the world’s most haunted hotels, we didn’t really consider your options if you’re planning a paranormal-themed US vacation.
So, with Summer around the corner, we’d like to update that list with the following locations — which range in price and accommodations depending on your budget and travel plans.
All they really have in common… are ghosts.
Yes, each of the five inns below are said to be haunted by various spirits and/or apparitions… and depending on availability, all of them (with one exception for now) offers you a chance to book a room, bring a Ouija board, and make your vacation special by communing with dark spirits.
The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, CO
A late season stay in this sprawling colonial revival hotel in Estes Park, Colorado inspired Stephen King to write THE SHINING. Ghost are all over The Stanley Hotel. Room 418 is an active psychic hotspot, with guests reporting giggling, ghostly children all around the fourth floor. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley themselves are said to pass through the lobby occasionally, and an unfortunate housekeeper is said to be linked to her old room, #418.
The management of The Stanley embraces their paranormal reputation, showing a continual loop of Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING on an in-house cable channel (even though the hotel they used for the exterior in the movie is The Timberline Lodge in Oregon, which has its own haunted reputation), and offering various ghost tours for visitors, including the “Spirits of History” package that includes a room on the haunted fourth floor, a ticket to a ghost tour, and a pair of “REDRUM” mugs.
The hotel was recently the center of some controversy when a decision was made to dig up a pet cemetery [not to be confused with a PET SEMATARY] on the grounds and move it to another location. Do the spirits of beloved pets “Elsie,” “Holmes” and “Stanley Blue” roam the grounds, restless after their burial was disturbed? You can find out if you stay at the Stanley, where rooms rent for between $200 and $300.
[Before you make that reservation, you might want to look at this chilling photo, taken last year in the lobby of the Stanley…]
The Queen Mary — Long Beach, CA
Finished in 1936, HMS Queen Mary is a 1,000-foot luxury cruise ship that sits in permanent dry-dock in Long Beach, California. The opulent vessel was built to ferry the rich and famous across the ocean, and was later used for troop transport during WW II, but it’s now a hotel… a haunted hotel. There are said to be as many as 150 ghosts prowling its meticulously restored staterooms and cabins, leftovers of the 49 people who have died on the ship.
Some favorite spots onboard for the spirits include the now-abandoned swimming pools for both first and second class passengers, which are said to be a favorite spot for spirits, with guests reporting wet footprints appearing on the ground, ghostly visions of women in 1930s bathing costumes, and the laughter and/or screams of Jackie, a little girl who supposedly drowned in the pool in the 1930s. “Half Hatch Harry,” an unfortunate 18-year old sailor, haunts the engine room. He tried to cross between ship sections at the wrong time and was crushed by Door 13.
The management of The Queen Mary are proud of the ship’s paranormal reputation. They hold regular ghost hunting expeditions for guests, and a permanent haunt attraction called “Ghosts and Legends of the Queen Mary” provides a more ginned-up experience. Whether you see a ghost or not, the Queen Mary’s Art Deco staterooms are much cooler than a Motel 6, and a room is only like $100 a night.
Omni Parker House — Boston, MA
If you’re ever in Boston, you have to stay at the Omni Parker House. Opened in 1855, it’s America’s longest continuously operating hotel, and is said to be haunted from the basement to the roof. A bearded gentleman, perhaps hotel founder Harvey Parker himself, has been spotted by various guests, generally hanging around the 9th and 10th floors.
The third floor is haunted too, with guests reporting orbs, the sounds of creaky, ghostly rocking chairs, and other poltergeist style activity. A traveling liquor salesman supposedly killed himself in room 303, and haunts the place to this day. Management turned the room into a storage area at one point, perhaps to keep guests from being psychically damaged by the ghost… or maybe they needed space for more towels.
Either way, a stay at the Omni Parker inspired Stephen King’s 1408, and you can stay there too… if you have around $350 a night for a room. Hey, no one said ghost hunting is cheap…
The Hotel Chelsea — New York, NY
This New York City landmark has hosted bohemian artists, cutting edge weirdoes, and various artsy posers since it opened 130 or so years ago. The most famous Ghosts said to haunt The Chelsea include Dylan Thomas, who was staying at room 206 in the hotel when he died in 1953 and Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungeon, who briefly called the place home until Sid murdered Nancy. Sid called the hotel “a vortex… an artistic tornado of death and destruction and love and broken dreams.” He killed Nancy in room 100, and guests there have reported ghostly arguments between the two, who apparently are still locked in a passionate love-hate relationship years after their squalid demises.
A less famous (but more interesting) ghost who haunts The Chelsea is named Larry. People report strange hearing Larry in the hallways, expounding on his theory that reality is illusionary, and that the hotel is the source of his strange powers and ability to live after death. I love a ghost with a fully worked out worldview!
The Chelsea is being remodeled right now, and is having more problems with lead than spirits, but the plan is to reopen the building in 2018… as a combination hotel and condominiums. True horror!
Comfort Inn — Woodland Hills, CA
The Comfort Inn lacks the historical heft and frippery of the other inns on this list, but it’s just as haunted… maybe more so.
Back in 2011, Jani Lane, lead singer of hair metal band Warrant, met his sad end in room 118 of this chain hotel. Surrounded by pill and liquor bottles, Lane died alone of alcohol poisoning at age 47. Authorities found him with a note in his pocket reading simply “I am Jani Lane,” and the phone number of a friend. Since then, lodgers have reported smelling ghostly vodka, hearing humming (presumably of Warrant’s hit “Cherry Pie”) and having a feeling of “being watched” while staying in the room.
Unlike the other hotels on this list, the management of the Comfort Inn does not embrace their ghostly reputation; they do not encourage supernatural tourists to rent out room 118, and if you show up with a Oujia Board and request it, they will ask you to leave. (This is from personal experience.) So show up undercover if you want to party with a dead rock star. The Comfort Inn is economically priced in the $100 range.