Booking oneself a hotel room gives one the opportunity for some pampering. Comfortable beds, luxury decor, and a nice bubble bath sounds like a wonderful, relaxing experience. However, thrill-seekers may be looking for a different kind of experience when booking a hotel. Some of us search for the strange and unusual, and will certainly find just that when reserving a stay at one of the 15 most haunted hotels in the world.
Fortunately for paranormal junkies, these are just 15 of the world’s most haunted hotels. The list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and inns that boast ghoulish sightings, permanent see-through guests, and things that go bump in the night, is endless. Chances are, if you ask locals of the area you’re visiting for recommendations for a haunted place to stay, they’ll give you a definitive answer.
The hotels listed below are some of the most famous haunted sites where travelers can post up for a night or two. Each one has racked up a good list of ghost sightings, and therefore, a name for itself within the paranormal investigation community.
If you have the guts and gaul to spend a night at one of the hotels listed, we applaud your bravery and question your sanity.
1. Fairmont Banff Springs — Alberta, Canada
We have two words for you: ghost bride. That’s right — a bride who died on her wedding day in the 1920s is said to haunt the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. As does the kindred spirit of Sam the Bellman and the ghosts of a murdered family who wake guests in Room 873 with screaming and leave bloody fingerprints on bathroom mirrors.
Another rumor says that a man committed suicide in Room 873 after murdering his wife and young daughter.
2. Dalhousie Castle Hotel — Edinburgh, Scotland
Having been built a whopping 700 years ago, Dalhousie Castle has seen quite a lot of history take place. It was used by kings, survived battles, and housed countless prisoners. Some visitors to Dalhousie have seen an apparition of Lady Catherine, known as the “Grey Lady,” and others have seen Sir Alexander Ramsey, who was starved to death by Williams Douglas.
Unwelcome company or just terrifying?
And there’s always phantom footsteps happening all over the castle. It’s so haunted that ghost tours take place there on the daily — even if you’re not on the tour, prepare for some haunting sights.
3. The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado
When Stephen King gets his inspiration from your hotel, you know you’ve got something scary on your hands. Famously known as the location that inspired The Shining, the Stanley Hotel is home to mysterious piano music and the ghostly apparitions of the hotel’s builder, F.O. Stanley, and his wife.
Scariest book, scarier hotel?
And for you Shining fans, you may recognize room 217. That’s where a Stanley Hotel housekeeper reportedly electrocuted himself and his spirit still haunts the room to this day. Yikes.
4. Russell Hotel — Sydney, Australia
Dubbed Australia’s “most haunted hotel,” guests should know they’re in for a creepy adventure when booking a room at the Russell Hotel. Room 8 is supposedly the most active room, haunted by a murdered sailor who especially likes to manifest when the room is occupied by female visitors.
Bad news, ladies.
Apparently, guests who have no clue about the hotel’s reputation are reported to check out hastily in the middle of the night after some bad vibes. Creaky cupboards and floorboards, paralyzing feelings, and jolted awakenings are just some of the reported experiences from female guests.
5. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel — Hollywood, California
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is famous for its celebrity clientele — both living and dead. Guests have reported seeing the ghost of actor Montgomery Clift in his favorite room, 928. Others have seen Marilyn Monroe, either in her old suite, room 1200, or behind guests in their hotel room mirrors.
I don’t think this is how anyone wanted to meet Marilyn Monroe.
The hotel is also home to a happy little girl ghost, male spirits in the Blossom Ballroom, and other apparitions who are seemingly enjoying what the hotel has to offer.
6. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel — Mumbai, India
The architect for the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, W.A. Chambers, left his builders specific instructions for how the hotel was supposed to be built before flying back to London. When he returned to Mumbai, Chambers was incredibly distraught that the hotel had been built in the wrong direction.
I’d be so out, already.
He supposedly jumped to his death from the fifth floor of the hotel and his ghost still roams the halls in the Old Wing to this day — guests and staff have reported multiple sightings.
7. Toftaholm Herrgård — Vittaryd, Sweden
Originally a private manor build in the 14th century, Toftaholm Herrgård is the site of many paranormal activities like doors and windows opening and closing, unexplained noises, and the ghostly appearance of a young man who had fallen in love with the daughter of the baron who resided there.
How could anyone stay here?
The young man supposedly killed himself in one of the rooms when the baron refused to let his daughter marry him (likely because of how much richer the baron’s daughter is compared to her suitor).
