December is here, and you know what that means – we are knee-deep in holiday season. And what a season it is. Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, this time of year is always full of events. Family and friends coming together, and for a lot of people, that means traveling. Personally I love traveling, and I am a sucker for a great hotel. But just because it’s not Halloween anymore doesn’t mean we can’t get spooky this holiday season.
In case you may be traveling real soon, here’s a list of the top 10 haunted hotels in North America. In case you need some spirits to get you into the holiday spirit.
10. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – Vancouver, British Columbia
“The Castle in the City”, this hotel is home to the famous “Lady in Red”. Jennie Pearl Cox, who is believed to be the Lady in Red, was a young socialite who died in 1944 outside the hotel in a car accident. While she is known to be a friendly ghost, she is seen quite often by guests on the 14th floor. She is also seen entering and exiting the elevators on the ground and 14th floors. Are you brave enough to book a room on the 14th floor?
9. Hawthorne Hotel – Salem, MA
Ah Salem, one of the most infamous towns in America. With a history as dark as Salem, it seems inevitable that every nook and cranny of that sleepy New England town could be haunted by some looming spectre. The Hawthorne Hotel appears to be no exception. Legend has it the hotel is built on the same ground where Bridget Bishop’s apple orchard was. For those of you not up on your witch trial knowledge, Bishop was the first person to be executed in Salem during the trials. Reports of strong smells of apples appear to be common, especially in Room 612. This room also hosts a female apparition. Room 325 is said to have reports of faucets and lights turning on and off on their own, as well as visitors hearing the sounds of a crying baby. I think I’ll be avoiding this one.
8. Fort Garry Hotel – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Built in 1913 as a railway hotel to serve the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, this chateau-esque hotel has a rumored ghost story behind it. Specifically, Room 202 has a bit of a notorious reputation: supposedly, a young woman was staying in Room 202 when she learned that her husband had died in a car accident. Overcome with grief, she killed herself in the room’s closet. While there are no more details to the story, it does send shivers down your spine as the woman supposedly still haunts the room.
7. Roosevelt Hotel – Los Angeles, CA
For anyone visiting Hollywood and loves the glamour of “Old Hollywood”, the Roosevelt may well be one of their must-see sights. Over the years, the luxurious hotel has housed some of Tinsel Town’s brightest stars. The most famous of which is said to still haunt the establishment. Marilyn Monroe lived at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for two years, and guests report seeing the icon in the mirror of her old room to this day. Actor Montgomery Clift also stayed at the hotel for several months and his old room is reported to have a high amount of paranormal activity as well. So next time you find yourself in Los Angeles looking to do a little celebrity sighting, maybe add the Roosevelt to your list.
6. Hotel Chelsea – NYC, NY
New York City’s Hotel Chelsea is an imposing sight. It is oversized and grand, even for New York. Built in the 1880s, the Hotel has served as home to many artists, musicians, and writers in its long history. In 1953, writer Dylan Marlais Thomas was found dead in his room after suffering from many health problems. 25 years later, the body of Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of rocker Sid Vicious, was found, stabbed to death. The combination of famous residents, visitors and deaths has created quite the buzz about ghosts. Sadly the hotel is currently closed, nearing the end of a seven-year renovation. But that means the doors will be re-opening soon, and construction in a haunted place always stirs up ghosts..
5. Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO
No list of haunted hotels is complete without the one that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining. After King and his wife spent one night in the hotel’s Room 217 one of the greatest horror novels was conceived. According to reports, F.O. Stanley, the hotel’s builder, and his wife are known to haunt the premises, and many of the hotel’s rooms have repeated activity. Room 418 has had many reports of children spirits with strange noises being heard as well as hearing children playing. Whether the ghosts are real or not at this hotel, the legends and the story of The Shining loom over you.
4. La Posada del Sol – Mexico City, MX
Mexico City’s La Posada del Sol was destined to be a breathtaking hotel. The hotel boasted over 600 hotel rooms, as well as gardens, fountains, turkish baths, galleries, a theater, and even a casino. And the architecture was breathtaking. Unfortunately, this hotel never came to be. Fernando Saldaña Galván’s grand hotel would never be completed. In 1945, construction was halted and Galván hanged himself in the hotel’s yard. Stories say he cursed the place and rumors abound as to why the man killed himself, each darker than the last. The hotel now stands abandoned in ruin. There is also a creepy altar in the hotel now to honor a young girl who was found dead there. Yeah this place is terrifying. I should let you know that this place is closed off and police actually guard the ruins to deter curious visitors.
3. Fairmont Banff Springs – Banff Springs, Alberta
Referred to as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies”, this hotel oozes luxury and opulence. If you ever wanted to feel like a princess arriving at a castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs does not disappoint. But like all beautiful castles, there is always a touch of the supernatural. The hotel’s most famous ghost has to be “The Bride”. The story of “The Bride” dates back to the late 1920s, early 1930s. Legend is something startled the young woman as she was descending the staircase in her wedding gown and tragically fell and died. The Bride has been spotted on the staircase as well as dancing in the hotel’s ballroom. The Bride of Fairmont Banff Springs is so well-known that in 2014 the royal Canadian Mint and Canada Post released a collector stamp and coin commemorating the woman and her tragic tale.
2. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa – Eureka Springs, AR
Listed of the Historic Hotels of America, this luxurious hotel overlooks the Victoria town of Eureka Springs below. But as pretty as it may be, it is often billed as “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”. The Crescent Hotel has served many functions since it’s first opening back in 1886. The building served as a resort, a college, a summer hotel, a hospital and health retreat, and then again a hotel. The hotel claims to be full of ghosts that have checked out but never left. They regularly offer ghost tours and host Eureka Springs Paranormal (ESP) Weekends. You can also participate in “Flickering Tales” – where you can sit around a campfire listening to ghost stories, and on Halloween they even hold seances. The Crescent Hotel has been featured on many paranormal investigation shows and it is easy to see why. As you peruse the hotel’s website, the overview of guest rooms even sets aside “Michael’s Room” – the most haunted, and the most requested. Any takers?
1. Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA
Personally, I’ve always heard a lot about this ship and how haunted it is. What I didn’t know was that the ship, which is now permanently docked in Long Beach, has been converted into a hotel where guests can stay in one of the ships many staterooms. But I don’t know if I would want to.. This ship/hotel has seen some history. It originally launched as an ocean liner in 1936, ferrying passengers until 1967. In WWII it was temporarily transformed to transport allied troops and was nicknamed “The Grey Ghost”. After all that history, of course it would be haunted. Reports of full apparitions, poltergeist activity, the sounds of children playing, and a room so haunted they have only just recently allowed people to start staying in there again. And for all of you ghost hunters out there, it’s room B340. Room B340 even comes with a ghost package that includes a Ouija board and ghost hunting equipment. Who could pass that up?
So which hotel will you be checking in to? Have you ever experienced any paranormal events at a hotel? Let us know in on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!