Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel

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Spirits from the WW1 and WW2 basement morgue days, at least one overly
enthusiastic spectral employee, a terrified young spirit boy and a spirit who resents the living,
keep this place active with paranormal activity.

A spirit who loved to drink while alive, likes to see what is happening in the bar area.


Tom and I visited this most impressive, former passenger train station terminal turned-grand-hotel. Not only was it built to last the ages, but designer Kenneth Murchison had great taste, putting the 600,000 dollar budget to great use!

Wow! We were blown away by the building’s glorious frontage, made complete with columns and an eight-foot bronze clock. The exterior is faced with Indiana limestone, with beautiful decor in the Beaux Arts Style, looking very much like a Renaissance chateau.

The entryway into the lobby has stunning soft, pinkish-yellow Italian marble known as Formosa.

Walking into the lobby with its two-and-a-half story, barrel-vaulted Tiffany glass ceiling, its length is a surprise, being as long as a football field. It sure is stunning, with its marble walls, and the thirty-six murals made of fancy floor tiles by New York artisan Grueby Faience. The murals depict the scenery encountered by travelersalong the route taken by the train, known as the Phoebe Snow.

The interior has one hundred and forty-six rooms used by guests and personnel, including places for its in-houseamenities. For the general public as well as guests, these amenities are located on the large first floor, including Carmens restaurant, the Traxs Bar/Kitchen and the Station Cafe, and the gift shop.

Within the hotel, there are upscale meeting rooms, banquet and wedding event spaces, a ballroom and a fitness center.

The hotel rooms have a nice blend of historical and modern touches, and the usual amenities found in upscale accommodations. Off-season prices range from 160 to 218 dollars, which is reasonable for this type of hotel.



Since the 1850s, Delaware Lackawanna Western Company trains were used to transport riches mined from the earth, mostly coal and iron through the Lakawanna Valley to the east coast. Textile factories also used the railroad system to deliver their products to market. Scranton enjoyed the wealth created by these industries.

By the late 1800s, there was a need for passenger trains as well in Scranton because the population had grown in this thriving town.

Most importantly, people with money were interested in starting ventures here as well. The railroad brought investors in to look for opportunities to invest, which underlined the fact that classy train travel was needed.

Enthusiasm for transforming commercial rail service to meet the needs of passengers was a driving force to build new passenger stations for people wanting to partake in train travel.

The main train, Phoebe Snow, ran from Hoboken, New Jersey, to Buffalo, New York. There were eleven other destinations along the way.

In 1905, a glorious, five-story passenger train station was designed by much-sought-after New York architect Kenneth Murchison. In fourteen months, he built a showpiece of beauty and excellence, in the French Renaissance Beaux Arts style.

To prevent destruction from fire, its bones are constructed of brick and steel, with concrete floors and partitions, giving the whole building a sturdy, safe structure.

With the services and amenities offered, it became a place for the community to meet, as well as to take good care of their passengers.

Business boomed through the early teens, and WW1. Soldiers went off to fight, using the trains to report for duty. Some came back alive, while others who were less fortunate came back in coffins, that were stored in the terminal’s basement until the next train on the schedule could deliver their remains to their hometowns. Loved ones came to claim them.

By 1920, more rooms were needed for office space, so a sixth floor was added. The prosperous times lasted through the 1920s, but started to go downhill, starting in the Depression years.

After WW2, a variety of circumstances and developments took place that slowly brought down the profits of the railroads. Gas and oil took the place of coal to heat homes, and trucks became the favorite form of transportation to move products. By the 1950s, many people had their own cars, and loved the freedom to decide when to travel.

By 1960, the Delaware, Lackawanna Western Railroad merged with the Erie Railroad, making it a terminal where Erie trains came through. However, in 1972, the Erie Railroad finally circled the financial drain. The last train to leave the Lackawanna Passenger Station Terminal departed in 1970.

For ten years, the whole building was mothballed, boarded up, reduced to a storage facility, and became a place for the homeless to stay. They didn’t mind the cracked windows or the deteriorating exterior.

However, in 1980, the Mayor and the council of Scranton came up with an ambitious plan, to transform the city’s old funky landmark into a fancy hotel, to draw tourists and people who didn’t usually come downtown.

It would stimulate Scranton’s economy, becoming an economic anchor for the revitalization of Scranton. Next door, was Steamtown USA, a train museum that was built in 1967 on the site of the old Lackawanna rail yard and shops, featuring steam engines and their cars.

