For most of us, staying in a hotel is a great way to get away from it all and catch up on some much needed sleep. But if you choose to spend the night in any one of these 20 haunted hotels from around the world, sleep just might be the last thing on your mind. In these accommodations, the spirits aren’t only limited to the bar...
1. Fairmont Banff Springs – Alberta, Canada
The impressive Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada was unveiled in 1888 as a railway hotel. Over the years, though, it has apparently acquired the spirit of a newlywed who died here in a fall on her wedding day. Some people say she still likes to dance in the ballroom. Well, those people are free to dance with her — we'll skip this dance, thanks.
2. The Hollywood Roosevelt – Los Angeles, California
Tinseltown titans Marylin Monroe, Clark Gable, and Charlie Chaplin all stayed at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Roosevelt, and it seems that Monroe is still a guest to this day. Indeed, guests have claimed to have spotted the icon’s ghostly reflection in one of the hotel’s mirrors!
3. The Langham Hotel – London, England
In 2014 members of the English cricket team were ridiculed in the press for saying that ghosts had kept them awake during their stay at London’s Langham Hotel. However, the hotel is said to have at least seven spirits, with room 333 being a particular hot spot for hauntings. Maybe those cricket players were telling the truth...
4. Hotel Chelsea – New York, New York
In 1953 the poet Dylan Thomas passed away in New York’s Hotel Chelsea, and in 1978 Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious was accused of murdering Nancy Spungen in the hotel’s room 100. And apparently, both Thomas and Vicious are still checked in to the hotel... as permanent guests. Neither man, it seems, went "gentle into that good night" after all.
5. Dragsholm Slot – Hørve, Denmark
It has been said that guests of Dragsholm Slot – or Dragsholm Castle – must share the accommodation with up to 100 ghosts. The most famous of these specters is the White Lady, who was reputedly imprisoned below the castle for loving a peasant. It's safe to say that the crime really didn't fit the punishment. Perhaps her unfinished business was to scare the pants off of everyone else in the castle...
6. Grand Hyatt Hotel – Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel was constructed on the site of what used to be a political prison, and it’s thought to be haunted by the tormented souls of those detainees who lost their lives while in residence. Hotel management has, apparently, made efforts to ward off these otherworldly guests... but we wouldn't want to risk accidentally spending the night with an angry prisoner.
7. The Skirrid Inn – Wales, U.K.
The Skirrid Inn in Monmouthshire, Wales has apparently been around for nearly a century and was previously used as a courthouse and execution arena. In fact, its “hanging beam” is still in place today, and, unsurprisingly, guests have reported being visited by hanging victims during their stays. That's downright eerie.
8. The Heathman Hotel – Portland, Oregon
Ghostly activity at The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon seems to be limited to rooms 703, 803, and 1003. This is allegedly because somebody leapt off the building to their death and is now plaguing the rooms they passed before they hit the ground. Talk about tragic. If you ask us, there must be some significance to the fact that each of the rooms is separated by an even 100 or 200...
9. The Mermaid Inn – East Sussex, England
The Mermaid Inn is so overbooked with spooks that it even featured on an episode of Most Haunted, a British paranormal investigation show. Among the ghouls said to be present are a man who can walk through walls and the spirit of a maid. We hope that the ghostly maid finds peace soon — no one should spend eternity folding linens!
10. The Russell Hotel – Sydney, Australia
The Russell Hotel sits in an area of Sydney, Australia, known as The Rocks and is allegedly home to the ghost of an old sailor. This deckhand is said to haunt room 8, where he frightens guests by appearing to watch over them. Yeah, the last thing we'd want to see in the middle of the night is a grizzled old sailor staring back at us.
11. Bourbon Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana’s Bourbon Orleans used to be an orphanage, and guests have reported seeing a ghostly girl racing after a ball along one of its hallways. Plus, the ghost of a dancer has been spotted in the ballroom, and the specter of a soldier apparently stalks the corridors. The place is simply hoppin' with haunts!
12. Karosta Prison Hotel – Liepāja, Latvia
At Latvia’s Karosta Prison Hotel — sounds cheerful, no? — lodgers are treated just like the real prisoners of war who were detained here during World War II. They’ll also reportedly have to share the cells with the spirits of those who died while incarcerated. We can barely share the bed with our dog, let alone a vengeful spirit!
