From ‘The Shining’ to ‘1408’, Hollywood has its fair share of hotel horror stories to tell, proving the dark side of what are usually considered luxury accommodations that promise relaxation and peace of mind. However, the stories from real-life haunted hotels are even darker and scarier.
Once you check into these, your chances of ever returning to your loved ones the same (or alive) are very slim.
Some of the entities you may come across may not have had the experience of their lives at the hotel. They may have been brutally murdered where the bed currently is and are bound to the place by a single drop of blood hidden in the plush carpeting or the flooring.
They may have taken their lives in desperation in that pristine bathroom only to never find the peace they sought in the afterlife. On the other hand, there’s always the possibility that they chose to haunt the place they created their fondest memories at.
If you’re planning a visit to Northern California and want to experience chills down your spine because of unseen guests who’ll never check out, here are 10 perfectly spooky hotels. Be forewarned – these haunted hotels in Northern California aren’t for the faint of heart.
Visit These Ten Haunted Hotels In Northern California If You Dare
Table of Contents
- 10) Cary House Hotel - Placerville
- 9) Madrona Manor - Healdsburg
- 8) Napa River Inn - Napa
- 7) The Groveland Hotel - Groveland
- 6) Hotel La Rose - Santa Rosa
- 5) The Historic Hotel Leger - Mokelumne Hill
- 4) The Westin San Jose - San Jose
- 3) Delta King - Sacramento
- 2) Residence Inn Stockton by Marriott - Stockton
- 1) San Remo Hotel - San Francisco
10) Cary House Hotel - Placerville
Touted as ‘The Jewel of Placerville’, the Cary House Hotel offers more than comfort and authenticity. It has numerous guests who fell in love with the place that they just can’t seem to leave.
For several decades, employees and visitors alike have reported seeing the spirit of a horse and wagon operator named Arnold Weidman and, at times, his wife. However, they aren’t as bothersome former desk clerk Stan, who was stabbed to death after making a pass at one of the guests.
He still pinches guests’ bottoms whenever he gets the chance. And if you see a cat, don’t try picking it up. Many guests say that there’s a ghost cat in the Cary House Hotel, but you never know if it’s really a spirit or another entity waiting for another victim.
9) Madrona Manor - Healdsburg
An award-winning Victorian themed B&B, Madrona Manor is haunted by different ghosts who resided there over the years. However, the most prominent family there is John Alexander Paxtron’s. After his death, his wife kept his corpse in a glass coffin inside the mansion for seven years.
His son also died in the manor, taking his life after his bride left him for another man. While the manor was renovated into a bed and breakfast, the crew complained about an unseen presence that watched them as they worked. Even after the B&B opened its doors, guests reported waking up to see their things levitating in the air. Some even complained about their possessions being moved and hidden by an unseen force.
One of the ghosts you may come across is the Woman in Black. Many guests have seen her standing next to their beds before floating and vanishing into thin air. However, she may choose to appear in front of certain people, sending messages to the living through them. She even told a guest in the dining room to tell the current owners that she approved of what they’ve done to Madrona Manor.
8) Napa River Inn - Napa
Formerly a working mill, the Napa River Inn dates back to 1885. The first ghost there is that of Albert Jr., the son of the building’s original owner Captain Albert Hatt. Possibly overburdened with the responsibilities of caring for five children and a lawsuit over the ownership of a company steamboat, he hung himself in what is now the Sweetie Pies Bakery.
He tends to haunt rooms 208 and 207 which are respectively above and next to the bakery, opening and slamming shut their doors or throwing things around. You may also bump against a woman in a white dress at Napa River Inn.
Guests who saw her believe that she’s looking for someone, which is why many believe that she might have been Margaret.
7) The Groveland Hotel - Groveland
If you’re a fan of the California Gold Rush era, the Groveland Hotel is where you should be. Expanded in 1914, it’s the forever home of a prospector named Lyle. He was always looking for gold in the nearby creek until he died in his sleep at the hotel.
