The hotel sits on the site of a previous hotel—The Reed. It was built in 1891. Only three days after the hotel opened, the first death occurred there. Mr. William Steele, the brother-in-law of one of the owners, was found dead in his bed, due to tuberculosis. Mr. Steele’s presence may be one of many felt at the hotel.
In September, 1921, a cook, Asuki Nakano, fell to his death in the elevator shaft. It’s believed that he called the elevator, and when the doors opened, stepped in without looking. Unfortunately, the elevator car hadn’t arrived and he fell three floors. The Reed was demolished in 1926, but the elevator at the Ben Lomond has long been considered haunted. It’s said to operate on its own, moving from floor to floor without any human intervention.
In 1927, a new hotel, The Bigelow, was built on the site.
Just two years later, Edward Spelman, a guest staying there, was killed after he was supposedly found attacking another guest’s wife.
Marriner S. Eccles purchased the hotel in 1933 and changed its name to Ben Lomond.
In 1939, two men arrived at the hotel and asked to be taken to the top floor. The walked down the south hallway, opened the window and leaped to their deaths.
Two other deaths may have occurred on the 11th floor, though they’re not substantiated. It’s said that a woman drowned in the bathtub of room 1102 on her honeymoon night. Guests have reported the tub faucet turning on by itself, and feel a scary presence in the room. Soon after the woman’s death, her adult son came to the hotel to collect his mother’s things. He stayed in the adjoining room, 1101. It’s rumored that he was so distraught be her death that he committed suicide there. Visitors report hearing voices, feeling cold spots and some report seeing the ghost himself.
In 1976, Henry Topping, Jr, the hotel clerk, was found dead on the floor of the lobby, in a pool of blood. He had been brutally attacked and stabbed 44 times.
While most of the reported encounters with ghost occur on the 11th floor, guest also report seeing apparitions, hearing voices and feeling cold spots or things brushing against them throughout the hotel. The hotel’s Facebook page doesn’t mention its historical ghosts, but it does provide this actual photo of a real ghost, taken in October, 2010. Thus far, it's the only proof of the Ben Lomond hauntings.