13. The Baker Hotel – Mineral Wells, Texas
The Baker Hotel is currently undergoing renovations, meaning guests will soon once again be able to stay in this imposing, celebrated hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. They might also encounter its resident ghost: the spirit of a spurned female who committed suicide. And she may not be alone, as Earl Baker himself, one of the hotel's former managers, also died in one of its suites.
14. Hever Castle – Kent, England
Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second spouse, is said to haunt her previous residence of Hever Castle in the U.K. With all those ancient, drafty halls, it's the perfect place to spend eternity as a ghost! She supposedly likes to make her presence felt the day before Christmas — the ghost of Christmas past, indeed.
15. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Arkansas’ 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa practically thrives on its reputation as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” and even offers ghost tours to curious visitors. Its haunters are many, including a female in Victorian underwear in room 3500 and a 19th-century laborer in room 218. With such a diverse group of ghosts roaming the halls, we can see why people want to visit!
16. Ballygally Castle – County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The 17th-century Ballygally Castle in Ireland was once home to Lady Isobel Shaw, who allegedly suffered a fatal fall from one of the castle’s windows. These days, she is known to knock on guests’ doors, and some ghostly children have also been heard in the rooms. Mysterious knocks and disembodied giggles? We'll meet you at the Airbnb.
17. Cecil Hotel – Los Angeles, California
Cecil Hotel’s truly horrifying past is almost as fascinating as its stories of ghosts. It has previously been home to two serial killers, and at least five others have been found dead in or around the hotel, and in gruesome ways, too. In 2013, for example, a woman was found floating in a water tank on the roof of the hotel, with no explanation as to how she got there. Naturally, the hotel — now an affordable housing complex — is believed to be haunted and cursed.
18. Hotel Burchianti – Florence, Italy
Spooky occurrences inside the Hotel Burchianti in Italy include the sighting of a pink wraith — AKA, the specter of a person just before their death — in the Fresco Room. Some guests have also reported feeling like they’re being crushed under an inexplicable weight. That doesn't sound pleasant. Perhaps this is down to the hotel’s building dating back to the 1600s?
19. The Queen Mary – Long Beach, California
The Queen Mary has long been called “one of the most haunted places in the world” and is believed to hold up to 150 ghosts on its imperious deck. That's a whole fleet of ghosts! One of these ghouls allegedly died in 1966 and now wanders the ship on approach to room 13. Room 13 — how fitting.
20. Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is well known as the inspiration for The Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining. And it's no wonder so many people feel creeped out inside the hotel: the staff claims that the hotel's original owners “continue to go about the business of running their beloved establishment as though they were still alive.” How... sweet?
21. The Riccarton Racecourse Hotel — Christchurch, New Zealand
Married couple Elizabeth and Donald Fraser managed the Riccarton Racecourse Hotel in Christchurch New Zealand. In 1933 Donald was murdered at the hotel, killed by two blasts from a double-barreled shotgun. Elizabeth had found out weeks before that her husband had been having an affair and became a suspect in the slaying. But she was never charged. Even so, Donald’s ghost is said to roam the hotel — searching for his wife.
22. Lizzie Borden House — Fall River, Massachusetts
Outwardly, the residence at Fall River’s 230 Second Street looks like an everyday 19th-century clapboard house. But it’s been known as the Borden House since 1892 because it was the scene of a hideous axe murder. At the age of 32 Lizzie Borden brutally butchered her own father and stepmother. Today, it operates as a bed and breakfast, so you can book in and indulge your inner ghoul.
23. Bran Castle — Romania
The truth is that there’s no real evidence to show that Bram Stoker was thinking about this particular castle when he wrote his Gothic masterpiece Dracula, published in 1897. Even so, Bran Castle has become known as “Dracula’s Castle.” Pay a visit to the 14th-century stronghold and you’ll see why. If you had to pick a home for the evil Count Dracula, you could hardly do better than this sinister pile.
24. Mizpah Hotel — Tonopah, Nevada
The Mizpah commenced business in the Nevadan city of Tonopah back in 1907 when it was one of the state’s first truly upmarket hotels. If you fancy the possibility of a ghostly encounter check into the Lady in Red Suite. It’s named after an unfortunate woman who died at the hotel and reportedly haunts guests, especially men, by whispering sweet nothings to them.
