Flanked by a lake and an amusement park, this is not your usual summer getaway.
The History: While Hotel Conneaut, itself, wasn’t constructed until 1902, its roots lie in a previous hotel built in 1893 along the shores of Conneaut Lake. As the area began to prosper and grow, a need for a larger and grander hotel was felt in the area. The original 1893 hotel was demolished to make way for the new hotel. A single wing of the hotel was left as part of Hotel Conneaut, and it is still there to this day. At the time, the 150-room hotel rented rooms for $1 a day. In 1925, 150 more rooms were added as well as a Crystal Ballroom. In 1943, the hotel was struck by lightning, damaging nearly half the hotel. Today, it is the only remaining functioning hotel along Conneaut Lake and offers guests beautiful views, charming hospitality, and over a century of history.
The Haunting: Ghost stories surrounding the hotel find their origins from the 1943 lightning strike that destroyed much of the hotel. According to legend, a young woman named Elizabeth and her husband checked into the hotel to celebrate their honeymoon. The night of the storm, Elizabeth’s husband made it out of the building safely, but Elizabeth was tragically trapped inside. Today, people report hearing the voice of a female both audibly as well as in the form of EVPs. If you’re feeling particularly brave, room 321/323 is said to be the most haunted in the entire building, home to restless spirits and some non-human entities. Photos have been captured as well as EVPs and the staff have seen a little boy so often, they recognize him… and he even recognizes them. The hotel is so active, Ghosts N’at offers ghost hunts throughout the year, especially around Halloween and their Valentine’s Day weekend event.
Hotel Conneaut may not be much to look at, but it’s buzzing with activity–and that activity is stirred up by the Ghosts N’at crew coming in on a somewhat regular basis. The halls are like a labyrinth where you can very easily get lost, and the staff is ready and willing to talk about their incredible experiences. When checking in, request a room on the third floor–it’s said to be the most active. You can experience Hotel Conneaut by yourself. However, I highly recommend visiting it at least once with the Ghosts N’at crew. They’ve been visiting the hotel for years, and you can’t help but think the spirits are comfortable with them, the amount of evidence captured in a single evening was astounding. Intelligent responses in EVPS with both voices and loud knocks. They have access to equipment that you may not have (I’m hardcore after one of their Panasonic DR 60s…), and it heightens the already active hotel… so much so, that it might be hard to fall asleep after your hunt.
Like I said previously, Hotel Conneaut is not much to look at: she’s over 100 years old, and she is tired. The rooms are a bit run down, and it definitely has an “old fashioned” feel. Personally, I love old-timey hotels, so this didn’t bother me (not to mention we were on the third floor, overlooking the lake, directly across one of the more haunted areas in the hotel). But there were others in the hotel that needed to switch their room due to issues with their rooms. If you’re looking for a newly refurbished, high-end hotel with elegance and every amenity you can imagine, Hotel Conneaut is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a unique hotel with a gorgeous backdrop, a full-service bar in the lobby, and a whole lot of history (haunted or otherwise), give Conneaut a shot. I visited just before the holidays, and the lobby and fireside room were decorated for Christmas, which definitely upped the charm factor.
Type of Experience: Hotel
Price Range: $75-285 per night
Address: The Hotel Conneaut, 12241 Lake St., Conneaut Lake, PA. 16316
Phone Number: (814) 573-7747
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