World’s Strangest

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The Quick 10: 10 Places to Stay if You’re Looking for a Scare

Looking for a last-minute Halloween getaway? Then this is the Q10 for you. I’m all talk when it comes to sharing a room overnight with visitors who have long since left the here-and-now – I have a feeling that I would stop just short of booking a room at any of these 10 places. How about you?

1. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. If Stephen King found inspiration here, you know it must be creepy. Ghostly activity has been reported in the ballroom especially – many people, staff included, have heard a huge bash going on in the great room. When they go to investigate, they find nothing there. People have also heard the ballroom’s piano playing but find no one sitting at it. Not quite so scary: The Stanley was used for scenes in the made-for-T.V. The Shining, yes, but it was also used in Dumb and Dumber.

2. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’ve actually been to this one, but I sure wouldn’t stay there to sleep – the place oozed creepiness. But if you’re so inclined, you can stay in one of eight rooms here – including the room where Lizzie’s stepmother’s corpse was found.

3. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada. A ghostly bride seeking revenge? What more do you need to know? Legend has it that a bride-to-be guest didn’t make her groom wait too long for that whole “til death do us part” thing. There are two stories: as the beautiful bride descended the ballroom stairs, she tripped on her lengthy gown train, tumbled down the stairs and broke her neck. The other is that a candle caught her dress on fire and she went up in flames. She’s not the only one who reportedly haunts the hotel, though: the occupants of room 873, which doesn’t exist, also keeps guests on their toes. 873 once existed – after an entire family was murdered there, the hotel had the room sealed up and walled off. But that can’t contain our tragic family – guests report seeing them still traipsing the halls near where the room once was.

4. Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan. It has been home to so many creative sorts that it’s sometimes referred to as “the cauldron of creativity,” but with all of those famous eccentrics comes their drama, too. Dylan Thomas was found dead at the Chelsea and so was Nancy Spungen, although their deaths were quite different: Nancy, the girlfriend of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, was stabbed to death possibly by Sid himself. Dylan Thomas may have drank himself to death after downing a supposed 19 whiskies, though the amount and the cause of death are much debated to this day. Despite their demises, you may still get a visit Dylan and Nancy if you stay at the Chelsea – their ghosts, plus the ghosts of Sid Vicious, Eugene O’Neill and Thomas Wolfe have all been spotted at the hotel.

5. Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The Crescent has freaked out many a guest since it opened in 1905, allegedly due to a man named Michael who fell off the hotel’s roof when it was being constructed. He lurks around room 218, because that’s where his body landed. Michael is in good company, though – there’s also a nurse, a woman who introduces herself as a cancer patient and then disappears, a waiter, and a man who stands at the foot of the staircase.

6. Farnsworth House Inn in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Most people know Gettysburg is one of the most haunted places in the U.S. because of the massive number of soldiers who died there during the Battle of Gettysburg, and Farnsworth House shows the scars of that battle with 100+ bullet holes riddling the exterior. Not helping the creepy factor? The replica Victorian morgue set up in the basement.

7. Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California, is thought to be haunted by Kate Morgan, a woman who killed herself there in 1892 on the steps leading down to the ocean. Kate’s been around ever since – and apparently she’s the jealous type. After years of being one of the hotel’s main attractions, the movie Some Like it Hot was filmed on the hotel’s beach. To capitalize on the movie, the hotel started selling Marilyn Monroe merchandise in the gift shop. The blonde bombshell’s stuff literally started flying off the shelves, and not because customers were snapping it up so quickly. But that’s not all – no less than a Secret Service agent has spotted the ghost of Ms. Morgan. The agent was supposed to be protecting then-V.P. George Bush when he started feeling cold breezes in his room and heard bizarre gurgling noises in his room. He requested a transfer, saying that the people above him were being too loud… but he was already on the top floor.

8. The Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. People have been reporting strange haunting at this place for years, but it got a little credibility earlier this year when the New York Knicks stayed there the night before a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Knick Eddy Curry said he was so creeped out by the vibe of the hotel, especially the 10th floor where he was staying, that he spent most of the night in teammate Nate Robinson’s room. Supposedly, sometime in the 1930s, a woman jumped to death from the 10th floor while holding her baby.

9. The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Eddy Curry isn’t the only athlete to have ghost issues while on the road. In 2008, Carlos Gomez thought he was hearing weird voices and noises in his room when his iPod suddenly turned itself on, playing static, then noise, then static again. Gomez who was getting ready to take a shower, ran half-naked to the hotel lobby, where he put on the pants and shoes that he had the presence of mind to grab on his way out the door. And he’s not the only one. Brewers visiting clubhouse manager Phil Rozewicz head all kinds of stories from the visiting teams who have stayed at the Pfister over the years – one player woke up in the middle of the night to find all of the blinds in his room open and the windows ajar. He closed them both, but when he woke up in the morning, they had mysteriously opened again. He slept on a couch in the lobby the following night.

10. The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas. The Baker is abandoned these days, but it was a hotspot back in the ’30s. Several ghosts are said to haunt the place, but the creepiest one, in my opinion, is bellboy Douglas Moore. He died when he was shorn clean in half during an elevator accident in 1948, but for years after he still showed up to assist guests who found themselves in the basement – at least, his top half did.

Have you ever stayed at a haunted hotel and had something spooky happen? Or stayed at a supposedly haunted hotel and have nothing happen?


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