Haunted Fenton Hotel

Posted by junketseo in Chicago Ghost Tours
Haunted Fenton Hotel - Photo

Forget about heated pools or fully-equipped fitness rooms. The hottest amenity these days is a mix of horror and the otherworldly. Next time you’re planning a vacation and looking at hotels, you might want to stay at a haunted hotel –– waking up to a ghost whispering in your ear beats getting a call from the front desk! And if you’re traveling around the Great Lake State, we recommend staying at the Fenton Hotel. From ghostly cats to spirits keeping you company downstairs in the restaurant, staying there is never a dull experience.

Allow us to tell you a bit more about this spooky place…

While you’re in Michigan…

“Midwest Nice” doesn’t always apply to ghosts. In fact, some spirits in the Midwest are some of the most vicious, malevolent entities we have ever heard about. Don’t let them dissuade you from checking out a blizzard or hanging out by the lake during the summer, though. Instead, come meet some of these ghosts head-on –– and live to tell the tale.

Michigan has plenty of horror stories and haunted locations, but nearby Illinois also has plenty to offer. The Manteno State Mental Hospital, for example, is one seriously macabre place. It opened its doors in 1930 in an attempt to take pressure off the other crowded mental hospitals in the state, but the place may have done more harm than good. We have heard horrible stories about neglect and abuse if not borderline torture. You can imagine what kind of freaky things they did behind closed doors, especially with experimental treatment programs and people stuck there against their will. Today, visitors feel a chilling presence and can sometimes hear disembodied voices that call out to them in agony and looking for help. Sounds like those doctors in there weren’t very Midwest Nice either!

The Railroads Come to Fenton

The history of the Fenton Hotel is the history of the railroad industry. When the trains came choo-chooing to Fenton in 1856, the hotel was built to help accommodate travelers and visitors. Originally known as the “Fenton House,” the hotel was pretty much at the center of every social scene and gathering at the time it was built. For example, when the telephone was first invented, Fenton was one of the first subscribers in the city. Since then, the hotel has become a beloved destination known for its hospitality and excellent food.

The Fenton has undergone many renovations since the time it was built. In 1904, for example, the porches on the 2nd and 3rd floors came down to make room for further expansion. The noisy construction scared some horses that were kept on the property and they famously ran away, never to be seen again –– maybe for their own good. After everything that happened in that hotel, it was probably for their benefit that they escaped.

As much as the hotel has prospered and seen good fortunes, it has also experienced its fair share of hardships. At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, a combination of the Prohibition Era and the Great Depression forced the hotel to temporarily shut down. After the repeal of Prohibition in the early 1930s, the Fenton once again reopened to a rowdy crowd and boasted an enthusiastic clientele. Shortly thereafter, the construction of U.S. Route 23 right across town revitalized the region and particularly the hotel. Just like in its early days, when the railroad brought people across Fenton back and forth, the new freeway invited a bunch of traffic into the area. It is no surprise that with all those poor souls traveling by, some would choose to stay behind forever…

Why is the Fenton Hotel Considered Haunted?

Everything we have said about the Fenton makes it sound like an ideal travel destination. Good food, convenient location, fun history, right? We haven’t gotten to the dark parts yet, so buckle in.

Countless employees and guests have had all kinds of paranormal encounters at the hotel over the years. For example, a bartender was once in one of the storage rooms getting some liquor when suddenly she realized she wasn’t alone. Standing right under the door was a ghostly figure wearing a top hat and a black coat. The terrified bartender didn’t have time to think; she just ran straight through him –– not even daring to look back. What scared her the most, she said, was that he was practically colorless. He was all black and white but in a very sinister way, exactly the kind of thing you would imagine from nightmares.

But that’s not the tip of the iceberg. For starters, there is the ghost of a woman who is believed to have committed suicide on the property. She can sometimes be seen from the upstairs windows, along with a bearded man who stares back at you very intensely. There is also a suspicious cat who comes and goes, and some believe it is a ghost cat who refuses to leave the hotel. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a man who sometimes sings through the speakers. When the hotel is hosting a performer, this man will sometimes mock them and mimic their singing in a very taunting way  –– as we said, there’s never a dull moment at the Fenton!

Most terrifying of all, however, is a mysterious ghost who hangs out in the dining room. Some people have seen him eating things that resemble human flesh and blood. According to the rumors, this sinister figure is known for ordering a drink and disappearing as soon as the waiter comes back with his order –– almost as if dipping on the check!

No Playing at the Dinner Table

In case you didn’t notice, the dining room is one of the most haunted spots in the hotel, and not just because of the man who sings through the speakers or the guest who sits down for his ghostly dinner.

There is some kind of entity or spirit in the dining room that likes to slap waitresses’ butts. We don’t know who it is or what it wants other than it acts very inappropriately. Many waitresses have reported feeling a firm hand on their behind, as well as just general feelings of malaise and being watched. If you stay at the Fenton, you might want just to order take-out instead.

In Short

The only thing better than hotels with live entertainment is a hotel with dead entertainment –– that is, ghosts that will keep you on your toes all night. If that sounds like your type of place, look no further than the Fenton Hotel: from black-and-white figures to unexpected slaps on your butt, there is plenty to surprise you.