10 Hotels Where Guests Checked In But They Didn’t Check Out

10 Hotels Where Guests Checked In But They Didn’t Check Out

Hotels can be a nice get away, or if you don’t feel quite right, an isolating experience.  For the people below, things didn’t work out and they stayed in hotels where guests checked in but they didn’t check out.  Some were tragic circumstances that unfolded and some say still leave behind traces of their souls behind.  Others are still unsolved and we will never truly know what happened.  Take a look and judge for yourself if you would stay at any of these infamous locales.

Winecoff Hotel fire


The fire of the Winecoff Hotel was the deadliest in the history of the United States.  On December 7, 1946, a fire broke out on the third floor west hallway and because only one stairway was available, many of the guests above were trapped.  The ones that didn’t jump into nets or were rescued from windows died which totaled 119 people.  Among the dead were the hotel’s owners.  As is the case of many tragedies, tales of hauntings surround this location as well. This is now the location of the Ellis Hotel and books have been written about people who have smelled smoke, heard voices that sounded like chaotic people trying to run around, and seen shadows without explanation.


The Haunted Biltmore Hotel


On March 4th, 1929, Thomas “Fatty” Walsh took a bullet on the 13th floor of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.  The whole thing happened in a speakeasy casino and was witnessed by a nightclub performer Demaris “Hotsy Totsy” Dore.  She said it was because a fight broke out, but no one believed her.  See, Fatty was in the mob and many speculated it was a hit.  Regardless, people say Fatty never left the Biltmore and still haunts the 13th floor to this day.

Fatty had an eye for the ladies, and even today, he frequently takes women up to the 13th floor in the elevator regardless of what button they push.  In fact, one couple reported that as soon as the woman stepped out on the floor the doors shut and took the man back down to the lobby.

That’s not the only ghosts the Biltmore is famous for because the hotel was also used as a hospital in WWII.  Some guests have reported men in uniform and people getting tapped on their shoulders.


Better Listen To Your Mother

Hotels Where Guests Checked In But They Didn't Check Out

In 1941, Frederick Berry Jr. was staying at the Hotel Dixie in New York.  He was a young man from Wayne, Nebraska who rented a room on the 12th floor and was found tragically burned but sitting upright smoldering in a chair.  The hotel staff that found him called the emergency workers and he was transported to Roosevelet Hospital, but he did not survive.  What made this so unusual was the letter that the staff found when they were clearing out his room.  It seems that his father had written him just a few days earlier and according to the letter, his mother had received a terrifying premonition that something disastrous was about to happen to him.  Berry’s father urged him to be careful until his mother became less anxious.



The Bizarre Tale of Elisa Lam


Elisa Lam was a Canadian student who checked into the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in January 2013.  The hotel is known for several suicides, three murders, and home to two serial killers – Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.  Who knows why Elisa would want to stay there, but more importantly, one can only guess what she was up to the day of her disappearance.

She was reported missing at the end of the month and she was last seen on hotel CCTV footage behaving strangely in an elevator, pressing multiple buttons and running in and out of the elevator’s doors.  Five days later, hotel guests reported foul tasting water, and after further investigation, the body of Elisa Lam was found in the cylindrical metal water tanks on the roof.  After they examined the body, they came to find out the Elisa suffered from Bipolar disorder and while they ruled out murder, they still can’t explain how she ended up in the hard to access water tank.

As a side note, in an extremely unusual coincidence, an outbreak of tuberculosis was spreading through downtown Los Angeles at the same time and health authorities were urging citizens to get tested. The name of the tuberculosis test was the Lam Elisa Test.  What kind of odds would that get in Vegas?


Retlaw Plaza Hotel

This hotel was built by Walter Schoreder in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and apparently he was murdered on the property.  It was built in an interesting spot. The underground tunnels used by Chicago gangsters to make their escapes, and the tunnel ended in the hotel’s basement.  By the way Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards.

Many say Walter has never left the property.  In fact, they say he likes to turn on faucets, lights, bangs on walls, & screaming, as well as apparitions.  Some guests tell of disembodied male voices, strange humming, phantom footsteps and of a beautiful red-haired woman in a white bathrobe.  Most incidents seem to center around room 717 and guests and hotel staff report screams coming from the room, but the staff tried to unlock the room but they are unable.