It wasn’t until several days later that people realized he was gone. Lyle may have had unfinished business, which is why he haunts the Groveland Hotel. In ‘Lyle’s Room’, he’s been known to knock ladies’ cosmetics off his dresser or hurl them into the bathroom.
The ghost, who’s been described as a tall, thin, bearded man in a straw hat, also has a few friends. While they may not appear to you, you’ll hear their footsteps as they roam the hallways or empty rooms.
6) Hotel La Rose - Santa Rosa
Over a century old, Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa is another haunted hotel that doesn’t hide its darkest secrets. The staff proudly share the story of Daniel, the ghost of a boy who was killed along with his family in room 42. He now rides the elevator up and down at night, hoping to find his parents.
You may feel his presence while in the elevator after 11 pm. Further adding to Hotel La Rose’s spookiness is the eerie fog that enshrouds the building. During those early morning moments, guests have heard their names called out and objects around their rooms have been moved.
5) The Historic Hotel Leger - Mokelumne Hill
This historic California hotel has a rich history from the gold prospecting days. They serve up tasty food, host various types of events, and offer up a slightly more paranormal experience for those who are interested. You can sneak out your bedroom window to access a haunted veranda, and see what spirits you may encounter.
Speaking of spirits, make sure you try the blood orange martinis from the lounge, but don't take them with you back to your room, there's something about the word 'blood' and certain hallways in this hotel that just don't make a very good mix.
4) The Westin San Jose - San Jose
Formerly known as the Hotel Sainte Claire, the newly rebranded Westin San Jose is actually one of the city’s renowned architectural masterpieces. However, it’s more famous as the eternal home of Julia, a young woman who was to be married at the Palm Room in the 1930s.
Abandoned at the altar, she took her life in the hotel’s basement. Since then, she has haunted the six-story building, spooking employees at the hotel offices or appearing in photographs near the Palm Room’s fireplace.
Guests have heard her walking angrily down the halls. Her high heels would click and clack despite the hardwood flooring being covered with thick carpeting. Though Julia is its most prominent entity, the Westin San Jose has a smoking ghost and poltergeist on the second and sixth floor.
3) Delta King - Sacramento
Delta King was once a proud paddle wheel steamboat that traveled between Sacramento and San Francisco. After it sank in 1981, it was converted into the 44-room award-winning hotel. However, like all the hotels on this list, Delta King has a dark past that literally haunts it to this day.
The main ghost there is that of a 10-year-old girl with dirty blonde hair. You won’t get to see her if you’re a female since she only appears to men. You can hear her giggles in the hallways, though, or notice her footprints in the dew on the deck.
Though she was murdered by a crew member there, her haunting is harmless. On the other hand, you may want to watch out for the entity responsible for breaking glasses in the lounge, especially if you have one in your hand. That one’s definitely out for blood.
2) Residence Inn Stockton by Marriott - Stockton
If you plan on staying at the Residence Inn Stockton by Marriott, you’ll need something to calm down your racing heart. Guests have reported all sorts of haunted experiences, from chills down their spine when they enter their room, hearing voices that weren't really there, and sometimes much worse...
One couple reported being woken up in the middle of the night by a tugging sensation on their sheets, as if someone was trying to pull them off of the bed altogether. This attack lasted several moments, but ended with a flash of light and a whimper sound.
1) San Remo Hotel - San Francisco
Queen Anne and Hotel Union Square may be the most famous haunted hotels in San Francisco, but San Remo Hotel also offers its fair share of things that go bump in the night. Built in 1906 after the San Francisco fire destroyed most of the city, the hotel formerly known as the New California Hotel was once run as a brothel.
Its Madame haunts the place, knocking on doors in the middle of the night. Her favorite room is #33, but don’t expect to catch her as she’ll run away.
The other ghost at San Remo Hotel, however, is more confident. If you spot a little girl trying to get into room #42, run the other way. She definitely doesn’t like the interference of the living.