Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado
Many people like a good fright as Halloween approaches. ‘Tis the season for scares that are all in good fun. So, what could be better than an October getaway to a haunted hotel, inn or bed and breakfast?
Whether you fondly remember watching scary movies as a kid or are searching for something beyond our understanding of the paranormal, you don’t have to believe in ghosts to want to stay at a haunted hotel. These spooky places to stay will hit all the right notes for a fun October adventure.
Photo courtesy of Timberline Lodge
Timberline Lodge - Government Camp, Oregon
If the sight of the Timberline Lodge instantly gives you a bit of a fright, you may be remembering one of the scariest films of all time. The luxurious lodge was used as the exterior location for the Overlook Hotel in the 1980 film "The Shining." Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Stephen King, the movie featured several key shots of Timberline Lodge to amplify the story’s terror.
Located on Mount Hood, the Timberline Lodge is only an hour and 30 minutes' drive from Portland, Oregon. You can enjoy excellent skiing and stunning mountain views here, but don’t expect the interior to look like the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining." Only the exteriors were shot at Timberline Lodge, and the inside of this inn is warm and welcoming.
That doesn’t stop horror fans from requesting a stay in Room 217, the room number of the haunted hotel room in "The Shining." In the past, the entire lodge has even been rented out for a Halloween party that was themed around the film. Its role in horror movie history won't soon be forgotten.
Photo courtesy of The Clown Motel
The Clown Motel - Tonopah, Nevada
With a cemetery next door and a robust clown theme, The Clown Motel has been called the scariest place to stay in the United States. It boasts over 2,000 old and new clowns from all over the world. Each of its 31 motel rooms has at least a couple of custom clown art paintings, and you can book rooms with themes like Stephen King’s "It," "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th." Beyond the clown theme, each room has a refrigerator, air conditioning and heating.
However creepy the clowns may be, the story behind this motel is sweet. Leona and Leroy David were inspired to start the motel in 1985 in memory of their dad who adored clowns. He had a collection of over 150 clowns, and the David siblings put them on display to celebrate their dad’s memory and his passion.
Their dad was laid to rest in the Old Tonopah Cemetery that’s next door to the hotel. You can get a Tonopah Old Cemetery Walking Tour brochure from the motel’s office.
Photo courtesy of Jekyll Island Club Resort
Jekyll Island Club Resort - Jekyll Island, Georgia
Located on a gorgeous coastal barrier island in Georgia, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is a majestic-looking place in an idyllic, beachside setting. That doesn’t exactly set the scene for a spooky stay. However, if you look closely, you are sure to see some signs of its haunted history.
The staff at the Jekyll Island Club Resort report several ghost stories on the property that are backed up by multiple sightings over decades. A former U.S. President has been spotted walking the veranda at sunset, and a ghostly bellman has allegedly delivered pressed suits to bridegrooms.
If you stay at the Sans Souci, one of the club cottages, you might smell former resident J.P. Morgan’s cigar smoke around 5 am, or so say several guests who stayed there. Dozens of other hauntings have also been reported by staff and guests.
Photo courtesy of The Lizzie Borden House
The Lizzie Borden House - Fall River, Massachusetts
As an enchanting bed and breakfast with a morbid history, the Lizzie Borden House makes no secret of its ghostly goings-on. This was the home where Lizzie Borden allegedly killed her stepmother and father with an axe. However, she was acquitted at trial, and nobody knows what really happened. It’s one of the most discussed unsolved mysteries in United States history.
The Lizzie Borden House is an undeniably spooky place to stay in October or any other time of year, and a variety of ghost tours are offered daily. You can stay in Lizzie’s former bedroom or even in the bedroom where her stepmother was murdered.
If that’s too intense for you, other rooms are available. One legend explains that Lizzie was innocent and still haunts the home trying to prove it. Others think that the ghosts of her father and stepmother haunt it. One thing’s for sure: hundreds of ghost sightings and paranormal experiences have been reported here.
Photo courtesy of The Read House Hotel
The Read House Hotel - Chattanooga, Tennessee
Located in charming Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Read House Hotel is a historical and swanky place to stay that will make you feel like you time traveled to the revelry of the Jazz Age. It’s now a Southern icon that has been restored to reflect its Roaring 20s stateliness. Should you choose to stay here, just beware of room 311.
