?Travel has a way of providing genuine scares in a variety of forms, whether braving a stern-faced border patrol guard while attempting to enter a reclusive country or trying a plate of some exotic fare you’d wince at if served to you back home. In many ways, this is half the challenge and all the reward of travel. With Halloween just around the corner, these seven hotels provide a more in-your-face scare for the brave traveler. Test your nerve by checking into one of these historically haunted hotels around the U.S.?
Long Beach, California?
After decades of transatlantic travel starting with her maiden voyage in the 1930s, the Queen Mary (pictured above) is rich in history and, as it turns out, paranormal activity. Today the ocean liner sits in Long Beach and lives on, much like the spirits that haunt it, in the form of a floating hotel. You can experience all the Queen’s paranormal happenings on the Haunted Encounters and night tour programs, which include a visit to the ship’s hot spots, seances and even a “dinner with the spirits” where you just might spot the Lady in White, a sailor who refuses to pass on, or any number of ghosts that are said to haunt the ship’s halls.
Estes Park, Colorado?
Photo by Kent Kanouse, CC BY-NC 2.0
Serving as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining, The Stanley Hotel rightly earns its spot on this list. The entire fourth floor is said to be haunted, along with other nooks and corners of this stately 140-room hotel. Several tours are offered that explore these activities. The adult-only paranormal investigation is said to be downright chilling. During the only-slightly tamer nightly ghost tour, you can explore the most haunted spots of the hotel from its basement to the secret tunnels. If you’re lucky, or perhaps not, you might even catch a glimpse of the hotel’s proprietor F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora who are believed to still roam parts of the hotel.
?New Orleans, Louisiana
Photo by Hotel Provincial
The ghosts of soldiers are said to haunt the halls and countless other paranormal activities have been reported at New Orleans’ Hotel Provincial. The land that the hotel sits on has a storied past, reportedly serving at one time or another as a wartime hospital. A number of homes that also occupied the land reportedly burned to the ground. Today the hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shares its charming French Quarter rooms with its fair share of spirits that linger from the site’s eerie past.
Lake George, ?New York
Photo by The Sagamore
The Sagamore Resort is an idyllic retreat located on a 70-acre private island on Lake George in the Adirondacks. The setting and the resort are breathtaking, but some guests have reported being stunned for a different reason. Two of the The Sagamore’s restaurants are said to be haunted, as well as the golf course. Countless stories by visitors and staff over the years have included close encounters with the hotel’s more eternal guests.
Los Angeles, California
Photo by jpellgen, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The halls of the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt hotel are believed to be haunted by the ghosts of famous celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. This caliber of spirits is fitting when you consider the hotel played host to the first Academy Awards in 1929, has served as temporary home to countless celebrities since opening in 1927, and resides along Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame.
Photo by Hotel Del Coronado
The lonely ghost of Kate Morgan has been haunting guests at the Hotel del Coronado for well over 100 years. As the story goes, she checked into the hotel on Thanksgiving in 1892. After waiting days for a gentleman to join her, the likely heartbroken Kate took her own life. Still to this day guests see or claim to sense her spirit around the exact room and floor she once checked into, as well as the hotel’s gift shop.
Photo by The Heathman Hotel
The historic Heathman Hotel in Portland was built in 1927 and remains a relished icon in the city’s downtown. Among its 150 rooms, three frequently receive reports of paranormal activity ranging from loud noises in empty rooms to ghost sightings.
Top photo: Neil Kremer, CC BY-ND 2.0
Paste Travel’s Bucket List columnist Lauren Kilberg is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her travels have found her camping near India’s Pakistani border and conquering volcanoes in the Philippines.