While you’re planning creative costumes, whipping up spooky snacks and decorating your house for Halloween, you may want to add a quick getaway to your bucket list. Autumn is the ideal time to visit historic hotels around the country. Many have longtime spirits who linger all year, but there’s no better time than Halloween to spend a supernatural sleepover at a haunted hotel.
It’s also the perfect excuse to wear your new ugly Halloween sweater!
Here are your best bets for a haunted fall stay. Each hotel has a unique history of ghosts and reports of paranormal activity to inspire a ghoulish getaway — if you dare.
The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado
This property had such notoriety that Stephen King sought it out for a stay, and it ended up inspiring his book about a spooky hotel, “The Shining.” He’s not the only guest who has reported freaky sightings. Some have reportedly seen lights turn on and off, and others say they have observed doors opening and closing on their own. According to staff, there are at least four spirits: Lucy, Paul, Eddie and Elizabeth, who are likely responsible for those events. The property (seen below in the @thestanleyhotel Instagram photo) makes the most of its ghosts each October with an annual Shining Ball and murder-mystery dinner.
The Omni Bedford Springs — Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania
This original part of this hotel was built in 1806 atop the sacred healing grounds of Iroquois and Shawnee tribes. It’s no surprise then that ghosts are believed to be lurking throughout this rural resort! Guests have reported spirits appearing in their photos, including images of soldiers and small children. This Facebook photo from the hotel gives a gorgeous glimpse of its winter exterior.
The Beechwood Inn — Barnstable, Massachusetts
This six-room inn proudly promotes its own resident ghost, nicknamed Mischievous Lady. However, investigators of paranormal phenomena have visited and found no traces of her. Still, innkeepers Ken and Debra Traugot believe their bathrobe-wearing friendly ghost is responsible for a variety of unexplained mischief, including unscrewed light bulbs and doors bolted shut from the inside. Large tree branches act as an outdoor enclosure, as seen in this Facebook photo from the inn.
The Battery Carriage House Inn — Charleston, South Carolina
The Battery Carriage House Inn is supposedly home to several ghosts and claims the title of Charleston’s most haunted inn. Staff and guests have shared encounters with a gentlemen ghost, who takes a fancy to Room 10, and a Civil War-era headless torso. Some believe one of the ghosts is a former resident who took his own life by jumping off the roof. No matter how spooky the hotel is, however, the exterior is rather gorgeous, as seen in this Instagram photo from @batterycarriagehouseinn.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort — Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Even though the workers who built the hotel varied the number of steps (according to Italian tradition) to the second floor to confuse ghosts in the hotel, the spirits still reportedly find their way around. The south tower and the Princess Carolyn Room, where Carolyn Stickney, the widowed bride of the hotel’s owner, spent summers until her death in 1936, get most of the attention. Guests and staff have caught glimpses of her on the staircase and even sitting on the end of her old bed. From the outside the resort is certain stunning — check out this Facebook photo from Bretton Woods — so it certainly leaves room for imagination about what’s going on behind the gorgeous facade.
Concord’s Colonial Inn — Concord, Massachusetts
One famous report from newlyweds staying in room 24 of this New England inn back in 1966 included a ghost sighting. They said they were awakened by a presence in the room and could see a grayish figure near their bed. As a result, multiple ghost hunters have visited The Colonial Inn to experience the spirits. And even if they didn’t find any ghosts, then they certainly got a treat by staying at the charming inn — just look at this Instagram photo from @concordscolonialinn.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel — Los Angeles, California
You wouldn’t expect paranormal activity in sunny California, but this hotel proves at least some ghosts don’t shy away from the light. Legend has it Marilyn Monroe’s spirit still resides at this iconic hotel. Visitors report seeing her in the mirror in the room she previously called home. Other mysterious phenomena include cold spots, photographic orbs and mysterious phone calls to the hotel operator. The caption to this Facebook photo from The Hollywood Roosevelt reads “Our doors are open, when are you visiting next?” And, yeah, we’re not so sure we will be …
La Fonda On The Plaza — Santa Fe, New Mexico
The current four-star property is built on the same corner as the first inn in Santa Fe. This spot has a colorful, wild west history, including gruesome events like hangings, gunfights and a famous suicide. As a result, it is believed some of the deceased are still guests at the hotel, like the man who committed suicide by jumping down a well who now appears in the restaurant built on top of the site.
The Omni Grove Park Inn — Asheville, North Carolina
Yet another Omni property that is apparently haunted, the Pink Lady is the gentle resident ghost at this historic inn. For more than 50 years, she has reportedly been lingering and appearing for guests and staff around the property. After studying the hotel, Joshua P. Warren of Asheville, a local expert and author focusing on supernatural phenomena, confirmed her presence. She seems to favor room 545 with guests and workers reporting sightings and cold chills in and near it.
The Equinox — Manchester Village, Vermont
This quaint New England property was built in 1769. In fact, it was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln and his family, who vacationed here multiple summers. Today, people believe his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, haunts it which is hard to believe when you see this sunny photo on Instagram from @equinoxresort, but what’s that saying about “creatures that lurk in the dark”?
The Myrtles Plantation — St. Francisville, Louisiana
The Myrtles Plantation is believed to be one of the most haunted houses in the U.S. More than a dozen ghosts have been rumored to haunt the plantation, the most famous is a former slave named Chloe who wears a green turban. In 1992, the girl mysteriously appeared in a photograph taken outside one of the property’s buildings. Here’s one of the buildings featured in this Instagram photo from @themyrtlesplantation.
The Crescent Hotel and Spa — Eureka Springs, Arkansas
It’s no surprise this historic property has spirited guests. In fact, the basement of the hotel previously held a morgue. Additionally, back in the 1930s a fake doctor ran a cancer-cure scam and lured cancer patients to the hotel, renamed Baker’s Cancer Curing Hospital. According to guests who report sensing their presence, these long-gone guests are still lingering. Visitors can take one of the nightly ghost tours to see for themselves. But judging by this Instagram photo from @crescent1886 you might want to opt for a less spooky sunset walk instead.
Hotel Provincial — New Orleans, Louisiana
During the Civil War, this hotel served as a Confederate hospital. Naturally, modern-day guests have reported spotting Civil War soldiers and surgeons. They’ve also reported seeing blood stains appearing and disappearing on the bedding in some rooms as well as attention from more aggressive ghosts. One guest said she was pulled from her bed kicking and screaming! Hard to imagine something so horrific from a place as charming as the one featured in this Instagram photo from @hotelprovincial, right?