Are You Brave Enough to Stay at These Haunted Hotels?
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Looking for a scary spot to rest your head? Fortunately, there are hundreds of reportedly haunted hotels all around the world, from glamorous Hollywood to the foothills of the Rockies. We’ve selected 13 of our favorite, er, haunts this spooky season — a mix of urban towers and historic châteaus.
Best of all, some are even available to book with points. If paying cash, be sure to use the right credit card for booking one of these haunted hotel stays, so you can at least maximize the frightful night. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, earns 3x points on hotel stays, while The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5x points on prepaid stays booked through Amex Travel.
It’s only natural that a 130-year-old property may have a few ghost stories. One of them is a ghost bride who died by falling down the Fairmont’s marble staircase before she could say “I do.” Guests report seeing a veiled female swaying in the grand ballroom and around the hotel. The spirit of Sam McCauley, head bellman in the 1970s, has also been known to wander the hotel’s halls, ensuring everything is running as it should. Certain rooms at the Fairmont Banff Springs are said to have some unexplainable activity, and complaints include pillows being pulled from beneath guests’ heads, bloody handprints on the bathroom mirror and even sleeping patrons getting shoved out of bed.
Fall room rates start around $300 per night at this AccorHotels property.
New Orleans is considered one of the most haunted cities in America, so it’s not surprising some specters can be found in hotels. One of the most notorious for ghost sightings is the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. The site once housed a famous ballroom and theater, and later a convent and orphanage before the hotel was built. Ghosts from many eras have been haunting the space ever since, according to the hotel’s own website. Some of the most common sightings are the young orphans who died from yellow fever back when the site was an orphanage, a Confederate soldier who paces the hallways and a phantom that hides behind the drapes in the ballroom.
Fall room rates start at $260 per night, or you can learn more about the hotel’s spine-chilling present and past on a Grayline Ghost Walking Tour.
Built in 1926, the Hotel Roosevelt is now known as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. As the place Marilyn Monroe called home for two years and where Shirley Temple tap danced on the stairs, it has many claims to fame. Throughout the years, VIP guests have included Clark Gable, Ernest Hemingway and Cliff Montgomery. And a few of the hotel’s most illustrious clients seem simply uninterested in checking out. Celebrity spirits are regularly spotted around the hotel, especially during renovation periods. Marilyn Monroe’s spirit, for example, has appeared in the mirror of many guest rooms. Some visitors also report seeing a little girl in a blue dress playing around the hotel.
Fall room rates start at $281 per night.
The Stanley Hotel is the sinister inn that inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Rooms 217 and 413 are considered the most haunted, while the fourth floor is thought to be the most haunted level. However, it’s the Stanley’s public areas that often see the most paranormal action. The concert hall gets many phantoms (Houdini once performed there) and pianos play themselves in the basement. Ghosts of wealthy hotel patrons, children who once stayed there and former staff members are said to haunt the grand mountain hotel. The ghost of Mrs. Smith, a former housekeeper, is more of a friendly apparition — she tidies up rooms and organizes guests’ suitcases. Ladies beware, as the spirit of schmoozing businessman Lord Dunraven might steal your jewelry and hide it in the closet. His wraithlike breath might also be felt on your neck.
Fall rates start at $260, but expect to drop $400 for the especially haunted rooms. The hotel offers evening spirit tours starting at $28 per person, or $25 for hotel guests and seniors.
Savannah is another city famous for its Gothic appeal and historic haunts. The Marshall House is one of the oldest and most famous buildings in the city. Erected in 1851, the hotel was twice used as a hospital — once during a yellow fever epidemic and again as a Union hospital toward the end of the Civil War. The hotel is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts, such as soldiers with missing limbs, children playing marbles in the hallways and the spirit of Joel Chandler Harris, an author who once stayed at the hotel. His typewriter keys are often heard clicking in the room he once stayed in. Guests have even complained of hearing and seeing a ghost cat.
Fall room rates start at $108 per night. Book with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card at Hotels.com/Venture to earn 10x miles on your stay. (You can also take advantage of the Hotels.com Rewards program to earn one free night for every 10 paid nights, effectively boosting your return to 20% when you pay with the Venture card.)
Actor Lily Collins told Jimmy Fallon she was haunted by the ghost of a young girl during her stay at the Shelbourne, and she’s not alone. Many visitors have reported mysterious occurrences, like the taps turning on, strange giggling, doors slamming and a shadow of a girl roaming aimlessly through the building, especially on the sixth floor. So many guests complained about paranormal activity that the hotel eventually insisted a staff member stay in the so-called haunted room. The elected colleague reportedly ran out of the room terrified after the rumors proved true. The ghost at fault is thought to be Mary Masters, a 7-year-old girl who died of cholera in the building hundreds of years ago.
