If there’s any place on earth that is likely to be haunted, it’s a hotel. A home from home for the living as well as the dead. There have been numerous sightings from around the world of dark shadowy figures that watch while you sleep, ghostly maids still chained to the job and poltergeist activity so serve it’s left guests fleeing from their rooms in the middle of the night.
For the bravest of travelers only, if you’re not afraid of the dark, you certainly will be after spending a night in any of these famously haunted hotels.
1. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Where in the world: LA, United States
A brief history: The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has been at the center of show business night life since 1927.
Paranormal activity: Marilyn Monroe is said to have been seen reflected in a mirror in room 229, she has also been sighted dancing in the hotel’s ballroom. Montgomery Clift has apparently been heard playing the trumpet and pacing the hallways while reciting his old lines, while Errol Flynn has also been repeatedly seen at the hotel too. So if you fancy rubbing shoulders with the stars, whether they be alive or dead, this is the hotel for you.
2. Castle Stuart
Where in the world: Inverness, Scotland.
A brief history: Built in 1561 by James Stuart (Mary Queen of Scot’s half-brother), Castle Stuart is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Scotland.
Paranormal activity: James Stuart believed his new home to be so haunted that he offered to pay a reward to anyone who was brave enough to spend the night at his castle to disprove the hauntings. The only soul brave enough to take this challenge was a local minister; he stayed in the room at the top of the East Tower. The next morning the castle awoke to find the minister’s dead body in the courtyard after falling from his bedroom window. He had a petrified look etched upon his face.
Other paranormal activities include ghostly cries, shouts and the sound of crying coming from hidden rooms within the castle. Most recently, builders working on the castle reported hearing strange noises, feeling cold hands pushing at them and finding their tools smashed and broken after leaving them unattended.
3. Ragged Cot Inn
Where in the world: Cotswold, England
Paranormal activity: The Ragged Cot is a 17th-century coaching inn and is said to be haunted by a mother and child who died there. The story goes that one night the landlord of the inn decided to hold up a stagecoach. His wife went after him to stop him from carrying out the robbery; unfortunately, she was holding her baby in her arms as she confronted him. Pushing her aside, both his wife and child fell to their deaths down the stairs. Horrified at what he had done, he hid their bodies in a trunk. When the police arrived shortly after to arrest him for the robbery, mysteriously the bodies of his wife and child were found back at the foot of the stairs where they had died. As he was led away by the police it’s said the apparitions of his wife and child were seen walking back up the stairs disappearing into the darkness.
4. Cecil Hotel (Now Renamed Stay on Main)
Where in the world: LA, United States
A brief history: Built in 1927, the Cecil hotel is the most notorious hotel in LA. Known as the place where ‘serial killers stay’ thanks to Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger, who stayed at the hotel during their notorious killing sprees. The Cecil was also a suicide hotspot in the 1960s, one such suicide being that of Pauline Otton, who threw herself to her death from a ninth-floor. She landed on a pedestrian on the street below, killing him instantly.
Recently the hotel hit the newspaper headlines again after guests reported that the water ‘had a horrible taste’, a maintenance worker, on investigating the water cisterns on the roof discovered the decomposed body of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam at the bottom of the tank. Residents had brushed their teeth, drank and bathed in the water for 19 days.
Paranormal activity: Hotel guests regularly report sightings of dark figures in their rooms, often waking to the tugging of their bed sheets. Perhaps the most famous paranormal phenomenon to occur at the Cecil is the photograph taken by a local resident, which shows a shadowy figure hanging or falling from the fourth-floor window. Paranormal investigators have linked it to the historical suicides that took place in the 60’s.
5. Jamaica Inn
Where in the world: Cornwall, England
A brief history: Jamaica Inn was built in the late 18th century and was made famous by the Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, it is now synonymous with smugglers and wreckers, and it is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.
Paranormal activity: There have been frequent reports of shadowy figures appearing in bedrooms at night. The ghostly sound of horses hooves on the cobbled stones outside has often been heard. Voices have been heard speaking in the bar area in an unrecognizable language when all is quiet and everybody is in bed. It is also said that there is a figure of a highwayman who has been seen to passes through solid walls on moonless nights.
