For those looking for a chilling night's stay with the possibility of mysterious and ghostly encounters, look no further than these hair-raising hotels. But aside from the possibility of the paranormal, each one comes with its own unique spine-chilling story. Some, downright scary, others provide just enough intrigue to lure guests looking to trade the cookie-cutter hotel experience for something a bit more enigmatic.
From an old jailhouse in Boston, to a former brothel in Providence, to a "haunted" hotel deep in Louisiana – here are our picks for the best prisons, brothels and other spooky hotels right here in the U.S.
The Dean Hotel — Photo courtesy of ASH NYC
The Dean Hotel
Who wouldn't be turned on by this sexy boutique hotel? Word is this former church in a mission brick building on Fountain Street was also once a thriving brothel and gentleman's club. Today, its been transformed (thanks to some creative architects) into one of Providence's high-design hotels. Guests of The Dean may imagine what might have happened years ago in their hotel room, once a hot bed for call girls. Today, there are still signs of its scantily clad past – neon signs and glass see-through shower doors, ideal for the exhibitionist at heart.
The Liberty Hotel — Photo courtesy of The Liberty Hotel
The Liberty Hotel
The swanky Liberty Hotel in Boston’s posh Beacon Hill neighborhood hosted some infamous guests when it was the Charles Street jail. The penitentiary was shut down in 1990 and the inmates were moved out but the location was still sought after by investors. It was reopened in 2007 as a hotel and still managed to hold on to its jailhouse vibes. Rumor has it that the hotel is now haunted, but one thing is sure to give visitors a chill – some of the prison bars that remind guests about its criminal past still remain.
Grande Colonial in La Jolla — Photo courtesy of Grande Colonial in La Jolla
Grande Colonial in La Jolla
One of San Diego's few haunted hotels is the Grande Colonial in La Jolla. Being a historic property (it celebrated 100 years in 2013), the Grande has rounded up a long list of haunted happenings from guests over the years. The hotel even has a ghost stories page on its website: calls made from empty rooms, possible ghosts hiding behind curtains, cabinets opening and closing and strange noises. But these spooky stories have yet to deter guests who are okay with the idea they may not be sleeping alone.
The Bullock Hotel — Photo courtesy of The Bullock Hotel
The Bullock Hotel
With a town called Deadwood, you know trouble is not far behind. This South Dakota hotel is known for having plenty of unwelcome visitors. Guests and staff members have reported floating orbs and the ghostly image of Seth Bullock, the hotel's former partner. Unplugged appliances coming to life and strange voices are also a regular occurrence. As for Bullock, who died in 1919, his spirit has long been the focus of ghost tours in the area. An episode of Unsolved Mysteries even documented the sightings of this mysterious hotel tycoon.
Deerfield Inn — Photo courtesy of Deerfield Inn
The Deerfield Inn
Ghostly shadows, spirited pinches on the bottom and mashed “bootatoes” are among the features for those who wish to sleep with a ghost at The Deerfield Inn. This quintessential quaint "haunted" Massachusetts inn is a perfect spot for those who crave a bad case of the heebie jebbies. The Deerfield Inn is one of the original historic inns of New England, built as an inn in 1884. But guests will also be in for a spooky treat with so many spirits lurking about. The entire village of Deerfield is a National Historic Landmark preserved exactly the way it was more than 300 years ago. Nearly all the houses along the Main Street are said to have at least one spirit attached to them.
The Sagamore — Photo courtesy of The Sagamore
The Sagamore Resort
Bolton Landing, N.Y.
The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, New York, was built in the 1880s. The hotel, nested in the woods around Lake George, has reported numerous ghost sightings over the years. Many guests have the same story about a little boy who haunts the golf course, and a mysterious lady who enters guest rooms unbidden, hovering above sleepers and blowing a chill air onto their eyelids.
The Union Station Hotel — Photo courtesy of The Union Station Hotel
The Union Station Hotel
The Union Station Hotel in Nashville showcases its spookiness. The hotel is actually a transformed rail station that's known to have a few haunts lurking around. The most well-known is a female ghost named Abigail who allegedly threw herself from the balcony on her wedding night after being left at the altar. It’s rumored that she still haunts room 711. There are also stories of the station being set up as a temporary morgue after a serious train crash that killed 101 people in 1918. Either way, this place has a high enough "creep factor" to entice the most uncanny guests.
The Omni Homestead Resort — Photo courtesy of The Omni Homestead Resort
The Omni Homestead Resort
Built in 1766, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of the oldest resorts in America. Its long history is dabbled with mysterious tales, specifically the tale of the bride that haunts the 14th floor. In the early 1900s, a young woman was set to be married at the resort and on the day of her wedding, her husband-to-be, nervous and having second thoughts, told her to stay in their room while he ran out for a moment. Unbeknownst to her, the groom left the hotel never to return again. Overcome with sadness, the bride took her own life. Legend has it that her spirit roams the resort's 14th floor and asks guests and staff for the time...still waiting for her groom to return.
Omni Mount Washington — Photo courtesy of Omni Mount Washington
Omni Mount Washington
Bretton Woods, N.H.
Known affectionately by staff members as "The Princess," Caroline Foster is a long-time inhabitant of the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, even though she passed away in 1939. A prominent figure at the resort since its opening, many guests who have visited continue to report sightings of the regal Caroline. Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, there are light taps on doors when no one is outside and items suddenly disappear and then reappear in the exact place they were lost. But perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing the vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their guest bed, the same custom-made, four-post bed Caroline shared with her husband. (Yikes!)
Farnsworth House Inn — Photo courtesy of Farnsworth House Inn
Farnsworth House Inn
Deemed by the Travel Channel as "one of the most haunted inns in America," the spooky Farnsworth House in Gettysburg takes much pride in its history and ghostly lore. During the infamous and bloody battle of Gettysburg, sharpshooters used to hide in the attic of the Farnsworth house and shoot through the windows. Today, the ghosts of those same soldiers, and their victims, have yet to rest in peace. To continue the haunted experience, visitors can take a walk-through of this haunted location to experience looming spirits for themselves.