Fall room rates start at 280 euros ($324) or 60,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.
Staying at the stunning Château de Marçay is magical for some and frightening for others. One of Europe’s many haunted castles, the 15th-century stone fortress has a sordid history. The women who once lived in the château, according to legend, were really only ladies by day — and werewolves by night. (Hey, who doesn’t love a vampire-ghost-story mash-up?) A fearful farmer shot one of the “werewolves” and buried her, but her spirit still haunts the castle, seem drifting around in a white dress. Luckily, she seems harmless, but she may startle you while you’re lounging poolside or playing tennis.
Fall room rates start at $140 per night.
Dating back to 1865, the Langham London is known for having several phantom residents — England’s cricket team even reported being spooked at the luxury hotel. One of the ghosts is a doctor who killed his wife and then himself during their honeymoon. He now taunts visitors as he marches through the hotel in Victorian-era garb (and most often in October). Napoleon III has been spotted roaming through the basement, his former hangout. There’s also a German prince who committed suicide here before WWI by jumping out a window is often most active in the mornings, startling guests by appearing and disappearing in a military jacket. One particularly mischievous ghost likes to toss guests in Room 333 (the most haunted of all the rooms at the Langham) out of bed.
Fall room rates start at $630 per night.
This massive five-star hotel that overlooks the Gateway of India began construction in 1898 and opened to guests in 1902. With a roster of famous patrons over the years, the Taj Mahal Palace is a Mumbai landmark. It was even the first building in the city to have electricity and German elevators. But when the head architect, WA Chambers, went on vacation, the hotel’s construction team made a mistake, and built the Taj facing the wrong direction. When Chambers realized what had happened, he was so distraught he jumped from the fifth floor of the hotel to his death. He still haunts the hotel today, often heard (and sometimes seen) crying about this monumental mistake.
Fall room rates start at $378 per night. Book with The Platinum Card® from American Express through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, you’ll get an upgrade upon arrival (depending on availability), daily complimentary breakfast for two, a free one-way private sedan transfer to the airport upon check-out and other perks.
Although the Grand Hyatt Taipei repeatedly denies being haunted, hotel patrons say otherwise. The hotel is rumored to have been built on a WWII prison, though the Grand Hyatt says it was simply a military warehouse and no one was ever held there as a prisoner. Still, guests report hearing peculiar snoring and footsteps, and having inexplicable, uneasy feelings during their stay. Two scrolls that have since been removed from the lobby were said to have been talismans, protecting visitors from the supernatural, but Hyatt says they were simply gifts from generous benefactors.
Fall room rates start at $232, or 21,000 points per night.
At the time it was built in 2011, the Baiyoke Sky Hotel was one of the tallest buildings in Thailand, topping out at 88 stories. During construction, three workers fell 67 stories to their deaths when a supporting cable snapped. Guests have seen shadows lurking and felt strange, cold air around them. Many have also said that items in their room have been mysteriously moved or misplaced and attribute this to the three resident construction worker ghosts that haunt the hotel.
Fall room rates start at $63 per night.
With a laundry list of famous guests such as Santana, Julio Iglesias, Ava Gardner and John Wayne, Lima’s Gran Hotel Bolivar seems like a revered, historical spot. But the hotel, which dates back to 1924, has reportedly closed the fifth and six floors of the hotel during the last decade because of spooky activity (the hotel attributes this closure to lack of funds). One of the most famous spirits that wanders the hotel is the woman in white, who loves to appear and then disappear in front of guests. Another woman who committed suicide by jumping out of one of the windows haunts the hotel alongside a deceased, disgruntled employee who’s often heard stomping around.
Fall room rates start at $85 per night.
Kimberley is one of South Africa’s most haunted cities, so it makes sense spirits linger around the Kimberley Club Hotel. Formerly a private members club for South Africa’s elite in 1881, the property has welcomed many wealthy and eccentric guests. One, Joseph van Praagh, insisted on having his very own private bathroom built there. Today, the ghost of Praagh lives on at the hotel, specifically in the library. Guests have also reported a woman dressed in Victorian clothing and another spirit donning a waiter’s uniform.
Fall room rates start at $90 per night, but you can also see the hotel’s most haunted spots on a ghost tour of Kimberley.
Featured photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr
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