The following hotels and inns should be on every paranormal enthusiast's list of places to stay. Some are more famous than others, such as the notorious Stanley Hotel, but all of these locations have something ot offer would-be ghost hunters. Keep them in mind when you're planning your next vacation.
Seven Famous Haunted Lodgings
These seven inns and hotels are rather infamous for their ghostly goings on. Take a look at what each one has to offer, and then start planning your haunted getaway.
Battery Carriage House Inn
Location: 20 S. Battery, Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Charleston's most haunted inn, the Battery Carriage House boasts a cast of ghosts, especially in rooms 8 and 10. Here's your chance to see a headless torso, the Gentleman Ghost and a multitude of others.
The inn's ghost tour package includes:
- Two nights accommodations
- Nighttime Ghosts of Charleston walking tour
- Private carriage tour of Charleston
- Tour Aiken-Rhett house
- Souvenir book, Ghosts of Charleston
The Queen Mary
Location: 1126 Queen Hwy, Long Beach, California 90802
The Queen Mary is a first class ocean liner that's now retired and docked to serve as a hotel. It's widely considered one of the most haunted hotels in the world, and reports of paranormal activity on the ship include:
- The spirits of two women who drowned decades apart in the ship's pool
- The spirit of a little girl who died near the pool area
- A "lady in white" who appears near the Queen's Salon area
- The spirit of a young crewman who was crushed to death by a watertight door during a drill
- Pounding heard on the hull, believed to come from the shipwrecked crew of an escort ship the Queen Mary sliced through while attempting to evade German ships
Activities for guests include:
- The Ghosts & Legends show, a daily walk-through with interactive dramatization
- A self-guided audio tour
- The Haunted Encounters tour with recounts of the most famous sightings
Mason House Inn
Location: 21982 Hawk Drive, Bentonsport, Iowa 52565
The Mason House Inn was built to accommodate Des Moines River steamboat travelers. It also served as an underground railroad station for runaway slaves.
Mason House's activities includes:
- Ghost Hunting Classes: Saturday and Sunday, dinner and breakfast with accommodations (Check website for specific weekends)
- Visit to the underground railroad
- Annual Halloween dinner: Includes ghost hunting and paranormal investigation at Bentonsport Cemetery
Location: 56 Main Street, Napanoch, New York 12458
The Shanley Hotel is reportedly the site of many paranormal occurrences, including apparitions, disembodied voices, and moving objects. The old bordello is supposedly the most haunted place in the entire location.
The Shanley's paranormal-related activities include:
- Special ghost and haunted events throughout the year
- Ghost Investigation: Monday - Thursday
- Tour in the Dark: All lights out during investigation
Location: 333 Wonderview, Estes Park, Colorado 80517
The Stanley Hotel is best known as the inspiration for Stephen King's book, The Shining, and it was used for the filming of two TV versions of the book. Reports of ghostly activity include visits from the now deceased owners, F.O. and Flora Stanley. It's rumored that Flora occasionally plays the piano in the middle of the night, but the playing stops as soon as someone enters the room. The old servants' quarters located on the fourth floor are said to be the hub of paranormal activity. Many guests and staff report hearing children at play, but no one ever sees them.
Guests interested in the Stanley's hauntings can:
- Take the Stanley Hotel historic ghost tour
- Go on a nighttime tour of the hotel's most haunted areas
- Listen to ghost stories and hear about paranormal sightings at the hotel
- Visit some of the most haunted rooms
- Take an underground tunnel tour
Historic Farnsworth House Inn
Location: 401 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325
As you explore the Farnsworth House Inn's various documented hauntings, you'll understand why the Travel Channel ranked this historical house as one of the most haunted inns in America. Rene Staub, Fransworth's Director of Marketing & Promotions, revealed in an interview that, "The Farnsworth House Inn has no less than 14 spirits. The pain and suffering of soldiers and civilians left an imprint. Over 100 bullet holes bear mute testimony to that fact."
Staub added, "The spirits walk our halls, grieving over a lost son, untying shoelaces, or making other playful gestures." These common occurrences increase your chances for a ghostly encounter during your stay, and Staub advised that guests should be prepared for the unexpected.
Attractions for guests and visitors include:
- Mourning Theater: Stories in the cellar
- Candlelight Walks: Battlefield areas and East Cemetery Hill
- Ghost Hunts: Training with latest ghost hunting equipment
- Paranormal Nights: Ghost 101 for budding ghost hunters
The Myrtles Plantation
Location: 7747 U.S. Highway 61, St. Francisville, Louisiana
Surrounded by tales of murder, the Myrtles Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana seems like the perfect place for a haunting. Once a family home, the Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast.
The Myrtles has been the target of numerous paranormal investigations. Most of the haunting activity is centered around the story of a slave servant named Chloe whose ear was lopped off for eavesdropping. In revenge against the owners, she poisoned a cake with oleander leaves and served it to the family. The wife and children of the plantation owner ate the cake, became ill and died. Chloe was subsequently hung in the courtyard. Interestingly, many historians dispute the entire story, and there is little more than anecdotal evidence to support it. Still, there is a photo that supposedly shows Chloe's spirit standing outside of the house. You can view it on the Myrtles website.
The Myrtles staff offers historical tours as well as mystery tours.
Ready to Take a Chance?
Not everyone has the opportunity to hook up with paranormal investigators and go on a ghost hunt, but finding haunted hotels and inns to visit and pass the night in can be the next best thing. Unfortunately, spirits rarely show up on command, and many visitors spend uneventful evenings in these places while other guests can't make it through the entire night. Still, all of these hotels and inns have strong reputations for being haunted, and they may just offer your best chance of having a true paranormal experience.