Hot California

Stay in a Haunted Hotel in California!

Beautiful and historic hotels where some check in and never check out

Looking for a more spirited stay on your next California family vacation? Well, look no further. From the rugged terrain of Northern California to the sunny coast of Southern California haunted hotels are sprinkled across the state like a spooky cupcake.

I love staying at haunted hotels with my family! I have put a list together of our favorite family-friendly haunted hotels in California that are actually pleasant stays, even if you are not into ghosts. So if you are looking to add a little spooky excitement to your California road trip, you are in the right spot. What haunted hotel in California will you choose?

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

Haunted Hotels in Northern California


Holbrooke Hotel

212 W Main St, Grass Valley, CA 95945

Brief History

Nestled within the charming town of Grass Valley, California, the Holbrooke Hotel stands as a historic icon that’s steeped in rich history and an air of mystery. Dating back to the Gold Rush era of the mid-19th century, the Holbrooke Hotel has witnessed the passage of time and the ebb and flow of the town’s fortunes. Originally established in 1852, the hotel has welcomed notable figures such as Mark Twain, Black Bart, and even Ulysses S. Grant. The hotel recently went through a complete renovations, but its walls still have absorbed tales of laughter, celebrations, and undoubtedly, some secrets.


Yet, beneath its antique elegance and quaint facade, there lies a deeper intrigue—the whispers of paranormal encounters that have earned the hotel a reputation as one of Grass Valley’s most haunted locations. Numerous guests and staff have reported unexplained occurrences, from flickering lights and disembodied footsteps to the apparitions of spectral figures. There is even a spirit that likes to flip the hair of guests, which we have personal experience with…yes the spirit flipped my mom’s hair!

One of the most famous ghostly residents is said to be a chambermaid named Sarah, who fell to her death in the 1800s and is often spotted near the hotel’s stairs. However, as one of the longest continuously operating hotels in California, there are a ton of different spirits and stories haunting the halls (and bar) at the Holbrooke Hotel. As visitors step through its doors, they embark on a journey through time, where the echoes of history intertwine with the eerie tales that keep the Holbrooke Hotel’s enigmatic spirit alive.

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Haunted Queen Anne Hotel San Francisco California

Queen Anne Hotel

1590 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Brief History

The Queen Anne Hotel, a charming and elegant Victorian-style boutique hotel nestled in the heart of San Francisco, is a place where history and hauntings seamlessly intertwine. Built in 1890 as the Mary Lake School for Girls, the hotel exudes an air of old-world charm with its intricate architecture, ornate decor, and a distinct sense of grandeur from a bygone era.

Originally established as a school, the building was designed by S. J. Dornan and constructed with meticulous attention to detail. In 1980, it was transformed into the Queen Anne Hotel, where it now serves as a unique and nostalgic haven for travelers seeking a taste of San Francisco’s Victorian past.

However, it’s not just the exquisite architecture and antique furnishings that make the Queen Anne Hotel captivating. The hotel’s history has laid the foundation for a reputation as one of San Francisco’s most haunted destinations. The stories revolve around Mary Lake herself, the founder and headmistress of the girls’ school.


Legend has it that Mary Lake loved her school dearly, and she still does from beyond the grave. Guests and staff have reported numerous ghostly encounters that they attribute to Mary’s lingering spirit. One of the most notable occurrences is the inexplicable movement of a portrait of Mary Lake that hangs in the lobby. Despite being securely fastened to the wall, the portrait has been known to turn itself around, seemingly facing the wall. Some believe that Mary’s spirit may be responsible for this peculiar phenomenon.

Guests who have stayed in Room 410, which was once Mary’s office, have shared tales of unexplained cold spots, a sense of being watched, and even the feeling of a gentle touch. Some have reported waking up to find their blankets neatly tucked around them, as if cared for by an unseen hand. These experiences have led many to believe that Mary Lake’s affection for her school and its occupants continues even after her passing.

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Haunted San Francisco Hotel Westin St. Francis

The Westin St. Francis

335 Powell Street Union Square, San Francisco, CA 94102-1804

Brief History

The Westin St. Francis is a historic luxury hotel located in the heart of Union Square in San Francisco, California. It has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century and has witnessed significant events and changes throughout the years. While the hotel is known for its elegance and grandeur, it has also gained a reputation for being haunted by several ghosts.

The St. Francis Hotel was originally built in 1904, and it quickly became a symbol of San Francisco’s prosperity and growth during the early 20th century. The hotel was expanded several times over the years, with various wings and towers being added to accommodate the increasing number of guests. It survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, which destroyed much of the city.


