The Read House Hotel in Chattanooga is an iconic landmark that has welcomed guests since 1872. This elegant hotel has a rich history that has attracted numerous famous visitors over the years, including celebrities and politicians. However, the hotel also has a reputation for some darker aspects, including a rumored haunting and a connection to organized crime.
One of the most famous guests to have stayed at The Read House was none other than Winston Churchill. The legendary British statesman stayed at the hotel in 1939 during his visit to Chattanooga, and his room has since been named the Churchill Suite in his honor. Other notable visitors include Al Capone, who was said to have frequented the hotel during the prohibition era, and Elvis Presley, who stayed at The Read House while filming the movie "Stay Away, Joe."
However, not all of the hotel's guests have been of the living variety. There have been numerous reports of a ghostly presence in room 311, which is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young woman named Annalisa Netherly. According to legend, Annalisa was staying in the room in the 1920s when she was murdered by her lover. Ever since then, guests have reported strange occurrences in the room, including the sensation of being touched by an unseen presence, as well as mysterious knocks and whispers. If you're not afraid of possible ghosts you can stay in room 311 during the Halloween season, a draw for many paranormal enthusiasts.
In addition to its ghostly reputation, The Read House has also been linked to organized crime. During the 1920s and 1930s, the hotel was allegedly frequented by mobsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, who would use it as a base for their illegal activities. It is even rumored that there is a secret tunnel running from the hotel to a nearby brothel, which was once used by mobsters to avoid detection by the authorities.
Despite these rumors and legends, The Read House remains a beloved landmark in Chattanooga. Its elegant architecture and luxurious accommodations continue to attract visitors from around the world. Whether you're interested in history, ghost stories, or simply a comfortable place to stay, The Read House Hotel is an unforgettable destination.
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Mary Beth McConnell
Chattanooga Roots Property Team