A couple of weeks ago we invited two missionaries over for dinner and the conversation turned to our home and the “extra” folks who live here. The ghosts were very well-behaved and there were no thumps on the stairs or lights going on and off, we just were having polite dinner conversation about dead people. (Well, polite dinner conversation at my house.)
One of the young men turned to me and asked, “Have you ever heard of the Ben Lomond Hotel in Ogden?”
I shook my head. “No, I never have,” I replied.
“It’s haunted,” he said. “My uncle used to work there, and he would never go into the basement of the hotel by himself. Too many things happened to him when he first started working there.”
Well, you know how much I LOVE finding information about haunted hotels. So, I did a quick search on Ben Lomond and was not disappointed.
The website Haunted Rooms.com explains a little of the history of the hotel.
“Legend tells that the hotel was used as a boarding house. During the Prohibition Era, a lot of people came together to make a tunnel which could be used for smuggling alcohol. It was not unusual to find prostitutes and other unscrupulous characters to go in and out of the hotel. One of the most popular ghosts associated with the hotel is that of a mother and son. One incident occurred in room 1102. A lady was spending her honeymoon and at the night of her wedding, she drowned in the tub. Guests who have checked in the room have reported several unusual events. Water in the tub runs by itself and they felt that they were being pushed by an unseen hand.
After his mother died, the bride’s son came to the hotel to collect his mother’s personal belongings. He stayed in the room just beside where his mother passed. He became severely depressed over what happened to his mother that he decided to take his own life. Guests have reported hearing someone talking in the room. Others have reported seeing an apparition.”
Now, another website, Creepyghoststories.com tells another version of this story, one that makes a little more sense to me.
“Story goes that a bride and her to-be-mother-in-law were staying in room 1102. The mother-in-law unexpectedly drowned in the bathtub. The following day as her son, the groom, came to collect her belongings he was overcome with grief and took his own life in his room, 1101. People claim to have seen the mother and son wandering the hallways together with the son just muttering to himself. Other visitors experience the bride turning the water on in the bathtub of room 1102.”
I have to admit, I have visions of the bride drowning her future mother-in-law because the mother-in-law was trying to take over the wedding plans. And I also can picture the groom ghost muttering something like, “Darn it, mom, we told you we wanted daisies not hydrangeas!”
But, I digress.
Let’s go back to the hotel. Becks Ghost Hunters has a great story about an experience in room 1102.
“Jay, a retired train enthusiast decided to travel across the nation by rail. He made a stop in Ogden Utah, where he could sleep in a real bed. He was so glad to be in a hotel, he decided to pamper himself and stay in one of the condos at the hotel located on the upper floors. Room 1102. Once inside he showered and feel asleep as soon as his head hit his pillow.
Jay awoke the next morning a new man. Ready to take on the sites of Ogden and particularly, the things having to do with the railroad…off he went. After a long day of site seeing, Jay decided he needed a nice, long, hot bath. Yes, that’s what he needed! As he opened his condo door, he immediately knew something was wrong. Water was already running in the bathroom!!!!!! He rushed in and sure enough, the water was running in the bathtub. Thank goodness the drain was open! With a little confusion…had he left the water on or had housekeeping been in and left the water running? Jay decided that no real harm done. So, he pulled the drain pug up so that the water would fill up in the tub. In just a few minutes, Jay got in and leaned back to immerse himself into relaxation! Drifting back on his perfect day…..all the sudden he feels something pushing on his back. Was he imaging things???? Then not ten seconds later…he felt invisible hands grab his arms and hands as to pull him out of the tub. SOMETHING or SOMEONE wanted him OUT of the tub!!!! He took the hint…he jumped out and dried off and laid on his bed trying to figure out…what just happened?”
Becks goes on to say that “reports from the hotel staff include, phantom voices coming from both rooms when no one is staying in them. The housekeepers report that sometimes after making the beds, they turn around and there are indentions as if someone is laying on the bed. And there’s another room that seems to be giving the hotel staff trouble…….room 1106. Legend has it that a Mother checked into room 1106 to wait for her son to return from World War II. Upon learning of his death, she stopped eating and starved to death in that very room. The desk clerks say that they will get phone calls from that room and when they answer the line goes dead. They also mention that no one is checked into that room.
Mary, the owner’s first wife, is said to roam the corridors, the fifth floor, the top floor, and in the elevators. They say you will know it’s Mary because you will smell her lilac perfume. Another spirit is said to be that of a sixty-five-year old clerk that was stabbed to death late at night while being robbed in 1976 by a fifteen-year-old boy. Although he has not been “seen” he is felt by turning on the music in the foyer and fiddling with the phone cords.
Other sightings and experiences include, a female apparition on the third-floor gymnasium, guests in room 212 have felt hands pushing them, cold spots, footsteps, doors opening and closing by themselves, elevators acting up and stopping randomly at the fifth and tenth floors when no call button has been pushed.”
So, what do the folks who have stayed there say? Here are a few reviews from TripAdvisor.com.
