December 13, 2013

Ben Lomond Hotel - Utah's Haunted Hotel

Happy Friday the 13th! I thought I would share with you a little bit about a haunted location about 45 minutes from my home, since the subject is quite appropriate for the occasion.

There are some stories about haunted hotels in the state of Utah, although they're not as common as in some states (specifically Pennsylvania with all the crazy activity in Gettysburg). We do have one haunted hotel that is breathtakingly beautiful and offers tremendous amenities. I'm talking about Ben Lomond Hotel in downtown Ogden.

I've spent quite a bit of time in Ogden and actually really like it up there. The mountains are simply amazing (as the are here) and the city sits on the edge of some of the most rugged and beautiful forests around. In any case, Ben Lomond Hotel, which was originally called the Bigelow when it was first constructed in 1927, is built in a unique architectural style for Utah, called Italian Renaissance Revival. As you can see from the pictures, the building is a work of art.

How could something so beautiful be highly haunted? To start, Ogden has a pretty colorful past. Most people don't know that the downtown area actually has a series of "catacombs" that run under the streets. These tunnels allowed organized crime in the city to move drugs, alcohol and prostitutes around without detection. Supposedly this tunnel system connects up to Ben Lomond Hotel. While debatable, many claim that Al Capone himself stayed at the hotel more than  a few times. During his stays, the famous gangster supposedly ordered the deaths of certain people, which was carried out in the basement of the hotel.

There are other stories of deaths in the hotel, although I haven't looked to substantiate any of them. One of the most tragic is the story of a mother during WWII who arrived in Ogden to greet her soldier son on his return from the front. The only problem was he returned in a pine box. The stories say the mother committed suicide in the hotel.

Quite a few rooms are said to be haunted, including 212 and 1010. The elevator also has been said to have a mind of its own. The hotel has picked up quite the reputation, with the famous haunted hotels writer Francis Kermeen even featuring the hotel in one of her most popular books.

Workers and guests have claimed that they have heard phantom noises, smelled phantom perfume, seen full-bodied apparitions, been touched by unseen forces and even pushed so hard they have almost fallen over.

I have yet to stay in the hotel, but I have considered taking a vacation there for the experience. Even if nothing happens at the hotel, I would surely enjoy the amazing architecture and service. Plus the hotel has a MacCool's restaurant in it, which is one of my more favorite places to go here in Utah. You can check out the hotel and even book a room by clicking here.

If you do decide to spend the night here, I would love to hear about anything you experience.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You need to request either room 212 or 1010 and see what happens!

Arlee Bird said...

Looks like a very cool place. I wouldn't mind staying there, but my wife doesn't like staying in older hotels.

I've stayed in a few establishments that have haunted me after having been there. I'd rather deal with ghosts than nasty housekeeping.

Wrote By Rote

L. Diane Wolfe said...

What a beautiful place! I'd stay there, ghosts or not. It's a photographer's dream.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This will be my number #1 choice to stay if I ever get out to that region of Utah!

VR Barkowski said...

When I think of Utah, Monument Valley and ski slopes come to mind. I would never have expected Renaissance Revival. It's a beautiful hotel, but I wonder if their haunted reputation encourages or discourages guests. Maybe both?

VR Barkowski

Steven said...

Alex, the same thought crossed my mind!

Lee, bad housekeeping probably is more haunting, considering bed bugs and all.

Diane, it is quite the place and is even more beautiful than the pictures I posted.

Dianne, just call me your Utah travel agent :)

VR, like I said, Renaissance Revival isn't very common here. The combined City/County Building in Salt Lake City is done in the same style and it is also quite haunted. Coincidence? As for Ben Lomond, my understanding is the reputation draws people in. I'd stay there, but maybe I'm weird.

Joanna Zobell said...

My husband and I stayed last February. And experienced so creepy things, while talking to the front desk I noticed the elevator doors opening than closing going to the 5th floor than back down to open again while no one was in it, we also smelled a faint sent of perfume inside , at night while I was sleeping I woke up thinking my son was pulling on my arm talking to me I saw some kind of shape like a man wearing a hat bent over me and we also captured an orb flying across my husband's face in a photo!

Steven said...

Joanna, thanks for sharing your experiences! I think I might be making a staycation in Ogden in the near future. At the very least I can go explore the mountains up that way more, but maybe I'll get a front row seat to the events in the hotel.

Unknown said...

Staying 2 nights In the honeymoon suite room 1102 next weekend. One of the hotels most haunted rooms where a bride drowned in the tub. Her husband commits suicide in the next room over rm 1101. Lots of activity in these rooms