The spooky season doesn’t have to end with Halloween. Horror enthusiasts can experience real-life ghost stories with a stay at any one of the most haunted hotels in the USA. From the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining to a ghostly cruise liner, whichever haunted hotel you choose, you can guarantee your stay will be a spine-tingling, bone-chilling vacation to remember.
The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel is one of the most famous haunted hotels in the USA, thanks to the King of Horror, Stephen King. One winter’s night, King stayed at this ivory hued hotel outside the Rocky Mountain National Park. His short time here inspired one of his best-known works, The Shining. Guests often hear the sounds of piano music coming from an untraceable source and mad laughter sweeping through the halls. These disturbances are attributed to the spirits of the original staff and guests from 1909. The Stanley offers ghost tours through the premises, including to the underground tunnels that thread beneath the building.
After getting your spooky fix at The Stanley Hotel, we recommend exploring the rugged beauty of Colorado with Trafalgar on the Welcome to Colorado tour.
Malaga Inn: Mobile, Alabama
This boutique inn located in the Deep South is one of the most creepy hotels in the USA due to its status as the most haunted hotel in Alabama. The trappings of Victorian furnishings and Civil War-era architecture make it a prime candidate for a haunting. Guests of the inn report sighting a ghostly lady dressed in white, chandeliers that swing on their own, lights that turn themselves on, and even furniture that moves by itself. For the best chance of laying eyes on the lady in white, seek out the balcony of Room #007.
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The Queen Mary: Long Beach, California
Vacationers seeking a spooky escape can forget haunted houses and the classic abandoned hotels in the USA. For total immersion into gory history and a night you’ll never forget, staying in The Queen Mary ghost ship is essential. Floating on California’s Pacific Coastline, this ocean liner is now a hotel and restaurant. However, it started life in the mid-20th century as a cruise liner for A-listers like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. When World War II broke out, it was transformed into a troopship and stripped of its luxury fittings. During its service, many soldiers gruesomely perished on board. The ship has since been restored to its original opulence, but the dead soldiers’ spirits still roam the halls.
Travel the sunny coast of California with Trafalgar on the Coastal California and Big Sur tour.
Omni Mount Washington: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
This grand resort, surrounded by the lush landscape of Mount Washington, has a rich history as one of the most haunted hotels in the USA. Though it is reportedly home to many ghosts, the most famous is Carolyn Stickney, who died in 1939. Stickney was a long time visitor of the hotel because her husband was the original builder. It seems that she never really left. Guests tell of ominous taps on doors and belongings that disappear out of nowhere and then reappear just as unexpectedly. However, the most significant sighting is that of Stickney herself in her old room #314. Guests can even stay in the bed that Stickney herself slept in.
Enjoy the splendour of New Hampshire with Trafalgar on the Autumn Colours tour.
Crescent Hotel & Spa: Eureka Springs, Arkanas
Crescent Hotel & Spa is a popular destination for its premium location amongst the bubbling waters of Eureka Springs. It is also considered one of the more creepy hotels in the USA because of its many permanent ghostly residents. The list of reported figures goes on, but some of the most notable are entwined with the hotel’s history. Guests have sighted a ghost named Michael, who is believed to have helped build the hotel. Others have sighted Theodora, a patient whose spirit remains after the spa was briefly a fraudulent Cancer Curing Hospital in the 1930s. Stories also tell of a lady in Room 3500 who hovers at the foot of the bed wearing Victorian lingerie as she stares at sleeping guests.
Omni Grove Park Inn: Asheville, North Carolina
Looking for a hotel for Halloween in the USA? This rustic inn nestled against the Blue Ridge Mountains offers Southern hospitality with a side serving of a sinister past. The fingerprints of tragedy have marked this hotel since the 1920s. Back then, a young woman fell to her death from her room, number 545, on the fifth floor. To this day, it is unknown whether she jumped or was pushed. Modern-day employees and guests, especially children, continue to report her ghostly presence. She is nicknamed the Pink Lady because she often appears in the macabre form of pink mist or as a woman in a pink gown.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel: New Orleans, Louisiana
The ghosts that haunt the halls of Bourbon Orleans Hotel come from the many eras of the building’s history. In the early 1800s, the hotel began life as the Orleans Ballroom, host of grand social affairs. A lone, ghostly dancer twirling beneath the crystal chandelier is all that remains of the revellers. The building was a convent and orphanage that treated patients plagued by a yellow fever epidemic at another point in its history. The ghost of a little girl has been linked with this period of disease. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s history at the upscale Bourbon O Bar, sipping Voodoo Mojo cocktails and enjoying New Orleans’ culinary delights.
Bask in the cultural delights of New Orleans and the rest of the south with Trafalgar on the ‘Rhythms of the South’ tour.
Otesaga Resort: Cooperstown, New York
Perched on Lake Otsego is the stately Otesaga Resort which boasts charming architecture and gastronomic delights alongside gaggles of giggling ghosts. Despite the many haunting encounters reported at the hotel, Otesaga Resort is not one of the more creepy hotels in the USA. Instead, its ghostly inhabitants are considered to be friendly. They are speculated to be the spirits of children who attended the Knox School for Girls, which once operated in the building. The hotel was investigated by the Atlantic Paranormal Society on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. The show’s findings corroborated the dozens of stories of unexplainable things that go bump in the night, which have been reported over the years. Some of these include untraceable loud footsteps, strange voices, shadowy figures, and inexplicably moving furniture.
The Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn: St. Louis, Missouri
The tragedy behind this mansion turned inn makes it one of the best hotels for Halloween in the USA. The grim tale of the Lemp Mansion begins in the 1800s with William J. Lemp Sr., for whom the house was built. He had made millions from his family’s brewing company which he was forced to sell at a fraction of its value due to prohibition. The resulting loss crushed him with depression and drove him to take his own life. Unfortunately, a number of his family members soon followed in his footsteps. It is believed the Lemp family’s anguished spirits are trapped within the mansion to this day, with many sightings reported. Modern-day guests can explore the spooky history of the mansion on a ghost tour of the premises or a mystery dinner.
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Omni Parker House: Boston, Massachusetts
The old-world charm of this downtown Boston hotel has been maintained by the hotelier, Harvey Parker since he first built the House. He might have died in 1884, but that hasn’t stopped him from walking the halls, riding the elevators, and smoking cigars all around the premises. Staff have even reported floating orbs of light hanging in the 10th-floor corridor before disappearing. In life, Parker was a perfectionist who paid attention to every detail of the hotel’s operation. It seems, even in the afterlife, he couldn’t bring himself to leave.
Which haunted hotel will you be travelling to this Halloween and beyond? Let us know in the comments below! Or, if you’re still looking for eerie inspiration, head to our website to discover more about the best spooky destinations when you travel with Trafalgar.