LSD Rats, Con Man Portrait, Presidential Ransom

Mysteries at the Hotel reveals the CIA's LSD experiments, one man's obsession with revenge, the painting that ruined a conman, a lethal flu strain's unlikely origin, and the agent who foiled a presidential grave robbery.

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    September 11
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The Jean Bonnet Tavern
The Jean Bonnet Tavern

The Jean Bonnet Tavern

The Jean Bonnet Tavern is a historic bed and breakfast that hosts many who travel between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1791, it became a popular stop for angry whiskey distillers to conspire against the opposition -- the US government. 960 1280

  

Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino

Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino

Today, you won't find gold in Deadwood. But visitors can try to strike it rich at the Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino (formally the Gem Saloon). George Hearst visited Deadwood in the early 1800s, and it’s where he purchased his first gold mine and newspaper belonging to the town of Deadwood. 960 1280

  

Grand Cavern Canyons

Grand Cavern Canyons

Tour the Grand Cavern Canyons, and if you’re strong enough, stay at the elaborate, luxurious and extremely isolated underground hotel suite. 960 1280

  

Summit Inn

Summit Inn

Almost 100 years ago, the Summit Inn sheltered 3 drunken vagabonds during an epic rainstorm. Those 3 men were Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison who were testing their inventions up and down the mountain upon which Summit Inn is located. 960 1280

  

The Golden Lamb Hotel

The Golden Lamb Hotel

The Golden Lamb Hotel looks much like it did during the murder case of Thomas S. Myers. Clement Vallandigham, lawyer for the accused, accidentally shot himself in the lobby of the hotel while trying to prove a point. 960 1280

  

St. Nicholas Hotel

St. Nicholas Hotel

Illinois’ St. Nicholas Hotel, the location where there was an attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s corpse in 1876, still stands today. 960 1280

  

Congress Plaza Hotel

Congress Plaza Hotel

Standing amidst Chicago’s skyscrapers, the historic, 14-story Congress Plaza Hotel is where professional thief Adam Worth exchanged the Duchess of Devonshire painting with famed detective William Pinkerton for $25,000. 960 1280

  

Hyatt at The Bellevue

Hyatt at The Bellevue

Even after its modern updates, the now Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia is decorated with chandeliers designed by Thomas Edison himself, which offers guests a glimpse of what it was like when it first opened its doors in 1904. 960 1280

  

Hotel Del Sol

Hotel Del Sol

Located in San Francisco’s Marina District, Hotel Del Sol is where the CIA covertly conducted MKULTRA -- an experiment in which American citizens were given large doses of LSD for research purposes in 1957. 960 1280

  

The Pollard

The Pollard

The Pollard Hotel, located near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, was once robbed by The Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch. 960 1280

  

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Today, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is every bit as luxurious as it was in 1928 when Elliot Ness used it as an interrogation headquarters to assist in a case against Dr. Frank Sweeney who was accused of murder. 960 1280

  

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel has been the location of some scandalous affairs, including a bribery that went south between government crony Charles Forbes and private contractors. Forbes was caught and sentenced to 2 years in prison after an unsuccessful escape to Europe. 960 1280

  

InterContinental The Willard Hotel

InterContinental The Willard Hotel

The Occidental Grill inside InterContinental The Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, is where KGB agent Alexander Feklisov and ABC News correspondent John Scali met to strategize on how to breakthrough international political barriers in order to broker a peace agreement between the US and Soviet Union. 960 1280

  

The Engleside Inn

The Engleside Inn

Having set the stage for the bestselling novel and blockbuster film "Jaws," The Engleside Inn’s beachfront property in New Jersey saw its fair share of legs and limbs in 1916. Two bystanders pulled a swimmer missing half his leg onto the shore. In the following days, more swimmers were killed before famed lion tamer Michael Schliesser slayed a rogue great white shark near the town of Matawan. 960 1280

  

Surratt House

Surratt House

It was at Washington, DC's Surratt House where actor John Wilkes Booth, and 3 other people, agreed to simultaneously assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. But when they put their devious plan into action on April 14, 1865, only 1 of the 3 dangerous conspirators succeeded. 960 1280

  

fron of the Kedron Valley Inn

fron of the Kedron Valley Inn

In 1817, the Kedron Valley Inn, located in South Woodstock, VT, was the site of a terrible and mysterious outbreak that panicked the town into paranoia, thinking that vampires were to blame for the numerous deaths. Several years later, scientists discovered that tuberculosis was the cause of the outbreak. 960 1280

  

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

In 1934, in the beautiful lobby lounge of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Paula Harmon, girlfriend of the infamous gangster Alvin Karpis, was arrested by the FBI. Paula worked with the FBI to uncover the whereabouts of Karpis’ gang, which led to the arrest of all gang members several months later. 960 1280

