Usually when you need a good scare, you just check out your credit card statement to see how much you spent last month.
But if you're really out to prove you have, like the awesome '80s T-shirt line, no fear, well, try sleeping in a haunted hotel. And we don't mean the Casper-the-ghost kind. We're talking Vigo the Carpathian, The Ring kinda ghost scares.
From murderous wives to moaning soldiers, these creepy cribs will keep you up all night. And not in the good way.
Credit: Flickr/Kent Kanouse
Stanley Hotel -- Estes Park, CO
Let's start with the obvious: The Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King's The Shining. And those creepy kids in the movie can allegedly be heard giggling and running amok on the fourth floor, especially around room 418.
Hotel founder and inventor of Stanley Steamer automobiles (not the steam cleaning dudes), F. O. Stanley, and his wife are often seen passing through the lobby, or playing piano in the music room, and a handful of former employees are said to haunt their former posts. The ghost of a housekeeper who died on the grounds allegedly roams around room 217, for example. The hotel plays the Stanley Kubrick film version of The Shining on loop on one of its cable channels, and fittingly, also offers ghost tours.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa -- Eureka Springs, AR
Built in 1886 and part of the Historic Hotels of America Association, this extravagant property in the Ozarks claims to be the most haunted hotel in the country. Originally a luxury hotel and spa, it went bankrupt and re-opened as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women in 1908, before becoming a fake cancer hospital. That's when things got creepy.
Founder Dr. Norman Baker, a man with no medical training, used the hospital as a front to experiment on humans -- alive and dead. He dispensed useless treatments to the living while raking in dough from their families. Eventually, he was sent to jail for fraud. Now, his experiments haunt the grounds, and the apparitions include Dr. Baker himself; a stonemason that fell off the roof and died; a nurse pushing a gurney; Theodora, a cancer patient; and a former student who committed suicide. Of course, there are ghost tours as well, which include a midnight visit to the morgue.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Langham Hotel -- London, England
Said to be England's first "grand hotel", the five-star Langham Hotel has hosted distinguished guests like Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain. But it's the spooky stuff that's accumulated over 149 years that puts the hotel on the list, including a German prince who leapt to his death from a window before WWI, and a man who killed his wife and then himself on their honeymoon. Other spotted spirits include Napoleon III, who spent some of his exile in the Langham, a man with a bloody gash on his face, and various butlers and footmen. Room 333 is said to be the most haunted of all the rooms in London's most haunted hotel.
Myrtles Plantation -- St. Francisville, LA
This stately home is said to have been built on an ancient Native American burial ground, which pretty much never works out. And apparently 10 murders were committed within the hotel's walls since the 1700s, the most well-known of which was William Drew Winter, who was shot on the porch and managed to crawl up 17 stairs before dying. He can occasionally still be seen doing today, according to legend.
Now, no fewer than 12 ghosts call the B&B home. There's the lady with the curly hair; the Native American woman; the girl who shows up only before thunderstorms; the children playing on the porch; and Chloe, the slave girl who was hanged by fellow slaves after poisoning the house mistress and her two children. There are also strange noises, blood stains that won't disappear, cold spots, footsteps, and randomly appearing handprints. Basically, all the vagaries of a daycare, except from ghosts and not toddlers.
Credit: Flickr/Austin Wang
Hotel Roosevelt -- Los Angeles, CA
In life, Marilyn Monroe spent two years at this landmark hotel. In death, she wanders about the premises, dancing in the ballroom or staring at herself in the mirror of her favorite room, number 229. She's not alone, though. Apparently the ghosts of Carole Lombard and Errol Flynn hang out, too, and Montgomery Clift is regularly heard playing his trumpet from room 928, where he stayed while filming From Here to Eternity. Which is ironic, considering he basically checked in for all of eternity.
Russell Hotel -- Sydney, Australia
Sure, a continent formerly populated by convicts would be rife with tales of murder, but this hotel in particular is said to be frequented by spirits of ill repute. As in, prostitute ghosts.
Located in The Rocks, Sydney's oldest neighborhood and once a seedy slum full of crime, the hotel used to be a sailor's hostel. Room 8 is said to be haunted by the spirit of a colonial-era sailor who either wanders the halls or stands still and stares at you while you sleep. Other sightings include more seamen and a few prostitutes. Make your own joke there. And like any business-minded establishment, the hotel's also pimping out its ghosts with tours.
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