The legendary ghost of room 311 has a stark true tale to back up the supernatural sightings. Annalisa Netherly was a guest of the Read House Hotel when she was beheaded by a jealous lover while she was relaxing in a bubble bath. It’s said that she still haunts room 311 where she was killed, and guests who have stayed in the room have reported ghostly interactions such as flickering lights, shadowy figures and unexplainable noises.
If you don’t want to risk a fright during the night, you can choose another room and still take a tour of room 311 upon request.
Photo courtesy of Hotel Monteleone
Hotel Monteleone - New Orleans, Louisiana
Well known as one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans, the historic Hotel Monteleone offers grand, luxurious accommodations in the French Quarter. It has also served as a landmark of the city since 1886. It's home to a stunning, carousel-themed bar that’s allegedly haunted itself. The scares are just part of the fun!
Legend has it that the haunted hotel has a restaurant door that opened every night and then closed again; this happened even though the door was locked. It also has an elevator that’s said to stop on the wrong floor, and you might then discover ghostly images of children playing in the halls of the hotel.
The International Society of Paranormal Research spent several days at Hotel Monteleone in 2003, and they reported contacting over a dozen ghostly entities during their time here.
Photo courtesy of Wing's Castle / Haunted History Trail of New York State. © Amityphotos.com
Wing's Castle - Millbrook, New York
As a bed and breakfast like no other, Wing’s Castle has a wide variety of antique collectibles and memorabilia on display, and plenty of spooky stories abound. In fact, it’s one of the stops on the Haunted History Trail of New York State. The castle’s eerie atmosphere attracts many ghost-loving guests, and a ghost tour is available to overnight guests.
The brick and stone castle and the treasures it holds carry their own paranormal histories and stories. You can book a stay in the dungeon or a room in the vine-covered towers. When here, you might get spooked as you wander through stone tunnels or take note of the eyes that are carved into the walls. No wonder guests have reported a feeling of being watched!
Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado - Coronado, California
The Hotel del Coronado is known as San Diego’s most haunted hotel for many good reasons, and it even hosts a Haunted Happenings Tour throughout the year. During the month of October, the elegant resort goes into overdrive offering fun scares for guests. They screen haunted movies on the beach, and they host a “Ghost Roast” where someone dresses up as the resident ghost and tells scary stories around a bonfire.
And, yes, there is a resident ghost at the Hotel del Coronado. Her name is Kate Morgan. Miss Morgan was a lovely young woman in her early twenties who visited the hotel in 1892, and she died during her stay of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound. (There is some controversy about whether she died by suicide, though!)
Stories abound of sightings of Kate Morgan’s ghost, and the hotel even published a book called "Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado."
Photo courtesy of Oheka Castle
Oheka Castle - Huntington, New York
Long Island, New York might not be the spot where you expect to find a legendary haunted castle, but Oheka Castle is a dream come true for anyone wanting a luxurious, spooky place to stay. Now over a century old, the castle has been home to a piano-playing ghost, according to The Long Island Pulse.
Other alleged paranormal happenings at Oheka Castle include watery footprints appearing out of nowhere and shadowy fingers discovered throughout the mansion. Oheka Castle is said to have hidden rooms and secret passageways, which enhances the feeling that something spooky might happen.
Also, if Oheka Castle looks familiar to you, you may have seen it as the majestic Xanadu in the classic film "Citizen Kane" and, more recently, as Taylor Swift’s fictitious home in the “Blank Space” music video.
Photo courtesy of The Martha Washington Inn & Spa
The Martha Washington Inn & Spa - Abingdon, Virginia
The Martha Washington Inn & Spa was originally a retirement home for General Robert Preston, and it first opened as a hotel in 1935. Some of the guests who have stayed here include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Elizabeth Taylor. Nevertheless, it is believed to have been a haven for ghosts since the 1800s.
Staff members have reported seeing apparitions throughout the Martha Washington Inn & Spa at all hours of the day and night. The elegant inn was used as a hospital for soldiers who were wounded in the Civil War, and one young nurse played her violin for a dying soldier who wanted to hear its music as his dying wish. The young nurse was heartbroken when the solider died and died herself only a few weeks later. It’s said that her ghost still haunts the hotel, and her violin music can sometimes be heard.