Moonslipper’s pick of the most haunted hotels in the world!
"The good guest is almost invisible...Emily Post"
The Algonquin Hotel, New York City, USA
It’s hard to get a better haunted hotel atmosphere than that of the Algonquin in New York City. Built in 1902, it quickly established itself as the place to be for artists, writers and other creative types. A group of well-known writers established The Round Table group and met for lunch every day. This tradition started just after World War I and continued until the 1930’s. This illustrious group, who called themselves the Vicious Circle was headed up by Dorothy Parker and included George Kaufman, Robert Benchley and Marc Connelly amongst others. Apparently, this ghostly group still meets today and has been seen on numerous occasions at this haunted hotel. The attic space on the 13th floor is also home to something ghostly, with activity on the increase after recent renovations.
The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
The grand Shelbourne Hotel which is located on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, was constructed from a row of houses in 1824 and boasts it’s very own ghost. It’s a favorite spot of mine whenever I’m in Dublin and the atmosphere is fantastic! It has a very illustrious history with the Irish Constitution being drafted there in 1922 and every fashionable celebrity throughout the years staying in the hotel at some point. Hans Holzer, the renowned ghost hunter, along with the famous medium Sybil Leek were staying here in 1965 whilst investigating Dublin and they were delighted to come across this haunted hotel's ghost in Room 526 (although some records suggest it was 256). Ms. Leek encountered the small girl spirit one night and during a trance the next day she was able to converse with the little girl. It transpired the ghost was that of Mary Masters who had lived in the row of houses which once stood where the hotel is now. She had died of cholera in 1791. This fabulous haunted hotel has been extensively renovated and it’s believed that Mary is still wandering the halls.
Bullock Hotel, South Dakota, USA
After arriving in Deadwood and becoming the first sheriff there 1876, Seth Bullock set about establishing his hardware shop and later built the Bullock Hotel around 1896. Seth died of cancer on September 23, 1919 but definitely continues to oversee operations at his much loved hotel! There have been dozens of reports of paranormal activity including apparitions, levitating plates and cutlery, whistling, footsteps, appliances turning on even when unplugged and voices calling out guest’s names. The restaurant and basement are particularly active with a tall, dark figure being seen many times, thought to be that of Seth Bullock himself. The second and third floor rooms also have a particularly spooky and uneasy atmosphere and there’s even an antique clock, which although not working, chimes every once and awhile of it’s own volition.
Raffles Hotel, Singapore
This fabulous and luxurious haunted hotel was built in 1897 on the location of a girl’s boarding school in Singapore. The hotel was, and is, the favored spot of celebrities, Royalty, politicians and the famous, passing through this part of the world. The ghost in Raffles has been seen and heard dozens of times by staff and guests alike and only started to make her presence known after restoration and refurbishment took place in the building during the 1980’s. A young girl’s voice has been heard singing nursery rhymes and she has been seen and felt skipping along the halls. She is also known to tug at skirts and jackets of unsuspecting guests waiting for the elevator.
Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan, Ireland.
Dating from 1808, Cabra Castle was originally called Cormey Castle, but was renamed by Col. Joseph Pratt in 1812. The original Cormey Castle dated back to the 18th century. It has had a chequered history, becoming a hotel in 1964, then a private residence and finally back to use as a hotel in 1991. There’s a hanging tree, a horse and carriage apparition (and sound!), a crying baby ghost and arguing spirits. It had the honour of being named, in 2010, as the second most haunted hotel in the world by influential travel site Trip advisor. Many guests have experiences of noises, apparitions, rattling doors and the feeling of being watched, but nothing too terrifying has been reported...yet.
Langham Hotel, London, England
Haunted hotels don't get better than this! The Langham Hotel is located in Oxford Circus in London and dates from 1865. It was owned at one time by the BBC and is known to be haunted by at least five ghosts! These include a doctor who is said to have killed himself after murdering his wife on honeymoon, a German prince who jumped out of a upper floor window, a lost German soldier wandering the hallways and, amazingly, the spirit of Napoleon the III who resides in the basement. Room 333 has the most detailed ghost story though. A BBC newcaster was asleep in the room when he woke up to see a glowing, transparent orb in front of him taking a human form. When he asked who the ghost was, the entity started to glide towards him, arms outstretched, whereupon the man made a quick exit to find the night porter. When the pair returned to the room, they found the entity leaning over the bed. Care to book into Room 333 next time you’re in London?
