Monday, October 15, 2012

Haunted Hotels for Halloween

If you like things that go bump in the night, famous haunted hotels dot the landscape across the United States and the world with ghostly stories to share. The halls of many historic hotels are rumored to host to more than just paying customers. Whether you believe or not, one thing is certain - these friendly hauntings are sure to make for an unforgettable visit you'll remember for years.  The Getaway Girl, Casey Wohl, shares some of the spookiest haunted hotels for your next ‘ghostly’ visit.

Estes Park, CO

The Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in the nation. The property is a ghostly "hot spot." In addition to serving as the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining" during his stay in room 217 (one of the most spiritually active rooms), the property was also featured in several "Ghost Hunters" episodes. The Stanley even has its own on-staff paranormal investigator to monitor residual energy and serve as a concierge for the property's permanent guests.

F.O. Stanley, one of the brothers who invented the Stanley Steamer, moved to Estes Park in 1903 where he built the grand Stanley Hotel. It was the inspiration for Stephen King's novel, "The Shining." Of course there are ghosts and you have a choice of several ghost tours! The tours and restaurant are open to the public. The hotel is a popular location for weddings so on weekends you may see one or more going on.

To celebrate the Halloween season and The Stanley's Stephen King roots, guests can indulge in the Shining Ball & Murder Mystery package, which includes: two murder mystery dinner tickets, two Shining Ball tickets and accommodations in the haunted hotel. Additionally, property's on-staff paranormal investigator offers a five-hour ghost hunt sessions where guests can learn how to use authentic ghost hunting tools and test their new skills in some of the property's most haunted locations inaccessible to the general public.

Galveston, TX
Galveston is known as a top destination for haunted travel, being the place of the deadliest natural disaster in United States history: The Great Storm of 1900. The island has many sites that are considered haunted, and offers ghost tours at a variety of cemeteries, historic mansions, downtown and on Galveston's harbor. Galveston is also home to Texas' only year-round haunted house, Haunted Mayfield Manor, which is housed in a historic building that served as a morgue after the Great Storm.
The beautiful 101-year-old Hotel Galvez in Galveston, TX on the Gulf of Mexico is said to be haunted by a ghost bride. The legend is that in the mid-1950s a woman, Audra, hung herself in the hotel after hearing that her mariner fiancé had been killed by a great storm at sea. However, that was only half the tragedy. A few days after her death, Audra's mariner appeared at the hotel looking forward to a marriage that would never be.

 The hotel has documented numerous accounts from guests and staff that have experienced ghost encounters in room 501 - where Audra stayed - as well as various other parts of the hotel. Staff has reported seeing the ghost of a young girl bouncing a ball in the lower level of the hotel. Housekeeping staff has also reported feeling the presence of a man in the corner of the hotel’s laundry room. While this activity was reported in the lower level of the hotel, staff and guests have also experienced odd occurrences in the restaurant and lobby, such as candles blowing out on their own and dishes moving or breaking. Guests and staff have also reported hearing breathing sounds in the ladies’ bathroom near the Music Hall and children’s laughter in the salon bathroom.
Following Hurricane Ike, which struck Galveston in September 2008, several members of the hotel staff who stayed at the hotel as their homes were being repaired reported seeing a woman dressed in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform and a man walk through a guest room and disappear.

In September 2009, Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab featured Hotel Galvez while investigating a correlation between weather and the paranormal. The hotel was also included in an episode on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories called the “Ghost of Sister Katherine.”  The hotel offers ghost tours during the month of October.   Other places for public Ghost Tours in Galveston include Bishop’s Place at Night (historic mansion) and Old City Cemetery.


Littlecote House Hotel is located in the Royal county of Berkshire and is set on 113 acres of grounds and gardens with lots of luxurious features. It also boasts the title of England's third most haunted building, making it one of the spookiest hotels in the country.

  The hotel dates back to Tudor times and was also once a Roman settlement, so it's no surprise that there are numerous ghosts resident at the hotel. One common sighting is of a black dog on the Jerusalem staircase. When guests or members of staff reach down to pet the dog, their hand goes straight through. Mother Barnes, who was a 16th century midwife associated with the site, is referred to in lots of the ghost stories associated with Littlecote House.

  One woman saw a shadowy figure walking across the lawn towards Mother Barnes, and found herself floating in mid-air throughout the experience - but this was many, many years after Mother Barnes' time. There is also one bedroom at the hotel that is particularly haunted, and during a séance held there, a woman was seen rocking a baby in a corner and dark shapes were seen moving around the room. Individuals in the room also felt extremely cold, although no drop in temperature was recorded on their equipment.

  Many guests see spectres at Littlecote House and the hotel also offers a ghost tour for you to get up close and personal with them - if you dare.  This hotel is ideally located for visiting some of Britain's most popular tourist destinations, such as Stonehenge, Newbury races, Ascot races, the city of Bath and Windsor castle.

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