests can experience spine-chilling encounters with the otherworldly. So, brace yourselves for a journey into the unknown as we unveil some of the most captivating and eerie accommodations the Golden State has to offer.
1. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
The property is famously haunted by the ghost of a woman named Kate Morgan, who was believed to have been the murdered wife of a card shark circa the 1800s.
Reports of paranormal activity in the hotel include faucets turning on by themselves and unexplained noises.
Regular ghost nights are offered, and guests can rent the most haunted rooms in the hotel at a special rate! [BOOK A ROOM]
2. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles
Being a haunted hotel in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is particularly well known for having some famous ghostly residents!
Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe are the spirits said to roam the halls.
For a time in the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe took up residence in Suite 1200, and while the room itself is not particularly haunted, people frequently report seeing her reflection in a mirror in the lobby, which used to hang in her room.
Meanwhile, actor Montgomery Clift is haunting his old room number 928 and can be heard running lines in the room. Other ghosts haunting the hotel include a little girl named Caroline, who drowned in the hotel pool. [BOOK A ROOM]
3. Glen Tavern Inn, Santa Paula
The Glen Tavern Inn started as a brothel and gambling den, and over the years, it has had a very colorful history. That may explain why it is now known for being haunted!
Guests often report cold spots, shadowy figures, and disembodied voices. There is at least one little girl among the resident spirits, although many believe there are multiple children here who are seen and heard laughing on the second floor.
Room 307 is haunted by a ghost named Calvin and a prostitute who was found decapitated in the closet during the prohibition era! [BOOK A ROOM]
4. Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach
The 1019-foot longship, The Queen Mary, is now permanently moored in Long Beach and serves as a hotel with a reputation for being haunted!
There are said to be many spirits haunting the vessel believed to date back to its time in service as a troop transporter, refugee carrier, and passenger ship.
The hotspots onboard include the engine rooms, the nursery, and passenger cabins. [BOOK A ROOM]
5. Napa River Inn, Napa
The Napa River Inn is an excellent example of haunted accommodation in California, with the first reports of paranormal activity dating back to the early 1900s.
One spirit who is regularly spotted is Captain Albert Hatt Jr, the original owner’s son. Guests and staff have also seen Robert Keig’s spirit -another former owner.
However, the most prominent spirit at the Napa River Inn is a woman dressed in white. [BOOK A ROOM]
6. Union Hotel, Benicia
Union Hotel sits in the very heart of the historic Californian town of Benicia. It was built in 1882 and stands as a reminder of the colorful past that California has had.
Sometime in the late 1800s, it is claimed that a young woman hanged herself in her hotel room, and she is now haunting the property.
She is often seen looking out of one of the hotel room windows, and guests have reported hearing her talking and crying. [BOOK A ROOM]
7. Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood
The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood is best known as a celebrity hangout, but most people do not know that it is indeed haunted.
The ghost is believed to be comedian John Belushi who died from a drug overdose in one of the bungalows in the early 1980s.
Bungalow 3 was where he died, and many who stay there describe feeling his presence, and people do not like to look in the mirror.
One young boy who had no knowledge of the death or who Belushi was claimed to have seen him in the bungalow during his family’s stay and was able to pick him out of a selection of photographs. [BOOK A ROOM]
8. Zaballa House, Half Moon Bay
It is believed that the Zaballa House is the oldest in Half Moon Bay, and it is also one of the most haunted.
Room 6 is the hub of paranormal activity in the hotel, and guests report hearing jangling keys, alarms going off, and windows rattling. Despite this, the owner denies any knowledge of a ghost in the hotel!
9. Amargosa Opera House & Hotel, Death Valley
The Amargosa Opera House & Hotel was built in 1923 as part of a ‘company town’ created by the Pacific Coast Borax Company.
There is little left of the town these days aside from the opera house & hotel and a scattering of empty buildings.
However, it still attracts lots of visitors who come to stay for the chance of encountering one of the many ghosts said to reside here!
These include a little child who is thought to have drowned in a bathtub, a spirit cat, and the evil spirit of a hanged man in one of the rooms! [BOOK A ROOM]
10. Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco
The Queen Anne Hotel is a historic Victorian-era boutique hotel located just 1 mile from the historic Union Square in San Francisco, CA.
It’s widely regarded as the most haunted hotel in San Francisco and has been welcoming paranormal enthusiasts for decades.
The most well-known spirit known to haunt the hotel is Mary Lake. She was the headmistress when the building was a girl’s boarding school in the 1890s.
Her ghost is behind lots of activity on the fourth floor, mainly in room 410 – her old office!
Countless guests have reported seeing her mist-like figure, wandering around the hotel wearing period clothing. Not just that, you’ll often feel her presence and hear her pacing around her old office!
