Founded in 1909, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. Now, it offers a series of events on Halloween, including ghost tours and a five-hour ghost hunt. The original owner, F.O. Stanley, and his wife are said to haunt the hotel, and they have appeared in formal dress on the main staircase.
One of the most haunted hotels in Ohio, the Hotel Lafayette is located in Marietta, the oldest town in the state. Guests have reported items disappearing and reappearing in strange places, overturned suitcases, doors opening and closing by themselves, and shampoo bottles emptied on the floor. According to legend, the former owner, S. Duward Hoag, haunts the third floor of the Lafayette along with a few other restless spirits.
The rich history of The Marshall House in Savannah Georgia lends itself perfectly to the presence of ghosts. Southern Living has named this hotel, which served as a Union Army hospital during the Civil War, one of the South’s 11 Most Haunted Places. Guests have reported seeing ghosts, hearing children running, and seeing faucets turn themselves on. The hotel embraces and celebrates its haunted history.
The Algonquin Hotel is among the many haunted hotels in New York City. In the 1920s, the Algonquin was the meeting spot for the Algonquin Round Table, an elite literary group. Rumor has it that the hotel is still visited by Dorothy Parker and other members of the group. At the Hotel Chelsea (now unfortunately closed, but with a rich history), Dylan Thomas died in 1953 and Sid Vicious’s girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, was stabbed there in 1978 in an unsolved murder. All three were said to haunt this historic 19th century hotel.
There are plenty of spooky hotels on the West Coast as well. For example, the Hotel Sorrento in Seattle, Washington’s First Hill neighborhood is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Alice B. Toklas, the partner of Gertrude Stein. Toklas lived near the hotel while she was studying music at the University of Washington, and her ghost has been seen by some wandering down the hall dressed in white and by others wearing black accompanied by flickering lights. The hotel features a Ms. Toklas cocktail on its menu made of herbs, honey, and lemon juice.
These are just a few of the spookiest haunted hotels that can be found in the U.S. If you are brave enough, you might consider booking a room at one of these or the many other haunted hotels, but do so at your own peril and be ready for anything.