Because of troubles, it closed in 1984, but eventually became The Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton after being bought in 1995 by NPS, and developed with a $66 million government allocation.

Between funds from the city government, donations from city businesses and banks, contributions from federal and state sources, and fundraising by a group of private investors, The Erie Lackawanna Restoration Associates, thirteen million dollars were raised for this ambitious project.

The restoration work and renovations began! The Hilton at Lackawanna Station opened on New Year’s Eve of 1983. Six hundred and fifty people attended the party, dancing to the music of Guy Lombardo.

It was the best hotel in Scranton, becoming popular with travelers who loved high-class joints. Minor League baseball teams enjoyed staying in the expensive sixth floor suites, while playing their games in Scranton. Trainlovers of course came to stay as well.

Maintenance of this historic building proved to be never-ending, cutting into profits. In 1993, The Hilton at Lackawanna Station was sold to another company, which changed the name to Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.

In July of 2005, it changed owners once again for $7 million dollars to Akshar Lackawanna Station Hospitality LP, with the condition that the new owners would spend $1.5 million to $1.7 million on renovations and improvements, between 2007-2009.

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel continues to be a prosperous hotel, and is still much loved by the people of Scranton, and apparently by some spirits who reside here. Most are cordial, some unhappy, and one is a certified grump.



Spirits who are unhappy about their sudden deaths, sometimes resent the living for intruding into the spirits’ space or are envious that people are alive and they are not. They can find ways to defend their space, or bully unsuspecting people.

Stranahan House Museum, FL (Albert, the ne’er-do-well brother of matriarch Ivy Stranahan, caught TB from a prostitute and died six months later in Ivy’s house. His spirit likes to make the staff and visitors on tours uncomfortable).

Buffalo Central Terminal, NY (The spirit of Tony Fedele, an owner who suffered the death of his dream of restoring the building, has claimed his original third floor apartment as his own, and lets the living know it).

Brumder Mansion, WI (In the late 1930s’, Dr. Wyatt had rented the third floor as living space for his family. When he died in a car accident in the early 40s, he refused to accept it and continued to claim the third floor as his domain. His spirit finally accepted his death, and moved on in 2022 after his story was told many times).

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, PA (There seems to be one rather crabby spirit on the sixth floor who has claimed some of the guest rooms. He doesn’t want to share them, and resents living people, as he or she is disappointed that death took his or her life, probably suddenly).


The spirits of people who suddenly die near a building they like, sometimes move inside to stay.

Cuppa Coffee and More, CA (The cowboy with a sense of humor was shot by a man who didn’t like the cowboy’s jokes. The spirit of the cowboy moved into the storefront right next to where he was shot and continued being himself).

Orpheum Theatre, TN (A twelve year old girl named Mary was killed in a street accident right in from of the theatre. Her spirit moved inside, and has proved to be a handful).

Lucky’s Tavern, FL (During the 1920s or ’30s, a gangster was shot and killed in front of this building. His spirit moved inside, and became a volunteer staff supervisor with a rough style, and is a bit cheeky).

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, PA (The spirit of a man, who died in a car accident nearby, moved into the hotel and settled on the sixth floor, where all the fancy suites are located).


People who enjoyed food and drink while alive still do even in spirit form. They enjoy seeing people eating and drinking their favorite choices.

Brother Sebastian’s Restaurant and Winery, NE (The spirit of long-time patron Bill Walden still enjoys experiencing wine and steaks by being close to people who are in the bar and restaurant).

Hangman’s Tree Ice Cream Saloon, CA (Many spirits enjoy experiencing ice cream again by being near living customers who are enjoying this sweet treat).

The Pink House, GA (When a bar with its restaurant was built in the basement, the spirits of James Jr., his grandson, and his brother Joseph, became enthusiastic participants).

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, PA (The Trax Bar is visited by the spirit of a former transient who died here, right before restoration work started. He enjoys watching people drink).


Spirits of employees who adored their jobs, or had big plans for the salary they were earning, sometimes choose to spend their afterlives doing that job, or try to keep working to earn more for their goal).

Lake Hotel, WY (The spirit of a head porter still serves living guests before disappearing right in front of them).

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, GA (An unknown 1920s spectral male bellhop is still at work on the second floor).

S.K. Pierce Mansion, MA (The spirit of S.K. Pierce’s nanny, Maddie Cornwall, experienced the happiest time of her life working at his mansion. She decided to spend her afterlife here, and expanded her job to be the house manager as well).

