Abandoned hotels are one of the most popular among many urban explorers and ghost hunters. There’s just something about the history of hotels that gives it its eeriness and also piques people’s interest. And we’re not talking just abandoned hotels but just everything abandoned in general. That’s why you’ll see a lot of these abandoned places listed that people love to curiously explore.
And if you’re one of them, then you can enjoy a lot of these in the vast wealth of land in the south. And of course, we’ve done it for you. We listed 5 abandoned hotels in the South that will surely give you the chills. You can also check out abandoned places in Texas if you’re up to explore more than just abandoned hotels.
Have fun exploring these places but with proper caution!
1. Hotel Grim in Bowie County, Texarkana
First up on the list is one of the spookiest abandoned hotels, and surely its name lives up to it. Hotel Grim was known as “Crown Jewel” of Texarkana from its completion in 1925 to its heyday in the ‘30s until it was abandoned in the ‘70s and fully closed in 1990. The eight-story hotel had 250 rooms in capacity with a magnificent lobby featuring stone walls and marble flooring. The first floor housed the hotel’s Palm Court, main dining room, and the cafe. On the mezzanine floor was a private dining room with a coffee shop, beauty salon, and a barbershop. And the hotel’s crowning glory was its beautiful rooftop garden.
And one of the most infamous stories was that Bonnie and Clyde visited the hotel’s cafe enjoying a sandwich during their lawlessness spree. But what was left of this architectural marvel was a dilapidated old building filled with cobwebs, vandals, and paranormal activity.
Explore: According to sources, Hotel Grim’s doors are now locked and its grounds are watched by the community patrol. The abandoned hotel is now considered a dangerous location due to falling floors. But you can still explore it on the outside or take a virtual exploration of the hotel here.
2. Hampton Springs Hotel in Taylor County, Florida
This hotel used to be one of the most famous and most luxurious hotels in Florida. According to a local story, the Hampton Springs Hotel started with a Taylor County resident named Joe Hamilton, who was directed to a local spring by Indians. After the sulphur-rich spring water helped ease his wife’s rheumatism, he purchased the area.
In 1879, the large plot of land nearby was bought by Benjamin W. and Joseph L. Hampton, which then led to the establishment of Hampton Springs Hotel and Mineral Company. The two-story hotel housed over 70 rooms and was completed in 1908. But the hotel’s popularity peaked with the sulphur spring baths and then they expanded the luxury hotel with gardens, pools, courts, ballrooms, railroad depots, and even casinos. But in 1954, the place was burned down and since then abandoned.
Explore: The ruins of the hotel with a few picnic tables and some nature trails can be accessed via Highway 98 South then west on CR356 just after Revelles Seafoods. You can definitely visit and explore the place anytime!
3. Gilley’s Hotel in Bulls Gap, Tennessee
Bulls Gap was always a busy location, and the 3-story hotel originally built in the 1850s by Peter Smith housed passengers and railroad workers every night. In 1920, the hotel was bought by R.H. Gilley, who banked on the hotel’s popularity and expanded it with a large dining hall and a barbershop which were just a few of the long list of amenities for travelers and guests.
The Gilley’s Hotel enjoyed a prosperous time from 1920 until the 1930s as a one-stop location. Business was good until trains made less stops at Bulls Gap back in 1960. The hotel also changed management and in 2003, the hotel was willed to the Bulls Gap Railroad Museum. But years of neglect turned it into an abandoned hotel explored by many tourists and making it one of the favorite abandoned places to visit.
Explore: Unfortunately, the hotel is not available for touring, but if you want to know more about it, you can visit the Bulls Gap Railroad Museum.
4. Riverside Motel along US-17 near Florida-Georgia State Line
This was one of the most chilling abandoned places in the South. While it was not technically a hotel, this was an L-placed accommodation with a dozen air-conditioned rooms and an office situated in the center courtyard. The Riverside motel was owned by the couple Knud Howard Olfort and Nellie Vanzant Olfort, who also had a souvenir shop and liquor store in the area.
The motel bustled with customers, but the completion of the I-95 was pointed out to be the cause of the demise of the motel. As more people went for the newer, faster route, there was less traffic along the I-97. But one of the more chilling stories here was that in 1993, Nellie went missing. Knud refused anyone, even authorities, to enter the property. But his death in 1997 and the discovery of Nellie’s skeletal remains in 1999 rounded some speculations in the place that Knud had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.
Explore: The motel had been abandoned ever since, but there were still remnants of its glory in its heyday. There were still curtains hanging in the windows, some rooms still had mattresses left behind, and there were a few clothing pieces as well. But the floors were completely rotten. But in early 2020, the property was sold and the new owner planned on clearing the land and reselling the property.
5. Governor’s House Hotel in Montgomery, Alabama
This luxury hotel was built in 1965, relatively younger than most in the list, by C.T. Fitzpatrick. The hotel boasted 197 rooms with over 19,500 square feet of meeting as well as convention space, a restaurant, a lounge, and an outdoor pool in the shape of the Alabama state. And to make it even more luxurious, they also offer outdoor activities like the nine-hole golf course and horseback riding.
But after just almost 3 decades of hosting prominent figures in the hotel, it had fallen into decline. There were still events hosted in the hotel until 2010, but after that, the hotel was then put up for auction. There were also multiple fires that damaged the interior of the hotel. Due to unpaid taxes, the hotel is under the possession of the Department of Revenue.
Explore: Unfortunately, this is one of the abandoned hotels that kind of lost its chilling nature. It had not been fenced, so many homeless people made it their home. Nevertheless, any abandoned building will still give you the creeps, especially at night.