6. Skirrid Inn
Where in the world: Wales
A brief history: Reputed to be the oldest public house in Wales, it has a long and grim history which can be traced as far back to the Norman Conquest. Once used a court house and place of execution, it’s believed 180 felons were put to death by hanging from the large oak beam over the stairway.
Paranormal activity: The ancient Skirrid Inn is said to be one of the most haunted inns in Wales. Some of the ghosts are thought to be over 900 years old. These spirits are said to be former convicts who were tried and executed in the inn. Sounds of pacing from the second floor can often be heard when no one is up there. Some guests have claimed to have felt a hangman’s rope being tightened around their necks while they slept and struggled to escape its grip. Glasses are often thrown around the bar area, and the rustling sound of a woman’s skirt is regularly heard by visitors.
7. Chelsea Hotel
Where in the world: New York, United States
A brief history: This legendary New York hotel was built in 1884 and is world famous for its A-list guests, from Andy Warhol to Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and Edie Sedgwick.
Paranormal activity: It is said that the spirit of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who died at the hotel, after a night of excessive drinking, has never checked out and is often seen still enjoying a drink in the bar area. The ghost of novelist Thomas Wolfe is said to haunt the eighth floor. The Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious, who was suspected of stabbing his girlfriend in Room 100 has been seen lingering near the east elevator of the hotel.
8. Myrtles Plantation
Where in the world: Louisiana, United States
Paranormal activity: The Myrtles Plantation is not only said to be the most haunted hotel in the US but is also thought to be one of the most haunted sites in the world. The Plantation built in 1796 is reputedly built on a Native American burial ground. Many deaths have been linked to the plantation over the years, which lead one paranormal investigator to claim that there were over 100 spirits haunting the now guest house.
One of the most well-known ghosts is Chloe, a slave owned by The Woodruffs, who built Myrtles. According to the legend, Chloe was hung on the premises for the murder of two girls. Her spirit is often seen wandering the house and connecting lands believed to be looking for her escape. The ghosts of the two murdered children have been seen playing on the veranda. Another infamous haunting is that of a mirror in the house believed to hold the spirits of Sara Woodruff and two of her children. Their spirits trapped as this particular mirror was not covered after their deaths, small hand prints have been seen in it, as have the apparitions of the Woodruffs children.
9. Stanley Hotel
Where in the world: Colorado, United States
A brief history: Perhaps the most famous of the haunted hotels on our list, The Stanley hotel is believed to be the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining, which he wrote after staying in room 217.
Paranormal activity: Opened by F. O. Stanley, the inventor of America’s Stanley Steamer automobiles, at the turn of last century. From its opening paranormal phenomenon has been a part of the hotel’s history. Ms. Elisabeth Wilson, an old housekeeper who died in the 1950’s is said to have returned to work to assist guests in her favorite room 217, by unpacking and storing away their belongings. More than one guest has said they have awakened to find their blankets taken from their beds and neatly folded.
Guest have also reported hearing the sounds of children running and giggling down the halls on the fourth floor. Hotel staff regularly feel unseen hands pull and tug at their uniforms and Stanley and his wife are said to pass through the lobby frequently.
10. Langham Hotel
Where in the world: London, England
A brief history: The 5 star Langham hotel is the grand dame of London establishments. Opened in 1865 and styled on a Renaissance palace, the hotel has reputedly the most haunted room in London – room 333.
Paranormal Activity: There are 5 ghosts that regularly make an appearance at the hotel. The most active of them is the spirit of a German Prince, who jumped to his death out of a window, just before the start of the First World War. He haunts the fourth floor; guests have seen him walking through walls and he is well known for moving objects from place to place. Room 333 is the most haunted room in the entire hotel, there have been numerous sighting of a man in Victorian evening dress who walks towards guests while they lay in their beds, his arms out stretched and eyes empty, before vanishing into thin air.
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