Los Angeles, California is one of the most visited cities in the United States, partly due to the excitement and buzz surrounding Hollywood. Here, celebrity sightings are common, but so are ghost sightings – especially in some of the area’s hotels.
1. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
📍Address: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, 90028
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is one of the most famous haunted hotels in the country – second only to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where Stephen King got the inspiration for The Shining.
This iconic hotel is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was financed by a group including Douglas Fairbanks, Sid Grauman, and Mary Pickford.
Part of the reason why this historic hotel is so famous is because of its celebrity appeal. This 12-story hotel was also famously the location of the first Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in the Blossom Room.
There have been many famous guests that have stayed at the hotel since it opened in 1927, including;
- Clark Gable
- Charlie Chaplin
- Marilyn Monroe
- Errol Flynn
- Shirley Temple
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Ernest Hemingway
- Carole Lombard
- Angelina Jolie
- Montgomery Clift
- Frances Farmer
However, the celebrity intrigue and Hollywood appeal aren’t the only reason to visit this historic hotel, which is named after President Theodore Roosevelt.
Guests and hotel employees report ghost stories, such as images of Marilyn Monroe in the full-length mirror in hotel room 1200, where she lived for two years, and Montgomery Clift in room 928. Another popular sighting is the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress named Caroline, and people report cold spots throughout the building.
Even if you’re not a fan of paranormal activity, this iconic hotel is still one of the best (and spookiest) places to stay in Hollywood. The guest rooms are luxurious and exemplify old Hollywood glam, and the food and drinks scene at the hotel is incomparable.
2. Cecil Hotel
📍 Address: 640 S Main St, Los Angeles, 90014
The Cecil Hotel has a morbid and chilling history, making it one of the most famous hotels in the country and a popular spot for ghost hunters.
This hotel was recently reopened as low-income housing in partnership with the Skid Row Housing Trust, but I would be remiss in writing an article about haunted Hollywood hotels and not mention the Cecil Hotel.
At least sixteen people have died at the hotel under various circumstances, including murder and suicide.
The hotel’s most famous victim is Elisa Lam, a young woman who mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night at the hotel and was found a few days later in the hotel’s water tank. Her story was told in the Netflix documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel. The hotel’s reputation even inspired the TV series American Horror Story: Hotel.
3. Millennium Biltmore Hotel
📍 Address: 506 South Grand Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles, 90071
Guests and staff at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel have reported plenty of paranormal activity throughout the hotel’s history, including ghost sightings of a little boy’s spirit, a ghost of a young girl, and the ghost of a nurse.
The hotel is located in downtown Los Angeles, California, and had its grand opening in 1923. It was designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1969.
The Hollywood Roosevelt may have been the first host of the first Oscars ceremony, but the Millennium Biltmore also hosted the awards ceremony from 1931 to 1942.
One of the reasons the hotel has a reputation for being haunted is that it was the last place Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia, was seen before she was murdered and her mutilated corpse was discovered in January of 1947.
Her murder is one of the most famous unsolved murders in American history. Since then, guests have reported sightings of ghostly figures and mysterious happenings throughout the hotel.
The interior also seems to lend itself to spooky tales. The ceilings are low, the spiral staircases are endless, and objects appear to move by themselves across rooms.
The interior is well known for being the site of some pivotal moments in history. For example, the Emerald Room, which was once used as the primary dining room, was Lyndon B. Johnson’s war room during the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
4. Hotel Figueroa
📍Address: 939 South Figueroa Street, Downtown Los Angeles, 90015
This boutique hotel is fashionable and chic, but don’t let its appearances fool you; Hotel Figueroa is also thought to be one of the most haunted hotels in Los Angeles, likely due to the two murders and suicide that occurred on its premises.
One of the murder victims was Cecilia Oswald, and her body was discovered in one of the rooms after her partner’s confession that he killed her because he “loved her.” Yikes!
Guests have reported televisions being turned on by no one in the middle of the night, an uncontrollable elevator, and unexplained sounds coming from hallways and rooms.
However, the Hotel Figueroa isn’t only popular because of its paranormal reputation. The hotel is popular because of its great location in downtown Los Angeles, posh dining, sophisticated hotel rooms, and fascinating activities.
The hotel has just 63 suites, and the property includes a secret passageway, private balconies, and lots of local art.
5. Ace Hotel
📍Address: 929 South Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles, 90015
The Ace Hotel is another stylish boutique hotel in Los Angeles, and it is one of the newer hotels on this list, as it only opened in 2014.
