For as long as I can remember, I have always been so excited by a good ghost story. There's something so thrilling about the creepiness and the idea that there could be some sort of existence after death. That, and the thought of those two worlds coming together — the spirit world and our world — is just plain fun to think about. But thinking about it and hearing about it is way different than actually experiencing it. That's why I've come up with a list of haunted hotels you can actually stay at. While some people would be completely against the idea of spending the night in a haunted place, I on the other hand say, bring it on.
If you've ever experienced something that you simply could not explain, then you'll know the feeling of wanting answers. It may even spark your curiosity and have you searching for more experiences like it just to confirm whatever you saw, experienced, or heard was real. I'm not sure when my fascination with ghosts began, but I remember having these types of experiences since a very young age — I'm pretty sure the apartment I grew up in in New York City was haunted. For as long as I could remember, creepy things that I couldn't explain would happen there, and it left me with this curiosity and fascination with the paranormal. While I haven't been to all of the hotels on this list, you can be sure that these places are the real deal for those who like the creepiness, too.
1. Lizzie Borden House — Fall River, MA
If you haven't heard of Lizzie Borden, then you're in for a spooky treat. According to the Lizzie Borden website, in 1892, Andrew and Abbey Borden were brutally murdered with an ax in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Their murders have gone unsolved to this day. Andrew Borden's daughter, Lizzie Borden, was the only suspect but was never convicted. This house has since been turned into a bed and breakfast and a museum dedicated to the history of the crime. You can sleep in the rooms of Andrew and Abby or even in Lizzie's room — talk about spooky.
2. The Bisbee Inn/Hotel LaMore — Bisbee, AZ
This hotel is located in an old mining town with lots of spooky happenings, so it should definitely be on your list. If you choose to stay here, you have your choice of spirits. According to The Witching Hour website, the ghost in room 11 "is known for rummaging through toiletries, tossing them about, and even opening things like toothpaste to check the contents. Occasionally, the ghost will also slam the bathroom door shut." Other paranormal activity occur in rooms 15, 12, and 7. However, the most popular room is room 23 that is haunted by a cat. My father (who happens to be a true skeptic) stayed in room 23 and said when he laid down to go to sleep, he felt a cat jump on the bed, twirl around three or four times and lie down. Now how sweet is a ghost cat?
3. Wayside Inn — Middletown, VA
According to the Haunted Places, The Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia is the oldest inn still in operation in the country — now how can that not be haunted. According to their website, the Inn has been in operation since 1797 and has housed travelers and soldiers of the Civil War. For spooky stories about this location, check out Haunted Places, a website where guests post their ghostly encounters.
4. The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, CO
This hotel has been on my bucket list for years. Have you ever seen the movie The Shining? Yeah. That scary movie is based on The Stanley Hotel. The author of The Shining, Stephen King, had spent the night there, according to the hotel's wikipedia page, and King and his wife were the only guests in the entire hotel that night. After a scary experience, he was inspired to write The Shining. Pretty cool right? The hotel also has night spirit tours for fellow paranormal enthusiasts.
5. Crescent Hotel & Spa — Eureka Springs, AR
According to the website America's Most Haunted Hotel, The Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is exactly that — the most haunted hotel in America. Shows like Ghost Hunters have investigated here, making it an attraction for paranormal enthusiasts. And with Halloween coming up, why not check out this location for a Halloween seance or book one of their ghost tours.
6. The Grand Hotel — Cape May, NJ
Did you know that Cape May is nicknamed "haunted Cape May"? According to Center for Inquiry website, Cape May has a rich history and is full of ghost stories. Don't believe me? Check out this fun Travelocity review from one of the guests of The Grand Hotel. For more fun ghost stories, check out Haunted NJ's website which features the Inn of Cape May and Hotel Macomber.
7. Roosevelt Hotel — Los Angeles, CA
8. Queen Mary Hotel — Long Beach, CA
The Queen Mary Hotel is another allegedly haunted location that embraces its ghostly reputation. What makes this location really cool is that fact that it's not on land — this haunted hotel is an old cruise ship. Think Titanic, cause that's exactly what it looks like. The Queen Mary hosts all kinds of spooky events like paranormal investigations, making this haunted location in Long Beach, California a must-see on every ghost enthusiast's bucket list.
9. Omni Royal Orleans — New Orleans, LA
Don't you just love the spirit culture of New Orleans? The rich history and reputation for ghosts make this a perfect place for a haunted hotel. Check out the Omni Royal Orleans, which is, according to the website Haunted Rooms, one of the most haunted locations in New Orleans. Apparently the ghosts of the hotel like to play pranks on their guests. One spirit is believed to be a maid and will tuck guests in at night, while others will simply follow people around the hotel. Other haunts include the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Le Pavillon Hotel, and Hotel Monteleone. Check out Haunted Rooms for more ghostly stories at these locations.
10. Congress Plaza Hotel — Chicago, IL
This hotel in Chicago may have the most sinister history yet. According to the website Haunted Rooms, serial killer Dr. HH Holmes used the hotel "as a place to meet young ladies under the guise of offering them a job in his pharmacy. What he would actually do is take them to his torture castle a few blocks from the hotel." Other unspeakable acts have happened at the Congress Plaza Hotel, which is said to be haunted by many spirits. Room 441 in the south tower is said to be haunted by a woman spirit who stands at the end of the bed and kicks guests awake. But the most famous ghost at The Congress is believed to be Al Capone. Another noteworthy haunting ground that you can actually stay in while you're in Chicago is The Drake Hotel.
11. The Chelsea Hotel — New York, NY
I visited the Chelsea Hotel myself and spoke to the front desk staff about the hotel's haunted reputation. Are you ready to get chills? The man at the front desk said that the hotel had recently undergone renovations. It used to be a housing complex that housed artists, musicians, and the like. According to the website Haunted Places To Go, many famous people have stayed or lived in the Chelsea Hotel, including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Alice Cooper. It was built in 1883 and operates as a hotel and apartment complex to this day. When I interviewed the man at the front desk (whose name will remain anonymous for privacy), he says that he worked at the residential building when they were doing the renovations. One of the rooms was boarded up and had been untouched for years. When they opened up the door, the floors were covered in dust. He looked down and saw bare footprints on the floor in the dust leading from the middle of the floor to the window and then disappeared. The rest of the dust on the floor was untouched and undisturbed. He took pictures with his cellphone and showed them to me. Definitely a creepy story, if nothing else!
12. Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel — Miami, FL
One of the most haunted hotels in Florida, according to Haunted Rooms, is the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel. With ghosts like a lady in white, a waltzing couple, and an old gangster who likes to leave you messages on your mirror, who wouldn't want to check out this classic 1926 mansion style hotel?
13. The Duff Green Mansion — Vicksburg, MS
According to Haunted Rooms, this hotel was a private mansion back in 1856 and "during the Civil War, the mansion served as a hospital and then a home for soldiers. It evolved back into a private residence before once again transforming into a boys' orphanage." I mean, talk about a spooky past. Other Mississippi haunts include Cedar Grove Inn and Annabelle Bed & Breakfast, both in Vicksburg.
Whether you're curious about the paranormal or you're just reading for fun, there is certainly no shortage of creepy haunts to stay in. In the spirit of Halloween, wouldn't it be fun to say that you've stayed somewhere that was actually haunted — or better yet — that you've had an actual paranormal experience yourself? Happy Halloween!