  

76 House in Tappan, NY

76 House in Tappan, NY

American General Benedict Arnold was captured and taken to the old 76 House in Tappan, NY, where he was interrogated. General Arnold attempted to reveal classified information regarding West Point in exchange for a high command in the British Army. To this day, guests come from around the country to hang out in one of the nation’s oldest establishments, and to check out the upside down picture of the famous traitor whose plot was exposed. 960 1280

  

Meeker Hotel in Meeker Colorado

Meeker Hotel in Meeker Colorado

In the late 1800s, the Meeker Hotel in Meeker, CO, was the first National Bank Building. During that time, 3 associates of the Wild Bunch gang attempted to rob the bank but their plans were spoiled when the town banded together and put a stop to the robbery. Today, the Meeker Hotel’s lobby is complete with the log burning stove that warmed road-weary travelers for more than a century. 960 1280

  

La Playa Hotel in Carmel California

La Playa Hotel in Carmel California

In 1983, the then smaller tech company known as Apple, held a company retreat at La Playa Hotel in Carmel, CA. The company was celebrating* its newest computer: LISA. At the same time, Steve Jobs was developing his Mac, at another unknown location.
* Apple was banned from La Playa Hotel for 30 years. 960 1280

  

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC

In 1963, the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC, hosted civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. the night before his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." 960 1280

  

Sheraton Sand Key

Sheraton Sand Key

Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, FL, was once the location for one of the hottest scandals in the 1980s. Evidence of an affair between Jessica Hahn and millionaire-televangelist Jim Bakker, led Bakker to pay Hahn a quarter of a million dollars to keep the affair a secret. 960 1280

  

World’s Fair Hotel

World’s Fair Hotel

In the late 1800s, Chicago master swindler H.H. Holmes enticed World's Fair visitors to stay at his aptly named "World’s Fair Hotel." However, Holmes does not intend to let his guests check out. He captures, murders and eliminates his victims' bodies for years before he's arrested and confesses to the gruesome crimes. Holmes is subsequently hanged, and goes down in history as America's first serial killer. 960 1280

  

The Hotel Hershey

The Hotel Hershey

The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA, hosted American spy Amy Elizabeth Pack and her mark, pro-Nazi French diplomat, Charles Brousse in 1942. The two were nearly caught cracking into a safe containing intel that would benefit Allied forces during World War II. 960 1280

  

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle is the hotel of choice for rock ‘n’ roll musicians past and present, including The Beatles, Kiss, The Beach Boys, Ray Charles and countless others. 960 1280

  

Century Inn

Century Inn

Just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, is the historic Century Inn. Former President Andrew Jackson, known as "Old Hickory" for being "tough as nails," was a regular guest at the hotel. Visit the hotel today to see their largest collection of historic antiques and have a stay in Andrew Jackson's room. 960 1280

  

The Drake Hotel in Chicago

The Drake Hotel in Chicago

The Drake Hotel in Chicago has hosted many famous socialites. But in 1924 the popular hotel became a refuge for the family of Bobby Franks who was murdered by 2 young socialites -- Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb -- who thought they'd committed the perfect crime until a simple mistake cost them more than 100 years in prison. 960 1280

  

Wolf Creek Tavern Inn

Wolf Creek Tavern Inn

The Wolf Creek Inn was a popular pit stop for stagecoach drivers in the 1800s including the most popular Charley Parkhurst a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver responsible for delivering gold along the Oregon Trail. 960 1280

  

Sitting room of Triangle T Guest Ranch

Sitting room of Triangle T Guest Ranch

Located in Dragoon AZ Triangle T Guest Ranch once housed detained Japanese officials accused of spying on American Navy vessels prior to the December 7 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. 960 1280

  

St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

During a 1916 presidential campaign luncheon for candidate Charles Evans Hughes (who ran and lost against Woodrow Wilson) members of the wait staff from San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel staged a walkout in support of the Union since it was rumored that Hughes was not a Union supporter. The legendary chef Victor Hirtzler of the St. Francis Hotel proceeded with the luncheon for the presidential hopeful -- serving the meal with only the support of his cooks. 960 1280

  

Dining Hall of Palace Hotel

Dining Hall of Palace Hotel

Guests of San Francisco's Palace Hotel can still stay in the Presidential Suite Room 888 where President Warren G. Harding died in 1924. To this day no one is certain of the cause of death. 960 1280

  

Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park

Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park

Visitors traveling to Yosemite National Park can stay at the Wawona Hotel, about 4 miles from the park's south entrance. Walk along the same trail that welcomed President Theodore Roosevelt and author John Muir in 1903. 960 1280