The Crescent Hotel and Spa

Hotels Where Guests Checked In But They Didn't Check Out

The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 as a resort for the rich and famous, but it quickly became unmanageable.  In 1908, it reopened as a College and Conservatory for Young Women.   It closed again in 1924 and then reopened as a junior college in 1930, and then after the college closed in 1934, the Crescent was leased as a summer hotel.  But it is most famous for its owner Norman G Baker.  He turned the place into a hospital and health resort and he told people he could cure their illnesses, including cancer, with the area’s natural spring water.  Of course, this was a hoax and he ended up spending 4 years in prison.  However, his patients were so lucky and now The Crescent has been called one of America’s Most Haunted Hotels.  In fact Wikipedia list some of the many ghosts seen which include a young woman who attended college there in the 1920s or 30s, who is either said to have died by jumping from the roof or being pushed; a nurse who worked in the building when it was a hospital; a man in a hat and tails, believed to be the ghost of Dr. John Freemont Ellis, a staff doctor at the original Crescent Hotel resort in the late 1800sMichael, an Irish stonemason, who lost his footing while building the hotel and slipped off the roof to his death; Theadora, a cancer victim who came to Norman Baker’s resort for treatment; a ghostly bearded gentleman wearing Victorian clothing and a top hat; Brecky, a boy who often came to the resort in its glory days and died of complications with an appendicitis; and Norman G. Baker himself.



Hyatt Regency Disaster


On the evening of July 17, 1981, approximately 1,600 people assembled in the atrium of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency to participate in a tea dance.  Many decided to watch the dance from along walkways that went up multiple levels.  Unfortunately, there were construction design flaws that could not support the number of the observers that crowded the walkways and this led to a collapse resulting in 114 deaths and 219 injuries.


The Disappearance Of Claudia Kirschhoch


Claudia Kirschhoch was a last minute replacement on a trip to the Sandals’ new resort in Havana.  She arrived with three other writers in Montego bay, Jamaica and soon found out that they would not be admitted into Cuba.  They were all basically stranded at the Sandal’s resort in Negril until they could arrange for flights back to New York.

Claudia’s travel companions found flights back, but she was stuck for another few days.  That night, Claudia had drinks with her co-worker and made friends with the bartender, Anthony Grant, at the resort.  She later went out dancing with the Anthony, and the next day, Claudia was seen by the lifeguard strolling on the beach in her bathing suit.  This was the last known sighting of Claudia.

Her parents grew worried when she hadn’t contacted them and they called the resort.  They checked the room and found all of her possessions except for what she had with her on the beach that day.  After further investigation, it was also found that Anthony had called out sick for four days after his date with Claudia and a hair was found in his car and dogs picked up her scent on his boots and gloves.  In addition, a bloody knife was found, but the DNA tests were inconclusive and he is no longer considered a suspect.  Seems like a lot of evidence for someone to no longer be considered a suspect.


The Chambermaid of the Bangor House


Effie MacDonald was a chambermaid for the prestigious Bangor House hotel.  She came to work as usual at 9 am on March 18, 1965, but after a few hours she could not be found.  Eventually, a fellow maid found her in a vacant room with her clothes ripped off and strangled to death with her own nylon stockings.

At first, the possibility this could be related to the infamous Boston Strangler was considered since the method of using nylon stockings was similar, but this was ruled out when the lead investigators came to town.  Unfortunately, they never captured Effie’s killer even though they had a suspect.  A man was seen going down the back stairs, but the only suspect they had lawyered up and didn’t talk and eventually they had to let him go.  So after 45 years, the case of Effie MacDonald still goes unsolved.


Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite


Noemi and Audrey Belanger from Quebec, Canada went to Thailand to have a wonderful vacation.  However, they were found dead in their hotel room and the cause of their mysterious deaths is unknown.  They were found in horrible conditions, reportedly with large quantities of vomit, black nails, and skin lesions.  Unfortunately, they were not the only ones, apparently this has been happening in other cases in Thailand.  At first they thought that it may have been blowfish poisoning, but later they decided it was phosphine gas which was used to kill bed bugs, even though it was no longer legal to use in hotels.