Biltmore Hotel Providence Haunted

Whether the Biltmore Hotel Providence is haunted or not is a question asked by many. The hotel certainly has some strange stories connected with it as well as inspiring some very noteworthy ones.

But are there really ghosts walking the floors of the building?  Here we look at the stories associated with the Biltmore Hotel and perhaps inspire you to visit the place yourself.

History of the Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel opened in 1922 as part of the chain of hotels of the same name. 

It is located at 11 Dorrance Street in downtown Providence, on the south corner of the Kennedy Plaza.  The building is a Beaux-arts style building and was created by the same company that designed the Grand Central Terminal in New York, Warren and Wetmore.  

Until the Industrial Tower was built six years later, the Biltmore held the record as the second highest building in Providence and even today is still the 9th highest.  It also held the record for 71 years of being the largest hotel in the city, until the Omni Providence Hotel opened in 1993.

For a period of time, the hotel was owned by the Sheraton group and during that period, it was flooded during Hurricane Carol.  Water reached eight feet in the lobby and there is a plaque today to commemorate the event.

Famous connections

The hotel has been the inspiration for a number of people when creating spooky or haunted hotels.  Perhaps the most famous is the Overlook Hotel, in the Stephen King novel The Shining which was said to be inspired by the Biltmore.  It was also the inspiration for the Bates Motel created by Robert Bloch.  

From its very beginnings, the hotel has strange connections.  The financier of the original project was a practising Satanist called Johan Leisse Weisskopf who wanted the hotel to help learn New Englanders about his religion!  There was a chicken coop installed on the roof for weekly sacrifices while the nude waitresses of the Bacchante Dining Room saw famous names such as Douglas Fairbanks and Louis Armstrong dining there.

During Prohibition, the Biltmore was the place to go to get drunk, thought the whole state was the least likely to follow the new laws.  Government officials and the police freely drank at the hotel and this might be why six officers were implicated in a series of eight murders in the hotel from 1920 to 1933.  Also involved were a governor, a mayor and a cardinal, involved with the drowning of an eleven-year-old prostitute in the bathtub.

Ghosts of the hotel

All of this makes it totally unsurprising that the hotel has plenty of ghosts associated with it.  According to experts who have studied the case, it also has a surprisingly high number of good quality sightings that are believed to be real – as high as 25%.

One of the main ghosts to occupy the hotel is a financier who lost all of his money in the Depression in 1929.  He was staying in a room on the 14th floor when he received the news that he was effectively broke and was so overwhelmed by it that he threw himself out of the window.  His ghost doesn’t just haunt the room in which he was staying but seems to enjoy wandering through all of the rooms he passed during his fall.  Guests staying in these rooms have reported seeing someone fall past the window but never a body on the street when they rush over to look.

Other ghosts are believed to be the spirits of those murdered in the hotel during the 1920s and 1930s.  Raucous parties are heard as well as laughter and people are seen dancing – none of whom are present.  There are even stories of people vanishing from the hotel while staying there.