(USA TODAY) -- When you visit Louisville in the Bluegrass state, you can relax with a mint julep, see historic architecture or watch the Kentucky Derby. With a city steeped in history, travelers can stay in historic hotels that have been visited by presidents, authors and outlaws alike. If you are an adventurous spirit, check into one of the many hotels rumored to include guests who have never checked out, even after their deaths.
The Brown Hotel
The 16-story Brown Hotel (brownhotel.com) greets its guests with a two-story high lobby. The English Renaissance hotel is half a block from the theater district, putting guests just a short walk away from shows. With a history dating to 1923, many rumors have circulated that ghostly visitors still reside in the hotel. The most reported sighting is that of the ghostly image of the original hotel builder, J. Graham Brown. The owner lived in the hotel's penthouse until his 1969 death. Reports have placed him standing on the mezzanine observing guests and employees, especially during the hotel's busiest time: the Kentucky Derby. When visions of Brown appear, he is said to leave behind a cigar smell.
The Seelbach Hilton
The Seelbach Hilton (seelbachhilton.com) is rich in national and literary history; it dates to 1905, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and served as the setting of Daisy and Tom's wedding in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby." Famous guests include Al Capone and nine U.S. Presidents. If you stay at the hotel today, you will be in the heart of the entertainment and business district and just a couple of minutes from the Kentucky Derby site, Churchill Downs. The hotel is rumored to be haunted by a figure known as the Blue Lady, known in life as Patricia Wilson. Different versions of her story describe her waiting in the hotel for her husband, learning of his accidental death and throwing herself 10 stories down the elevator shaft. Visitors report seeing images of her and then, after her disappearance, noticing a lingering perfume fragrance.
The Old Talbott Tavern
The Old Talbott Tavern (talbotts.com) has a history that dates to the 18th century. The tavern serves pub food and drinks and has a bed and breakfast component with five different rooms. Each of the rooms is named after a famous historical person who visited the establishment, including Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone and Washington Irving. The outlaw Jesse James stopped by the tavern; you can see bullet holes he left in some of the art hanging on the wall. Rumor has it that James still haunts the building, and patrons report sightings of his ghost. Visitors have also reported catching sight of a ghostly woman.
The Haunted Brennan House
Louisville offers plenty of historic places to visit that might give you the chance to encounter a ghostly visitor. The three-story Victorian mansion, the Brennan House (thebrennanhouse.org), is a historic house that dates to 1868. You can rent the house, which is surrounded by an expansive garden, for private gatherings of up to 150 people. Tours are also available if you are just visiting. The house belonged to Anna and Thomas Brennan and is said to still be haunted by the entire Brennan family. Guests have reported hearing violin and piano music, which many believe to come from the Brennan daughters. Some visitors smell cigar smoke without a clear source. Some photographs capture an unexplained orb in front of the house, which many interpret as belonging to Thomas Brennan.
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