Haunted History Tour tonight

Lafayette Hotel hosts a ‘spirited’ happening

MICHAEL KELLY The Marietta Times Missy Spicer is reflected in the massive mirror hanging in the main hallway of the Lafayette Hotel, which she said had to be removed from the third floor because guests complained about seeing ghostly images in it. Hidden Marietta is offering a Haunted History Tour of the hotel tonight.

At the Lafayette Hotel, some say, it is the dead that bring history to life.

Hidden Marietta, a tour and special events company, is offering a Haunted History Tour of the Lafayette Hotel tonight. The company offers several types of scheduled tours based on Marietta history, some with a particular emphasis on hauntings and ghosts, which are said to abound in the historic hotel.

The tour will also have an element of history.

“For this one we did a lot more research about the previous owners and the building’s history,” said Cat Wilkins, the tour guide. “We took a lot of information from the genealogical library on Fifth Street, articles from old newspapers and talking to previous staff of the hotel who knew the owners.”

S. Durward Hoag, who owned the hotel and lived in it from 1921 to 1973, became another historic resource, she said.

“He wrote an entire page in the newspaper every week about the hotel and kept a diary,” Wilkins said. “It’s an inside look at how the hotel has changed over the years.”

Hoag is also said to be one of the spirits seen occasionally in the Lafayette, with a special preference for the Gun Room restaurant.

In addition to areas of the Lafayette normally open to the public, those on the tour will be shown parts of it usually closed, including the basement floor and the boiler room, where the shades of “two gentlemen and a little boy” are sometimes reported, she said.

The tour could be interesting for a variety of people.

“It’s different for everybody, they all have their own reasons,” Wilkins said. “Some don’t believe in spirits but think it will be fun, others believe and want the opportunity to use the equipment.”

Hidden Marietta also offers more extensive ghost hunting expeditions, using paranormal detection technology. Wilkins said today’s tour will offer guests the chance to see what the equipment can do without committing to a full night of ghost hunting.

Missy Spicer, the front desk supervisor at the Lafayette, said she has worked in the hotel for three years.

“It depends on what you believe,” she said. “We have lots of ghost stories.”

Pointing to a massive mirror in the hotel’s main hallway by the front desk, she said the mirror once was on the third floor.

“We had so many complaints we had to move it down here,” she said. “People would look at it and see someone standing behind them in period costume.”

The hotel has a reputation for spirits, and Spicer said people sometimes call asking to reserve a haunted room, and the hotel does its best to accommodate those requests.

She said working at the hotel, however, is not a spooky or unsettling job.

“I’ve never felt anything bad,” she said.

Reservations for the tour can be made on the Hidden Marietta website, hiddenmarietta.com.

If you go

≤ What: Haunted History Tour of the Lafayette Hotel.

≤ When: 6 p.m. today.

≤ Where: Lafayette Hotel.

≤ Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and younger, sold only online at hiddenmarietta.com