8. The Langham Hotel — London, England
Not only is the Langham Hotel haunted, but it’s haunted by terrifying ghosts. Guests have reported seeing the ghost of a murderous doctor who reportedly killed his wife and then committed suicide at the location. And other have seen the ghoulish apparition with a large wound on his face. Napoleon III is even rumored to roam the Langham’s halls.
Sounds like you’d be better off sleeping at the airport.
A BBC journalist in the 70s reported that a glowing orb took the shape of man, stared at him vacantly, and stretched his arms out toward him. It’s safe to say that journalist fled the hotel and (hopefully) stayed away.
9. The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast — Fall River, Massachusetts
Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41. You can stay a night in the spooky Borden murder house (which is very obviously bound to be haunted) in which Lizzie may or may not have killed her parents. You can even eat on the same table her parents sat at the morning of their murders.
The mystery has never been solved, and because of that, Andrew and Abby Borden supposedly still roam this home’s halls, unable to rest in peace.
10. Queen Mary Hotel — Long Beach, California
Time included the Queen Mary Hotel on its Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America due to guests’ persistant sightings of a long-dead engineer, the “lady in white,” and several ghost children who run about the ship. There were 49 recorded deaths onboard the Queen Mary, but there are allegedly 150 spirits roaming the deck.
Even the seas are haunted.
Guests of the Queen Mary can even partake in several ghost-themed events during their stay, including a Paranormal Ship Walk and Dining With the Spirits.
11. Airth Castle Hotel — Stirlingshire, Scotland
Kids and dogs are said to haunt Airth Castle, built in the 13th century (next to a 12th century graveyard, btw). Guests have reportedly heard children running and playing in rooms 3, 9, and 23 — two of whom died in a fire in the 1800s — and the ghost dog supposedly nips at guests’ heels.
Um, six haunted rooms is six too many.
Screams can be heard at night around certain parts of the hotel, where people believe maids stayed and were raped by the hotel master. Six rooms are confirmed to be haunted, but that’s not to say other rooms aren’t — no thank you!
12. First World Hotel — Genting Highlands, Malaysia
With over 7,300 rooms, the First World Hotel in Malaysia has the capacity to stow away a lot of secrets. According to several Trip Advisor reviews, several suicides related to gambling (the hotel was attached to a casino) have occurred and been covered up at the First World Hotel.
I don’t want to hear any children, living or dead, so this is a lot.
Some guests have also heard children playing, footsteps, and have seen dark shadows looming in the corners of hotel rooms. The entire 21st floor is said to be off-limits — the elevator skips the floor completely.
13. Hotel Burchianti — Florence, Italy
Nothing is worse than being unexpectedly bombarded by hotel maids, except when those maids are ghosts. Those who have stayed at Hotel Burchianti in Florence have seen such ghost maids along with spirit children skipping through hallways and an apparition of a woman knitting while relaxing in a lobby chair.
Even Italy isn’t safe from ghosts?
The Fresco room (where Benito Mussolini stayed before) is reportedly the spookiest, as guests have reported feeling as though they’re being watched all night, along with feeling icy cold breaths hit their faces.
14. The Hawthorne Hotel — Salem, Massachusetts
Standing on the site where the heinous Witch Trials took place over 300 years ago, the Hawthorne Hotel has enough eeriness to go around. Lost sea captains returning to shore, a ghostly woman residing in room 612, and rogue water taps in the bathroom of room 325 (the most haunted room there, supposedly) have thoroughly creeped out many Hawthorne guests. Some have even reported moving furniture and spooky unexplained noises during their stay.
You may be familiar with this one.
It’s a very famous hotel in pop culture — an episode of Bewitched was filmed here, a seance was held in the Grand Ballroom to try to reach Harry Houdini in the 90s, and it was featured on the show Ghost Hunters.
15. Karosta Prison Hotel — Karosta, Latvia
If you opt to spend the night at Karosta Prison, a 20th century Nazi and Soviet military prison, you better be up for a restless night. Not only are you treated like a prisoner by staff, but you sleep in an actual prison cell — perhaps one that one of Karosta’s many prisoners had died in.
Those who have gone through the experience report lightbulbs being unscrewed from their sockets and seeing an apparition of a woman who reportedly hanged herself. And hello, sleeping in an old prison is just downright spooky.