12 frightful hotels that will leave you sleepless

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Looking for a stay so thrilling it’ll give you goosebumps? A hotel so eerie you won’t want to close your eyes at night? These spooky residences are home to some ghostly guests that will be sure to make your stay a memorable one. From horror movie sets to centuries-old manor houses, you can spend a night amongst the paranormal at one of these 12 haunting hotels.

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

One of the world’s most infamous haunted hotels, The Stanley in Colorado inspired Stephen King’s The Shining after a bad weather turn prompted the author and his wife to take a night’s respite there in the early seventies. The King of Horror was so irked by his stay, that it led him to write his most famous work, while to this day, guests continually report sightings of spirits and poltergeists. Immerse in the history of The Stanley Hotel after dark with its Spirited Night Tour, a 60-minute walking tour that will unravel the hotel’s tales of the supernatural with a knowledgeable storyteller under the ambiance of night time in the Rocky Mountains.

Hassayampa Inn, Prescott, Arizona

Known as the ‘jewel of the county’ and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Arizona’s Hassayampa Inn has seen its fair share of legends and tales. The most famous of them all began in 1927, the same year that the inn was completed. That year, the Hassayampa Inn was host to a young bride, Faith and her husband, who one day went out to buy cigarettes and never returned. Faith waited for three days before taking her own life in despair. Since then, there have been numerous reports of encounters with a young woman throughout the hotel crying at the end of a bed, appearing and disappearing from rooms, even sleeping in beds with other guests.

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California

Rumoured to be haunted by the spirit of Kate Morgan, a former guest, San Diego’s seafront Hotel del Coronado knows how to do spooky right. Opt to take one of the Haunted Happenings Tours which run nightly and lead guests to follow in Kate’s footsteps to uncover the mystery of her death. Throughout October, Ghost Roasts are held nightly where guests can enjoy bonfires enjoying the hotel’s beautiful seafront position as real ghost stories are recounted accompanied by roasted s’mores.

Overland Hotel and Saloon, Pioche, Nevada

As a result of its murderous past, Pioche is known as Nevada’s “liveliest ghost town”. During the 1870s nearly 60% of homicides reported in the entire state of Nevada occurred in Pioche. Visitors looking for a spooky experience will enjoy a stay at The Overland Hotel & Saloon. The hotel is such a paranormal magnet that the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures filmed many episodes here, contacting the shadowy figures in rooms 8, 10 and 15. Hotel employees share their paranormal experiences with visiting guests, but if visitors would prefer a night’s rest uninterrupted by ghosts they will make sure to put you in a room without paranormal presences.

The Russell Hotel, Sydney, New South Wales

Branded the spookiest hotel in Sydney, the walls of The Russell Hotel have been haunted since before they were even built. The hotel’s foundations were laid upon the ground where the Convict’s Hospital once stood. Built in 1788 as the first general hospital in Australia where many were treated during the outbreak of the bubonic plague, the hotel is notorious for ghostly experiences, this eerie establishment’s turbulent past makes it a hotspot for paranormal activity, with regular reported sightings of the hotel’s most famous ghost, an unnamed sailor who was murdered by a woman at the site of the hotel and shows his face for female guests only.

Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colorado

Check in to room 310 at Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, one of the town’s most historical hotels dating back more than 120 years. Visitors have reported sightings of a little boy in a towel, cold and shivering in the corner of the room – the supposed ghost of a 10-year-old boy who drowned in the hotel pool in 1936. The hotel itself is one of Aspen’s major landmarks and is popular amongst skiers with its eerie interior, rich history and ghost-filled halls.

Delta King Riverboat Hotel, Sacramento, California

Get a room with a 19th Century view when you stay on the Delta King Riverboat Hotel, a docked paddlewheel riverboat that looks out over Old Sacramento. Before it became a hotel and theatre, the 1927 boat shuttled goods between San Francisco and Sacramento, and was a transport boat during World War II. During their stay visitors may get a glimpse of the ghost of the boat’s former captain, who’s rumoured to have been seen in the theatre balcony or walking the decks.

Thornewood Castle, Lakewood, Washington State

Moved brick by brick from England to Washington, Thornewood Castle is a romantic Tudor manor set in the State of Washington. The manor is now over 500 years old and was used as the set for Stephen King’s 2002 television series Rose Red. The hotel has several ghosts in residence including the original owner Chester Thorne, who’s been spotted several times, while light bulbs have been known to turn on and off of their own accord in the room he formerly occupied. Guests and staff have also reported seeing Anna, Chester Thorne’s wife, sitting in the window seat of her room looking out longingly at the garden.

The Brown Palace, Denver, Colorado

Opening its doors on 12th August 1892, The Brown Palace is a luxurious hotel and spa which plays as an anchor to Denver’s bustling cultural district, as well as being host to presidents, prime ministers and celebrities. With history comes spooky stories and it is said that The Brown Palace Club, a private gentleman’s club that once served as campaign headquarters for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is the source of more spooky stories than any other part of the building. Sightings include a man in a dark uniform and a cap, with witnesses describing him as looking like an old-fashioned railroad conductor. When the hotel first opened, the ground floor included the Rock Island Railroad ticket office in that same corner.

Hotel MyStays Akasaka, Japan

Known as one of the most haunted places to stay in Japan, Hotel MyStays Akasaka was built upon the grounds of the original Akasaka Mansion, which was said to have had a turbulent past with murders and kidnappings leading to its demolition. Today, Hotel MyStays Akasaka is a convenient and affordable accommodation option for travellers who are looking to spend a night in Tokyo and seeking a thrill. Numerous hotel guests have reported figures standing over them as they sleep, lights turning off without warning, temperature drops, and even reports of hair being petted or brushed while sleeping.

Sleepless in Seattle at Hotel Sorrento, Seattle, Washington

Making an appearance in the film Sleepless in Seattle, Hotel Sorrento, couldn’t find a more fitting title. Considered to be the most haunted place in Seattle, the 76-suite accommodation opened in 1909.  Developed by a clothier named Samuel Rosenberg, the hotel often found itself in financial distress. Despite being over 100 years old, the building still inhibits its original mahogany furnishings and wood mouldings. A popular site for ghost hunters and enthusiasts alike, the ghost of a young woman named Alice B. Toklas is believed to haunt the fourth floor of the hotel. Alice has become a beloved feature of the hotel with the bar even naming a drink after her.

Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dating back to the early 1900’s, Omni William Penn has hosted the likes of JFK and Bob Hope, who proposed to his wife there in 1934. This four-star hotel is known for its history, as well as having two floors (22 and 23) that are haunted and unused. Cold wind gusts, strange clouds and ghost sightings have all been reported here. It’s also said that a murder once took place on these floors during its long history.

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