The Pink Lady: The Friendly Ghost at the Grove Park Inn

The Pink Lady: The Friendly Ghost at the Grove Park Inn

Each week as we count down to Halloween, we present a famous North Carolina urban legend or ghost story to get you primed and ready for the spookiest day of the year. This week, we check in to the Grove Park Inn in search of one of its most famous guests.

The Grove Park Inn

In the early 20th century, Asheville and its surrounding towns were home to a robust health tourism industry. Thousands upon thousands flocked to the mountains of Western North Carolina in hopes the fresh air would cure all sorts of ailments. One such health tourist, Edwin Wiley Grove, liked the area so much he decided to stay.

The Grove Park Inn, home to the Pink Lady, a famous NC ghost.
Image courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn on Facebook.

Thus, seeing an opportunity to expand and capitalize upon the region’s tourism, Grove built the Grove Park Inn, a mountain resort to rival the most luxurious American hotels. Opening its doors in 1913, the Grove Park Inn became a world-class getaway.

Like other famous resort hotels, however, some guests never leave.

The Ghost of The Pink Lady

According to legend, there was a tragic death at the Grove Park Inn some time in the 1920s. A young woman, dressed all in pink, fell to her death from a fifth floor balcony.

As with most good ghost stories, the details of the Pink Lady’s death are mysterious. In some versions of the story, the Pink Lady went to the Inn to meet with a secret lover. When he rejected her advances, the Pink Lady threw herself off the balcony in a fit of heartbreak.

Another, simpler version tells of the Pink Lady as a debutante who slipped and fell after a night of overindulgence. No matter which version of her story is true, guests and staff of the Grove Park Inn have reported her haunting presence for nearly a hundred years.

Image courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn on Facebook.

The Pink Lady Appears

The Pink Lady sometimes appears as nebulous pink mist or a fully-formed woman dressed entirely in pink, often in room 545. She seems to favor children over adults. During the Grove Park Inn’s health tourism days, many visitors reported seeing her at the bedsides of ill children.

In one famous sighting of the Pink Lady, a doctor left a note with the front desk to thank the lady in the pink ballgown for her hospitality. His children told him how much they enjoyed playing with her.

All in all, the Pink Lady seems to be a friendly, content ghost. Happy to spend eternity at the beautiful resort, she plays small pranks, like turning on lights or air conditioners. Some guests attribute rearranged furniture in their rooms to the cheeky ghost.

Nearly a century after her death, the Pink Lady has become an enduring part of the grand hotel.

Want more spooky North Carolina stories? Check out our pieces on Brown Mountain Lights and Helen’s Bridge. For more spooky season activities, please visit our lifestyle section.