cover image America’s Most Haunted Hotels

America’s Most Haunted Hotels

Jamie Davis Whitmer, with Robert Whitmer. Llewellyn, $16.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-7387-4800-9

In this combination of travel guide and paranormal investigation, Whitmer (Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums) seeks out 10 hotels associated with hauntings and ghost stories, in order to investigate the veracity of these claims, make contact with the resident spirits where possible, and offer up her experiences for the interested traveler. As she checks into spirit-infested locations such as the Stanley Hotel in Colorado (inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining), the ocean liner-turned-hotel Queen Mary, and Arizona’s Jerome Grand Hotel, Whitmer brings a balanced approach to her research, taking the resident ghost tours where provided before conducting her own examinations. She interviews the locals to get the gist of the history and the legends, thus giving the reader an overview of what to expect with each site, be it crying children or the supposed spirit of novelist Sinclair Lewis. “I am relating my true paranormal experiences to you,” she claims, explaining that while she has never been chased by monsters or evil dolls, “there were real things that happened, nonetheless. Some of them cannot be explained away.” Though readers must decide just how much to believe in Whitmer’s accounts of ghostly contact, everyone can enjoy the more straightforward travelogue aspects of the book, which provide handy contact information for the hotels and potential itineraries as part of its overview. Perhaps it’ll help you plan your next trip. (Oct.)