America’s Most Haunted Hotels is the second book by Jamie Davis Whitmer. It details visits the author and her husband have made to some of the most haunted hotels in the US.
With chapters dedicated to The Myrtles Plantation, the Queen Mary, the Copper Queen the Kehoe House, the Copper Queen, the Crescent Hotel, the Jerome Grand Hotel, the Farnsworth House Inn, the Lemp Mansion, the Stanley Hotel, and the Palmer House Hotel, the author has traveled across the US conducting investigations.
The author does state that at the time of her visits, some of the hotels were occupied, and some weren’t. This statement allows for some wiggle room in claims, predominantly in the EVP (Electric Voice Phenomenon) realm. She also clarifies that when she does EVP sessions, she keeps them short because it’s easier for her to hear and understand responses. However, she does also state that she and her husband clear themselves before going into a haunted location and explicitly state that they only want to contact beings on the same positive wavelengths as them. The first part is great. Allowing a person who is interested in investigating a location know ahead of time that your EVP’s and personal experiences could have been corrupted by other living beings is important. As is knowing that ghosts aren’t like a carnival ride. You can’t go in expecting them to perform for you, they either will or they won’t. You can’t expect hauntings to be handed to you.
There are nice descriptions of the different hotels, the decor, and of the first impressions of the author. There is also a blurb at the end of each chapter detailing the location, contact information, and website (if available) for each hotel, as well as a few suggestions of other places to visit in the area.
On the other hand, much of the stories the author passes along from each hotel is rehashed from stories told on the ghost tours of the location, or from other paranormal researchers visits. There is some good research thrown in, mostly about the history of the buildings, the families that lived there, and some geology. But the ghost stories are the same ones that have been passed around. And some of the research is flat out false. The claims that the Stanley Hotel is built on soil heavily laden with quartz has been proven false by the USGS. And proven before the book was published. That was a touch disappointing, as I’d hoped that maybe that falsehood could be put to rest.
Taken as a personal account of someone who has read all the ghost stories about a location, gone on the haunted tours, and then conducted some research of their own, America’s Most Haunted Hotels isn’t bad. But it is just that, a personal account. There are things that happen that the author can’t explain, and that the conditions don’t account for, but some seem to be a touch overhyped by the author. It’s not a book for everyone, but for a very casual investigator with money to spend staying at some very luxurious hotels, America’s Most Haunted Hotels makes a pretty good little guidebook of where to visit.
I did receive an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
America’s Most Haunted Hotels: Checking In with Uninvited Guests
Jamie Davis Whitmer
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (October 8, 2016)
Robin is a semi-coherent, almost sentient being. She has some strange ideas, and some even stranger friends. Disabled, queer, agnostic, accident-prone & other adjectives.
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