Ghosts & Hauntings

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According to some paranormal enthusiasts, some of the oldest hotels across the country might have guests that have long overstayed their welcome. We’ve rounded up ten such properties, from a bohemian hot spot in New York to a favorite haunt of Hollywood celebrities (pun intended), that boast incredible histories, lengthy rosters of famous visitors, and, allegedly, some otherworldly residents. To celebrate Halloween this year, why not take a trip to one of these properties for a spectral adventure? Whether you’re looking for a luxury accommodation or a cozy getaway, we’ve found hotels for every type of ghost hunter.

1. Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

When Stephen King and his wife stayed here in 1974, they were the only guests, as the hotel was just about to close for the season. Sound familiar? Their experience in room 217, of course, inspired the novel (and later the Stanley Kubrick film) The Shining. Though the Stanley’s 107-year history is relatively uneventful, it had gained a reputation for paranormal activity by the 1970s that continues today.

2. Hotel Chelsea, New York City

 Built in the late 19th century, the Big Apple’s Hotel Chelsea has been a muse to artists for generations, from Mark Twain to Andy Warhol to Ethan Hawke. With such high-profile guests, it comes as no surprise that the hotel has seen equally high-profile scandals, most notably, the unsolved murder of Sid Vicious’s girlfriend, fellow rocker Nancy Spungen. Now under renovation, the hotel is currently closed to short-term visitors but is expected to reopen in 2017.

3. Bourbon Orleans Hotel, New Orleans

 Before being converted into a hotel in the 1960s, this nearly two-century-old property served as a ballroom and theater, then a convent and orphanage. Some of its rumored paranormal guests include a Confederate soldier, who haunts the third and sixths floors; children and women from the convent days; and a dancer who once performed at the theater.

4. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, Big Sur, California

 Ellen Brill, the set decorator of American Horror Story: Hotel, heard some ghostly footsteps and a door slam when staying at this hotel. According to Vogue, the innkeeper told Brill it was Grandpa Deetjen, referring to inn founder Helmuth Deetjen, who built the property in the 1930s with his wife, Helen Haight. Safe to say, Grandpa Deetjen doesn’t sound like a particularly threatening specter.

5. Battery Carriage House, Charleston, South Carolina

 This lodging proudly touts itself as Charleston’s most haunted inn (and it’s most romantic bed-and-breakfast), even going so far as telling the stories of several of its otherworldly visitors on its website. There’s a headless spirit that haunts room 8, an entire congregation in room 3, and a gentlemanly apparition in room 10.

6. Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, Massachusetts

 Site of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, this New England city is no stranger to rumors of the paranormal. The 91-year-old Hawthorne Hotel allegedly is a hotbed of unearthly activity, with guests reporting flickering lights, faucets turning on and off on their own, and human-shaped apparitions. The television show Bewitched filmed several episodes at the property.

7. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

 Over the course of its 130-year history, the Crescent Hotel has served as a women’s college and a hospital (notoriously run by crackpot “doctor” Norman Baker). Today, it’s referred to as “America’s most haunted hotel,” with ghosts named Michael, Theodora, and even Morris the cat.

8. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles

 This luxury hotel built in 1927 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has hosted many iconic guests—some of whom might still roam its halls. One of the most famous? Marilyn Monroe.

9. La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico

 While the current iteration of this Santa Fe hotel was built in 1922, inns, or fondas, have been constructed on the site since 1607. It has some notable spectral guests, including the Honorable John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, who was shot in the lobby in 1867.

10. The Hay-Adams, Washington, D.C.

 Built on the site of former mansions owned by John Hay and Henry Adams (a descendant of both Adams presidents), the nearly 90-year-old hotel is reportedly haunted by the ghost of Adams’s wife, Marian Hooper Adams, who was once a guest there.


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