  

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City Florida

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City Florida

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City, FL, was once a medical clinic and the location for a popular gambling game called Bolita, played by many Cuban immigrants to pass the time. After the clinic was shut down, the establishment remained unused for 30 years. 960 1280

Chris Darnell  

Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown Kentucky

Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown Kentucky

It's believed that in 1807 Vice President Aaron Burr conducted secret meetings regarding seceding from the United States at Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown KY. 960 1280

  

Fairweather Inn in Bannack Montana

Fairweather Inn in Bannack Montana

In the 1860s, during the height of the Montana gold rush, the Fairweather Inn in Bannack, MT, (now located in Virginia City) was a stomping ground for several miners, stage coachmen and "road agents," looking to rob coachmen of their gold. 960 1280

  

Franklin House Hotel

Franklin House Hotel

Constructed in 1836 in Alton, IL, the Franklin House Hotel is where Abraham Lincoln stayed during his last debate with Senator Stephen A. Douglas prior to being elected president in 1860. Today, the hotel is a carefully restored apartment building named the Lincoln Lofts. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Idaho Hotel

Idaho Hotel

Located in Silver City, ID, -- a ghost town that was once a gold and silver mining town -- the Idaho Hotel is the location of the deadly shooting between mining rivals J. Marion Moore and Samuel Lockhart in1868. 960 1280

  

International Palms Resort

International Palms Resort

Nestled along the pristine beaches of Cocoa Beach, FL, is the International Palms Resort, once the Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach, where legendary astronaut John Glenn anxiously awaited a phone call from NASA that nearly started World War III. 960 1280

  

Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast

Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast

The Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City, FL, is where wealthy industrialist Barron Collier started the Everglades Bank and printed his own money. Parts of the old bank, including the vault and adding machines, remain on display in the hotel today. 960 1280

  

General Warren Inne

General Warren Inne

Once owned by John Penn, the General Warren Inne, located in Malvern, PA, is where the 1777 Paoli Massacre was planned and fought during the American Revolutionary War. 960 1280

  

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Thomas "Fatty" Walsh, a notorious New Yorker gangster, was killed at the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, after a gambling dispute. 960 1280

  

The Planter's Inn Hotel

The Planter's Inn Hotel

In 1848, The Planter's Hotel, now The Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC, accommodated 2 slaves, Ellen and William Craft, who escaped from slavery in Georgia and headed north via train to the “free states.” A fair-skinned Ellen Craft disguised herself as a man. Her travel partner was her husband, William Craft, who played along as her "slave." 960 1280

  

Grinder's Stand or Inn

Grinder's Stand or Inn

The Grinder's Stand or "inn" is located along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lewis County, TN. It was the final destination of explorer Meriwether Lewis of the famous Lewis and Clark. The accounts of Lewis’ final days are a mystery. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered at The Grinder's Stand? Evidence speaks to both possible outcomes. 960 1280

  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

A group of America's wealthiest and most influential men -- senators, secretaries of state, financial brokers and more -- would disguise themselves as duck hunters and meet at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia to discuss major issues that ultimately would affect what’s happening in the world today. 960 1280

  

Pollard Hotel

Pollard Hotel

Pollard Hotel located in Red Lodge, MT, was once the home of Carbon County Bank, a bank that the Sundance Kid (Harry Longbaugh) attempted to rob in 1897. 960 1280

  

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC

The exterior of the beautiful Willard Intercontinental Hotel is where Abraham Lincoln and his family arrived safely, and stayed undetected for weeks before his inauguration, all under the security of John Pinkerton's men -- including the first woman detective, Kate Warne. 960 1280

  

Culver Hotel in Culver City California

Culver Hotel in Culver City California

In 1939, The Culver Hotel in Culver City, CA, was home to hundreds of munchkins during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. 960 1280

  

The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville Kentucky

The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville Kentucky

Between encounters with a local bootlegger by the name of George Remus, who would be the inspiration behind Jay Gatsby, and the extravagant parties held in the hotel's grand ballrooms, The Seelbach Hotel, in Louisville, KY, would eventually inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald to write The Great Gatsby. 960 1280

  

Black and white photo of Hotel Gilpatrick

Black and white photo of Hotel Gilpatrick

On October 14, 1912, President Theodore Roosevelt was leaving Hotel Gilpatrick (now the Hyatt Regency), for the Milwaukee Auditorium to give a campaign speech, when would-be assassin John Schrank pulled a gun on Roosevelt, shooting him in the chest. After realizing the gun wound posed no serious threat to his life, Roosevelt continued on, giving his 80-minute campaign speech. The bullet remained in Roosevelt for the rest of his life. 960 1280