25. The Ancient Ram Inn — Wotton-under-Edge, England
The timbered walls of the Ancient Ram Inn have scarcely a single straight line between them. That’s hardly surprising, since the building this former pub occupies in the English village of Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire dates back to medieval times. The Ancient Ram’s reputation for ghostly presences means it’s been featured on TV shows such as Ghost Adventures. Claimed spectral manifestations include monks, a shepherd with his dogs, and a cavalier.
26. Sleepy Hollow — Westchester County, New York
Washington Irving’s 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow made the town of that name famous. Irving’s sinister tale deals with a fearsome apparition, a headless horseman who haunts Sleepy Hollow. Visitors flock to the township today, hoping to experience some of the horror Irving described. Just to add to the frisson of terror, Irving chose to be buried in the Sleepy Hollow cemetery.
27. Treasurer's House — York, England
First built in 1419 on top of an ancient Roman road, the Treasurer’s House is in the northern English city of York. One man, Harry Martindale, claimed to have come face-to-face with that Roman link from centuries ago. He was just 18 when he was working in the basement of the Treasurer’s House when the sound of a trumpet caught his attention. Then in true ghostly style a platoon of Roman soldiers reportedly marched straight out of a wall, led by a spectral trumpeter. A terrified Martindale fled.
28. The Driskill — Austin, Texas
The Driskill, an imposing hotel in the Texan city of Austin, first opened its doors to guests in 1886 and it continues today as a popular tourist haunt. But there are others who, it’s claimed, also haunt the property — a bevy of ghostly presences. Notable among those is the ghost of the hotel’s founder, Jesse Driskill. It’s said he never got over losing his pride and joy with an ill-judged bet on a poker hand. So his ghost apparently returns to inhabit the hotel he lost at the gaming table.
29. Chateau de Brissac — France
The splendid Chateau de Brissac dates back to the 11th century, although it was entirely rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 15th. Occupied by the current Duke of Brissac, the magnificent castle is apparently haunted by La Dame Verte, “The Green Lady.” This specter is said to be connected to a pair of murders from the 15th century. But what’s really terrifying is the Green Lady’s face, which allegedly entirely lacks nose and eyes. Instead, there are ominous black holes.
30. Salem — Massachusetts
There were various witch trials in 17th-century New England, but those that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, are the most remembered today. Innocent men and women were dragged from their homes and accused of being witches. A total of 20 unfortunate citizens were put to death for their alleged witchcraft. Today, Salem doesn’t shrink from its grim history and welcomes hordes of visitors keen to remember the cruel witch trials.
31. Gunkanjima — Japan
Gunkanjima, sometimes called Hashima Island, was once a thriving Japanese community with coal mining at its heart. The tiny island was covered in buildings, but all that’s left now are the tumbling brick and concrete ruins of the city. The abandoned town is all the more spooky because of its WWII history, when the mines were worked by forced labor, toiling under brutally inhumane conditions.
32. Winchester Mystery House — San Jose, California
Sarah Pardee married William Winchester in 1881. This Winchester was fabulously rich thanks to the success of his armaments business, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. When he died in 1881 Sarah inherited some $20 million, a colossal sum at the time. She spent huge sums on the Mystery House over 40 years, constantly making changes which often seemed pointless. It’s said she was trying to appease the spirits of the dead killed by Winchester firearms by building a home for them.
33. Windsor Castle — England
Windsor Castle, about 20 miles west of London, has been a grand royal residence for nearly 1,000 years. William the Conqueror established the magnificent palace in the 11th century and 40 British kings and queens have lived there. Unsurprisingly, it’s a location which a plentiful crop of ghosts have allegedly haunted over the centuries. Claimed spectral sightings have included everyone from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II’s mother.
34. Witch's Castle — Portland, Oregon
The so-called Witch’s Castle in Portland’s Forest Park has gained an unenviable — or perhaps enviable — reputation for all things ghostly and ghoulish. The castle consists of the ruins of a 1930s stone-built Park Ranger’s post. The site is spooky enough, but the truth is that there never seem to have been any actual witches there. It got its name when high-school students used it as a venue for unauthorized shindigs in the 1980s.
