Are you looking for a gorgeous, yet spooky and haunted hotel to stay in while visiting Chattanooga? Haunted hotel lovers will enjoy the Read House hotel in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. This historic hotel is beautifully decorated, highly rated, and carries a very unique history of paranormal activity. We stayed in the Read House hotel during our family vacation, and have all the details on why it should be your first choice when booking your stay in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been on my list of places to check out for almost as long as I’ve lived in South Carolina. I’m constantly on the lookout for the follow-up to last summer’s discovery of the swimming hole in North Carolina that our readers loved. I’d heard about some awesome swimming holes in Chattanooga and was eager to get up there to explore! So I decided to hop in the car and check out this city just four hours away from the Upstate.
Staying at The Read House
We booked our stay at The Read House based on the things I look for currently in a hotel. I did not know the hotel other than the location and its cleaning protocols. Walking into the hotel, I knew I had hit the jackpot. I still hadn’t even scratched the surface of how unique my stay here was going to be. The lobby looked like a room you would find in the Biltmore mansion. It is surely one of the most interesting hotels in Chattanooga.
We checked in and I wound up talking for a long time with the front desk clerk and concierge about Chattanooga and our plans for the trip. I even told them about some travel destinations nearby that they hadn’t ever heard of; I love it when that happens! We went up to our room and settled for ordering carry-out from the 24-hour diner across the street. The City Cafe Diner has a huge menu and even bigger slices of cake!
Not Just a Hotel in Chattanooga: Haunted Hotel, eek!
The next morning, after a better night’s sleep than I’ve gotten in a while, I happened to be browsing the hotel website. That’s how I discovered that the Read House was more than just a pretty face, it was once the Crutchfield House. It has a sordid past complete with civil war ghosts, murder, and even a famous (infamous?) gangster! I wish you, the reader, could have seen the look on my face! I texted My Kidding Around Cohorts in excitement and told them I was on a mission to find a ghost! Luckily you don’t need to have special permission to get the VIP tour of The Read Hotel! If staffing permits, hotel guests can be taken to room 311.
Giddy with excitement, my kids and I boarded the elevator to floor three with our new friend Clay. He was a wealth of knowledge about the hotel. Before the Read Hotel was built, there was a Union and Confederate soldier hospital on the property (More on that in a minute). We walked up the third-floor hallway to a door that looked different than the rest.
Visiting Room 311 of The Read House
It had a deadbolt on it. Clay unlocked it and offered up the honors to one of us. He told us that the room had been left with all of its original furnishings, down to the wallpaper. I had no idea what to expect and was a bit leery, but I grabbed the doorknob and swung it open. It was beautiful, and nothing like what I expected! Clay asked if I could identify the one item in the entire suite that wasn’t original. I won’t spoil the mystery for you, but I’ll give you a clue. It involves a jealous lover, a clawfoot bathtub, and lots of blood.
It was the blood of a young lady named Annalisa who was allegedly discovered by her husband, with someone that was NOT her husband. This is also why the hotel has preserved that room, in its original form, to keep the ghost Annalisa Netherly happy.
Believe it or not, haunted Room 311 at the Read House has seen more than just the murder of an adulterous young lady. In the 1930s the notorious mobster Al Capone requested he be allowed to await his federal trial in room 311 at the Read House. To be permitted, he paid for iron bars to be installed outside the windows. Those bars still protect the room almost 100 years later.
Have I scared you off yet? No? If you are a truly brave soul, you have the opportunity to stay in room 311. I must warn you, though, this would be better suited as a girls-night-out type activity. It’s rumored that Annalisa doesn’t particularly care for gentlemen callers. Even less so for those who smoke, and who can blame her for what happened to her! If you think you are brave enough to hang out with Annalisa, call the hotel and see when the next available booking is
Staying in a Not-So-Spooky Room
I think the other rooms might have friendlier guests, I mean ghosts, hanging out in them. The desk lamp in our room kept having flickering lights, and I just figured that building was so old, it was probably just the wiring. Imagine my shock when we were told that all the wiring had been replaced just 4 years prior. In the entire building, all of it. I went back to the room and realized it wasn’t just the lamp, it was the power to the desk, and everything plugged into it. Say what you will, but I’m thinking there were four of us in that hotel room.
Back to those Confederate and Union soldiers I mentioned earlier. I was told that people have been known to see a reflection of a soldier while walking by the mirrored walls in the grand ballroom. I tried it and didn’t see anything. Do you think you would see something (or someone) looking back? People have also reported unexplained noises, but don’t all hotels have those!
Book Your Stay at the Read House Hotel
Aside from all of the historic and haunted stuff, the Read House is a well-appointed hotel that is doing a lot to keep its guests safe and healthy. Given the opportunity, I would go back for a long weekend and just spend the entire time in the hotel. So if you are looking for a great weekend away, this Chattanooga haunted hotel is the place!
Check the offers page on the Read House website before booking, they have some great ways to save money on your trip.
The hotel has all of the usual modern amenities, including wifi, gorgeous decor, upscale dining, and more. Maybe your room get a room including a ghost, who knows!
The Read House
107 West MLK Boulevard, Chattanooga, TN
Looking for more travel ideas in Chattanooga? Here’s our Guide to Vacationing With Kids in Chattanooga, TN.