Five Midwest Hotels Known for Their Haunting Hospitality

By Jeanenne Tornatore

1. The Congress Plaza Hotel – Chicago, Ill.

This iconic Chicago hotel on South Michigan Avenue has been host to the likes of gangsters, celebrities, millionaires and presidents since 1893, but those are its only famous guests. It’s long been rumored to house some guests who may have decided to extend their stay. One of Chicago’s largest hotels, The Congress Plaza, is also considered by many as one of the city’s most haunted. From reports of security guards hearing organ music and the sound of skate wheels sliding across the floor in the Florentine Room, a former roller skating rink, to unexplained objects in photographs taken around the grand piano in the Gold Room, not to mention the one-legged man that has been seen in the south tower, among many other stories told throughout the years.

 2. The Pfister Hotel – Milwaukee, Wis.

This grand Milwaukee hotel began welcoming guests in 1893, and its founder, Charles Pfister, was dedicated to making sure his patrons enjoyed their stay. And, well, apparently it’s still a task he performs to this day. Guests have reported seeing an older, well-dressed gentleman smiling down on the lobby as he surveys the scene from the grand staircase.  And could clearly confirm his identity after seeing a portrait of this attentive owner. Guests has also reported seeing objects and apparitions in their rooms late at night.

3. The Terrace Inn – Petoskey, Mich.

While many accommodations may not advertise their paranormal activity, the Terrace Inn, located on Michigan’s beautiful sunset coast, embraces it. The hotel, which was built in 1910 is comprised of three cottages made up of 38 rooms, with the original building having been built on sacred Native American grounds. Guests have reported seeing a “Lady in White” apparition, objects that have moved on their own, ghostly forms seen on staircases and disembodied voices. There is also said to be a man spotted in a tweed jacket standing out on their balcony, “looking in.” This welcoming inn is a must-stay for the paranormal enthusiast looking for a few ghostly thrills.

4. French Lick Resort – French Lick, Ind.

This historic resort hotel complex is a popular spot for travelers in the Midwest, and those looking to embrace its history in a very personal way. The property is said to be haunted by its former owner, Thomas Taggart, who reportedly lingers around the service elevator and still smells of tobacco. It’s rumored that he operates the elevator when the place gets busy, has been know to appear riding a horse in the ballroom or down the halls, and holds ghostly parties that the staff have heard through closed doors when no one else is in the ballroom. Even spookier, are claims that the entire sixth floor is haunted by shadows, breezes, footsteps, disembodied laughter and ghosts who call the front desk from unoccupied rooms.

5. Alton, Ill.

This small Illinois town is widely recognized as one of the most haunted small towns in America. While there isn’t a particular haunted hotel to visit in town, there are multiple different ghost tour operators, more than 13 haunted sites around town, and the local visitor’s bureau even offers a haunted tour mobile app. Several locations that are noted to be extremely haunted include the infamous McPike Mansion and Milton School, both which have been featured on television shows on the Travel Channel and Syfy Channel.