The Amway Grand Plaza was once considered one of the finest hotels in all of America. People from all around the world were attracted to its grandiose beauty. Now, it’s simply known as Grand Rapid’s haunted hotel, and for good reason. The amount of spiritual activity here is stunning.
None of this belittles the hotel’s importance in Grand Rapids. When the Amyway Corporation reopened the heavily neglected hotel, it almost single-handedly revived downtown Grand Rapids.
But just as Grand Rapids became a ghost town in the middle of the 20th century, so too did the Amway, formerly the Pantlind. Over the years, the hotel had become filled with spectral guests, some more friendly than others.
Gruesome murders and horrible accidents took place here, something that guests of the hotel can attest to. Not because they were there but because they had seen the paranormal aftermath of these horrid events.
Take a deep dive with us into the haunted past of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. See it for yourself on your next visit to Grand Rapids on a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures.
The sleepy city of Grand Rapids, formerly known for building furniture and producing plaster, had made a name for itself by the time the 20th century had rolled along.
Its plaster had been shipped across the world, and its exquisite furniture was known nationwide. Not bad for a city that had been incorporated only some fifty years prior in 1850.
The bourgeoning city needed a hotel to accommodate its newfound wealth and clientele, and in 1900, the Sweet Hotel was built. It was quickly followed by the creation of the Pantlind in 1913, a hotel that would soon be renowned across the nation.
The Pantlind included one of the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings and two of the world’s most exquisite chandeliers. Both are still on display today despite the hotel changing names and structure over the years.
By 1925, the Pantlind was considered one of the “10 Finest hotels in America” and was attracting wealthy guests from all over.
This high title was short-lived, however, and soon, the Pantlind and the rest of Grand Rapids fell into disrepair. The effects of the Great Depression were felt in Grand Rapids with a heavy heart. As fewer and fewer people had money for the city’s high-end furniture, less and less money flowed into the city.
Word War 2 saw many urban dwellers fleeing to the suburbs in the “white flight” movement. The city’s downtown area lost funding, basic necessities, and proper infrastructure care.
The Pantlind was left to rot, but by 1981, it was saved by the Amway Corporation, a health and beauty company. They rebuilt the hotel to its former glory, saving all the fine subtleties that made it special at its height.
What they did not do, however, was remove the decades of spiritual activity that continue to haunt the hotel.
There are dozens of first-hand accounts of high strangeness, odd activity, and ghastly apparitions in the hotel. One of the most shocking is the story of Mary Monko, a former hotel staff member.
One day after work, she and a friend were riding the hotel’s elevator. This was back when a specially trained individual had to operate them. Monko stepped out of the elevator on the 10th floor at exactly the wrong moment. Her friend had grabbed the controls from the operator’s hands in a playful manner but did not realize what consequences would come.
Monko’s head was cut clean off, and her body was mangled. Her spirit is still felt around the 10th floor, often laughing and running through the hallway. Every so often, however, guests hear the blood-curdling scream of a young woman, it is quickly cut short in the night.
Another terrifying story takes place in Room 336, and oftentimes in the adjacent Room 337. One former staff member was cleaning the room when the faucets began blasting steaming hot water. They had been in that room many times and would often see the lights flicker on and off and doors slamming shut.
A guest stayed next door in Room 337 once and reported waking up to two shadow figures hovering over their bed.
The list of spirits in the Amway goes on and on. There are Victorian ballroom dancers in the Pantlid Ballroom, a spirit who takes cigarettes and ashtrays and hides them, a woman in white who haunts the tennis courts, and a small child who sneakily roams the hotel.
The only way to learn about them all is to take a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures. Our experienced tour guides know every spirit residing within the Amway and all over Grand Rapids!