Haunted hotels in the US. Photo: KnowInsiders
Haunted hotels in the US. Photo: KnowInsiders.com

When it comes to ghost stories, these establishments are experts. Skipping the pumpkin patch in favor of one of these paranormal hotspots is the way to celebrate Halloween this year. These venues offer a more foreboding experience thanks to their historical ghosts and spectral musicians.

A place to stay need not sacrifice style for safety, right? Remember to get the heck out of there if you ever find yourself in haunted ground.

What Are The Most Haunted and Ghost Hotels in the U.S?

(Compiled and introduced by KnowInsiders)

1. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Photo: g-switch.org
Photo: g-switch.org

The Stanley Hotel is best known for serving as the inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Shining; the author spent one winter night at the hotel before writing the novel. The hotel is widely regarded as being one of the most "spirited" hotels in America.

It was constructed in 1909 with the intention of housing traveling bourgeois, and it offered cars and servants to any and all guests. Today, it is believed that some of the spirits of these travelers still remain... Guests staying at the hotel in the present day claim to have overheard the sounds of unidentifiable piano music and maniacal laughter throughout the building. It is believed that the jovial spirits of departed employees and visitors are responsible for these occurrences.

A word of advice: Be sure to schedule a spot on one of Stanley's night ghost tours. The staff is the group that is likely to have the most experience with supernatural occurrences, and as a result, they will have many stories to share with you.

2. Hotel Chelsea, New York City

Photo: Dixie & Grace
Photo: Dixie & Grace

Mark Twain, Andy Warhol, and Ethan Hawke are just some of the famous people who have found inspiration at the Hotel Chelsea, which was constructed in the late 19th century in the city of New York.

It should come as no surprise that a hotel that attracts such high-profile guests has also been the scene of equally high-profile scandals. The most notable of these is the unsolved murder of Sid Vicious's girlfriend, fellow rocker Nancy Spungen, who was found in her room. Since it is currently undergoing refurbishment, the hotel is not currently accepting any short-term guests but is planning to reopen in 2018.

3. Otesaga Resort, NY

Photo: Agoda
Photo: Agoda

A large resort that has been around for over a century but has no dark legends is fertile ground for a ghost community, and not a scary one at that.

The Otesaga Resort used to be a winter school for girls, and even now, when there are no kids staying there, you can hear the laughter of a large group of them reverberating through the hotel's third-floor hallway. (Warning: they may be laughing at you, but remember that they are young girls.) But the adults intend for you to take it personally; some people have even reported hearing their own names called out of the blue.

Advice: Several years ago, the SyFy show Ghost Hunters conducted an investigation of the property and, through the wonders of modern technology, confirmed the presence of ghostly figures, ghostly whispers, and other such spookiness. Paranormal activity was most likely to occur in rooms on the second, third, and fifth floors. Is it finally over? Actually, someone just opened it up for you.

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4. The Knickerbocker Hotel, LA

Photo: Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Photo: Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

The Knickerbocker Hotel, which has been in operation since the 1920s, was originally a collection of apartments. Once it was turned into a hotel, however, it attracted the attention of the A-list of Hollywood, including Louis B. Mayer (a producer), Howard Hughes (an inventor, aviator, and film producer), Betty Grable (an actress), and Johnny Mercer (a singer and songwriter). Supposedly, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio went on secret dates in the hotel's Lido Room bar and later spent their honeymoon here in 1954.

It is said that Monroe's ghost lingers in the women's restroom after her death, while Rudolph Valentino's spirit occupies the bar. A maintenance worker at the Knickerbocker (now senior apartments) told The Hollywood Reporter last year that the spirit of a woman who committed suicide by jumping off the building's roof lingers there. According to a Los Angeles Times article from November 16, 1962, dress designer to the stars Irene (aka Mrs. Irene Gibbons) threw herself off the eleventh floor of the building. Who doesn't believe the Knickerbocker is haunted? H.P. Houdini. His wife held annual séances on the roof in an attempt to make contact with him, but he evaded her every time.

5. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, LA

Photo: Most-Haunted - Skyrock.com
Photo: Most-Haunted - Skyrock.com

The glamorous Roosevelt, located in the heart of Hollywood, first opened in 1927 and has a long list of famous patrons. It hosted the first Academy Awards and was frequently used for parties following movie premieres. Guests at the Roosevelt and the hotel's striking Spanish Colonial Revival architecture "helped shape the image and myth of Hollywood as a place of glamour and luxury," according to a 2010 survey of historic resources in the Hollywood area.

Many of those stars are now irresistible, even to death. It is said that Marilyn Monroe, the busiest ghost in the business, haunts her old room (1200) at the Roosevelt Hotel, where she lived as her fame grew and where her first ad was filmed.

There are a lot of people who look in the mirror and see Marilyn. A worker on the maintenance crew revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the children have also seen a little girl in a blue dress. Hollywood legend has it that the ghost of Montgomery Clift, who stayed in Room 928 for three months while filming From Here to Eternity, pats guests' shoulders and watches the maids. Carole Lombard's spirit has also been seen floating around the upper floors. The Blossom Room, site of the first Academy Awards ceremony, is said to be haunted by two men: one in a tuxedo and the other in a white suit. Nothing is more eerie than a ghost who forgot to dress up.

6. Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago

Photo: FrightFind
Photo: FrightFind

The likes of Al Capone are what gangster myths are made of. And apparently still living at the Congress Plaza Hotel (520 S. Michigan Ave) today. Yes, guests at the 122-year-old, 871-room hotel have seen the specter of the original Scarface. Since Al Capone made the Congress Plaza Hotel his headquarters, and his ghost is most often spotted near his old suite on the eighth floor, the magazine Leisure + Travel named it Illinois' most haunted location in 2016.

But Capone isn't the only phantom who has checked into the hotel. Peg Leg Johnny is the most lovable ghost in our book. Although not much is known about this spooky hobo ghost, the Internet claims that it has an insatiable need to flip switches, turn on and off televisions, and otherwise disrupt guests' stays.

Experts on the supernatural, however, claim that Room 441 is the most haunted part of the hotel, and that a female ghost can be heard kicking people in the head from the foot of their beds. It's a popular choice, so it gets booked up quickly.

The Congress is also rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a young boy. According to his legend, Lore's mother was so troubled by her immigration status that she threw both of her children out of a hotel window and then committed suicide. Like Peg Leg Johnny, the boy's ghost plays pranks, but his antics consist mostly of shuffling around the furniture. That's annoying, but I suppose it's understandable.

While there is no doubt that ghosts abound at the Congress Plaza, the hotel's most enduring eerie legacy may be tied to one of its actual guests: the first serial killer in the United States, Dr. H.H. Holmes. It is common knowledge that Holmes would wait in the hotel lobby for potential victims. Devil in the White City, a recent remembrance of him, tells how the psychopath would lure young women back to his pharmacy, where he kept a secret torture chamber.

Don't believe the Congress Plaza ghost stories? Attend the hotel's Haunted Halloween Ball to see for yourself. The costume party is advertising itself as having "elements of a lavish VIP nightclub and lounge experience, with the exclusiveness of a luxury hotel gala, and the terror and chills of a haunted house." The event takes place from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., and it costs $20 per person to attend.

7. The Drake Hotel

Photo: Elite Meetings
Photo: Elite Meetings

The Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton Place) is a close second when it comes to haunted hotels in Chicago, behind only the Congress Plaza Hotel. Nearly a century after her untimely demise on New Year's Eve, the hotel is still haunted by the Lady in Red. During a gala attended by the elite of the city, the woman in the red dress allegedly saw her lover (or, in some accounts, her husband) with another woman and jumped from the 10th floor window (or, in some accounts, the roof). Since then, she has been spotted wandering the halls, though she is especially frequent on the 10th floor and in the luxurious Palm Court, where the hotel's many High Tea enthusiasts are sure to find her.

Socialite Adele Born Williams was murdered in 1944, and there is the case of the Woman in Black. According to the legend, Williams was a hotel guest who entered her room only to be shot dead by the Woman in Black, who had a gun in her purse. There was never a resolution to the case, which made headlines at the time.

However, the spirits of Bobby Franks's parents may be the most heartbreaking. His cousin Richard Loeb and an accomplice named Nathan Leopold kidnapped and murdered Franks in 1924. They claimed to have done it "for the thrill of it." The Franks family relocated to The Drake in order to escape the attention of the public during the trial of the century, according to historical accounts. It appears that they do not move on after their son's murder; witnesses have seen them moving about the hotel.

The Masquerade Ball: A Nightmare on Walton Street is a fantastic time to visit The Drake. For only $40, you can attend a lavish masquerade ball, steeped in history and mystery, in the hotel's breathtaking Palm Court. The Flat Cats' live performance, along with the masquerades and black tie attire, sets the mood for opulence. First-come, first-served seating will be available in the Palm Court and Club International areas.

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8. Chateau Marmont

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

The exclusive and elegant Chateau Marmont hotel off the Sunset Strip has become a haven for celebrities since it was converted into a hotel in the 1930s. Some famous people's breakdowns, affairs, and drunken antics have taken place there, including Britney Spears and Jim Morrison.

It's only natural that John Belushi, who frequented this establishment in life, would pay us a visit in the afterlife. Paranormal activity has been reported at Bungalow No. 3, the location of his fatal overdose in 1982. The most unsettling account is about a toddler whose family stayed there in 1999. The story goes that his parents would overhear him laughing to himself on the Travel Channel. After mustering up the courage to inquire as to the reason, he simply replied, "The funny man." The boy then "pointed to John Belushi and exclaimed, 'The funny man!' as his mother flipped through a book of celebrity guests of Chateau Marmont."

9. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, Big Sur, California

Photo: TravelAge West
Photo: TravelAge West

Set decorator Ellen Brill of American Horror Story: Hotel reported hearing ghostly footsteps and a slamming door during her stay. The innkeeper allegedly told Brill that it was "Grandpa Deetjen," referring to Helmuth Deetjen, who founded the inn with his wife Helen Haight in the 1930s. Grandpa Deetjen, it is safe to say, does not come across as a particularly menacing ghost.

10. Malaga Inn, Alabama

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

The Malaga has been known for a long time as the most haunted hotel in Alabama, and it is still the only boutique inn of its kind in the state. This southern hotel dates back to the Civil War era and features 39 guest rooms decorated in Victorian style around a central courtyard.

Two brothers-in-law built the two townhouses as a wedding present for their sisters, and some say they've never left. There have been reports of a ghostly white lady, swaying chandeliers, lights turning on at odd times, and even moving furniture.

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