Hotel Monteleone Haunted

New Orleans has no shortage of haunted locations and plenty of them are hotels. But at the top of the list for places to stay and do a spot of ghost watching at the same time is the Hotel Monteleone.

This historic building stands in the French Quarter of the city and is one of the last family-operated grand hotels in the city.

History of the hotel

The hotel was founded by Antonio Monteleone who was a successful shoe factory owner and nobleman from Sicily.  Hearing much about America, he decided to move there and arrived in New Orleans in 1880.  He opened a cobbler’s shop on Royal Street and in 1886 he bought a 64 room French Quarter hotel on the corner of Royal and Iberville.  

The hotel has gradually grown since then, with 30 rooms being added in 1903 and a huge extension of 300 rooms in 1908.  At this point it changed its name from the Commercial Hotel to Hotel Monteleone.  Today the hotel even has a sky terrace with cocktail lounges and swimming pools as well as dining rooms, ballrooms and many bedrooms.

Maurice Begere

In the late 1880s, a family came to stay at the Hotel Monteleone called the Begeres.  Jacques and his wife Josephine were accompanied by their son Maurice.  The couple loved to attend the French Opera House while Maurice was left in the care of a nanny.  Unfortunately, one night while they were out, Maurice had convulsions and died.  Both parents were distraught and Josephine returned each year to the hotel, seeking the ghost of their son.  One night on the 14th floor (actually the 13th floor), Maurice appeared to his mother in the room he had died.  He told his crying mother that he was fine and that she shouldn’t cry.  She fell asleep, finally comforted.

But other guests have since seen the ghost of the boy.  One regular was relaxing in bed when she looked up to see a boy of three standing at the foot of the bed.  She thought her departed husband has left the door open for the child to wander in but when checking, the door was locked.

courtesy Hotel Monteleone website

This photo supposedly shows a ghostly presence at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.

Other spirits

The International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days investigating the hauntings of the hotel in March 2003.  Their team made contact with over a dozen different spirits including that of a former employee called William ‘Red’ Wildemere who died of natural causes within the hotel.  They also encountered the ghost of Maurice Begere.

Another story comes from a visitor to the hotel in 2014.  The couple and their two daughters experienced strange activity in the elevator which would consistently stop on the 14th floor, despite the button not being pressed and no-one calling it.  The mother tried the elevator without the girls and it performed normally but as soon as one of the daughters were present, it stopped on the 14th floor.  Perhaps young Maurice was looking for someone to play with?

The grandfather clock in the reception is also said to be haunted by the clock maker, who face can sometimes been seen in its glass.  Other stories include jazz singers playing in the lobby when no-one is there and a lost child who asks for guest’s hands before vanishing.