“We visited the Ben Lomond hotel now called the Bennet Inn it is reasonably priced, it was clean quiet the rooms are very nice and roomy the staff was helpful and friendly. we think our room may have been somewhat haunted as we had some strange experiences but nothing too serious just curious. All in all it was a pleasant stay. I recommend a visit to the historical hotel a grand hotel from a by gone era.”
Nice historic building.
“We arrived here after a long drive from southern CA during a light rain. Check in was fast and simple, and a covered parking garage was definitely a plus. There is no handicap ramp at the entrance closest to the garage, so I had to lug my stuff up the entrance one step at a time (as we were leaving I noticed a separate handicap entrance close to the garage, guess I didn’t notice it in the rain). At the elevator there were some guests waiting and contemplating using the stairs because they said the elevator was doing funny things, and just then it showed up. We started chatting and they had grown up a few miles from where we lived, small world. We went up to our room and right at the entrance to our room I began feeling a little dizzy and off balance but attributed it to the long drive. The room was extremely nice and comfortable with what would’ve been a great view if not for the clouds and rain. I went down the hall for some ice and when I returned I got that dizzy feeling again as I approached our room. I looked carefully at the hallway, the walls, the floor, the ceiling to see if there was some optical illusion or pattern that was causing this but saw nothing. As we were contemplating where to go for dinner, there was no menu in the room for the top floor restaurant, so we checked on-line and there was this link about the hotel being haunted and the elevator doing funny things. Had no idea when I booked it. Maybe my vertigo was related? So, we went to the top floor for dinner which was nice and again had a nice view. The elevators outside the restaurant look more like closet doors and my wife walked right by them and down the hallway right to the rooms where an accidental death and subsequent suicide had happened years ago, hence the “haunting”. Weird how she ended up there. Anyway, the hotel itself is very nice with lots of intricate architecture and the rooms are nice and very quiet. Breakfast was included and had various continental type fare along with bacon, scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. I still had that vertigo feeling every time I got close to our room (directly two floors down from the haunted ones), but never had any encounters or anything like that. Bottom line, would I stay there again? Absolutely if I am ever in Ogden again. It was an excellent value for what we paid.”
“I stayed here with my daughter for a dance convention. The music and breakfast were good. Staff was friendly. The room was very huge! It appears to be haunted.
The room was noisy, the dishwasher turned on by itself. The light switch didn’t work. So, I pulled the cord on the fan to turn it on. Turned it off to sleep.
Went to get some sleep aids because I was nervous. The elevator wouldn’t take me to the lobby. So, I ended up using the stairs.
In the middle of the night I heard sounds. My daughter sees me looking at the fan above the bed and says, “Mom you already turned it off.”
But the light attached to the fan was shaking violently while the fan blades remained still! I was a bit uneasy and my daughter and I slept in the same bed after that.
Talking to people the next day I’m told it’s haunted. So, everything that happened to us makes sense. Really is beautiful and as long as you get it at a good price it’s worth it.”
I don’t know what all the hoopla is about
“I stayed here simply because of the high ratings from other guests. I don’t know if the Ben Lomond has employees writing reviews or what, but I was pretty disappointed by the whole ordeal. I originally booked for two nights, November 14-15. I checked out after one night. First let me say the front desk help was wonderful. Very helpful and kind. Cute young people with fun personalities. They did warn me that the power would be off on the second night due to some type of City Upgrade. I only ask, hasn’t the hotel heard of an “emergency generator”? I went to my room and although it was clean, the furnishings were pretty battered. Yes, there is a jetted tub, but it is old and not really impressive. The shower head leaked. The water was only a trickle in the bathroom sink. The power outlet in the bathroom must have some kind of trouble because it wouldn’t power my hair flat iron, but the hotels hair dryer worked fine. I had to fix my hair in the living room. The hallway on the 3rd floor is so narrow, it is hard to get past the cleaning cart. The fitness center is small but I do like the idea of the book exchange…
Now, here’s the part where all of you will think I’m a crackpot… THAT PLACE IS HAUNTED! I didn’t believe it myself until I tried to get some sleep. Doors banged and slammed all night, the climate control had a mind of its own and every time I did get to sleep, strange feelings and vivid unusual (what I hope) dreams of ‘things’ messing around with me and looking me over would wake me up with a jolt. I can’t explain it, and the ‘things’ didn’t seem to want to actually HURT me, more interested in me, but it was damn creepy!! I checked out the next morning and got the heck out of there! I know it sounds weird, I know I know. I had several friends (all of us women, staying alone) staying in the hotel and they got the same feelings and impressions as I did, and they too all checked out! After I got out of there and went to another hotel, I googled the hotel’s name and wish I would have done so beforehand!
I’m sorry Ben Lomond, your lobby is beautiful, your employees are wonderful, but your non-paying “guests” are too creepy for me! Maybe had I been with my husband or had a friend with me, I wouldn’t have been so creeped out. I travel alone a lot for business and actually enjoy it, but this place was way too much for me to accept. Having the power off for six hours the second night would have sent me right over the edge to insanity.”
I can’t blame her – six hours without lights in a room with a ghost, excuse me, non-paying guest. Yeah, that would have sent me over the edge too!!
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.