Of all the restless spirits said to lurk around Idaho, it seems many of them love to wander the rooms and hallways of some of our state’s most lavish and historic hotels (wouldn’t you?). While each of these historic buildings are magnificent in their own right, if ghostly sightings, paranormal encounters, and spooky history are your thing, these are definitely the places to be (or not be, depending on your spook level).
While not all of these hotels are still active places to stay overnight, many are still local businesses that often still have spirits lurking around. That being said, here are nine of the most haunted hotels in Idaho – sleep at your own risk.
1. Owyhee Plaza Hotel, Boise
For many, the history of the Owyhee Plaza is as old as that of Boise itself. As a cultural cornerstone in the heart of downtown, this multipurpose building has been the source of spooky legends since its inception in 1910 at the hands of architectural geniuses Hummel and Tourtellotte. A century's worth of rumors tell of a spirit particularly haunting the meeting rooms and Room 136, but the plaza's most recent renovation into a series of office spaces, rented apartments, and conference rooms make pinpointing the continued haunts a challenge. Your best chance of spotting a spirit? Renting a loft. But you might just see something spooky dining at the in-house restaurant.
Address: 1109 Main Street, Boise, ID 83702
2. The White Horse Hotel, Saloon & Cafe, Spirit Lake
White Horse Saloon, Grill & Hotel/Facebook
The oldest saloon in the state also operates side by side with one of the oldest hotels in Idaho: the White Horse. This nearly 110-year old Spirit Lake staple has been a fixture of downtown since 1908, but rumors of a spirit haunting the halls--affectionately known as "Big Girl" date back to the 20s. Slamming doors, moving items, apparitions… you can read more about this haunted business
: 6248 W Maine St, Spirit Lake, ID 83869
3. Idaho Hotel, Silver City
Formerly the jewel of Idaho's mining camps during the gold rush days of the late 1800s, Silver City is a rare example of former town that is still intact, and while it has yet to ever truly find itself in the "ghost town" category, it is nevertheless the site of plenty of spooky legends, particularly at the old Idaho Hotel on Jordan Street.
The sagging 1866 wooden structure is a truly unique one that fits perfectly with the landscape. A sense of trespassing, as though one is disturbing a sacred site, hangs heavy in the musty indoor air. Indeed, this rustic hotel is rumored to be full of paranormal activity and has been the site of multiple ghost hunters-type investigations. An overnight stay, and one is left with the chilling thought that visitors might well be inviting the wrath of the gods were they to disturb any object.
4. Enders Hotel & Museum, Soda Springs
This neoclassical building was recently restored to its original 1917 splendor. Originally built for William & Theodore Enders by C.K. Blocker at a cost of $75,000.00, housing a variety of businesses and services, it also operated as a hotel for many years after the original owners remodeled the ballroom into apartments during the 1930s.
Today, this period-furnished antique hotel is also home to a museum on the upper floor, the Geyser View Restaurant and a gift shop. Separated into different time-periods by room, the museum's dark, closed walls and historic knick-knacks lend an eerie feel and multiple orb sightings in the halls have been reported by visitors. Ghostly sightings of a male figure are most commonly reported, rumored to be the victim of a violent murder in the bar.
Address: 76 S Main St. Soda Springs, ID 83276
5. Historic Idanha Hotel, Boise
Completed in 1901, this BoDo landmark has a surprisingly long history. Once operating as a hotel, restaurant, and piano bar (go-go dancers included), the Idanha catered to sophisticated and wealthy visitors from all across the country. Its green and white turrets stick out of the increasingly modern architecture of the city and it’s a hard location to miss.
The Idanha is believed to be haunted by numerous spirits from different times in the building’s history. A bellboy shot dead by a guest in the 1970s is thought to sometimes move the elevator up and down, particularly to the fourth floor of the building where he was killed. A lesser-known ghost on the second floor of the building is believed to be the spirit of a woman who was murdered by her husband with a pair of scissors in the 1920s and who now roams the halls. While you can no longer book a room at Idanha, you can get dinner at the Bombay Grill, grab some delish doughnuts at Guru, or check out the basement gallery.
Address: 928 W Main St, Boise, ID 83702
6. Nezperce Hotel, Nezperce
Tucked away in rural Idaho, the old-fashioned Nezperce Hotel is an overlooked haunted destination that isn't quite as historic as Idaho's more publicized spooky spots. Built in 1915 and restored in 1953, guests have reported blinds rising and falling of their own accord, strange noises, lights turning on and off, and even physical encounters with apparitions.
Address: 603 Fourth Ave. - PO Box 36. Nezperce, ID 83543
7. Jameson Hotel, Wallace
This historic hotel and saloon - now closed - has been the site of numerous apparitions and strange activities over the years, but resident ghost Maggie is the most recognizable face of haunted lore. Maggie was a frequent guest at the hotel in the late 1800s, left behind by a lover who promised to return but never did. They say she waited for him up until her death, and the room in which she stayed is rife with unexplained phenomena: moving objects, lights turning on and off, and even doors locking and unlocking by themselves.
Address: 304 6th St. Wallace, Idaho
8. Roberts Hotel, Roberts
An unlikely spot for ghostly encounters on the outside, the Roberts Hotel stands at over 120 years old and is said to be one of the most haunted locations in all of Idaho - although you won't hear about it much in ghost hunting circles. That's because it's one of southern Idaho's best kept secrets. 17 years ago, Robert and Cheril Berlin bought the abandoned hotel building just outside of Idaho Falls and transformed it into what it is: a totally unique Cajun and Creole-style restaurant, complete with alligators, authentic Louisiana gumbo and crawfish, and wild mardi gras celebrations. Unexpectedly, every year BJ's hosts an annual "ghost show," featuring theatrical portrayals of the many spirits who reside in the hotel.
According to Berlin, spirits of all ages reside in the restaurant, some with more mischievous personalities than others. One of the most well-known spirits is a Chinese man who legend says was a murder victim, killed and locked in a trunk and thrown on an outgoing train. In the middle of the night, you can hear the trunk going down the stairs. Some of the ghosts are more tangible than others as well, while others are only faint outlines - although voices and mysterious orbs are not uncommon either.
Addresss: 655 N 2880 E. Roberts, Idaho
9. University Inn, Gooding
This building was a tuberculosis hospital in its former life, and various attempts to revive and remodel it have taken place over the years including a stint as the Get Inn. Today, the building is a unique inn with dorm-style lodging and game room options in this unique school-inspired space. However, former TB patients, mysterious orb sightings, and a cemetery of numbered, nameless graves nearby all add up to a uniquely spooky environment that in the dead of night can make you shiver inexplicably. Numerous paranormal groups have explored the darkened hallways, and activity is always reported.
Address: 301 University Ave, Gooding, ID 83330
Uniquely, many of these historic buildings have been recently updated, but there are still plenty of mysteries hidden beneath the fresh coats of paint and modern fixtures. The only question is – do you dare pay a visit?