Inside the world's spookiest hotels
Tripadvisor users share what it's like to spoon with a ghost.
We’ve heard a lot of your average, everyday hotel horror stories—yikes-level-filthy rooms, rowdy neighbors, watery eggs at the breakfast buffet, you get it. But nothing makes the hair on our arms stand on end quite like the stories we hear about hotel ghosts. Well, any unexplained hotel occurrence, really.
Even if you don't believe in the paranormal, spending the night at a haunted hotel just might be enough to convert you. We took a look at what a few Trip users had to say in our forums about some of their creepiest stays around the globe and listen, we’re convinced. Buckle up.
"I recently spent four nights with my five-year-old daughter at Hotel Monteleone. The place was great—amazing staff, classy rooms, a beautiful rooftop with heated pool... but we had a very scary experience there. In the middle of the night, I woke up to what I swear was someone whispering to me. I managed to fall back asleep but the next morning my daughter asked me where the child had gone who was singing in her ear and tickling her feet during the night."
—Kristen P, Philadelphia, PA
"My wife was sleeping and I was watching TV in our room when I saw what looked like a woman dressed in a robe in profile. I didn't want to alarm my wife, so I quickly shut off the TV and went (or tried to go) to sleep. Three days later, my wife told me that she had glimpsed a woman in our hotel room but decided not to mention anything to me because she didn't want to seem delusional. Without saying a word about my own experience, I asked her to draw the image she'd seen on a cocktail napkin, and I did the same. When we were done, the drawings were identical...not close, but identical!"
—@tabicma1, Anna Maria, FL
"We arrived at the Waitomo Caves Hotel to the news that we were the only guests in the 100+ room hotel. As the staff walked us up the sweeping staircase, my family and I looked at each other wide-eyed and the hair raised up on the back of our necks. The place was so spooky—it was like we could feel something or someone there! Once in our room, we took a bunch of photos, which showed orbs all around us."
—Kevin Woollett, Mangawhai, NZ
"When I arrived at Waitomo, I was told that the hotel's resident ghost, Daniel, had been particularly active with guests the night before. In the middle of the night, I woke up feeling like one of my toes was being pinched and pulled back, and later, I could swear the bed was moving. Apparently, these are a few of Daniel's little tricks–or maybe I wanted them to be!"
—Heather, Albany, AU
"Many people have heard about the hauntings at Hotel del Coronado. We were staying in Room 4101, in the California Cabanas. The last two nights, the local ghosts came to visit us—for hours they turned the lights on and off, moved around the room, and adjusted the temperature to extreme heat and cold. My advice: If you aren't able to handle this type of stuff, don't check in!"
—Helene W, Vancouver, CA
"We were staying in the old part of Hotel Coronado for my niece's wedding for a long weekend. Every night, the light would suddenly go on while we were sleeping. I would get up to turn it off, only to have it come back on again in the morning."
—Amity C., Boise, ID
"After dark, I took the Queen Mary's haunted tour and saw a lot of scary places including the haunted ballroom; the forecastle, where several men were crushed during an accident; and the pool, which was the creepiest place of all because a photo taken by another guest showed an apparition..."
—Tyrone Void, Stockbridge, GA
The first night at the Lizzie Borden House, I didn’t feel anything strange, but I still had trouble sleeping because the place is so old. The next morning, I decided to record an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) in the same room where Abby Borden was murdered in 1892. When I said to the Borden family, 'Good morning Abby, Andrew, Lizzie and Emma,' a very clear voice responded, 'Hi!' I'm convinced this place holds spirits of the past."
—@Cindy Liu, Fairfax, VA
"When we got to the Fairmont Banff Springs, a staff member told me that in the 1930s, a bride fell down the hotel's marble stairwell just before her wedding and died. As rumor has it, male guests who look like the groom tend to experience ghost sightings at the hotel. Shortly after, a group of us went on a tour of the property and ended up in a ballroom with the lights off. We all took pictures in the dark but only my camera showed glowing orbs. Then as we were walking past Room 873 (the site of a murder in 1928), I felt a hand on my shoulder. I quickly turned around but no one was there."
—Mark Rust, Medicine Hat, Canada
“I went to a winter wedding in Saratoga Springs and stayed at the Batcheller Mansion Inn for the weekend. It’s a super-old hotel from the 1800s Gilded Age and the ghosts of the original owner George Batcheller, his family, and friends are said to roam the hallways at night. I don’t know if I was imagining it or not but I woke up at 3 a.m. to the sound of loud footsteps like people were running up and down the hallways. I nudged my friend awake and made her listen to make sure it wasn’t all in my head and she heard them, too. We barely slept that night."
—Saman Westberg, New York, NY
"While we were gathering for the hotel's ghost tour, I felt something on my leg, almost like a child walking his fingers up the side of my thigh. I'm not a big believer in ghosts and don't think I'm sensitive to this stuff, but I looked behind me and sensed the presence of a kid wanting to play. During the ghost tour, I found out a little boy haunts the castle."
