From time immemorial, hotels have been home away from home for all manner of people. From businesspeople to prostitutes, murderers to clergies and of course, tourists around the world. If you think about it, the hotel rooms certainly hold the world’s most disturbing and darkest secrets. That may sound a little bit spooky, but if any place is likely to be haunted, it is a hotel. So, next time you search for your “ideal hotel” for a family vacation, business travel, honeymoon or casual romantic getaway, you may want to choose carefully. Because whether you believe in ghosts and paranormal activities or not, the following list of the world’s creepiest and most haunted hotels will send a chill down your spine.
1. Hotel Chelsea, New York City, New York
This famous New York hotel built in the late 18th century was home to several high-profile guests like Jackson Pollock, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Madonna. However, former guests and hotel staff have reported endless paranormal activities that easily put it on the most haunted hotels’ list. One is the ghosts of “Sex Pistols” bass player Sid Vicious, accused of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Sungen, in Room 100 while they lived there. Her spirit is believed to haunt the place still persistently. When he was released and awaiting trial for the murder, Sid drugged himself to death with his last hit of heroin. His ghost is said to have been seen on many occasions at the east elevator of the hotel too.
Welsh poet Dylan Marlais Thomas, who died on 9th November 1953 at Hotel Chelsea after a night of excessive drinking, is also believed to have never left. Many claimed he had made occasional appearances, especially around room “206”, where he died.
2. The Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, Massachusetts
The Hawthorne Hotel is located in historic Salem, Massachusetts, a place notorious for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. This place is renowned for its share of witchcraft and supernatural phenomenon that dates as far back as the days of the infamous witch trials. During the witch trials, Bridget Bishop was one of the earliest people to be executed. She used to own an apple orchard where the hotel now sits. Hotel’s guests report smelling apples even though they are not on the menu list.
“Ghost Hunters” TV Show featured The Hawthorne Hotel because the number of paranormal activity reports. Lights and faucets were turning on and off of their own accord, unidentified baby crying, and feeling of being touched. These and more are some of the several reports from room 325. Countless guests have reported hearing strange sounds and experiencing weird things. A staff who worked on the lower deck returned only to find his entire setup “rearranged.” At the Hawthorne Hotel, Room 612 is believed to be one of the most haunted areas. The creepy apparition of a woman has been seen to wander the halls outside often pausing in front of the door. Inside the room, guests have often complained about a spooky feeling of other presence.
3. Grand Hyatt Hotel Taipei, Taiwan
The Grand Hyatt earned its spot with the most haunted hotels since it was built on a piece of land that used to be a prison and Japanese execution ground during the 2nd World War. The earth under must have been soaked in death and so much despair that spine-chilling occurrences abounded in this modern hotel, so much that locals avoid the place like the plague. Even action star Jackie Chan once reported a creepy ghostly encounter while at this hotel, storming out of his room in the dead of night.
As a guest at the hotel on a business trip in 2002, Peter Heppo recounted a chilling experience. He was awoken several times by a ‘presence’ that sat next to him in bed. In a desperate attempt to send off the spirits, management employed the service of feng shui experts, who positioned Buddhist scrolls, wind chimes, and amulets in the lobby.
4. The Langham, London, England
Opened in 1865, The Langham has housed several literary big figures like Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This popular hotel has also reportedly been frequented by several ghosts too. It is one of the most haunted hotels ever. The commonest sighting reported is that of a man in room 333 in his Victorian evening wear. He is known to appear only during October.
Other ghosts sighted at this favorite hotel include that of a man dressed in military garb standing by the window on the fourth floor. He is believed to be a German prince, a man with a gaping wound on his face usually on the hallways, and Napoleon III, a former frequent visitor who is said to now haunt this fantastic hotel’s basement.
5. The Russell Hotel Sydney, Australia
No list of haunted hotels in the world is complete without The Russell Hotel. This historic hotel which is located in the heart of The Rocks, Sydney’s oldest district, has a troubled history of dark origins. It was used as a hospital during the smallpox epidemic and bubonic plague, which was later turned into a hostel for sailors. It has a reputation as “Australia’s most haunted hotel” for spooky reasons.
