Hotel Conneaut Embraces Spooky Reputation
There's many reasons people may not want to stay at a certain hotel. Maybe it has bad service, bad food, or uncomfortable beds. But what if a hotel has a reputation for being haunted?
There is a hotel in Crawford County that has that reputation and is proud of it. It is the Hotel Conneaut in Conneaut Lake.
Frank Flanegin accepted the job as the manager of the hotel in 2015. He accepted knowing all about the strange and unexplained occurrences that people swear had happened inside the hotel walls. Frank previously was in charge of food service at Conneaut Lake Park for many years. He especially remembers two kids running from the hotel into the park.
"They're screaming. They're crying. Their parents were in there. I said 'What's wrong?” remembers Flanegin.. The kids answered. “We were playing a game and we had a Coke can sitting on the table. It got up in the air and started spinning around,” they said.
“I mean they were afraid, recalls Flanegin. “Stories like that you know what you're in for.”
With such stories circulating about the hotel for decades, you would think no one would want to stay at Hotel Conneaut. Frank says that's definitely not true.
"Overall it's a good thing,” he says. “I may have had in the last 5 or 6 years, 15 or 20 people leave because they were afraid of the ghosts. But I have hundreds and hundreds that came here because of the ghosts."
Cable network television series that focus on the paranormal have done stories about the hotel. Frank says that's publicity he could never afford to buy. The series producers were mostly interested in the third floor where a young bride named Elizabeth supposedly stayed in 1943. According to the legend, she died in a fire inside Room 323 and her ghostly spirit remains. The hotel sells hooded sweatshirts honoring Elizabeth.
Desk Clerk Marty Knapp says she thought she saw Elizabeth's ghost suddenly appear in a mirror inside Room 323. Marty talked herself out of it. Then some room furniture became displaced. Knapp says Elizabeth was sending a message.
"I see it as Elizabeth saying, ‘You don't think you've seen me or you don't think I'm here. Like, Yeah, I'm here,” said Knapp with a laugh.
Ghosts or no ghosts, people are coming to Hotel Conneaut on this, the scariest weekend of the year. All the rooms are reserved except for a handful.