The Westin St. Francis, a revered San Francisco establishment that has earned its place among the city’s most haunted hotels, steeped in a tapestry of eerie tales. Amidst its elegant corridors, a collection of ghostly encounters have woven themselves into the fabric of its history:

The Antique Mirror’s Enigma is among the hotel’s most renowned narratives lies the enigmatic figure within an antique mirror gracing the lobby. Curious guests have glimpsed a woman dressed in the elegant fashion of the 1900s, only to find her reflection vanish upon turning around. This phantom presence, a story etched across decades, continues to perplex and intrigue.

Whispers of the crying child echoing down the hallways is a haunting melody that defies explanation. Yet, as guests follow the ethereal echoes, they find no trace of the source, leaving the mystery of the crying child shrouded in uncertainty.

A suave gentleman, attired in the garb of a bygone era, weaves in and out of sight within the hotel’s grand lobby and corridors. His sudden appearances and vanishing acts mirror the intrigue of days long past, evoking the charm of the early 20th century.

Within these walls, some have felt the sudden chill of inexplicable cold spots, even in rooms untouched by drafts. Others speak of intangible touches and the uncanny sensation of being observed—a spectral brush with the unknown that leaves shivers in its wake.

As dusk settles and shadows grow longer, The Westin St. Francis reveals a side that transcends the ordinary, beckoning those with a taste for the mysterious to delve into its history of ghostly encounters.

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Haunted Hotels in Central California

The Groveland Hotel Haunted Hotels in California

The Groveland Hotel

18767 Main St, Groveland, CA 95321

Brief History

Nestled in the picturesque embrace of Groveland, a quaint town adjacent to the breathtaking Yosemite National Park, stands The Groveland Hotel. With its origins deeply rooted in the fervor of the Gold Rush era, this charming establishment wears its history like a badge of honor. However, beyond its inviting façade and cozy interiors, whispers of an otherworldly presence have added a layer of intrigue to its story.

Dating back to the feverish days of the California Gold Rush, The Groveland Hotel emerged as a haven for prospectors seeking fortune in the nearby foothills. Over the years, the hotel’s walls have borne witness to the tales of countless souls who traversed through this rustic threshold in pursuit of dreams. The creaking wooden floors and antique furnishings carry the echoes of those who once roamed its corridors.


Lyle, a former owner of the hotel, is often described as a playful and mischievous spirit who delights in pranks and interactions with guests. His presence is said to be felt in various parts of the hotel, from the lobby to the guest rooms. Some guests have reported unexplained noises, footsteps, and even the sensation of being watched when no one else is around. Lyle’s playful antics often involve moving objects, turning lights on and off, and creating an overall atmosphere of intrigue.

In addition to Lyle’s presence, some guests have reported encountering the apparitions of children throughout the hotel. Laughter and faint giggles have been heard echoing through the hallways, even when no children are present.

One of the most haunted spots in the Groveland Hotel is Room 15. Guests who have stayed in this room have reported unusual occurrences, such as the feeling of an unseen presence, strange noises, and unexplained cold spots. Some have even claimed to see the ghostly figure of a man standing at the foot of the bed. This figure is often associated with Lyle.

The older part of the hotel, known as the Old Wing, seems to be a hotspot for paranormal activity. Guests staying in this area have experienced inexplicable phenomena, including doors opening and closing on their own, unexplained sounds, and a pervasive feeling of unease.

The hotel’s dining room has also been the site of paranormal experiences. Visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices, whispers, and even conversations when the room is empty. The hotel’s courtyard is another area where paranormal activity has been reported. Some guests have felt an inexplicable heaviness in the air and a sense of being watched.

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Santa Maria Inn historic and haunted hotel in California

Santa Maria Inn

801 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454

Brief History

In 1917, the Santa Maria Inn emerged as a testament to the allure and sophistication that California embodied. Since then, this iconic establishment has welcomed an array of travelers, from adventurous wanderers to Hollywood luminaries, each leaving their imprint on its storied halls. Its significance deepened during World War II, offering soldiers a moment of respite and camaraderie amidst the uncertainties of war. As Santa Maria evolved over time, the inn stood as a silent observer, a constant in the face of changing tides.

Today, the Santa Maria Inn stands not only as a historic landmark but also as a nexus of mystery. Amidst its elegant corridors, the enigmatic Room 224 beckons, its spectral tales intertwining with a rich history. The inn’s past and present converge, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its narrative, where threads of history and the supernatural are woven into an intricate tapestry that spans generations.


