Top 10 Most Famous Haunted Hotels in the World



Top 10 Most Famous Haunted Hotels in the World

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Are you a ghost hunter planning your next vacation? Look no further than these frightening locations! For this list, we'll be looking at the world's most famed and notorious haunted hotels. Our countdown includes Ballygally Castle Hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs, The Stanley Hotel, and more!

Top 10 Famous Haunted Hotels in the World

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 famous haunted hotels in the world.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the world’s most famed and notorious haunted hotels.

Have you ever stayed at any of these hotels? Did you experience anything creepy? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Ballygally Castle Hotel

Northern Ireland
Located in Northern Ireland near the town of Larne, Ballygally Castle dates back to the early 17th century, when it was built by a Scottish man named James Shaw. It eventually made its way into the hands of the Hastings Hotels Group and is now operating as a hotel. Ballygally Castle is said to house numerous ghosts, including Lady Isobel Shaw, the wife of the castle’s builder, James Shaw. It’s reported that James had locked Isobel in a room and maltreated her, eventually resulting in a fatal fall from her window. The hotel also houses a so-called “Ghost Room”, but this room is not available for overnight stays.

#9: Château de Marçay

This hotel is located in Marçay, France and is a gorgeous 15th-century castle. The site contains an outdoor swimming pool, riding trails, and tennis courts, among other fancy amenities. The castle was converted into a hotel in the early 1970s, and it has since garnered a reputation as one of Europe’s most haunted establishments. Legend has it that the Château de Marçay houses a woman dressed in a white burial shroud. The woman was reportedly a werewolf who had accidentally been shot by a farmer while in her wolf state. The farmer hastily buried the woman, and her spirit refuses to move on, haunting the halls of the Château de Marçay.

#8: The Lord Milner Hotel

South Africa
The Lord Milner Hotel is located on the edge of South Africa’s Karoo desert, in the small village of Matjiesfontein. The village was founded in the late 19th century by a Scottish railway man named James Logan, who in 1899 built what is now the Lord Milner Hotel to serve as a military hospital for the South African War. The hotel is said to house two playful ghosts - those of Lucy and Kate. Lucy is said to float through the hotel’s hallways, and Kate is the ghost of a nurse who haunts the hotel’s turret room. Visitors have reportedly witnessed the turret room’s doors banging repeatedly, and one of the housekeepers allegedly saw Kate as a full-bodied apparition wearing her old-fashioned nurse’s uniform.

#7: Sorrento Hotel

United States
Located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, the Sorrento Hotel opened in 1909, coinciding with the historic Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. It underwent extensive renovations in the 1980s and was designated a Seattle Landmark in 2010. The hotel is said to house the ghost of famed Parisian avant-garde personality Alice B. Toklas, the partner of author Gertrude Stein. Guests have reported flickering lights throughout the hotel, and drinks in the hotel bar are known for falling and moving around on their own. Some guests even claim to have seen Toklas herself, dressed in either a white or black burial shroud.

#6: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Despite its name, Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is nowhere near the actual Taj Mahal. That is about 650 miles away, in the city of Agra. The hotel opened in 1903, becoming the first hotel in India to feature amenities like electricity and Turkish baths. It quickly became a popular destination for the European elite. The hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of English engineer W.A. Chambers, who completed the hotel after taking over from the original Indian architects. Chambers is said to have taken his own life inside the Taj Mahal Palace, and his spirit allegedly stalks its halls in a threatening manner.

#5: Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Aqueous Spa

This Scottish castle is situated roughly ten miles south of Edinburgh, in the town of Bonnyrigg. It originally served as a seat for Clan Ramsay, and while the castle itself dates back to the 13th century, it received extensive renovations in the 1600s. It’s said that Edward Longshanks stayed at the castle before the Battle of Falkirk, and it has served as a hotel since 1972. The castle purportedly houses the ghost of the Grey Lady - the spooky name for Lady Catherine. Legend has it that a Ramsay wife discovered her husband engaging in an affair with the young Lady Catherine and had her imprisoned inside the castle.

#4: 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

United States
Arkansas’s Crescent Hotel began its life in 1886 as a popular destination for the social elite, and was eventually taken over by notable fraud Norman G. Baker, who claimed to have discovered the cure for cancer. Baker used the hotel as a “cancer hospital” in the late 1930s, “healing” its inhabitants with the area’s natural spring water. The hotel is said to house a portal to the other side, and ghost tour guests are known to collapse around the site. This portal is located directly above the morgue. The hotel is also said to house the ghosts of Michael, a stonemason who died during the hotel’s construction, Breckie, a 4-year-old boy, and Theodora, who haunts room 419... and numerous others.

#3: Fairmont Banff Springs

The beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada houses the historic Fairmont Banff Springs, formerly the Banff Springs Hotel, which began its life as a railway hotel in the late 1880s. It is now a National Historic Site of Canada. The hotel apparently houses numerous resident ghosts, including a helpful bellhop named Sam the Bellman, and a tragic bride who died in the hotel on her wedding day. It’s said that she dances alone in the hotel’s ballroom. The hotel is also said to contain a secret room known as Room 873, which was bricked up and camouflaged within the hallway after a family was killed inside its walls. Some guests have reportedly witnessed ghostly apparitions outside the secret room.

#2: The Mermaid Inn

Located in the ancient English town of Rye, the Mermaid Inn dates back to the mid-12th century, with the original cellars from 1156 surviving to this day. Much of the existing hotel was built in the 16th century during extensive renovations. The inn has housed many notable guests, including Catholic priests fleeing the Reformation and notorious smugglers the Hawkhurst Gang. The gang supposedly continues to control the inn, with various members haunting its hallways. Creeped-out guests and employees have reported full-bodied apparitions, unexplained light anomalies, freezing cold rooms, and even a moving rocking chair that disturbed the guests so badly that it was eventually removed from the hotel.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Langham Hotel, London, England
Grand Hotel Dating Back to 1865 Houses Unexplainable Phenomena

Parador de Jaén, Spain
Haunted by the Ghosts of a Crying Woman and a Prisoner

Russell Hotel, The Rocks, Australia
A Ghostly Sailor Is Said to Haunt Room 8

Hotel Mesón de Jobito, Mexico
Reports of Horses Clopping and Old Miners Looking for Gold

Toftaholm Herrgård, Sweden
A Heartbroken Ghost Haunts the Hotel

#1: The Stanley Hotel

In Estes Park, Colorado, is the world-renowned Stanley Hotel. The Stanley has gained great infamy throughout the years - not only as a haunted location, but as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining”. The hotel’s founder, Freelan Oscar Stanley, is said to be a permanent resident of the hotel, as is his wife Flora, who can supposedly be heard playing the piano. Other resident ghosts include a young boy named Billy, and various cats and dogs who have been buried in the hotel’s pet cemetery. Finally, guests reportedly hear the ghostly echoes of children playing in the hallways - perhaps an inspiration for those creepy “Shining” twins.

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