October is a month of strange happenings, chilling stories, and spooky haunts. When you're planning your fall travel, consider checking in to one of these iconic hotels for a night or two - and experience a travel adventure of the paranormal kind. Be sure to be nice to the staff because you never know who or what may come back to haunt you.
Here are nine of the world's most haunted hotels, each with their own eerie tales of chilling run-ins with the supernatural.
The inspiration for Stephen King's book The Shining and the eerie backdrop to Stanley Kubrick's famous film adaptation, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has a long history of ghostly goings-on. A former housekeeper died in the hotel in 1911 and is said to have returned to assist guests in their room by unpacking their belongings, and staff members report being frequented often by the late Mr. and Mrs. Stanley in the hotel lobby. The regular reports of the sounds of children running and giggling down the halls on the fourth floor inspire the hotels' ghost adventure package, which guarantees a haunted room on the spooky fourth floor and some creepy memorabilia to take home, including a mug scrawled with REDRUM.
The Queen Mary
This 1930s luxury ocean liner was once both a playground for the elite young and fashionable and a war ship - with a mysterious history of curious deaths. Transformed into a hotel in 1967 in Long Beach, California, the historic floating hotel and museum is now regarded by some as one of the most haunted places in the world. Over the past 60 years, the Queen Mary has been the site of at least 49 reported deaths (not including its years as a war ship), and is reported to host as many as 150 known spirits lurking upon the ship.
The engine room is said to be the most haunted part of the ship, where an 18 year old crew member was crushed to death by the infamous "Door 13"-- many have reported a young man dressed in blue coveralls wandering the corridors and disappearing behind doors. Others have been visited by the spirit of a little girl who drowned in the now defunct second class pool room during the ship's sailing days, whose voice and laughter have been be heard there. Celebrating the grand ship's haunted past and paranormal activity, the hotel offers regular ghost hunting adventures and a creepy Attractions at Night series.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Two well-known spirits reside in this luxurious hotel in Alberta, Canada originally opened in 1888. Sam the Bellhop, who loved his workplace so much that he told others he intended to return to it even after he died, reportedly still assists guests by opening doors for them, but vanishes once guests turn to tip him. Story has it that Sam was pushed into retirement, but died at home after his last work day, before he had a chance to even get his last paycheck.
The hotel is also home to The Ghostly Bride, a woman reportedly seen wearing her bridal gown on the main staircase or in one of the opulent ballrooms. The popular tale is that she tragically tripped down the stairs to her death on her wedding day, and remains in the hotel seeking the wedding night she never had.
This iconic New York City hotel and landmark is known for its draw of artists and eccentric bohemians such as Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin, Jack Kerouac and many more. With a reputation as an unbridled playground for the wild and famous, it's not surprising the hotel also happens to be the location of two high-profile deaths - and subsequently, hauntings.
Famous poet and writer Dylan Thomas spent his last waking day drinking himself into a coma at the hotel, and Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of punk-rock idol Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed to death in the bathroom of room 100 (Vicious later died of a heroin overdose while awaiting trial for Spungen's murder). A black cloud seems to linger above the Victorian-gothic style Manhattan hotel, where the tumultuous spirits of Thomas and Spungen reportedly mingle with the secrets of past mysterious happenings behind closed doors. Unfortunately, the Chelsea is currently closed, but seemingly remains open to the unsettled ghosts that reside there.
Built in Scotland in1625 by James Stuart, a distant relative of Mary, Queen of Scots, this looming castle is reputed to be haunted by a mysterious and murderous ghost. According to the legend, Stuart offered to pay a reward to anyone willing to spend the night at his castle to disprove its haunting, but when a local minister took the challenge and stayed at the room at the top of the East Tower, his dead body was found the next morning in the courtyard below with a frozen look of horror on his face.
This medieval farmstead is located in Pluckley, England's most haunted town, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Guests have reported several encounters with ghosts, the most prominent being with Edward Brett, a former owner of the hotel who committed suicide with a shotgun. He has reportedly been spotted wandering the halls of the hotel and even lying on a bed in one room, and visitors have reported hearing whispers and feeling sadness on the grounds. Another character who is said to frequent the guest lounge is that of the highwayman Robert Du Bois, who was stabbed to death in the nearby Screaming Woods.
Castle Leslie in Ireland is known for the marriage between Heather Mills and Paul McCartney in 2002. However, the alliance of the famous couple is not what makes the hotel so frightening. The haunted castle has been in the Leslie family for over 300 years. It has been said dead Leslie aunts and uncles have been seen along with a dog named Punch.
Romania is full of blood-thirsty history. Located in Transylvania, what is known as Dracula's Castle is actually Castle Bran. There are several castles in Romania claiming to be Dracula's, but the original is in ruins. Up for a ghost tour in one of these haunted hotels? Those who sign up for Dracula's Tour visit Castle Bran, but stay nearby at a neighboring castle in Borgo Pass also called Dracula's Castle.
Hotel del Coronado
San Diego's beautiful beach resort, Hotel del Coronado, is said to have a romantic and Victorian atmosphere. However, do not let its beauty fool you as suspicious noises and ghostly faces have been regularly witnessed by guests. Kate Morgan the ghost is said to have checked into the hotel in 1892 to meet her estranged husband, but was later found dead on the beach with a gunshot wound. Her spirit continues to linger around the Southern California beachside resort.