35. Palace of Versailles — France
Just ten miles from Paris the stunningly opulent Palace of Versailles was one of Europe’s grandest royal residences until the 1789 French Revolution. Today, it’s one of the nation’s most important historic sites. In 1793 revolutionaries put France’s last queen, Marie Antoinette, to death, beheading her with the fiendish guillotine. It’s claimed her ghost haunts not Paris, where she died, but Versailles, where she surely had happier times.
36. Dock Street Theatre — Charleston, South Carolina
This property in Charleston started life as a theater, became a hotel, but then reverted to a place of dramatic performance. But it was during its time as a hotel that the Dock Street Theater’s most famous ghost story started. Actress Nettie Dickerson was apparently standing on one of the hotel’s balconies when lightning struck her dead. Now she’s said to be seen, or her ghost is, strolling around the theater in a glamorous red dress.
37. Tower of London — England
The Romans founded London in 43 A.D. and with a 2,000-year-long history there’s no shortage of claimed ghosts in the city. But one place that has a particular concentration of specters is the Tower of London. Over the centuries many people, including royalty, have been imprisoned and executed there. Famous ghosts may include Henry VIII’s wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both beheaded at the Tower.
38. Hard Labor Creek State Park — Rutledge, Georgia
Rent a cabin at the Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia, and you may be in for a none-too-pleasant surprise. For the ghost of an old man allegedly haunts the park, and his habit is to bang on cabin walls in the dead of night. Another specter, said to be a young boy, reportedly pushes a red ball into the path of park visitors. These hauntings may be explained by an unusual park feature — an old burial ground.
39. Isla de las Munecas — Mexico
Isla de las Muñecas — Island of the Dolls — is a tiny spot of land surrounded by the Xochimilco canals near Mexico City. Trees and shrubs on the island are festooned with children’s dolls, creating an unsettlingly macabre atmosphere. The dolls are said to commemorate the spirit of a tragic young girl whose drowned body was discovered on the shore of the island. Some claim that the dolls can be heard whispering to each other.
40. Jerome — Arizona
Ghost towns are spooky by definition, and one of America’s spookiest is Jerome in Arizona’s Black Hills. The township was founded back in 1876 when gold and silver had been discovered nearby. As many as 15,000 lived there at one time, but after the gold rush ended, the population sank to 50. Today it’s largely preserved just as it was more than a century ago and it’s become repopulated by folks running businesses aimed at the many curious visitors.
41. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 — New Orleans
The crumbling brickwork graves of the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 have a ghoulish charm all of their own. Receiving its first residents in 1789 it’s the city’s oldest cemetery, and there is a compelling reason why the tombs are built above ground. The cemetery is sited over a swamp and bodies would float to the surface if buried there. Just to add another level of spookiness, the 19th-century “Voodoo Queen” Marie Laveau is buried here.
42. Cameron Park — Waco, Texas
There’s a spot in Waco’s Cameron Park that’s known as “Lover’s Leap.” It apparently earned its name from the tragic tale of two Native Americans who fell in love even although they were from two warring tribes. That of course is the familiar plotline in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In any case, tragedy struck when the lovers leapt to their deaths from a clifftop. Some claim to have heard the pair whispering to each other.
43. Nagoro Village — Japan
When Tsukimi Ayano was a child about 300 people lived in her village. But when she returned in the early 2000s to look after her aging father the population had shrunk to not much more than 30. So she decided to do something about it. She began to make life-size dolls to replace the villagers and posed 160 of them in various locations around the settlement. One of them even represents Ayano’s own departed mother. Macabre.
44. Poe Cottage — The Bronx, New York
Master of horror Edgar Allen Poe wrote some of the most chilling stories you’re ever likely to read. In 1844 he moved to a cottage in the village of Fordham with his wife and mother-in-law and continued writing there until his death five years later. The cottage escaped demolition and is now a place of pilgrimage for those who’ve been scared out of their wits by tales such as The Pit and the Pendulum, The Premature Burial, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
45. Craco — Italy
Perched on rocky outcrops in the southern region of Basilicata, Craco is one of the most poignant of Italy’s abandoned villages. Many villagers emigrated to America early in the 20th century and later natural disasters took their toll. Landslides devastated the village and then a major flood engulfed it in 1972. Finally left without a single inhabitant in 1980 Craco is gradually moldering away.
