The innocent sound of children playing in the corridor outside your room shouldn’t necessarily be cause for alarm. Except, of course, when it’s 4:00 in the morning and, according to the concierge, you were the only guest booked on the entire floor for the night.
There’s a sort of morbid thrill to spending a night in a hotel believed to be haunted it can be like spending a night in your own personalized horror movie. Booking a room in such a place can take a lot of guts, but you’ll likely have a great story to tell your friends afterwards. Here is a list of five of the most popular “haunted” hotels in the United States.
1. The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel, Steven King’s original inspiration for his novel “The Shining,” is considered by many professional and amateur paranormal investigators to be the most haunted hotel in America.
The Stanley’s official website tells the story of Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, head housekeeper of the hotel back in 1912. In an explosion that occurred while she was lighting lanterns during a storm, Wilson was flung from room 212 all the way to the next floor down, breaking both of her ankles.
These days, guests of room 212 sometimes report strange housekeeping occurrences some say their items have been moved from place to place, while others said their bags have been unpacked without their participation.
2. Bourbon Orleans Hotel
The Bourbon Orleans ranks as one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans, a city well-known long associated with hauntings and witchcraft.
According to its website, the Bourbon Orleans was once a convent and orphanage. During that era, a terrible yellow fever epidemic had struck the city, presumably burdening the orphanage with much sickness and death.
These days, guests of the Bourbon Orleans sometimes report hearing or seeing children in the hallways. A common ghost-sighting in the Bourbon Orleans is a small girl chasing a ball down the sixth floor hallway.
3. Hawthorne Hotel
Located in Salem, Massachusetts, where the infamous Salem witch trials took place in 1612, the Hawthorne Hotel is thought to be haunted by the spirits of those wronged during that violent point in history.
Bridgett Bishop, the first woman to be executed in the Salem with trials, was the owner of the apple orchard where the Hawthorne now stands. Guests sometimes report smelling apples, even though none are close by.
The most haunted spot in the Hawthorne is considered to be room 612, where the image of a woman has apparently been seen walking by – and pausing at – the door to the room. Many guests inside the room report feelings of a strange presence sharing the space with them.
4. Jerome Hotel
Converted from a long-abandoned hospital 1996, the Jerome Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, has plenty of excuses to be haunted. There are many unexplained – and commonly reported – sights and sounds in the hotel that have been attributed to various hospital deaths and suicides.
One death in particular seems to account for many “encounters” at the hotel. In 1935, when the hotel was still the United Verne Hospital, a member of the staff named Claude M. Harvey was killed in the hospital’s boiler room when his head somehow got pinned beneath the elevator.
There were no witnesses to the event, and some speculated that Harvey’s death ultimately resulted from suicide or murder. Some say Harvey’s ghosts remains in the building. Many guests of the modern hotel have reported seeing a figure – perhaps Harvey – in the boiler room and/or near the elevator.
5. Hotel Monteleone
Another famous New Orleans “haunted” hotel, the Hotel Monteleone has been giving guests and staff members a good case of the shivers for generations. Guests have reported doors that open and shut all by themselves, hallways that suddenly become chilly, and strange figures moving in the corridors.
According to the hotel’s official website, the International Society of Paranormal Research visited the Monteleone in 2003, spending several days there. The team claimed to have made contact with more than a dozen entities, including former employees of the hotel.
You don’t have to believe in ghosts to get creeped out by some of the hotels in this list. Whether disembodied spirits truly visit these structures, or the average “haunted” hotel is just a result of overactive imagination, spending a night as a guest in one of these establishments will surely make a reservation.