Why not celebrate Halloween this year in style by staying at an historic and luxurious hotel where you can add in a spectral adventure, as well.
These hotels have been the favourite haunts of celebrities, business tycoons and vacationers—and, purportedly, “extended-stay guests.”
It seems ghosts enjoy luxury accommodation, too! You don’t need to be a ghost hunter or even believe in paranormal activity. These award-winning hotels all have a reputation as legendary as their guests both past and present.
Ghostly encounters aren’t guaranteed, but a luxury stay with exemplary service is.
Hotel del Coronado: San Diego, California
Combine beach activity with paranormal activity at one of America’s luxurious ocean playground resorts. Located on Coronado Island, you may not see ghosts surfing or paddle boarding, but they do have their resident ghost, Kate Morgan, who has been a “guest” since 1892.
She checked in—apparently to rendezvous with a lover—but never checked out. It is thought this beautiful 24-year-old took her own life, but her gentle spirit remains on the hotel’s third floor.
The hotel even has a book, Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado, documenting her life and afterlife.
Many guests and employees since 1892 swear they have seen flickering lights, a TV that turns itself on and off, inexplicable sounds and scents, items moving, abrupt temperature changes and other paranormal activities documented by ghost hunters.
Even items in the hotel’s gift shop have mysteriously flown off shelves, but always land upright and unbroken.
Kate’s room is the hotel’s most requested room, so book early!
FUN FACT: In October, just before Halloween, the hotel hosts an annual Hallo-Wine & Spirits Party for adults. hoteldel.com
The Shelbourne Dublin: Dublin, Ireland
The Shelbourne Dublin opened in 1824 and has been a national treasure ever since with its ornate and elegant design.
The location, on the north side of Europe’s largest garden square, St. Stephen’s Green, provides guests idyllic garden views. It has hosted many historic and literary events, including the drafting of the Irish constitution in 1922.
In room 526, guests have reported the presence of a female ghost, as well as bathroom sink and shower taps that like to turn themselves on and off. Actress Lily Collins, daughter of singer Phil Collins, stayed there a few years ago and said she heard the sound of a giggling girl in her room.
The apparent ghost is said to be a young girl named Mary Masters, who died of cholera in 1791 in her home, before it became a hotel.
Despite the ghostly presence, the hotel’s grandeur, spa, fine dining, popular Horseshoe Bar and High Tea have attracted the world’s celebrities and politicians. Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy have stayed here and more recently, former First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters had pleasant, ghost-free stays.
FUN FACT: The Shelbourne employs a genealogy butler, who is a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland. She can assist you with discovering all the threads and links of your family history—perhaps a ghost or two might show up. marriott.com
The Langham London: London, England
Ghosts can be any age and wear all types of dress—at least that’s the case at the iconic luxury hotel, The Langham London.
Sightings by guests include a German prince dressed in a military uniform, a butler, a man in evening wear and, most notable of all, the ghost of Napoleon III, who is said to haunt the hotel basement. Napoleon III was actually a hotel guest when he was sent to exile in 1871.
Room 333 is said to be the most haunted room. Apparently, a doctor killed his new wife then took his own life here. Strangely, this spectre is usually only seen in October.
If you were a ghost and wanted to be pampered, this is the place. Known as Europe’s first grand hotel, it opened in 1865 to much fanfare. It was where the afternoon tea tradition started in the beautiful Palm Court, a tradition that continues to this day. The late Princess Diana, various other royalty and celebrities have graced, dined and stayed here.
Feeling extravagant? Book yourself into the immaculate and spacious six-bedroom Sterling Suite. Perhaps throw a dinner party for ghost hunters.
FUN FACT: Charles Dickens said the hotel was the best place for group dinner parties. The hotel was also used as one of the settings for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. langhamhotels.com
Hotel Henry: Buffalo, New York
The 88-room Hotel Henry opened its doors in 2017, though the grounds and original architecturally acclaimed buildings date back to 1880 when it opened as the Bualo State Asylum for the Insane.
Two 185-foot towers rose from the four-storey building. It was a leading curative hospital for the mentally ill housing a few thousand patients at its peak. It then went through a period of decline and naturally stories were spun of ghosts of former patients who died there.
They are said to roam the grounds and enjoy roaming the tunnels under the buildings. Today, the extra-wide ward corridors are adorned with vibrant and striking art as you head to the guest rooms.
The guest rooms, thankfully, don’t reflect their asylum past—rays of sunlight shine through the windows, where you can peer out to views of the immaculate grounds and gardens.
Serving up local farm-fresh food is the 100 Acres hotel restaurant. Decades of asylum history and the thousands of patients who lived there can conjure many a ghost story—is it myth or reality?
FUN FACT: Frederick Olmsted, who also designed Central Park, designed the hotel grounds. hotelhenry.com
The Hay Adams: Washington, D.C.
It’s no secret many politicians have “ghosts” in their past that they would prefer to remain hidden. So it’s not surprising The Hay-Adams, one of Washington D.C.’s most historic and luxurious hotels, and a haven for politicians, business types and lobbyists, might have a ghost lurking in the hallways and guest rooms.
The ghost of Marion Adams, the wife of Henry Adams, a descendant of President John Adams and John Quincy Adams, doesn’t care much about politics. She took her own life in this hotel, which Adams originally owned, in 1885.
Marion, nicknamed ”Clover,” haunts the fourth floor, allegedly opens and closes locked doors, and turns clock radios on and off. She is a sad ghost and some guests and housekeepers report they hear her crying softly in rooms. The first two weeks of December is the peak period when these events happen—it’s around the time when she died.
FUN FACT: A few housekeepers have admitted to having been given a hug by the spectre while cleaning rooms. hayadams.com
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