Room 8 is said to be haunted by the spirit of an old sailor who strolls through the hotel’s corridors and then vanishes. Some guests reported seeing him staring down at them from the middle of the room. There are also several instances when the hotel staff hears cracking floorboards of room eight even though it is unoccupied. Hotel visitors have reported feeling cold spots in the place. Other ghosts seen at The Russell Hotel include members of the oldest profession and other sailors.
6. The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, USA
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, USA was built in 1886 and claims to be “the most haunted hotel in the country.” The luxury hotel and spa went bankrupt and re-opened as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women in 1908, before becoming a fake hospital. That’s when things got creepy.
The new owner Norman G. Baker, who had no medical training, claimed to have discovered “cures” to several ailments and used the hospital as a front for his “experiments”: on humans — alive and dead. He administered fake treatments to his ill victims while making money off their families. Norman was eventually exposed and jailed for fraud, but his experiments haunt the place still. Known apparitions at The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa include that of Michael; an Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1885, Theodora; a cancer patient, Norman Baker himself; Morris the cat; an unidentified patient who is frequently spotted loitering at bed foot, in a white nightgown around the luxury suites.
7. Le Pavillon Hotel, New Orleans, LA
The hotel which was built in the late 19th century is renowned for various paranormal activities that surround it. According to Le Pavillon Hotel’s official website, “For individuals looking for a haunted experience, Le Pavillon will not disappoint.” This is because you are likely to be joined by eager ghostly roommates.
Adda, also called Eva or Ava is easily the most famous ghost at Le Pavillon. It is believed that the girl with brown eyes and hair was killed by a runaway carriage. Adda haunts the main entrance and lobby of the hotel. She has been seen to pace the hall and reported to bump into people, say sorry and then suddenly vanish. Le Pavillon is also a resident of a ghost couple. Sometimes, lovebirds are seen walking through doors and disappearing into elevators. The ghosts here are known to be notoriously mischievous. Standing at the foot of guests’ beds at night, occasionally taunting them by pulling at their sheets, giggling. One guest once claimed to have woken up to a ghostly lady who sat at his bedside and run her fingers through his hair!
8. Toftaholm Herrgård, Lagan, Sweden
The haunted history of this scenic Scandinavian resort can be traced back hundreds of years. It is the oldest on this list of most haunted hotels, dating back to the 14th century. The main resident apparition here is believed to be that of a pleasant young man who fell hopelessly in love with the baron’s daughter but lost her to an arranged marriage. He then hung himself in what is now Room 324. Visitors have reported several strange experiences in this room. These include items being shuffled around at night and windows opening and closing on their own accord. Some guests said having seen the melancholic peasant himself wandering through the corridors of Toftaholm Herrgård.
9. Karosta Prison Hotel, Liepaja, Latvia
Even without any mysterious phenomenon, this eerie place is hair-raising. A former notorious prison, Karosta Prison Hotel is now a novelty hostel where you can pay to be handled roughly by uniformed guards, harassed by the warden, yelled at, arm-twisted into hard labor, then thrown into a cold concrete cell for the night. If your idea of a good time involves this kind of experience, then there is no better place for you. Not to worry, you won’t be lonely in your cold nights in the cell. The dungeon’s many resident spirits will join you.
At different times in its history, Karosta served both as a Nazi POW facility and a Soviet military prison. Thousands of inmates died within its cold walls. Frequently sighted in this unusual hotel is the ghost of a woman who hanged herself shortly after her husband was executed.
10. The Bell Inn, Norfolk, England
The last but not the list on this list of creepiest and most haunted hotels in the world is The Bell Inn Hotel in Norfolk. It is also known to be a hive of paranormal activity. This 46-room establishment has been a home away from home for many since it was established some 600 years ago. One of the rooms is renowned for being haunted by a hooded monk. Many of the guests at the hotel have reported having seen him during their stay. There have been claims of hearing children playing in empty rooms and even keys rattling at night. Some Paranormal investigators who have paid a visit here have noted that this site as one of the most haunted hotels in the United Kingdom.