Is The Old Faithful Inn Haunted?

The Old Faithful Inn

A headless woman searching for her head reportedly haunts this historic Yellowstone inn

Paranormal Claims at the
Old Faithful Inn

  • The apparition of a headless woman has been seen
  • Doors around the hotel are said to swing open and closed by themselves
  • Disembodied footsteps have been heard walking the hotel corridors
  • A womanly shadow figure has been spotted in certain rooms
  • A man’s apparition has been spotted walking in the lobby

The History of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn

For many tourists, a visit to a national park is about escaping civilization and taking in the unblemished beauty of life among nature. And many lodges and inns around the parks do well to support that pursuit. Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn is no exception.

Just yards away from the famous Old Faithful geyser, the Old Faithful Inn has been a rustic centerpiece of Yellowstone for over a century.

Its steep gables and wood-clad exterior calls back to an era when simple lodges were few and far between in the American west. And while historic Old Faithful Inn has modernized over the years, it has kept its rural plains spirit through it all.

But, some say it’s kept a few other spirits as well. Along with being an in-demand Yellowstone lodge, Old Faithful Inn is rumored to be haunted. After all, what’s an old hotel without a good ghost story?

Timeline of The Old Faithful Inn's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see The Old Faithful Inn through the years


Before the Old Faithful Inn existed, there was much interest in capitalizing on the area’s natural beauty. Since Yellowstone National Park had been created in 1872, developers had a keen interest in catering to park visitors. And Old Faithful made the perfect place for an inn, given the geyser’s consistency.

A popular inn, the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel, operated nearby the geyser in the 1880s and 1890s. But, by the late 1890s, the hotel had collapsed and needed to be replaced. Enter young architect, Robert Reamer.


Robert Reamer was contracted by railroad companies to build a grand new hotel on the site of the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel. Reamer’s vision came to life on the old plot of land as the Old Faithful Inn in 1903. Not long after the inn opened in 1904, it became one of the region’s most well-known and sought after hotels. It also came to greet famous names of the day.

During construction, Theodore Roosevelt visited the site. And in the 1920s, both Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge lodged at the Old Faithful Inn.


To accommodate its popularity, the Old Faithful Inn was expanded numerous times in its early years. It went on to add 250 guest rooms to its original total in its first few decades of operation. Additionally, the hotel added the popular Bear Pit Lounge onto the lobby in 1936.

The unique bar was known for its numerous wood carvings of bears spread throughout. The Old Faithful Inn’s success spread through the first half of the 20th century. But by the latter half of the century, nature would threaten the inn’s future.


In 1959, Old Faithful Inn was significantly damaged by an earthquake in the region. Known as The Hebgen Lake Earthquake, it caused a large landslide and shook the inn terribly. The chimneys and roof were damaged in the event. The Old Faithful Inn’s crow’s nest, a walkway in the rafters, also had to be permanently closed to the public afterwards.

The inn was extensively renovated and restored in the years after the earthquake. But that wouldn’t be Mother Nature’s last swing at the historic lodge.


The flames came dangerously close to Old Faithful Inn in 1988, when wildfires tore through much of Yellowstone National Park. Fire crews needed to douse the hotel in water to keep it safe. But while the hotel was evacuated, it was ultimately spared from the fire’s destruction. Ever since then, Old Faithful Inn has continually operated in Yellowstone, as well as been regularly renovated. Old Faithful Inn now has 3 floors and 327 rooms.

But while the old inn has gone through many changes, wood still creaks and drafts still chill. Or maybe, that’s just the work of the inn’s reported ghosts.

Is The Old Faithful Inn Haunted?

Numerous ghost stories float around about the Old Faithful Inn. But the most famous ghost story has to do with the ghost of a young bride, killed on her honeymoon.

