Thanks to films like The Shining and its real-life haunted inspiration, the Stanley Hotel, for some thrill-seekers there’s something frighteningly fun about the thought of spending the night in a hotel with a history of spooky occurrences. Just take a look at the hundreds of Haunted Hotels forums on Trip Advisor: For many, just like a pool or free Wi-Fi, paranormal activity is another must-have amenity.
Ghost sightings and unexplained phenomena have long been noted at some of America’s most famous hotels, like Marilyn Monroe’s apparition at the Roosevelt in Hollywood and Civil War soldiers at the Marshall House in Savannah, Georgia. Overseas, you might find yourself sharing a room with poltergeists of royals or WWII prisoners. Intrigued? These nine hotels are some of the creepiest real-life haunted houses you can pass through this Halloween—if you dare.
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Chelsea Hotel, New York City
Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Madonna are among the many boldface names who called the Chelsea Hotel home. But there are two who are said to still haunt the halls. While the hotel has been closed since 2011 for renovations (it will reopen under the Chelsea Hotel Group next year), former tenants and employees have long noted paranormal activity surrounding the ghosts of Sid Vicious, accused of murdering his girlfriend while they lived there, and Dylan Thomas, whose dedicated plaque on the outside of the building reads “Dylan Thomas lived and wrote at the Chelsea Hotel and from here he sailed out to die.”
Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, Big Sur, California
According to American Horror Story: Hotel’s set designer, Ellen Brill, this charming old cabin in the woods is haunted by the ghost of its founder, lovingly referred to as “Grandpa Deetjen.” Brill says she “heard footsteps and a door slam and started to freak out.” If the hotel’s haunt isn’t enough, the Point Sur Lighthouse allegedly holds the spirits of deceased sailors and seamen, and it hosts moonlight and ghost tours throughout October.
The Place d’Armes Hotel, New Orleans
The Place d’Armes was built on the site of a school that burned down during the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788. Though there are several haunted hotels in the city, this is said to be the one with the most activity. Many guests have seen a bearded old man who nods at them and fades away, and recently one woman said that she had actual conversations with him.
The Langham, London
In Room 333 at the Langham, there’s apparently a man who likes to hang out in his Victorian eveningwear (though only during the month of October). Other ghost sightings at this famous hotel include a man dressed in military garb, a German prince, and former frequent guest Napoleon III, who is said to haunt the basement.
Emily Morgan Hotel, San Antonio
The Emily Morgan was built in 1924 and originally operated as a medical facility, with floors 12 and 14 acting as the hospital and surgery areas. Guests have reported sightings on these floors, mainly of a woman in a white dress, and mysterious phone calls in the middle of the night with no one on the other end. The hotel is also situated directly next to The Alamo, a historic gravesite of fallen soldiers and also rumored to be haunted.
The Marshall House, Savannah, Georgia
Located in one of the most haunted cities in America, the Marshall House allegedly holds the spirits of Civil War–era patients from its former iteration as a hospital. There have been ghost sightings in the hallways and foyers reported, as well as other creepy occurrences like faucets randomly turning on—sans human touch.
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