Indian police officers patrol outside the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. U.S. President …
If you seek the supernatural, then check in at one of these haunted hotels – and share the night with ghosts and ghouls that have stories to tell.
The Russell Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Formerly a sailor’s hostel, The Russell at Sydney’s Circular Quay has an unwanted guest – the ghost of an old seafarer who stayed there during the colonial era. Some guests have reported waking up in the middle of the night to see the spectral sailor staring at them, while others say they have heard the floorboards creaking.
Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy
With its gorgeous frescoed ceilings and turn-of-the-century details, the Hotel Burchianti certainly conjures up a bygone era. Which is probably why it’s supposedly home to a whole crew of ghosts – like a child who skips down the hotel’s corridors, a phantom chambermaid, a woman who knits in her chair, and a creepy man with a pink glow on his face.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles, United States
The site of the first ever Oscars ceremony in 1929, this hotel is home to both stars and spooks (the ghost of Marilyn Monroe being its most famous “resident”.) Voices echoing from empty hallways, poltergeist activity, and uncomfortable cold spots in rooms and hallways have been reported here.
The Langham London, England
Built in 1865, this five-star historic hotel has had many famous guests, including writers Oscar Wilde, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Mark Twain. But it is also home to more permanent guests – like the ghosts of a German prince who killed himself jumping out of a hotel window, a Victorian doctor who murdered his wife then committed suicide, and Emperor Napoleon III. All of them seem to show up in one place – Room 333, said to be the most haunted hotel room in the world.
Grand Hyatt Taipei, Taiwan
Located in what used to be a World War II prison camp, the hotel has a dark history that has fuelled the imagination of ghost hunters. Visitors have seen spectral figures walking along the corridors, while cleaners have heard strange noises coming out of empty rooms. Business was allegedly so badly affected by these rumours that the hotel’s management hired feng shui masters to help keep the undead away.
Asia Hotel Bangkok, Thailand
With its dimly lit corridors and slightly musty and old furniture, one can see why this hotel has become the perfect setting for ghostly sightings. Guests have reported light bulbs flickering and dying mysteriously in the middle of the night, and waking up to the sight of vanishing spectres.
The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, India
This regal landmark is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a perfectionist – the hotel’s deceased chief engineer, W.A. Chambers, who died of a broken heart because he was unhappy to discover that the hotel was not built according to his specifications. Hotel employees and guests say they've seen Chamber’s melancholic ghost roaming about the old wing of the hotel. More recently, it was one of the hotels which was attacked by terrorists in 2008.
Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa, Berkshire, UK
Located just 10 minutes’ drive from Windsor Castle, this hotel in the beautiful Thames Valley is a luxurious rural retreat that has witnessed a tragic incident. Many years ago, a poor chambermaid died in a terrible fire while trying to help her wealthy mistress retrieve her jewelry. The maid’s spirit has come to be known as the “blue lady” by those who have seen her.
The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, UK
Built on the site of an old pagan burial ground in 1145, this ancient hotel in the village of Wotton-Under-Edge has a macabre history of devil worship, human sacrifice and murder. It is even rumoured that the bones of previous owners are buried within its walls. The inn has attracted many ghost hunters and has been featured on television shows such as “Most Haunted” and “Ghost Adventures”.
First World Hotel, Genting Highlands
As a casino resort, Genting Highlands has seen many an unlucky gambler commit suicide after losing his fortune. Many paranormal incidents have been reported, and it is said that certain “unclean” rooms are almost never occupied because guests who stay in them often fall ill once they check out.
Yu Shan Fan Dian, Chengde, China
Three hours north of Beijing along the Yangtze River, you’ll find Yu Shan Fan Dian – a 220-room hotel in the old imperial resort destination of Chengde. According to legend, this hotel is the haunting ground of the Empress Dowager Cixi, who has been seen walking around the hotel’s grounds and courtyards. The site used to be part of the Qing Dynasty’s gardens, so the Empress is probably just tending her flowers.
Hotel Pelabuhan Ratu, Sakabumi, Indonesia
Hotel Pelabuhan on Inna Samudra Beach in Sakabumi, West Java is said to be haunted not by a ghost, but by a sea goddess named Nyai Loro Kidul, who drags swimmers or beach dwellers dressed in green into the depths of the ocean. (No wonder tourists and visitors are advised to never wear green to the beach.) But then the hotel always keeps Room 308 clean and decorated in green, just in case the goddess decides to spend the night.