The DeSoto House Hotel - Galena Illinois

The Haunted DeSoto House Hotel

The History

First opened in 1855, the DeSoto House is one of the oldest operating hotels in Illinois. The hotel opened for business in 1855. It was named after Hernando DeSoto, the discoverer of the Mississippi River.  Four years after opening, the hotel suffered a fire and ten years later a steam boiler exploded in the basement.Abraham Lincoln spoke from the hotel balcony on July 23, 1856, and it has had other prominent guests, such as Stephen A. Douglas, and William Jennings Bryan. It was also the presidential campaign headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant, among others. 

The Hauntings

Although the identity of the ghosts here is unknown, many folks have reported phantom cigar smoke, voices in the halls and apparitions of people in period dress who seem to walk, or float, through walls. Others have heard disembodied voices in the hallway.  

Guests complain about noises and footsteps coming from above the 3rd floor.  The 4th and 5th floors of the hotel were removed in 1880.  An employee we interviewed claims she saw an orb of light in the 3rd floor hallway.  She was so frightened she left the floor immediately.  This employee also said that Room 333 gives her an uneasy feeling.  Most paranormal claims come from the 3rd floor.Paranormal groups have obtained EVPs in the area called the subway near the kitchen in the Generals' Restaurant.  An apparition was seen walking out of the wall near the fireplace in Green Street Tavern.

DeSoto House Hotel
230 South Main Street
Galena, IL 61036

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(815) 777-0090



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