Room 224 has become synonymous with intrigue, as visitors report a range of eerie experiences. Some claim to have seen shadowy figures moving across the room, while others recount sensing an otherworldly presence watching over them. Yet, the pinnacle of these accounts centers on a mysterious woman who is said to inhabit the room. Clad in antiquated attire, she appears fleetingly before vanishing into the ether, leaving an indelible mark on those fortunate—or perhaps unfortunate—enough to cross her path.

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Haunted Hotels in Southern California

Haunted Hotel in California The Queen Mary Hotel

The Queen Mary

1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802

Brief History

The Queen Mary, once a grand ocean liner, has been permanently docked in Long Beach, California, since 1967 and transformed into a hotel and tourist attraction. Its history spans back to its maiden voyage in 1936 when it was known as a luxurious and opulent vessel, offering transatlantic travel in unparalleled comfort. However, beneath the layers of luxury lies a darker history, with the ship’s service during World War II as a troop transport and later as a haunted attraction contributing to its mystique.

As a floating palace, it hosted celebrities, dignitaries, and travelers crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It was even used to transport Allied soldiers during World War II. After retiring from its maritime service, the Queen Mary found a permanent home in Long Beach, where it underwent restoration to preserve its historical significance. Today, the ship offers guests the opportunity to experience its art deco charm while staying in its transformed cabins and enjoying various onboard amenities.


In the Engine Room a tragic accident claimed the life of a young engineer here, and visitors often report hearing mysterious sounds and seeing ghostly figures in the area. While the ship’s pool area has a history of supernatural encounters. Some claim to have seen the apparition of a young girl in a 1930s-style bathing suit, believed to be the spirit of a girl who tragically drowned.

Stateroom B340 is said to be the most haunted stateroom on the ship. It was reportedly so active with paranormal activity that the Queen Mary’s management chose to close it for some time. It’s said that guests experienced unexplained phenomena and unsettling visions while staying in this room.

Additionally, the entire ships has stories and spirits to explore. Staying on this ship is a wonderful experience whether or not you are into the ghost stories. Check out our other posts for more haunted hotels in Los Angeles.

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Haunted Hotel Del Coronada in California

Hotel Del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

Brief History

The Hotel del Coronado, often referred to as “The Del,” is a historic beachfront hotel located on Coronado Island near San Diego, California. With a history dating back to the late 19th century, this iconic hotel has become known not only for its stunning architecture and luxurious accommodations but also for its reputation as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States.

The Hotel del Coronado opened its doors in 1888 and quickly gained a reputation as a premier seaside resort destination. Its distinctive red-roofed Victorian architecture and picturesque location made it a favorite among the wealthy and famous, including presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries. The hotel played a significant role during various historical periods, such as hosting military personnel during World War II and serving as a backdrop for Hollywood films.


Perhaps the most famous ghost associated with the hotel is Kate Morgan. In 1892, Kate checked into the hotel under an assumed name and later tragically died on a staircase leading to the beach. Her death was officially ruled a suicide, but there has been ongoing speculation and mystery surrounding the circumstances. Kate’s spirit is said to linger in the hotel, with reports of cold spots, flickering lights, and sightings of a woman in Victorian clothing. Her presence is so enduring that she has become a central figure in the hotel’s lore.

Room 3327 is often noted for its particularly strong paranormal activity. Guests have reported unusual occurrences like lights turning on and off by themselves, objects moving, and the feeling of being watched. Some attribute these phenomena to Kate Morgan’s spirit.

See our post for more haunted hotels in San Diego.

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That’s A Wrap!

California’s haunted hotels is a curious blend of history, mystery, and the supernatural awaits families seeking a unique and captivating getaway. From the opulent corridors of The Queen Mary to the sunlit shores of Hotel del Coronado, these hotels offer an experience that goes beyond the ordinary. With their rich histories, storied pasts, and tales of ghostly encounters, these accommodations invite families to embark on a journey where the past and present intertwine, igniting imaginations and sparking conversations that span generations.

Whether you’re captivated by the echoes of the past, intrigued by spectral stories, or simply seeking an unforgettable adventure, these haunted hotels beckon you to explore a world where the boundaries between reality and the unknown blur into one unforgettable, and perhaps slightly eerie, experience.

Explore more haunted places in California as well as across America in some of best towns to visit during Halloween.

Check out more destinations and haunted hotels:

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

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I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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