With Halloween right around the corner, you may be itching to find something spooky to do. That might mean watching scary movies or visiting haunted houses, but why not kick things up a few frightening notches and book yourself a haunted hotel room?
Yes, there are hotels and specific hotel rooms, purported to be haunted, that you can actually stay in. Curious? Here are Cheapflights.ca's picks of seven ghostly hotels where you can spend the night -- if you dare.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado, United States
The Stanley Hotel is over 100 years old and boasts a stunning location and beautiful architecture, but that's not all it's known for. Anyone who has read or seen the movie version of Stephen King's "The Shining" knows just how scary that story is. If you're curious as to what could have inspired such a spine-tingling tale, you might want to pay a visit to the Stanley Hotel.
Rumour has it that King stayed in room 217 back in 1974 on a night when the hotel was nearly deserted as the property was just about to close for the winter. Though the entire hotel is known for paranormal occurrences, room 217 seems to see the most ghostly action. According to the hotel's history, countless guests have seen and heard strange things like lights turning on and off, doors opening and closing, strange laughter and footsteps, drafts and unexplained chills.
Russell Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Russell Hotel is located in The Rocks, the oldest area of Sydney and one of the most convenient for checking out many of the city's best known attractions. The boutique property also has a reputation for being haunted, thanks to the area's storied and somewhat seedy past.
Now a favourite location among visitors to Sydney, The Rocks was once known as a crime-filled area that attracted some shady characters, as well as sailors looking for adventure in port (with many getting more than they bargained for once they found themselves in the neighbourhood's dark alleys). One such seafarer is said to haunt the halls of the Russell Hotel, taking particular interest in room 8. Some guests have reported waking to find him staring at them from the foot of the bed.
Battery Carriage House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Image: Battery Carriage House Inn
Located across from Charleston Harbor, the historic Battery Carriage House Inn has just 11 guestrooms and is known as one of the most romantic inns in Charleston. However, it is also reputed to be one of the most haunted. So if you like your romantic getaway with a side of the spooky, this might be the place for you. The property is said to be home to several ghosts.
Over the years, many guests have reported strange and spooky sightings, all of which are well documented on the inn's website. Rooms 3, 8 and 10, in particular, have been known for their paranormal presences and unexplained happenings, including a sighting of a headless torso in room 8 and a congregation of ghosts in room 3.
Chillingham Castle, Chillingham, England
If you've ever wanted to stay in a haunted medieval castle, you can get your chance in Chillingham, England. Given that Chillingham Castle dates back to 1344, when it was fully fortified, it's no surprise that ghosts are part of its history. There are ghost tours available for anyone interested in getting to know more about the castle's past and just what kind of presences might be waiting in the shadows.
Some spooky sightings or happenings include a ghost in the pantry, voices in the chapel, ghosts in the courtyard and a ghostly presence in the torture chamber (go figure). For an especially chilling experience, stay in the Pink Room, said to be favoured by a ghost known as the "blue boy." Guests of the room have reported flashes of blue light and loud, wailing noises.
Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winnipeg's Fort Garry Hotel is over 100 years old and, as such, you wouldn't be wrong for assuming there might be some haunting going on in the storied hotel's hallways. Guests have reported seeing and hearing a number of strange things, including the sighting of apparitions at the ends of beds, unexplained talking and crying and, in room 202, the ghost of a woman who is said to have hung herself in the closet after getting word that her husband had died.
Does the thought of staying on a haunted ocean liner sound intriguing? If so, book yourself a stay at the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach, California. The floating hotel is known for its history, its amenities and unique accommodations, but it's equally known for its paranormal activity. On board, you might find yourself face-to-face with such ghosts as a sailor who died in the ship's engine room, a "lady in white" and children who drowned in the ship's pool. Book one of the ship's tours to learn more or check in to a stateroom for your own research.
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
There's a hostel in Canada's capital city that is housed in a 150-year-old former Carleton County jail -- meaning your room will be an authentic jail cell (albeit with free Wi-Fi). HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is conveniently located in downtown Ottawa and, in addition to letting you sleep in the slammer, offers free breakfast.
All these perks and quirks aside, though, what makes this hostel stand out are the numerous ghostly encounters guests report. Our advice to those looking to stay here: sign up for the daily free tour to learn more about the history of the jail and its former inmates. Best to be forewarned as the hostel is purported to be one of the most haunted buildings in all of Canada.
To read about more spooky lodgings where you can spend the night, if you dare, go here.