Guests staying in room 410 also report strange sounds and unsettling tapping noises from furniture in their room. [BOOK A ROOM]
11. The Delta King Riverboat, Sacramento
The Delta King Hotel is a fully restored paddlewheel riverboat hotel and restaurant, located in Sacramento’s Old Town.
One of the most haunted places in Sacramento, the Delta King has a long history of hauntings.
From 1927 it was used as a commuter between San Francisco and Sacramento, until 1940 when it was drafted into World War II and used as a floating barrack, troop transport, and floating hospital.
With this colorful history it’s little surprise there are stories of ghosts.
The spirit of an old captain of the ship is still wandering the decks and wheelhouse. His apparition has been witnessed by members of staff and guests in the balcony during productions, and his disembodied footsteps above deck.
The ghost of a young girl has been seen several times. She’s reported to have dirty blonde hair and wears a long dress. Crew members tell of her giggling, and footprints on the deck left in the morning dew.
Dorothy Milette, a Hollywood actress, is believed to have jumped overboard to her death in 1932. She was the common-law wife of MGM producer, Paul Bern.
After hearing of Bern’s recent wedding to Jean Harlow, Millette, who was being cared for in a sanitorium, escaped. Paul Bern was found dead in his home in Benedict Canyon on September 5, 1932. Though all signs pointed to suicide, Millette was found dead a day later, after jumping overboard from the Delta King on September 6. [BOOK A ROOM]
12. 1859 Historic National Hotel, Jamestown
The National Hotel is a historic hotel in the old gold-rush town of Jamestown California.
The two hotel buildings were the first permanent structures built in 1848, and in 1859 Heinrich and Hannah Neilson established a hotel, bar, and restaurant, that later became known as the National Hotel.
If you spend a weekend here you may just come into contact with the most prominent ghost at the hotel, Flo. She’s a friendly spirit, but her appearance may startle you. Her apparition is known to wander through the rooms in the early hours.
Although there are no specific names for other spirits here, there’s no shortage of paranormal activity. Lights are known to turn on and off by themselves, doors slam by unseen forces, and the disembodied cries of a woman can be heard. [BOOK A ROOM]
Read more about the haunted 1859 National Hotel.
13. Historic Cary House Hotel, Placerville
Nestled on Main Street in the historic city of Placerville, California, the Historic Cary House Hotel, also known as the “Jewel of Placerville,” has much more to offer than just a place to rest your head.
This hotel’s intriguing history includes tales of Stan, a flirtatious front desk clerk who loved his liquor and had a penchant for pinching the bottoms of hotel guests. Stan delighted in gossip, enjoyed scrutinizing people, and was known to become quite offensive when under the influence.
Sadly, Stan’s life came to a tragic end on the hotel’s staircase when he made an unwelcome pass at a man who did not find his advances amusing. The man retaliated by stabbing Stan twice in the chest, causing him to fall down the stairs and meet his untimely demise.
The lobby and rooms 208 and 406 of the Historic Cary House Hotel are said to experience the most paranormal activity. Guests have reported mysterious occurrences such as piano music audible only from a specific spot at the top of the first level of the stairs, a phantom cat, and an attractive young woman appearing at the bottom of the staircase.
The hotel staff are so terrified of these otherworldly encounters that the establishment struggles to retain employees.
The hotel’s reputation for high spiritual activity caught the attention of the TV show Portals to Hell. Investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman visited the historic hotel and were astounded
by the intensity of the paranormal activity they encountered. The experiences at the Historic Cary House Hotel left a lasting impression on the investigators, further cementing the hotel’s reputation as one of the most spiritually active places in the area.
In addition to its fascinating ghostly legends, the Historic Cary House Hotel serves as an excellent base for exploring Placerville’s rich history.
Visitors can stroll through the charming downtown area, admire preserved buildings like the El Dorado County Courthouse and the Bell Tower, and learn about the city’s Gold Rush era past.
Experience the enchanting allure of this one-of-a-kind hotel, where the past comes alive and mysterious tales await, nestled in the heart of Placerville. [Check Availability]
14. Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria
Nestled in California’s central coast lies the Santa Maria Inn, an English countryside-style hotel built in 1917. Known for attracting celebrities and wine enthusiasts, this historic gem offers luxurious accommodations and award-winning dining. But what really sets it apart are its ghostly guests.
The inn is home to several spirits, including a murdered sea captain haunting room 210 and the legendary actor Rudolph Valentino, who frequents room 221. Even the mysterious, upbeat Peppy adds a touch of paranormal excitement to this extraordinary establishment.
Guests can expect a wide range of supernatural phenomena, from self-playing pianos to mysterious footprints and poltergeist activity. [Check Availability]