46. Whitby — North Yorkshire, England
The English east-coast resort town of Whitby has become a mecca for Dracula fans for two reasons. The first is that Bram Stoker actually used the real-life ruins of Whitby Abbey as one of the settings in his book Dracula. The second is that Stoker spent time in Whitby and wrote his vampire blockbuster in the town. In fact so connected with Dracula has Whitby become in the minds of some, that locals claim they are often asked to direct visitors to the Count’s grave.
47. Hampton Court Palace — England
Set by the River Thames some 12 miles south-west of London, splendid Hampton Court Palace with its formal gardens was a favorite hangout of Henry VIII. So it’s only fitting that two of the many ghosts that are said to haunt the place are those of his wives Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard. Henry had Jane beheaded and her specter is said to run through the palace begging for her life.
48. Dargavs — North Ossetia-Alania, Russia
Tucked away amid the craggy peaks of the Greater Caucasus range in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania is a bizarre village. Dargavs is actually more accurately described as a necropolis than a village. That’s because it’s only the deceased who occupy these peculiar cottages, which look very much like giant beehives. This city of the dead dates back to the 16th century, perhaps built at a time when plague ravaged the region.
49. Edinburgh Castle — Scotland
Edinburgh can plausibly make the claim of being Scotland’s most haunted city, and its castle is reportedly the capital’s single most ghost-infested site. One of the most famous specters said to reside there is the forlorn figure of the Gray Lady. She was a noblewoman called Janet Douglas who fell foul of the complex political shenanigans of the 16th century. Accused by King James V of witchcraft, she was burnt at the stake on the Edinburgh Castle esplanade in 1537.
50. Griffith Park — Los Angeles, California
You might not have heard of Griffith Park but you’ll know about one of its features — the huge “Hollywood” sign set on one of its slopes overlooking L.A. But it apparently has another claim to fame — its extraordinary number of ghosts. One of the most notable claimed hauntings comes from the specter of a former owner of the park land, Don Antonio Feliz. He’s said to chase after park visitors astride his horse.
51. Père Lachaise Cemetery — Paris, France
Nobody knows for sure how many are buried in the biggest of all Parisian cemeteries, Père Lachaise, but it could be as many as a staggering 1 million. Most of those are like you and me — plain everyday folks. But not all: the roll call of famous names that count the cemetery as their last resting place is undeniably impressive. How about Jim Morrison of The Doors? Or Oscar Wilde? Then there’s Marcel Proust, Isadora Duncan, and Chopin. The list goes on.
52. Mont-Saint-Michel — France
A rocky island connected by a tidal causeway to the mainland, enchanting Mont-Saint-Michel’s village and monastery cling to the cliffs and date back to medieval times. As you’d expect there are said to be some ghostly monks on the island. But there’s also reportedly the spectral Captain Louis d’Estouteville. He defeated an English war party as it tried to seize Mont-Saint-Michel in 1434, and he’s said to keep watch over the island to this day.
53. Castle of Mey — Scottish Highlands
Once the seat of the Earls of Caithness, the Castle of Mey was the Highland home of Queen Elizabeth II’s mother. Built in the 16th century but much altered in the 19th, the castle is said to host one especially notable ghost. She is Elizabeth Sinclair, known as the Green Lady. It’s said she fell for a local plow boy, enraging her father, the fifth Earl of Caithness. He locked her in a high turret from which she threw herself to her death in the early 17th century.
54. Bodie — California
Bodie was a boom town back in the 1870s for the familiar reason of that era — gold had been found. The precious yellow metal was discovered and mined nearby in the hills around Mono Lake. Now it’s a ghost town with the status of a State Historic Park. Specters reportedly haunt the old township and ghostly music is said to come from long-closed saloons.
55. Pine Barrens — New Jersey
The trees of the Pine Barrens forest in New Jersey stretch across 1 million acres and it was once a thriving center for the timber industry. But that died out, leaving behind abandoned townships, unfelled trees — and perhaps a weird beast. It’s said that in 1735 a certain Deborah Leeds gave birth to her 13th child — the Jersey Devil. The creature sported a goat’s head, cloven hooves and wings. It escaped up the chimney and has spooked New Jersey folk ever since.