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Cheapflights summons spirits across the globe starting with Bloody Mary. Who’s tried summoning Bloody Mary? Most of us, no? If you haven’t, then you’ve had some seriously depressing sleepovers. After calling her name three times in front of a mirror and in complete darkness, she is said to appear next to you. Origins of Bloody Mary vary by culture, but it is a widespread belief that the legend was inspired by Queen Mary I. Image: iStock.com/SimFan
Also known in English as the “Weeping Woman,” she is a legend famous throughout Latin America. There are a dozen variations, but the main legend is of Maria, a young woman who drowned her own children in despair over her cheating husband. Then, facing the realization her children were dead, she killed herself. Cursed by the eternal search for her children, she appears as a tall and beautiful white spirit roaming the rivers and creeks, constantly weeping. Image: iStock.com/Elenhil
Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, is perhaps the best-traveled ghost in the entire world. Sightings of her apparition have been reported throughout Britain. The most well-known sightings of Anne occur at the site of her imprisonment and execution, the Tower of London, where she’s been seen wearing a white Tudor dress. She’s also been seen at Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and at some of her childhood homes: Hever Castle and Blickling Hall. Image: iStock.com/LawrenceSawyer
Various folk cultures around the world have at least one story of a hitchhiking ghost, but none are as famous as the story of Resurrection Mary in Illinois. A young female hitchhiker is said to be wearing a formal white dress and stopping male drivers on the highway near the Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois. After getting into a car, she disappears just a few minutes later. Do you dare to give her a ride? Image: iStock.com/quavondo
Known in Japan as “Kuchisake-onna,” she can be allegedly spotted in the Nagasaki prefecture. The story is of a cheating wife whose betrayed husband, in revenge, slits her mouth open with his sword. It’s believed the woman lives on as a malicious spirit in order to remind people of her wrongs by her horrible scar. Her ghost is said to be of a pretty young lady wearing a surgical mask; “Am I pretty?” she will ask. When answered positively she rips off the surgical mask and ask again. If the answer is no the second time around, she is thought to kill the respondent with her own hands. Image: iStock.com/RobertoASanchez
It all started in 1817 on a quiet farm in Adams, Tennessee when the Bell family started experiencing weird events involving strange animals visiting their farm and assaults by dark forces. It is widely believed the family came under attack from a neighbor, Kate Batts, who put a curse on the family. Many believed Mrs. Batts to be a witch after she returned 107 years later in 1935. This legend inspired many horror movies including “American Haunting” and “The Blair Witch Project.” Like Bloody Mary, you can summon the spirit by calling her name 13 times at 3 a.m. in front of the mirror. When you notice your eyes changing it means she’s looking back at you. Image: iStock.com/Pawel_Kisiolek
The Brown Lady has been captured for eternity in perhaps the most famous ghost photograph in the world. The ghostly image taken in 1936 is widely believed to be the white apparition of Lady Dorothy Walpole, also known as Lady Townshend. Since her death in 1726, many have reported sightings of her. The most famous is by Frederick Maryat. It is said the ghost of Lady Townshend is still roaming the rooms of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England. Image: John Fielding, Home of the world’s most famous ghost. via Flickr CC BY 2.0
There are several resident ghosts in the White House, but the most famous is that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s spirit is said to have been roaming the rooms of the presidential residence freely ever since his assassination. It all escalated when the photographs of his widow, Mary Todd Lincoln, were published with Lincoln’s apparition behind her in 1869. Another famous sighting happened much later by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who was naked when he encountered Lincoln’s apparition. Image: iStock.com/DHuss
Another hitchhiking story, but this time from a traffic tunnel in Switzerland. This ghost is said to be of an old woman dressed in all white who appears out of nowhere and sometimes even speaking to passengers driving through the tunnel. The apparent sightings have made the tunnel a famous Swiss tourist spot that many visit in the hope that they will see the famous ghost as they drive through. The tunnel is part of the A2 motorway from Basel to Chiasso. Image: Saïda, San Gottardo via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
Well known throughout New Orleans as the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau still sends shivers down the spines of many. Her spirit is thought to linger around her tomb and many have reported supernatural encounters and sightings in the vicinity. Some of her followers visit her reputed tomb in New Orleans’ historic St. Louis Cemetery to get their wishes granted by knocking three times on the crypt. This urban legend inspired the character of Marie Laveau in “American Horror Story: Coven.” Image: iStock.com/Lingbeek
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