Think You Have What It Takes to Hang at This Haunted Indiana Hotel?
If you’re looking for an eventful and not-so-restful overnight stay, the haunted French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana is just the hotel for you. If you’re willing to take a paranormal risk, you might as well do it in a world-class resort equipped with two spas, three golf courses, fine dining, and a casino. This historic establishment, part of the much larger French Lick Resort Casino complex as it’s known today, was built in the late 19th century and hosted bigwigs such as Al Capone, Bob Hope, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Duke Ellington.
Despite the big names that have frequently stayed here and the luxurious experience the hotel offers, much of its popularity stems from its reported paranormal activity. While we can’t blame the ghosts for sticking around such a beautiful property, we can explore the history of the building and share its ghoulish tales.
The Story Behind the French Lick
The hotel was built in 1845 by Dr. William Bowles and owned by Thomas Taggart. At the time, the property was a great symbol of progress and growth for the southern Indiana region. Over the years, the French Lick kept luxury at the forefront with additions like a golf course, custom road trolleys to transport guests, and a soothing spa.
Unfortunately, the French Lick has also weathered rough times, including the stock market crash, structural failures in areas of the building, and tragedies to both staff and guests. Like most hauntings, these tragedies are believed to be the source of the haunted spirits that roam the grounds to this day.
The Ghosts Who Haunt the Halls
According to reports, Taggart remains as dedicated to the French Lick now as he was back in 1845. His spirit is rumored to be haunting the service elevator, where guests and employees claim that they've seen unexplained mists or unexpectedly smelled Taggart’s tobacco. The elevator has also been reported to run between floors in the middle of the night when no one is using it. But that isn't the only spot the former owner visits.
Taggart was known for riding his horse into the ballroom during the many parties he threw at the hotel, and some say they’ve heard the sound of a horse trotting down the hall. Staff members also claim that they can hear the voices of ghostly guests throwing a party in the ballroom, and they receive calls from empty rooms in the middle of the night.
Taggart is not alone in spooking hotel residents. Housekeepers occasionally find blood-red stains in a bathtub used by a jilted bride to commit suicide. On the sixth floor, there are unexplained cold spots, prowling shadows, phantom footsteps, and spectral laughter. Oh, and snap a picture of the bellhop stand if you feel a prickling at the back of your neck. You may be rewarded with the ghostly image of a former bellhop, still at his post.
The French Lick Resort is a peculiar haunted place as its ghosts seem more interested in helping guests than haunting them, and much of the strange activity can’t be accounted for. Regardless, if you’re looking for a fun night out on Halloween, or simply want to entertain your clients after a long day of viewings, The French Lick Resort has plenty of amenities to offer guests, both living and dead.
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*Hero image provided by Historical Hotels of America