There’s something inexplicably frightening about hotels. Maybe it’s the unfamiliar, yet all-knowing, staff. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of what’s going on in the room next door. Maybe it’s the long, dimly lit hallways that become deserted and eerily silent come nightfall. Maybe the uncertainty stems from an overactive imagination and the images perpetuated by Hollywood's horror movies. However, even a non-believer of ghosts and all things that go bump in the night has likely heard of a few famous haunted hotels. Cases in point, The Stanley Hotel serving as inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining", The Hotel del Coronado, The Queen Mary, (The Jerome Grand Hotel for those of you from AZ), etc., the list continues. However, we're going to cover our top 6 picks of some stunning (but reportedly haunted) hotels worldwide. You might want to keep your holy water handy and your lights on while you read through this list.
1. The Langham Hotel | London, Great Britain
Built in 1865, the luxurious Langham Hotel is London's first purpose-built luxury hotel. The hotel is often frequented by celebrities, royalty, ghosts, and has been a place of lodging for even some notable literary greats such as Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, the only true regular guests seem to be its ghosts. Just this past summer, members of the British National Cricket Team fled the hotel after a paranormal encounter. The live-in ghosts include the following:
1. A German prince who committed suicide via jumping out the window of the 4th floor. He has been sighted walking through doors in the early morning, and is said to be the most active ghost in the building, and is fond of notorious Room 333. Look for a stocky man in a military jacket.
2. A honeymooning doctor who committed suicide after murdering his wife. His ghost has also been seen in Room 333. Look for a man with Victorian style dress.
3. A ghost who has a thing for tipping guests out of their bed while sleeping, especially in our favorite Room 333. Reportedly, one guest was shook with such enthusiasm that the guest fled the hotel in the middle of the night.
There are also reports of a man with a gaping wound on his face who inhabits the hallways on the 3rd floor, a fluorescent ball of light which coalesces into a human form, and the ghost of Emperor Napoleon III who lived at the Langham during his exile, and can be spotted in the hotel basement.
2. Fairmont Banff Springs | Alberta, Canada
Located in the Rocky Mountains and rising majestically above the small town of Banff, AB, is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Originally built in 1888 as one of the country’s grand railway hotels, it is unquestionably one of Canada’s most famous properties and most iconic landmarks. Over the last few decades Fairmont has gained an international reputation for excellence. The Banff Springs Hotel exemplifies this reputation in the clearest possible way. An imposing yet architecturally stunning structure, the Banff Fairmont enjoys a pristine location in the heart of Banff National Park, which is itself a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hotel sits just above the mighty Bow Falls, is a few minutes’ drive away from the famous Banff Hot Springs and rises above the township of Banff like a mighty Leviathan.
The Banff Springs Hotel also features many a ghost story. The two most famous are probably the “Ghost Bride” and the “missing” room 873. Reportedly, in the 1920s a young bride fell to her death while descending one of the hotel’s marble staircases on her wedding day. Since that time, you can see her either walking up and down that same staircase.
The story surrounding room 873 is also interesting: A man reportedly murdered his family in the room and, afterwards, guests reported many disturbances in the room, and even near its vicinity – quite macabre. In response, hotel management sealed off the room, and it was wiped from existence.
Lastly, it wouldn’t quite be Canada if they did not have their own friendly ghost. Reportedly, there is a bellhop dressed in full uniform on the ninth floor who disappears after he is done helping guests. He is believed to be the ghost of former employee Sam Macauley, who died in 1967 following the announcement of his retirement. Make sure to tip him well; he's so dedicated, he's still working even in the afterlife.
3. Augustine Hotel | Prague, Czech Republic
Prague's newest five-star hotel, the Augustine Hotel Prague, is simply heavenly, fashioned as it is from seven buildings surrounding the cloisters of the 13th century St. Thomas Church and Monastery, and featuring a working community of Augustinian friars living in adjoining quarters. The result is an upscale hotel that conveys ecclesiastical serenity — but not monastic austerity.
The beautiful tower suite (pictured above) stretches over three floors and at its peak, its windows display a 360-degree vista of the historic city. The catch? It is reportedly haunted by a monk who once inhabited the Monastery who prefers to roam around various rooms turning lights on-and-off, opening windows, and moving objects in the room.
4. Bela Vista Hotel & Spa | Portimão, Portugal
Surrounded by a breathtaking scenery, the Bela Vista Hotel combines refinement with hospitality in a historical space, perfectly adapted to the most modern requirements. The mansion, which houses the Bela Vista Hotel, dates back to 1918 and preserves the romantic aesthetic that inspired it.
Situated on the promenade near the beach, this otherwise tranquil hotel is believed to be haunted by the previous owner, who is said to have died in Room 108. Sightings are common, and according to the book, Histórias de um Portugal Assombrado, there are numerous accounts of groans, unexplained whimpers, and the sound of someone or something pounding on the walls at night.