French Lick Springs Resort, 8670 IN-56, French Lick, IN 47432

Although the state of Indiana might not be on the top of your list when it comes to vacationing, it is well worth your time to drop by. Indiana is full of beautiful natural landscapes and historical sites. However, along with historical sites comes the paranormal. Known as the Hoosier state, Indiana is known for having some pretty haunted locations scattered around this fairly small state.

One extremely haunted location is the French Lick Springs Hotel, which has all the luxurious amenities a great hotel should have, including a spa and fabulous restaurants to have a bite. There are over a whopping 443 guest rooms and suites, a 24-hour fitness center, walking and jogging trails on the property, golf, bowling, and historical tours available to guests to enjoy. However, one of the most popular offerings of the French Lick Springs Hotel is more of a paranormal experience as one particular ghost has a tough time letting go of the property, making this one extremely haunted hotel.

History of French Lick Springs Hotel

Built-in 1845, Dr. William Bowels was enthralled by the “miracle waters” produced by the sulfur springs that naturally surfaced nearby. The waters working miracles’ claim drew guests from over 100 miles away as everyone wanted to experience their powers.

Five years later, a doctor named John Lane saw the hotel’s success drawing in visitors and decided to build another health resort a mile up the road calling it Mile Lick Inn. Later, the name was changed to West Baden Springs after the mineral springs in Wiesbaden, Germany.

In 1888, the French Lick Springs Hotel rose to prominence after the mayor, Thomas Taggart, purchased the property. Upon his purchase, he immediately added luxurious furnishings, marble floors, build two championship golf courses, and started bottling the miracle water to sell to guests. During this time, Taggart became the Democratic National Chairman, and the hotel became the unofficial headquarters of the Democratic National Party. In 1931, Franklin Roosevelt visited the hotel because of its democratic standings and won the presidency a mere year later.

As the French Lick Springs Hotel became more and more popular, it ran West Baden Springs out of business in 1929, becoming the prominent hotel in the area. The hotel continued to flourish over the next 100 years, and a huge six-story section of the West Baden Springs Hotel collapsed in 1991, which was a huge shock as it was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world,” according to journalists upon its opening. This got the American Historical Restoration Movement’s attention, which acquired and rehabbed dozens of buildings throughout the state—the French Lick Resort being one of those buildings.

The restoration project rebuilt the French Lick Springs’ former competitor, the West Baden Springs, and restored the French Lick Resort back to its former glory, catching visitors’ attention. Along with its new casino, the refurbished hotel opened its doors to the public in 2006 and has been a resort destination ever since.

Hauntings of French Lick Springs Hotel

The hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in Indiana, as there have been many different kinds of sightings in paranormal nature. There are a few ghosts on the premises, but two specifically are the most sighted.

The most prominent ghost is that of the hotel’s owner, Thomas Taggart. Taggart put a ton of effort into making the hotel a thriving destination for tourists to visit, and it is said that his spirit continues to uphold his high standards.

When Taggart died in 1916, strange things started happening around the hotel that many guests have seen. Guests and staff members eventually pieced together that the hauntings were from none other than Taggart himself as he continued to complete his job from beyond the grave.

Another ghost on the premises is that of a former bell-hop still lingering around the hotel. In fact, many guests have believed the bell-hop to be a current employee of the hotel until they saw very old photographs of him hanging on the walls around the hotel. When guests inquire about the bell-hop during odd hours, they are informed that no bell-hops were on duty at the time of the sighting.

How the Hauntings Manifest

Taggart is said to haunt the hotel’s various spots as if he were continuing on his job as nothing has happened. If you are brave enough to book a room on the sixth floor, Taggart is said to spend tons of time haunting this floor. Guests have heard disembodied voices, and they also smell tobacco around them, although no one is smoking anywhere near them.

Another place Taggart is said to hang out is the service elevator. Again, guests say they hear voices when no one is talking or when they are alone and smell whiffs of tobacco when no one is around smoking. The times Taggart shows up near the service elevator is during the very busy times in the hotel. Many believe he is doing quality checks to see everything is running smoothly. Guests also say that the ghost doesn’t appear to be vengeful or angry, so his presence doesn’t give off a threatening vibe.

Others have claimed they have witnessed Taggart’s spirit riding a horse down various hallways (especially on the sixth floor), and they also tend to hear sounds as if a party is happening inside the ballroom when no one is around. Usually, the noises and the sightings of Taggart do not occur at the same time, however.

As for the unnamed bell-hop, it is said he is seen in various spots of the hotel, and he appears to be carrying out his work like nothing is wrong. Guests have seen him walking as though he has something urgent he must do. There is also word that staff has witnessed phantom phone calls at the front desk—the phone rings, and no one is on the other end multiple times in a row.