This upscale hotel is in the historic United Artists building in the Broadway Theater District, which is an exciting area with plenty of activities and things to do throughout the year.
The hotel is themed around music, featuring dimly lit rooms equipped with Martin guitars, turntables, and vinyl records. Additionally, the hotel offers a rooftop pool with a bar, an American cuisine restaurant on site, and a coffee counter.
The hotel opened in 2014, but the United Artists building was built in 1927, and the decor is a great combination of industrial and quirk. However, in the years since 1927, some tragedy has occurred on the property, leading many to believe that the building— including the Ace Hotel—is haunted.
In 1942, Lawrence McClellan, who was an accountant at the oil company in the building, opened fire in the building, attempting to kill his boss because he believed he was about to be fired.
His boss didn’t die in the shooting, but McClellan himself was killed due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Another creepy instance occurred at this location in 1895 before the building was even built. According to records from that time, a woman discovered a human leg wrapped in newspaper in the yard of the house that stood where the United Artists building now stands.
After these events, it should come as no surprise that some guests at the Ace Hotel have reported odd sounds and events occurring throughout the hotel, and some have even reported hearing the sound of gunshots as if Lawrence McClellan never left.
6. Chateau Marmont
📍Address: 8221 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, 90046
The Chateau Marmont is another famous luxury hotel in Los Angeles, known for being haunted.
This hotel, which is located on Sunset Boulevard, was completed in 1929 and is modelled after the Chateau d’Amboise, which is a vacation home for royalty in France.
The Chateau Marmont is well known for being the long-term residence for many celebrities, which has made it the site of many parties, affairs, and scandals. Unfortunately, these scandals often ended up in tragedy.
In the 1980s, comedian John Belushi died in the hotel from an overdose, and since then, hotel guests have reported seeing sightings of a man resembling him. One of these reported sightings came from a little boy who had no idea who John Belushi was.
Another famous ghost story in the Chateau Marmont is that of Helmut Newton, who was a photographer who died in a car accident on hotel premises in 2004. Since his untimely death, guests and hotel staff have reported hearing camera clicking and visions of Helmut.
Guests today can enjoy decadent oriental rugs, velvet couches, brass candelabras, and an overall brooding atmosphere, as well as the joy of taking part in the hotel’s rich history and the possibility of ghost sightings.
7. Stillwell Hotel
📍 Address: 838 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, 90017
While many of the hotels on this list are historic or luxury hotels, this one is not – instead, it’s a two-star dated hotel located in downtown Los Angeles, just a short distance from Grand Hope Park and the Historic District of Los Angeles.
This hotel is also conveniently located near some of LA’s biggest tourist attractions, including the Staples Center, Macy’s Plaza, and the Grammy Museum.
The Stillwell hotel has 250 rooms, all with free Wi-Fi and a safe. They also offer laundry facilities, parking, and an onsite restaurant and bar. The on-site bar, Hank’s it’s the reason why this hotel has a reputation for being haunted. According to the staff at this dive bar, the old owner Hank Holzer still makes appearances throughout the property, even though he died in 1998.
8. Hotel Normandie
📍 Address: 605 S Normandie Ave, Los Angeles, 90005
Located in Los Angeles’s Koreatown, Hotel Normandie has over eight decades of history and is now considered a landmark of the Los Angeles scene.
The hotel was built in 1936 by architects Walker and Elsen, and though it has since gone through a multi-million dollar renovation, it still maintains its Spanish Colonial and Renaissance Revival accents throughout the property.
Today, the hotel is known for its daily wine reception, which allows guests to enjoy various white, red, and sparkling rose wines. People also appreciate that the hotel is pet friendly and even offers various amenities for dogs.
There have been many famous guests throughout the hotel’s history, including English author Malcolm Lowry and H.F. Bruner. It’s unclear why this hotel is home to so many ghost sightings and reports of unsettling feelings because there are no famous stories of deaths in the hotel. Nevertheless, guests repeatedly say that they feel unsettled and often spot shadowy figures moving around during their stay at the Normandie.
9. The Georgian Hotel
📍 Address: 1415 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, 90401
Located in Santa Monica, just a short drive from Hollywood is the Georgian Hotel. This hotel was built in 1933 and was meant to be dedicated to the Los Angeles elite.
During the prohibition era, the Georgian famously became home to a well-attended speakeasy, and many Hollywood executives and celebrities began to go there to escape the public eye.
Two of the most famous guests were Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Many famous musicians performed on the oceanfront veranda, including Bugsy Siegel and Fatty Arbuckle.
