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The most haunted hotels in the USA – Would you dare to stay in one?


A famous novelist, a tragic poet, a hanged man and more. There are some hotels in the US that are rumored to entertain some very special guests; ghosts. Would you have the nerve to spend a night at any of these haunted hotels?

Not everyone is content with a ‘normal’ vacation, they like a bit of excitement and perhaps something a little out of the ordinary. For some people it is adventure sports, for others, it might be a trip to an unusual spa. And for some, the idea of finding haunted hotels to stay at, in the hope of encountering something scary and supernatural, is about the biggest holiday thrill they can think of!

Fortunately for these hardy souls, the US has more than a few great haunted hotels that may be able to satisfy their ghost hunting passions. Here is a little information about some of the best known of these spooky accommodations!


The Hotel Chelsea, New York, New York

Everyone from Mark Twain to Andy Warhol to Debbie Harry and Kurt Cobain have graced the Hotel Chelsea with their custom over the years since it first opened its doors in 1884. The majestic hotel was, and still is, something of a magnet for creative types but is also, according to many, a magnet for ghosts as well.

Although none other than the spirit of author Thomas Wolfe has been said to roam the halls of the eighth floor, he is not the most frequently ‘seen’ of the Hotel Chelsea’s ghostly guests. Poet Dylan Thomas actually died at the hotel, drinking himself to death over a period of months and both long-term residents and staff claim that the Welshman has never really checked out.

The Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious did not die at the Chelsea Hotel. He did, however, live there with his American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, while trying to make his name as a solo artist when the Pistols disbanded. Both were heavily involved in drugs, and on 12 October 1978, Vicious was accused of stabbing Nancy to death in their room. He never went to trial though, as he too died several months later, of a deliberate heroin overdose. Hotel guests say however that Vicious returned to the Chelsea, and that he often rides the elevator with them. A few also claim to have sighted a terrified blonde who might be Nancy.

The hotel’s guest rooms are currently undergoing renovations, and the establishment is closed until 2018. The idea behind the reno work but is to retain Chelsea’s unique character as far as possible. The bigger question is perhaps, will it retain its ghosts too?

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado 

Of all the haunted hotels in literature, possibly the best known is The Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’. The Stanley Hotel is the hotel that inspired the story, as, as hard as it may be to believe, a stay at the hotel left even the master of horror himself more than a little frightened!

The hotel as it stands today was built by automaker F.O Stanley, but it lies on land once owned by the British Fourth Earl of Dunraven. Dunraven wanted to create a private hunting reserve there, but outraged locals drove him out. He is apparently still upset about the whole thing though, as he is said to terrorize occupants of rooms 401, 407 and 418 by appearing and disappearing and hurling various pieces of furniture around.

There are also the ghosts of children seen playing in the halls and some claim that staying in Room 412 there is a spirit that will possess a guest and cause them to speak in tongues. As for King, he says he encountered the spirit of a young hotel maid in his room, Room 217.


The hotel takes full advantage of its reputation as one of America’s most haunted hotels, by offering daily ghost walks and ghost tours.

La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, Mew Mexico 

Given how lawless and violent the Wild West was at times, the fact that a hotel that can trace its roots back to that era and beyond is known as a haunted hotel should really come as no surprise.

According to local land records, there has been an inn of some kind on the site of the modern La Fonda since 1607. Local lore says that life at the 17th-century establishment was particularly bloody, with executions and hangings taking place there on a regular basis as the inn was used as a part-time court.

Over the years the hotel has been burned down, rebuilt, sold and renamed several times. Ghostly sightings of all kinds have been reported, including the spirit of the Judge who presided over the court hearings once held there and a man in a long black coat who skulks around the hallways.

The most common sighting though is that of a businessman who, having lost his fortune in the gambling hall, then leapt to his death into a deep well located just next to the hall. That well is now covered by the modern hotel dining room. Many diners and staff claim to have seen the man. The descriptions of his appearance are eerily similar. According to witnesses, he walks to the center of the dining room and then appears to ‘jump’ into the floor and disappear. Now if that isn’t sure to put you off your meal….


Melanie Evans