  

Little Bohemia Lodge

Little Bohemia Lodge

Located off of Highway 51 in Manitowish Waters, WI, Little Bohemia Lodge was the location of the famous shootout between the FBI and the Dillinger Gang (known for their bank robberies), with known members John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. The lodge was also the modern set for the movie Public Enemies, featuring Johnny Depp. 960 1280

  

Mammoth Cave Hotel

Mammoth Cave Hotel

Mammoth Cave Hotel is located adjacent from the entrance to the caves. A sight to behold, Mammoth Cave is a long-standing and popular tourist attraction in Kentucky. Slaves were used as tour guides in the 1800s and often left their distinct marks on the cave walls. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Crescent Hotel in Arkansas

Crescent Hotel in Arkansas

During the 1930s, Norman Baker claimed to be a doctor and brought a "cure" for cancer to the city of Eureka Springs, AK. Today, at the Crescent Hotel, tourists can hear ghost stories and watch portrayals of the infamous phony. 960 1280

  

Ellis Bed and Breakfast

Ellis Bed and Breakfast

Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid spent 2 years hunting down members of a rival gang to avenge a friend's murder. A 5-day gun battle ensues when Billy is surrounded by authorities at New Mexico's Ellis Store (now a bed and breakfast). 960 1280

  

Galt House Hotel

Galt House Hotel

Civil War icon Gen. William “Bull” Nelson ruled over Louisville, KY, and his troops with an iron fist. In 1862, Nelson dismissed Gen. Jefferson C. Davis for shirking his duties. The 2 men argued in the lobby of The Galt House (now the Galt House Hotel), where Davis shot and killed Nelson. 960 1280

  

Merchants Hotel

Merchants Hotel

During the 1850s, a human-trafficking ring started in the tunnels under the Merchant Hotel in Portland, OR. Sailors drinking at the Hobo's Bar in the hotel lobby would be drugged and tossed aboard cargo vessels headed for Shanghai. Portland Walking Tours offer underground tours starting at Hobo’s Restaurant or The Old Town Pizza Shop, all on the same block as the Merchant building, which is now office space. 960 1280

  

La Fonda Hotel

La Fonda Hotel

The La Fonda Hotel located in Santa Fe is roughly 45 minutes from the nearby town of La Alamos, where scientists crafted the Manhattan Project – a program to create the first atomic bomb. Visitors who come to Santa Fe for its artsy atmosphere, food and restaurants, can also experience top-secret US history. 960 1280

  

Beekman Arms Inn

Beekman Arms Inn

Situated in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley, the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck was the scene of a heated political showdown between former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr, which lead to one of America's most infamous duels. 960 1280

Chris Darnell  

Alaska Building in Seattle

Alaska Building in Seattle

In 1902 Seattle Mayor J. Thomas Humes turned the Alaska Building into a 100-room brothel, officially legalizing prostitution in the city. 960 1280

  

City Center Inn in Bozeman MT

City Center Inn in Bozeman MT

An esteemed art dealer planned to steal a pair of paintings valued at nearly $200,000 until the FBI tracked him down at the secluded City Center Inn in Bozeman, MT. 960 1280

  

Hotel Washington now the W Hotel in DC

Hotel Washington now the W Hotel in DC

A mysterious man by the name of John Burrows first visited Hotel Washington (now the W Hotel) before a scheduled meeting with President Nixon. John Burrows turned out to be an alias for Elvis Presley, who was meeting with Nixon to discuss “hippies” and counterculture in America. Elvis, an avid badge collector, gifted Nixon a Colt 45, and in return, received a federal agent badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The badge can be seen today at Graceland. 960 1280

  

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The grand exterior of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, is famous for inspiring one of the greatest books of all time -- "The Shining" by Stephen King. 960 1280

Christian Kober  

Hotel New Yorker in New York City

Hotel New Yorker in New York City

Hotel New Yorker in NYC was a favorite for inventor Nikola Tesla, who was captivated by the hotel’s state-of-the-art (before its time) power plant. 960 1280

  

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

Exterior shot of The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, where Hollywood superstar Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle was accused of murder after a wild hotel room party. 960 1280

  

The Patee House museum in Missouri

The Patee House museum in Missouri

The Patee House Museum, formerly a hotel, is famous for being the first place of refuge that Jesse James' widow turned to immediately following his murder. The museum is located at 1202 Penn St in St. Joseph, MO. 960 1280

Photo by Doug Cornelius through Creative Commons, and it's license, This work has been modified.  

Omni Parker House Hotel

Omni Parker House Hotel

Eight days before assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth checked into the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. 960 1280

Getty Images  

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