—@SunnySpeaksEasy, Alexandria, VA
"My boyfriend and I stayed in room 15, and I will never forget it. Long story short, I woke up in a sweat to my heart pounding and the sound of someone trying to get into our room. As I was trying to fall back asleep, I heard an old man yell 'Hey!' and a woman started whispering names in my ear."
—@Davisonlm, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
"We were sleeping in our room when the door to the standalone wardrobe suddenly flung open waking us up. My husband got out of bed and wedged it shut with a heavy backpack. We began to doze off, but it started opening again, sliding the backpack out of the way. We couldn't get back to sleep. At the time, the only thing visible in the dark was the red standby light on the TV. It suddenly disappeared from sight for a couple of seconds as though something/someone was walking past it. A few minutes later, the sheet tucked in over our feet jerked off the corner of the bed and my foot was exposed. It was the creepiest night I have ever spent in a hotel."
—Claire Canter, London, EN
"We stayed in room 303 and it was really creepy. I woke up to find a figure of a woman staring at me through the window and my boyfriend woke up to a knock at the door, but no one was there."
—Anthony R, Memphis, TN
"Early one morning, I woke up to a blood curdling scream from my wife. I flew out of bed in anticipation of an axe murderer only to find her totally freaked out, claiming someone had touched her. We don't believe in ghosts, but there were other things, too, like we were both sweating most of the night even though the heat was off and it was cold outside. We ended up checking out at 6 a.m.!"
—@jj5557, Las Vegas, NV
"I was in my room when suddenly my brother ran in, completely terrified. He said a shadowy being had come into his room, slammed the door shut, and held him down on his bed with a pillow. He tried to break free but couldn't, and then it just stopped. My brother went through Navy Seal training and isn't scared of much...but he was scared to death."
—J.D. the "Movie Guy", Albuquerque, NM
"We stayed in one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel, room 505. While trying to get to sleep, I felt someone sit down at the foot of my bed, and later that night, someone kissed me on the forehead."
"We were sitting on a hotel couch and a nearby lamp started turning on and off. We didn't think anything of it since the hotel is old, but as we were laying in bed that night, one of the lamps in the suite's living room slowly turned on. We jumped out of bed to turn it off and closed the door. Then around 4 a.m., we heard a door open and slam shut. The next morning, we woke up and noticed the latch on our door was sticking straight out, as if someone had opened it but couldn't get in."
"We stayed in room 1170. Our keys didn't work the first time, so we went to the front desk and got a new set. They still didn't work, so hotel security helped us get in. And then all this weird stuff started to happen. A dark shadow appeared in the corner of the room; there were knocks on the wall when no one was staying on either side of us; and at one point, it looked like an invisible someone was poking the pillow on the bed. The hotel is a great place to stay if you're a ghost hunter!"
"I was staying in room 414, which is rumored to be the most haunted room at the hotel. In the middle of the night, I woke up to a spirit nurse trying to take my temperature."
—@h6p8gv, Raleigh, NC
"The hotel has a nice view of the oval but an eerie vibe. Believe what you like, but at 4:40 a.m. I awoke to what I thought was the sound of kids playing in the room next door, thumping a ball against the wall and laughing, and also an adult telling them to be quiet in an angry voice. Then my bed started to shake violently and I heard the door slam and it felt like a cat was crawling over my sheets. The sheets were crumpling over my legs but I couldn't see anything moving. The experience freaked me right out!"
—@SDAussie, San Diego, CA
"The Strand House, which I’ve stayed in several times under different owners, is a magnificent hotel. The rooms, service, food and location are all superb. And for those interested in the supernatural, it has the added value of several active ghosts! I once saw a full-blown apparition at the bottom of the stairs and have often heard footsteps walking around my bed in the dead of the night."
—@FireflyManchester, Manchester, U.K.
"Woke up one night wondering why there was a little girl in our room, dressed in old-fashioned clothes. Just as I was about to turn the light on she disappeared. My first and hopefully last visit from a ghost."
—@Mandyclan, Alloa, U.K.
"I had with me a colleague who had a “third eye”; he confirmed that there were ghosts everywhere, from the dark hallways and the staircase to the hotel lobby with all its candelabra chandeliers. That explained why my doorbell kept ringing at odd hours, with no one at the door when I looked through the peephole. I was so creeped out, I left my room and spent the rest of the morning on the lobby couches waiting for my ride back to the airport."
—@KTibbie, Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines
"This hotel has ghosts. I am not generally a believer in these things and had requested a "non-haunted" room (why pay extra to share a room with a stranger?). Apparently, the ghosts don't care much what you request, especially if you’re near places they like to hang out. One night I came back to our room and found the drawers I was using all ajar, and the mask I had left out to dry sitting on the floor. I didn't think anything of it. The next night something tugged on my ear when I was in bed, and I knew my husband was sound asleep at the time. I thought I saw a woman wearing an old-fashioned hat looking down at me. If ghosts freak you out, stay elsewhere."
—@majorcubfan, Chicago, IL
Quotes have been edited for clarity.