The Grenville Hotel & Restaurant, Bay Head, New Jersey

A Victorian Gingerbread hotel sounds wholesome and delicious, but the Grenville Hotel in Bay Head, New Jersey, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, harbors some creepy secrets.

You may be wondering what it means to be a “gingerbread” hotel. It is all in the aesthetics. It has gingerbread trim. Despite its look as a colorful pink gingerbread house, the Grenville Hotel is rumored to be one of the most haunted hotels in New Jersey.

Grenville Hotel History

American designers began using this type of gingerbread detailed embellishment about 20 years before the Grenville Hotel was built in 1890 by Wycoff Applegate. Applegate and his wife, Susan, had several children who died young.

The Grenville Hotel, in 1903
The Grenville Hotel, pictured at the top in 1903 and on the bottom in 2015 [Image credit: Grenville Hotel/Facebook]
Applegate passed in 1921, and in 1922, Nellie Georgette bought the hotel. She named it “The Georgette.” In 1945 the hotel was sold to the Grenville Group and then purchased by the Spurgat family in 1956.

The building changed hands yet again in 1987 when Joseph P. Milza of the Renault Winery bought it. He and the next owner were the ones that renovated it into the stunning hotel that it is today.

It now has 29 rooms, including five suites. There are also private showers, heat, central air, and an elevator. Harry Typaldos bought it in 2003 after falling in love with a picture he saw online. He continues to add improvements and modern touches to the hotel.

The hotel also boasts a four-star rated restaurant, where tablecloths have been known to fly off tables. No matter how much the hotel has changed, the ghost sightings that began in the 1950s remain to spook the guests and staff.

Grenville Hotel Ghosts

According to Typaldos, there is rarely a day that goes by without an occurrence of the supernatural persuasion. The most common physical activities take place in the dining room. Silverware, glasses, dishes are moved about and sometimes broken. 

The dining room, third floor, and the front deck are also hotspots for different sounds. Guests commonly claim to hear footsteps and voices in these areas when there should not be.

haunted grenville hotel

There are also reports of a strange mist in the hotel, loud noises coming from empty rooms, and the furniture in those rooms changing positions. Some people have witnessed glowing orbs or just feel a presence.

The most common sound is the chilling laughter of children playing. Perhaps these are the ghosts of Applegate’s deceased children, and they are still roaming about the hotel. 

Not only are there objects moving and sounds, sometimes there are full-bodied apparitions. One employee claimed to see ghostly children playing in the lobby.

Some guests have witnessed people dressed in elegant nineteen-century clothing walk down hallways or through their rooms. These apparitions may be former owners or guests who perished at the hotel. Do not worry, though. The owner says that the ghosts are not harmful. 

Staying at the Grenville Hotel

The room rates change depending on size, day of the week, and season. Standard rooms range from $89 to $289, midsize rooms are from $99 to $299, and the deluxe suites range from $139 to $359. If you want the fanciest suite, the Georgette & Family suites range from $159 to $399.

grenville hotel dining room

The third floor in the hotel gets the most activity, especially rooms 303 and 304, so if you are looking for some ghostly action, check out those rooms.

One account of a guest who stayed in room 304 highlights the paranormal experience that he had. After returning from a fun day at the beach, he heard children laughing in the next room but never saw any children in the hotel.

The night was not over for this guest. He was roused awake at 1 a.m. that night by the sound of footsteps moving toward the bed and then saw someone sitting at the edge of the bed.

This experience spooked the guest so much that he called the front desk. After the owner assured him that it was nothing to worry about, a young woman in a 1920s era white evening gown appeared.

He asked her who she was, but she disappeared, preserving the mystery of her identity.


Website: | Phone: 732-892-3100

Ghost Tours Near The Grenville Hotel

Asbury Park Ghost Tours 

At just 11 miles away from The Grenville, you can check out two different ghost tours. Both cost $12 for adults and $6 for children.

The Asbury Park’s Ghost & Legends Tour Downtown involves a lantern-led walk through Asbury Park’s downtown district. You will visit the scene of a ghastly crime and learn about the truth behind the park’s ghosts. 

The park also has the Ghosts of the Boardwalk Tour. This tour features a moonlit stroll along the historic boardwalk and tales of a doomed luxury liner. 

Jersey Shore Ghost Tours

Jersey Shore Ghost Tours both in Keyport (30 miles away) and Red Bank (23 miles away)

These ghost tours take place from August through Halloween. In Keyport, they are on Saturday nights and in Red Bank on Friday nights. Both of them include lantern-lit walking tours. It costs $15 per person.

Princeton Ghost Tour

This ghost tour is about 55 miles away from Grenville Hotel but worth the trek. Experienced ghost hunters will escort you through battlegrounds, squares, and neighborhoods where paranormal activity has been reported.

Specialty ghost hunting equipment, such as Dowsing Rods, Therma-meters, EMF Meters, and Night Vision flashlights, is also provided. It costs $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased from their website


Booking Info

Location: The Grenville Hotel & Restaurant

Address: 345 Main Ave #4735, Bay Head, NJ 08742

Phone: 732-892-3100