In 2000, the hotel was renovated to include more guest rooms and meeting facilities, but it still attracts famous guests, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert DeNiro. Apparently, it also attracts ghosts. In the speakeasy restaurant on site, staff and guests have shared stories of loud noises, disembodied voices, and the sound of footsteps.
10. Beverly Wilshire
📍 Address: 9500 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, 90212
The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is most famous for being the “Pretty Woman” hotel, thanks to its part in the film Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
It has hosted some very distinguished guests throughout the years, including President Barack Obama, John Lennon, and Elvis Presley.
However, according to Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn, the hotel is haunted. She claims that there was an older blonde woman who haunted the hotel while she was staying there in 2020, and she isn’t the only one to report seeing ghosts at this iconic location.
11. Beverly Hills Plaza Hotel & Spa
📍 Address: 10300 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles 90024
Located on Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of Beverly Hills just a short drive from Hollywood is the Beverly Hills Plaza Hotel & Spa. This hotel is situated conveniently close to Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle.
In 2010, famous publicist Ronni Chasen died in a hit-and-run on Linden and Whittier, which is just one of many tragedies that occurred in this part of Los Angeles County. Here are some other incidents in this area that contribute to it being one of the creepiest and most haunted places in Los Angeles:
- In 1966, William Jan Berry was put into a months-long coma after a car accident at the intersection.
- Mobster Bugsy Siegel was assassinated in a home across the street from the intersection.
- Howard Hughes crashed a plane into a house at the intersection.
12. The Queen Mary
📍Address: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States
The Queen Mary ship-turned-hotel is located a couple of miles away from Hollywood in Long Beach. The ship was christened in 1934 by Queen Mary, and it sailed the seas for three decades before it was retired from ship life and converted into a hotel.
Supposedly, spirits haunt various places on board the ship, and the stories are so well-known that the hotel even offers ghost tours so visitors can know about the spooky history of the hotel.
The most haunted room is Stateroom B340, where Queen Mary’s most famous ghost, Walter J. Adamson, died in the room. Later, a woman who stayed in the room claimed her covers were pulled off her body by a man standing next to the bed, who then vanished.
Another famously haunted room is the Mayfair Room, which was once the ship’s beauty salon but is now hotel offices. In 2001, one of the staff members reported feeling unusually cold and then claimed to see a ghost walk across the room.
13. Hotel Alexandria
📍 Address: 501 S Spring St, Los Angeles 90013
This is another location that is no longer accepting guests as a hotel but has been converted into housing, is Hotel Alexandria. Despite no longer accepting guests this properties haunted history is still worth noting. The building was designed by John B. Parkinson in the 1800s and was constructed by Albert Bilicke and Robert Arnold Rowan in downtown Los Angeles.
Bilicke died on the Lusitania, and Rowan died shortly after. Soon, their widows sold the hotel to the owners of the Ambassador Hotel. It was an extremely successful hotel for many years until the Millennium Biltmore Hotel opened three blocks away and took away a lot of business.
Since its opening, residents and guests have reported weird and inexplicable occurrences happening throughout the property. One famous example of the oddness of Hotel Alexandria is that one wing was completely sealed off for 75 years, and no one knows why.
Many floors of the hotel are known for suspicious activity, including the basement, the second floor, and the 11th and 12th floors. Another of the most well-known haunted hot spots within the property is the Palm Court on the second floor. This room was once the grand ballroom, and now it is a performing arts centre. Some reports throughout the years include a sighting of a teenage girl, odd headaches, and the image of a woman appearing in mirrors.
Los Angeles Travel Planning Guide
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Los Angeles?
Yes, you should definitely buy travel insurance for any vacation to Los Angeles. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Trip to Los Angeles?
Whether you’ll want a rental car in Los Angeles will really depend on how long you’re visiting for and where you plan to go during your trip. The traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously crazy, yet, public transport is still somewhat limited.
If you do decide to hire a car in Los Angeles, then I’d recommend using Discover Cars to find the best car rental deals.
🏨 Where to Stay in Los Angeles?
The best place to stay in Los Angeles will really depend on what you plan to do most during your trip. If you’re planning to visit Disneyland, for example, then staying in a hotel in Anaheim is likely going to be best.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on exploring the city and visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, then I’d recommend Loews Hollywood.
If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury during your trip to LA, then a hotel in Beverly Hills is a great choice. However, if you’re looking for more of a beach vacation, then consider a hotel at Newport Beach.