The story goes that in 1915 a young, wealthy girl in New York married an older servant of her family’s, to her father’s disapproval. Her father offered the newlyweds a large sum of money to leave New York and never return, which they agreed to. The couple left for Yellowstone with the money for a honeymoon at Old Faithful Inn. But, within a month, the woman’s new husband had gambled away all their money…

The Inn’s Haunted Honeymoon

In despair, the young bride phoned her family to ask for more money. But her father turned her down. After a the couple had a loud, vicious argument in their room, hotel staff watched the husband leave the hotel in the middle of the night. It wasn’t until days later that the room was checked, and what exactly was found is a matter of debate. Some say the bride’s headless body was found in a pool of blood on the floor. Other tales put her in the bed, while others still put her decapitated corpse in the tub. Some retellings have her cut into tiny pieces, though most focus in on one unforgettable detail: her head was nowhere to be found.

Workers searched, and finally found the bride’s head disposed of in the hotel’s ‘crow’s nest’ walkway upstairs. Now, Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn is supposedly haunted by this headless bride. However, corroborating evidence for this tale is tough to find.

The Headless Bride at Old faithful Inn’s Crow’s Nest

As the story goes, the tragic couple checked into Room 127 when they arrived at the hotel. Now Old faithful Inn’s most haunted room is Room 127. The headless bride of the Old Faithful Inn has been reported in and around Room 127 during the night. But that’s not the only place she appeared.

Her figure, dressed in white, is also regularly spotted descending the stairs from the old crow’s nest.

While the area is closed to the public, visitors can still see the staircase, and apparently the ghost who regularly walks it.

Witnesses have said that the woman’s figure appears to be holding her own head under her arm. It is as if she had gone upstairs to retrieve it from where her husband left it.

Fact vs. Fiction at Old Faithful Inn

Is the tale of the Yellowstone headless bride truly real? The tale of the decapitated newlywed ghost, while undoubtedly interesting, has uncertain sources. It is unknown whether a murder ever did take place at Old Faithful Inn, much less one as grisly as the tale implies. No newspaper articles or other reports have ever been found detailing the murder. Additionally, a former tour guide claimed to have made the story up in the 1980s.

But, since the story originated, whether from murder or imagination, reports of encounters with the woman’s headless ghost have been common. However, this ghostly tall tale isn’t the only report of activity around this haunted inn in Wyoming.

Phantom Footsteps & Creepy Creaking

Another popular haunted claim about Wyoming’s most haunted inn is disembodied footsteps. The footsteps have often been heard in the longer hallway of guest rooms around the building.

Guests disturbed or intrigued by the sounds of the footsteps check out into the corridor to find no one there, and no easy place for anyone to have hidden.

The footsteps are commonly heard running continuously up and down certain halls. Some people have claimed to hear floorboards creak underneath the footsteps, even in areas where there are no creaky boards.

Along with this, doors around the hotel are known to act strangely, opening and closing by themselves. It seems some spirits around the inn sure have a lot of places to go.

Ghostly Guests In Haunted Rooms

Other shadow figures, with heads still attached, have also been spotted around the Old Faithful Inn at times. Shadowy apparitions are seen on the staircases, sometimes accompanied by the ghostly footsteps.

At least one guest in Room 2 has reported waking up in the night to see a strange woman’s figure lingering beside her bed, only to see the woman disappear. Apparently, this entity is someone different from the headless bride specter.

And in the lobby, a man’s apparition has been seen. He is said to be short, and with somewhat of an intense expression on his face.

Some who have seen this man’s figure claim he is the ghost of the hotel’s architect, Robert Reamer. Perhaps the soul of the old architect forever remains in the project he poured his soul into.

Faithful Phantoms of
The Old Faithful Inn

The Old Faithful Inn remains focused on rustic atmosphere and modern hospitality. However, the haunting allure of the old lodge has become undeniable. The main draws are, and will surely remain, the natural surroundings and geysers just feet from the hotel’s parking lots.

But at the Old Faithful Inn, while the beauty of nature mystifies outside, the mysteries of the unknown unfold inside.

There aren’t any ghost-centered tours available at the Old Faithful Inn today, nor can anyone book formal ghost hunts of the space. You can, however, book a room or two and explore the space for yourself.

The best rooms at Old Faithful Inn book for ghosts are Room 127 or Room 2. You can lie awake and await the vision of Old Faithful Inn’s headless bride. But don’t be surprised if you make it through the night un-haunted. Ghostly appearances aren’t quite as consistent as eruptions from Old Faithful.