The world offers no shortage of themed lodging: airplane hotels, prison hotels, and alleged haunted hotels. Regardless of whether you believe in ghosts, spirits, and the like, these eight hotels are among the creepiest in the world.
Omni Parker House (Boston, Massachusetts)
As one of the most historic cities in the U.S., it’s no surprise that Boston is home to some of the country’s oldest hotels. The Omni Parker House opened its doors in the mid-19th century and the owner died 30 years later. Since then, many guests have reported seeing him in their rooms inquiring about their stay. A businessman also died in room 303, and visitors report laughter and the distinct smell of stale liquor during. Stephen King’s short-story-turned-film 1408 (starring John Cusack) was loosely based on the dead man’s story.
The Langham (London, England)
London’s first grand luxury hotel, The Langham, has provided lodging for celebrities, heads of state, and visiting dignitaries since 1865. According to numerous reports throughout the past 150 years, it’s also home to a number of spirits. Emperor Napoleon III lived out his final days in exile at the property and is said to haunt the basement. Other sightings include those of a German prince and a doctor who “celebrated” his honeymoon by killing his wife and himself. Visitors seeking the creepiest experience should request room 333, which is reputed to be the most haunted.
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast (Fall River, Massachusetts)
The brutal double-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home captivated the nation in 1892. Their daughter, Lizzie, was the only other person in the house at the time and quickly became the primary suspect. She was, however, acquitted the following year and the case remains unsolved to this day. Fast-forward to the present-day, and the original home has been converted into a proper bed and breakfast, complete with a gift shop around back and crime scene photo “decorations.” The entire crime scene has been creepily recreated, and guests can request a stay in Lizzie’s room, which is still reportedly haunted.
Russell Hotel (Sydney, Australia)
As a former convict colony, it’s not surprising that Australia boasts its fair share of haunted properties. Sydney’s Russell Hotel is situated in The Rocks, one of the city’s oldest and, at one time, seediest neighborhoods. Today, the property offers upscale, boutique accommodations, but allegedly maintains many elements of its sordid past. Guests in room eight report waking up to the ghost of a 19th-century sailor staring at them from the foot of their bed. The hotel has begun embracing its unintentional reputation by offering tours to explore its haunted history.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel (New Orleans, Louisiana)
New Orleans may be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. (they host an epic annual Halloween festival to prove it). Its Bourbon Orleans Hotel opened nearly 200 years ago as the city’s most luxurious event space. In a few short decades, its life as a hotel was abruptly cut short and the property sold to the Sisters of the Holy Family. In the ensuing years, it would be used as a convent, an orphanage, a school, and ultimately a medical ward when an outbreak of yellow fever struck killing many of its resident children. Today, staff and guests of the since reopened luxury hotel report seeing ghostly nuns and children haunting the halls. The hotel is even a popular stop on the Ghosts & Spirits Walking Tour.
Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)
Few haunted hotels are as storied as Colorado’s Stanley Hotel. While the Estes Park landmark is more than a century old, its most bizarre paranormal happenings were only first reported in the early 1970s. Since then, the “guests” most often seen are purportedly its original owners, F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, who roam the now infamous Billiards Room or tickle the piano keys in the Music Room. The hotel’s biggest claim to fame, however, is as the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. Since the film’s success, the hotel has become something of a haunted “theme hotel” with on-site ghost tours, a miniature maze (reminiscent of the one depicted in the movie), and TVs looping the Jack Nicholson film 24 hours a day.
Ballygally Castle (Ballygally, Northern Ireland)
Pick almost any property in Ireland and it’s bound to have a long, mythical history. The 17th-century Ballygally Castle is no different. The Northern Ireland landmark was once home to Lord James Shaw and his wife, Lady Isabella. The life of the missus took an unfortunate turn at some point, when she jumped, fell, or got pushed from the castle roof. No one knows for sure. To this day, visitors of the castle hotel report seeing her ghost — albeit friendly — wandering the grounds. The aptly named “Ghost Room” is dedicated to her, and guests are invited to spend the night, if they dare. But, if spirits (not the boozy kind) aren’t you’re thing, Ballygally Castle also offers Game of Thrones-themed visits with a tour of local filming locations, a GOT High Tea, and an intricately carved GOT door.
The Marshall House (Savannah, Georgia)
If there’s a close runner-up to the title of “America’s Most Haunted City,” it’s no doubt Savannah. The charming Georgia city boasts a storied past, much of it tied to the strife of the Civil War. The city’s oldest, most renowned hotel, Marshall House, pulled double duty as a hospital during the war and a yellow fever epidemic. Human remains were found beneath the floorboards during the hotel’s most recent renovations. It seems the bodies and spirits of many of the 19th-century residents never quite left. To this day, visitors often report strange happenings, like children’s voices echoing down empty hallways, lighting fixtures and doorknobs rattling by themselves, and apparitions wandering the property.
First published on October 26, 2016. Last updated by Mike Richard on October 30, 2017.
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