The Horton Grand Hotel, San Diego, USA
The Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego has a number of fun, mischievous ghostly guests who are reluctant to leave! This fabulous building is actually made up of two historic hotels, the Grand Horton and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery. They were marked for demolition in the 1970’s but the components of both hotels were rebuilt on the site of what is now called the Horton Grand Hotel in 1986. The two main ghosts are that of Roger Whittaker who likes to hang out in room 309 and Miss Ida Bailey who is frequently seen around room 209. Roger was known to be a gambler and was also involved in prostitution in the mid 1800’s. The armoire doors regularly open in this hotel room, the bed shakes and playing cards that are left neatly stacked can be found the next morning laid out in poker hands! Another unexplainable activity is the door being frequently locked – deadbolted from the inside. Miss Ida Bailey was a madame who ran a brothel on the site of this hotel and she loves to play tricks on guests by knocking on the door of room 209. If a female guest opens the door, nothing is seen. However, if a gentleman answers the knock, Ida is standing at the door, only to slowly fade away. Babe Ruth, Wyatt Earp and Joe Louis are just some of the luminaries who have stayed in this lovely haunted hotel.
Ballygally Castle, Ballygally Bay, Northern Ireland
One of the best known haunted hotels in Ireland, Ballygally Castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw and boasts the distinction of being the only 17th century building in Northern Ireland still in use as a residence...and haunted! The most well known ghost of Ballygally is that of Lady Isobel Shaw who is reputed to have been locked in her room and starved to death by her husband James. She is a mischievous spirit, liking nothing better than knocking on people’s door loudly then vanishing. As a castle, it was attacked a number of times over it’s long history, serving as a shelter for the Irish garrison at Glenarm in 1641 and apparitions of desperate soldiers have been seen wandering the grounds. Another ghost of this haunted castle is Madame Nixon who walks around the halls, her silk dress rustling. Brian Willis from the BBC relates this spine-chilling story:
"Eventually (the castle) became a hotel and many years ago I was told this tale by the, then, Manageress.Two elderly guests booked in for several days over the Christmas season. On arrival they were intrigued to discover the staff were preparing for a fancy dress ball. That night there was a knock at the bedroom door and there stood one of the waiters clad in medieval costume. He had arrived to invite them to the ball. They went. And had a lovely evening surrounded by staff and other guests all bedecked in wonderful attire. The next morning at breakfast they enthused to the Manageress about what a wonderful evening it had been. Which came as a bit of a shock to the lady, for the ball had not taken place yet and was not due to take place for another two days. The elderly guests booked out". Scary!
The Sagamore, New York, USA
The Sagamore in Bolton Landing, New York dates from 1884 and, as a haunted hotel, has a whole host of ghostly guests staying! The Trillium restaurant is often visited by a ghostly couple who are reported to be one of the first guests at the hotel and are reluctant to leave. The pair are said to descend down the stairs, sit in the reception area and then disappear into thin air. In another restaurant named Mr. Browns, the ghost of a blonde woman in a white evening gown is reported to have walked up to a cook, spoken to him and then walked straight through him before vanishing. The traumatised cook left immediately, never to return to this haunted hotel. The elevator is another paranormal hotspot. An employee entered the empty elevator, bumping into an unseen person who then materialised as a stout gentleman with a handle bar moustache and three piece suit! The employee also got the scent of tobacco and felt he might have been on his way to the Trillium for a smoke, as it was once a gentlemen’s smoking lounge. He is affectionately called Walter by the Sagamore staff. On the golf course the spirit of a little boy is often seen and is reported to be that of a boy who collected golf balls for the pro shop in the 1950’s. Chasing after a ball one day, he was hit by a car and killed. This would be a terrific spot for a ghost investigation.
Hotel Del Coronado, California, USA
The magnificent haunted Hotel Del Coronado dates from 1888 and is a real hotbed of paranormal activity! There are two specific ghosts known to haunt the hotel, with many more unattributed paranormal events throughout the building. A young woman named Kate Morgan checked into room 3312 (originally room 302) in 1892 claiming to be dying of stomach cancer. After buying camphor, painkillers and a gun, she was found dead outside the hotel a few days later of what was thought to be a self-inflicted gunshot. However, there are many theories as to how she actually met her death and the mystery has yet to be solved. Room 3312 has had many ghostly occurrences such as flickering lights, objects flying across the room, appliances switching on by themselves, phones ringing but the line is dead and strange scents. Room 3502 is even more active with similar experiences, but no one is sure why this room is haunted. Some feel that the maid who looked after Kate Morgan stayed in this room and is still there.
The Old Bell Hotel, Derby, England
Dating from the 17th century, the Bell Hotel is an old coaching in situated in Derby, which in itself is reputed to be the most haunted city in England. Up to 15 different ghosts and spirits have been reported in this atmospheric old haunted hotel, ranging from a Jacobean serving girl to a Victorian lady. Poltergeist activity has been reported downstairs regularly, as well as the Victorian lady in a blue gown who likes to disappear in front of customers and hotel staff. Children in particular attract the attention of the spirits, especially that of the serving girl, who it is believed was possibly a children’s nurse before being murdered. A wonderful old haunted building which has retained much of it’s original features and inhabitants – definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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