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5 of the Most Haunted Places in America To Find Interior Millwork Inspiration. An Unusually Fun Way to Get in To The “Spirit” of Architectural Mouldings

Posted by Duane Coleman on

The Historic Menger Hotel

By Amy Williams, Sales Manager, White River Hardwoods

1. The Historic Menger Hotel – San Antonio, TX

Steps from the Alamo, the historic Menger Hotel reigns as the oldest, continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi and is host to generations of guests who take pleasure in its museum-worthy furnishings and architectural grandeur. The Menger is widely known as the “most haunted hotel in Texas,” with a reported 32 ghosts, with claims that President Teddy Roosevelt is the most famous of them all.

The Menger is the very hotel where Roosevelt would persuade bar patrons to join his Rough Riders in battle, during the Spanish American War. Several guests have reported seeing his apparition having a drink at the bar. Another ghostly presence is Sallie White, a maid who had worked at the hotel. Sallie is often seen strolling around on the third floor, carrying linens and cleaning, as if she’s working a normal day. The magnificent multi-level foyer features Corinthian Columns, Ornamental Cartouches, and Modillion Block and Dentil details. The dining room is punctuated with bold arched openings and prominent casing and corbel details. Of course, every room at the Menger flaunts it’s splendor, it’s Texas!

Menger Hotel - Foyer

Menger Hotel – Dining room


2. The Historic Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, CO

The Historic Stanley Hotel, set near the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, has been labeled one of the most haunted places in America. There’s nothing quite like hearing, “Here’s Johnny!” to give you the chills, but in fact, the hotel was reported haunted long before Stephen King’s “The Shining” was filmed there. Hotel staff and visitors have reported tugging on their clothing, orbs of light, loud crying voices, footsteps in hallways and other peculiar activities. The original owners, Freelan Stanley and his wife have been seen many times dressed in formal clothing on main staircase and a ghost of small child, playing in the lobby.

Despite its eerie reputation, the Stanley has quite a bit of magnificent interior woodworks full of warmth and nostalgia. The main lobby has a decorative beamed ceiling to compliment the massive windows, a prominent mantel and reception desk with carving onlays, fluted columns, and decorative crown moulding.  

Stanley Hotel - Lobby

Stanley Hotel - Lobby


3. William Kehoe House, Savannah, GA

Savannah, Georgia, is known for her unique and historic architectural treasures, from Colonial to Gothic Revival, to the gingerbread ornament of the Victorian period. Savannah is also widely known as one of the most paranormal cities in the U.S. and is a hot spot for tourists looking to get their ghost hunt on. One must-see haunt is the elegant, Queen Ann brick mansion, The Kehoe House.  

The mansion that was built in 1892 as a family home for prominent businessman, William Kehoe, his wife and their 10 children, but then sadly became shrouded in mystery and tragedy. Many of the spirits are said to be living in this grand mansion are that of children, most likely Kehoe children. The story goes that Kehoe’s twin boys who were playing in the chimney, got trapped and subsequently never escaped. Kehoe’s heirs sold the house in 1930 and following the sale, the house was used as a funeral parlor and for a time was residence to New York Jets football star, Joe Namath. Now a lovely bed and breakfast, guests report the sounds of children’s laughter and feel as if kissing on their cheek and touching their hand, lights go on and off and other mysterious happenings. A few features to love about this house are the front doors with wood carvings and embellishments, paneled walls, generous window casings, mantels throughout and the shapely staircase.

Kehoe House – Front Door

Kehoe House – Staircase


4. The Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is perhaps the most eccentric and weird story in the history of American residential architecture and construction. Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun tycoon, William Wirt Winchester, began mad construction on the house in 1884 on the “do-or-die instruction” of a medium. Shaken, after the unexpected deaths of her daughter and husband, she reportedly sought the counseling of a medium, who then warned her that the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles, were now out for revenge. The medium advised her to build a home for herself and the spirits, and they’d no longer bother her as-long-as construction never stopped. So then, for 24 hours a day, for 38 years, puzzling interior designs were constructed, resulting in 24,000 square feet of 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms and 9 kitchens. Despite the Escher-like staircases to nowhere, doors that open to solid walls, windows on floors, secret passages and numerous dead ends to confuse the spirits – the details of the millwork, hand-inlaid parquet floors, staircase turnings, and wall panels remain beautifully timeless. I have personally walked this Victorian labyrinth and recommend touring the Winchester house, it should be on the top of everyone’s bucket list! Although the sprawling mansion has a reputation for spirit sightings and haunting happenings, the whimsy maze of 160 chambers is filled with thousands of millwork details worth admiring first-hand.

Winchester House – Great Room

Winchester House – Ornament Detail


5. 1886 Crescent Hotel – Eureka Springs, AR

Eureka Springs, Arkansas is just a short drive North of White River’s Fayetteville facilities. The scenic, narrow, cork-screw highway will lead you to the magnificent and very haunted, Crescent Hotel and Spa. Perched high above the “mystical” Victorian village, this hotel is touted as one of the most glorious and ghostly of them all. This 78-room, luxury bath house retreat was built in 1886 and has been host to a variety of spirits ever since her construction. Sightings of spirits from “Michael” the stonemason who tragically fell during construction, to an assortment of specters who are believe to be the victim patients of malevolent, Dr. Baker who used the Crescent as his hospital and psychiatric ward in the 1930’s to attempt experimental “Cures” and surgeries. Regardless of the ghostly stories, the Crescent’s beauty continues to attract visitors for banquets, weddings and gatherings alike. The unique stone fireplace in the main lobby and beamed ceiling to the geometric paneled walls in the Crystal Dining room, are noteworthy features.

Crescent Hotel - Lobby

Crescent Hotel – Crystal Dining Room


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