Hotels are some of the oldest public buildings on the planet, and are one of the few buildings in which people spend the night, other than their own home. As a result, hotels often have a rich history of events, occurrences and curious circumstances, both good and bad.
For this post, we tried to find the top haunted hotels around the world and tell you their story. Most of the hotels listed here have one or more instances of unfortunate events somewhere in their history.
Hotel Del Coronado, San diego
Hotel del Coronado just outside of San Diego is referred to by numerous sources as one of the top resorts in the world. Its location right next to the beach and its old architectural style give it a luxurious and warm atmosphere. The hotel was built in 1888 and was declared a national historic landmark in 1977.
One peculiar story associated with the Hotel del Coronado is that of a young woman checking into the hotel before her husband arrived. The husband never showed up and the young woman was later found shot dead on the beach in front of the hotel. Ever since that day in 1892 strange occurrences in the hotel have been reported. One phenomenon commonly associated with haunted properties, guests of the Coronado have claimed to feel sudden chilly spots in the hotel, whilst the general ambient temperature is balmy. Other guests have reported hearing strange noises and seeing foggy apparitions. Room 3502 is the room with which the most strange stories have been associated, and has been checked by parapsychologists, who found 37 instances of ‘Electronic Voice Phenomena’ with their instruments.
Langham Hotel, London
As with almost all haunted hotels, the Langham Hotel in London is one with a great history. The hotel was built back in 1865 and at that time was London’s first luxury hotel. During the Second World War the hotel was bombed by the Germans. It was not until 1990, when Hilton bought the property, that it was rebuilt to its present state. It is also since then that ghost stories have arisen about the Langham Hotel.
Room 333 has a reputation as the most haunted room in the hotel. Ghost appearances of an old gentleman have been reported here on several separate occasions. There are also sightings of a German soldier strolling through the hallways of the hotel. It is even said that Napoleon Bonaparte has been seen many times in the hotel’s basement! Following these intriguing reports, the Langham Hotel is of great interest to ghost hunters all around the world.
Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
The Stanley Hotel is best known for a famous resident and his suspected influence on paranormal activity in the hotel. Stephen King, the famous author of horror fiction, wrote half of his successful novel ‘The Shining’ in room 217 of this hotel. However, long before King stayed in the Stanley Hotel there were already reports of paranormal activity.
While sightings have been reported throughout the whole hotel, it is room 418 which is the worst offender by far. Reports include people hearing children’s voices in the hallway at night; of course, when the guests creep out of their room with only a torch to assist them, no such children can be found. In other instances, upon returning to their room after taking a shower, people find their room the subject of an Amy Winehouse-style makeover. Small children’s handprints have been found on moist mirrors and windows as well as on furniture. The craziest sighting was by a member of staff who was cleaning the room and saw a large dog-like creature staring at him in the mirror.
The Heathman Hotel, Portland
The Heathman Hotel in Portland Oregon is a luxury hotel often used by traveling business people because of its proximity to the airport. Since this type of visitor is much more likely to lie alone in their rooms at night, the ‘ghost’ sightings in this hotel are potentially even more frightening.
The ghost stories about the Heathman Hotel are quite eerie. It is said that the ghosts of this hotel have a preference for the rooms ending in “03” and especially room 703. Stories abound of people waking up at night seeing vague human-like figures standing at the end of their beds that disappear when they turn on the light. There have also been reports of sudden cold spots when walking through the room, as if walking through a cold mist.
The most extreme story is of a man waking up because his sheets were slowly tightening around him. As he awoke he heard the sound of breathing, which became louder as the sheets continued to tighten. Following a brief struggle, the man was able to free himself to switch on the light. As he turned around his suitcases were thrown at him and he saw a man running in the closet. After calling for assistance from the staff, his room was searched but nobody was found in the closet or anywhere else in the room.
As a final word, cleaners at the hotel also report having cleaned a room and then later returned to find such anomalies as wet towels, displaced furniture and disturbed bed sheets.
The Crescent Hotel, Eureka
The Crescent Hotel opened its doors in 1886. Its first purpose was that of a luxury spa for wealthy guests. In 1930 the building was used as a hospital for cancer patients. According to many reports, ghosts can be seen throughout the entire hotel. Sightings of nurses carrying corpses around, and a woman in a gown walking through the hotel gardens and balconies of the rooms at night, are common.
The most popular story is that of a construction worker who is known to the hotel staff as “Michael”. Michael died during construction of the Crescent Hotel when a large piece of masonry fell on his head. He died right in the spot where room 218 is now situated and, according to the story, he still lives in this room as a ghost. Michael is said to scare people in the room by suddenly appearing in mirrors or ravishing guests’ luggage at night.
Le Pavilion Hotel, New Orleans
New Orleans is known for its many ghost stories. Nothing less is expected from a city where voodoo still lingers. Hotels are no exception on the rule, and Le Pavilion Hotel is – according to locals – the most haunted hotel of them all.
While the hotel doesn’t have a history of violence or sadness, there is a lot of paranormal activity going on. After many complaints from frightened guests, the hotel staff hired ghost hunters to investigate the premises. These ghost hunters pinpointed several “identities” in the hotel. Amongst their findings were vague recordings of voices saying things like: “Please, get out…” and “hold on, I see you now…”
Guests of the hotel have reported obvious things like strange noises and footsteps, but also more disturbing phenomena such as the sighting of people standing by their beds and feelings of continuously being watched. One guest who was there for a local convention was woken up at night by a feeling of someone sitting on his bed. He could clearly feel the dent in the bed and then suddenly felt a cold hand on his body. He then heard a voice saying “I will never let you go; you are mine…” After turning on the light he saw an old grey women fading away into thin air.
Maribel Caves Hotel
This last hotel sadly isn’t a real hotel anymore but its stories are pretty much alive. Though not in service any longer, the Maribel Caves Hotel still attracts many visitors every year, and that is not only due to the hotel’s scary nickname: Hotel Hell.
The hotel is said to have burned down on three occasions; each time on the same date. There are still skeletons to be found on the third floor that can’t be reached from the inside. People say there were witches that opened a portal to hell from the front yard, which then released demons that haunt the town of Maribel to this day. Rumor also states that there are underground passages to the nearby Weary Maribel Caves. According to local authorities, most of the rumors are fictitious, but the site continues to attract many visitors every year. People even camp illegally inside the ruin’s walls; for this reason the county is thinking of tearing down the old site.
Whether you believe all these ghost stories or not, the fact remains that for the hotels that are still active, these stories don’t harm their business at all. Many hotels offer special ghost tours and the best known haunted rooms go for absurd prices. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the hotel owners provide some gentle assistance here and there to the generation of myths and legends, in order to help keep the stories alive.