Fancy spending Halloween night in a haunted hotel? If so, here are seven to thrill and frighten. And with such classy establishments, who can blame the spirits for returning to their “old haunts” and refusing to move on? With so many haunted places out there, and so many articles claiming to feature “the most haunted“, we’ve adapted this tried-and-tested list (compiled by Forbes in 2002) to ensure maximum results this All Hallows Eve. Want more? Check out last year’s feature on Three of America’s Most Haunted Places.
Castle Stuart, Scotland
This traditional seventeenth century castle near Inverness is supposedly haunted by four ghosts. Spooky happenings have been reported for centuries, and the Stuart family maintains the east tower is the most haunted area. Carpenters have fallen off ladders, furniture has been overturned and bloodcurdling yells have been heard in the night. Of course, Castle Stuart is on the Whisky Trail, which could also account for the strong spirits.
Bran Castle, Romania
Modern marketing in the post-communist era would have you believe Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler, lived in every castle in Romania. And this bloodthirsty pursuit of tourism branded Bran Castle in Transylvania as the infamous Count’s real residence. His actual home lies in ruins, although he did spend several days at haunted Bran Castle. Guests on the annual Dracula Tour visit Bran Castle before spending the night at a castle in Borgo Pass. No points for guessing what that one’s called…
Langham Hilton, London
London’s Langham Hilton, built in 1865, was once owned by the BBC. Old school journalists have never been averse to a drink or several, which may have helped fuel reports of ghosts dressed in Victorian clothes and, stranger still, a German soldier. Some even claim that Napoleon III haunts the cellar, while Room 333 is supposedly the most “active” room at the Langham.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
Room service can be expensive, but when it keeps coming back it’s value for money. That’s assuming whoever knocks on your door is there when you open it… Staff and guests at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, claim to have seen a bellman in 1960s attire. Interestingly, a former employee – Sam the bellman – retired in 1967 and said he’d be back. He died a few years later and, depending on what you believe, apparently kept his word.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, United States
The Queen Mary is the last of the grand liners, at least above the water line. Permanently docked in Long Beach, California, the British ship has been converted into a floating hotel that capitalizes on its haunted quarters through daily ghost tours. Screams are common, while the Art Deco swimming pool is a hotspot of paranormal activity, with guests reporting mysterious wet footprints and women dressed in vintage bathing suits. Knocking sounds have also been reported. Room service anyone?
Castle Leslie, Ireland
(Image by Luke Leslie, public domain)
This castle has been in the Leslie family for over 300 years, and according to reports, many family members have never left, despite the minor inconvenience of their deaths. Long-dead aunts and uncles have been spotted about the house and a ghostly dog named Punch reportedly wanders the grounds.
Stanley Hotel and Conference Center, United States
The Stanley Hotel and Conference Center in Colorado inspired Stephen King to pen his classic, The Shining, after a visit with his wife. Jack Nicholson never really stalked this hotel, although it did make a cameo in the made-for-TV version. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t haunted. The eponymous spectre is Flora Stanley herself, who allegedly plays the piano late into the night. And what of the infamous Room 237? You won’t find it here. It existed on a London sound stage, although the Timberline Lodge in Oregon, where some external shots were captured, did request the room number be changed from 217 to 237, so as not to scare away potential hotel guests from Room 217.
Keep reading – explore 7 Eerie Haunted Elevators across the United States, and check out The Whaley House, said by some to be America’s Most Haunted Home.