Ghosted: Explore Haunted Hotels

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re not just planning our (very elaborate) costumes, we’re getting into the All Hallows’ Eve spirit by thinking about…spirits. And some of the most famous hotels in the world have had some unexpected overnight visitors: ghosts.

The haunters allegedly range from famous names to spooky specters, but all of these hotels have one thing in common: Book a night there, and you could be in a for a fright.

Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles

Of course we had to start with a hometown favorite. The Chateau Marmont (pictured above) isn’t just where you’ll spot celebs—you may see the ghost of a deceased famous person or two. John Belushi famously OD’d in Bungalow 3 in 1982, and there have been reports of strange occurrences there since—including a young boy who pointed to a pic of Belushi and told his mom “the funny man!” had been making him laugh during their stay. Helmut Newton also famously died here in 2004, when his Cadillac crashed into the driveway wall—but no sightings of his spirit thus far.

The Sagamore, Lake George, New York

If you’re a bad golfer, you may have an excuse to blame for your game at this stately lakeside retreat. The ghost of a young boy from the 1950s reportedly steals balls off the 18-hole course. He’s not alone, though: There’s also the ghost of an elderly man named Walter who hangs in the elevator, and a ghastly couple that bickers in the dining room.

Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India

This luxurious five-star resort supposedly got off to a deadly start: Urban legend has it that the architect jumped off a balcony on the fifth floor when he found out the building was facing the wrong way. His spirit now roams the halls.

The Knickerbocker Hotel, Los Angeles

Another hometown haunt had to make the list—and this one, built in the 1920s, is literally crawling with the ghosts of dead celebrities. She and Joe DiMaggio used to frequent the hotel’s Lido Room bar, and now Marilyn Monroe supposedly haunts the ladies’ room of what’s now a retirement home. Rudolph Valentino is another ghastly guest whose preferred hangout is the bar.

The Shelbourne, Dublin, Ireland

Although it’s beyond luxe, the Shelbourne has seen its fair share of paranormal activity. Guests have reported water faucets turning on by themselves and seeing a seven year-old girl appear out of nowhere. How’s that for the luck of the Irish?

The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, Manchester, NH

Mary Todd Lincoln was a frequent guest and big fan—and guests have reported seeing a female ghost that they think is the former First Lady. She’s only been spotted on the third and fourth floors of the west wing, so booking elsewhere should be safe. (Or is it?)

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, CA

If you think you’re just at this beloved resort for the ocean views, think again: You may run into the ghost of Kate Morgan, who took her own life at the hotel in 1892. You’ll know her by her black lace dress, although the room she stayed in has also been known to have mysterious moving objects and self-working TVs.

The Driskill Hotel, Austin TX

This classic hotel—think columns in the lobby, a grand staircase and gorgeous marble floors—was built in 1886, and its haunted history is nearly as old. Three ghost stories are associated with it: The first is of a girl who fell to her death chasing her ball down said grand staircase. The second is of two brides who allegedly committed suicide in the bathtub in room 525, twenty years to the day apart. Lastly, the hotel’s namesake, Col. Jesse Driskill, is said to check in on the property now and again, bringing with him the scent of cigars and lights that turn on and off.

The Chelsea Hotel, New York, NY

The Chelsea wasn’t merely a place for rock ‘n roll and Hollywood elite to spend a couple of nights during its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s also where poet and writer Dylan Thomas, an alcoholic, died in room 206, and it’s where Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of legendary punk rocker Sid Vicious, was found dead with Vicious in the room. He later killed himself by OD’ing on heroin, and all three have been said to haunt the hotel. The hotel is currently undergoing a massive renovation and is set to reopen in 2019—it remains to be seen if its famous spirits hang around after the remodel.