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, PA (At least two spectral employees still go about their duties on the sixth floor).


When coffins holding remains are temporarily kept in a building, the spirits who are still attached may decide to stay there.

Kansas Aviation Museum, KS (Remains of the Vietnam War casualties would be kept here to be distributed to the correct plane to take them home. Some of the spirits of soldiers decided to stay).

Union Train Station at Ogden, UT (Coffins of dead soldiers were stored here until they were claimed, or picked up on another train to take them to their loved ones. Some of their spirits now enjoy amusing themselves by teasing the living, and looking at the gun display in the station’s museum).

Buffalo Central Terminal, NY (During World Wars 1 and 2, many military personnel took planes and trains to get to their vessels or transports to the European or South Pacific Theatres. Some of these same men came back in coffins on board, and decided to try to leave the train station, or wait for loved ones to greet them, not wanting to give up the dream of coming home).

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, PA (The remains of people who died away from home, both civilians and soldiers, came into the station by rail. Their coffins were stored in the basement, until they were claimed or put on other trains headed for home. Some spirits decided to stay).



The Spirit of a Bellhop

The Bellhop is described as being an African American who appears in solid form.

This spirit asks guests staying in the glamorous sixth floor suites if they need anything, before he suddenly disappears.

He may be the one seen walking or floating down the halls, or it could be another spectral employee still on the job.

The Spirit of the Crabby Male

I theorize this cranky one used to have one of the larger offices that were added in the 1920s on the new 6th floor, which his spirit still claims.

He may not accept his death. His rudeness speaks volumes.

When the station was turned into a luxury hotel, his office became one or two of the suites.

He has tried to scare guests out of his rooms in direct ways.

Get Out of My Rooms

Guests have awakened, feeling an unseen presence holding them down so they can’t move.

One woman had red marks on her arms from being held down.

Guests have heard screams coming from the walls, and loud knocks on the doors.

Right in front of guests, light switches rapidly turn on and off.

The Spirit from a Car Crash

This spirit moved onto the sixth floor of the hotel right after he left his body.

A friendly fellow, he appeared in front of two minor league ball players as he looked over the sixth floor railing to the dining room below.

He told them that he had died in a car accident and now resided there.

He showed off a little bit, by moving his head around 360 degrees, before flying off the railing and disappearing.

The Spirits in the Basement

These spirits decided to stay after their coffins were temporarily put here.

This beautiful building would be the perfect place to spend their afterlives.

Perhaps they wanted to wait and see if their loved ones would come to get them.

The Spirit Of a Boy

He is described as wearing a top hat, and being between six and eight-years-old.

He is seen in the basement area, unhappy and lost.

He may have unattached from his coffin and went to look for his mom.

He may be waiting for his mom to come.

His apparition has been seen, crying, and calling for his mom.

The Spirits of Soldiers

These spirits wander the basement area and probably the first floor lobby.

They may be confused, and don’t know where they are.

For some reason, they haven’t crossed over. Perhaps they died so suddenly that they don’t want to accept that they were killed.


While the hotel won’t allow paranormal groups inside to investigate, they have slowly admitted that they have spectral guests who stay for free, and sometimes interact with their guests.

Because so many guests and staff have bumped into the spirits on the sixth floor, and other places as well in the hotel, the hotel can no longer deny it.

Two sources go into detail about the hauntings experienced:

Haunted Scranton: After Dark in the Electric City by A.C. Bernardi

Chris Amandier, Nov 4, 2022. Interestingly, he covers the experiences of various minor league basesball players, sharing the sources that talk about it.




A big Yes Indeed!

The hotel is bringing peace to some spirits, while others are unhappy, or trying to hold onto their goals or possessions. The hotel would do well to bring in a medium who can councel the unhappy spirits in the basement, reunite the boy spirit with his mother, work with the crabby one and the bellhop, with the goal of sending all of them to the other side, and help anyone else to go to the light as well.

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Our Photos are copyrighted by Tom Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamtown,_U.S.A.
  • Chris Amandier https://www.buriedsecretspodcast.com/author/chris/
  • https://www.buriedsecretspodcast.com/ghosts-of-nay-aug-park-lackawanna-station-hotel-haunted-scranton/
  • Haunted Scranton: After Dark in the Electric City by A.C. Bernardi
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radisson_Lackawanna_Station_Hotel
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWtea9H5Hjs
  • NRHP info on Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel https://www.nps.gov/stea/planyourvisit/lackawanna-station-100th-anniversary.htm

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Pennsylvania