1. Bourbon Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, USA
Regarded as one of America’s most haunted hotels, the Bourbon Orleans is said to be home to a number of ghosts, including a confederate soldier (find him on the third and sixth floors), a dancing woman (usually seen in the ballroom) and a nurse who worked in the building when it was a hospital for patients struck down by a yellow fever epidemic. Guests have also reported sightings of ghostly children running along the hotel corridors. There are regular ghost camps for those keen to connect with the hotel’s ghostly guests, and the property features on several of New Orleans’ ghost tours. Prefer tours with less spirits, more sunshine? Check out this west coast road trip in America.
2. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, UK
If the name isn’t enough to send shivers down your spine, the briefest of visits to this haunted fortress certainly will. With a torture chamber, dungeon and medieval courtyard, it’s hardly surprisingly the place is home to a ghost or two. The White Pantry ghost is thought to be the spirit of a victim of poisoning, and the chapel is home to the ghosts of two men often heard in deep discussion. Guests regularly report seeing mysterious orbs of light, and many claim to have been visited by ghostly versions of relatives and friends who died years ago. Find more ancient spirits in the dungeons and galleys in some of the UK’s best castles.
3. Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
A ghostly bellman is just one of the apparitions you’re likely to see if you check into this Canadian hotel. Some seriously spooky sightings have been reported, and we advise steering clear of room 873 if legends are to be believed. This castle-like hotel has several permanent residents, including the ghost of Sam McCauley, a former bellman who swore he’d return to haunt the hotel in his afterlife. Another is the ghost of a former bartender (although the fact that he’s apparently most likely to be spotted by those in the bar arouses some suspicion about the authenticity of sightings), and several members of staff report seeing a ghostly bride floating through the hotel – said to be the spirit of a woman who died at the hotel after falling down the stairs on her wedding night.
4. Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Don’t be deceived by the seemingly innate beauty of this country house hotel, which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror. This neo-gothic mansion is said to be haunted by the spirits of an entire family, and reported apparitions include floating objects and the ghostly image of an elderly man who’s seen walking his dog across the grounds. The building’s Long Gallery is said to be home to the ghosts of an army officer and an elderly lady, and guests have described being kept awake by the sound of young girls’ singing, despite the absence of children on the night in question.
5. Dragsholm Castle, Hørve, Denmark
Just looking at this foreboding hotel is enough to give us a serious case of the chills. It’s said to be haunted by over 100 ghosts, including the ghost of James Hepburn – the fourth Earl of Bothwell, and third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Legend states that he was held prisoner at the castle, eventually starving to death. Then there’s the White Lady – a daughter of a former owner. This particular loved-up lady fell in love with a commoner, but was killed by her father when he found out about their love affair. On the plus side, the hotel’s regarded as one of the best in Denmark and there’s an award-winning restaurant. Not convinced? Check out a review which appeared in the Copenhagen Post entitled "Food so good it will haunt you until your dying day."
6. Karosta Prison, Liepāja, Latvia
We admit that calling this place a prison might be a stretch of the imagination, although don’t get us wrong – you can certainly spend the night. But Karosta Prison is for those who aren’t too attached to creature comforts. Check in for the night and you’ll be treated like the prisoners who once served time here. Annoy the guards and you’ll be punished with back-breaking physical exercise and your bedroom will be a cold, sparse cell. Perhaps unsurprisingly there are numerous reports of ghostly encounters, including the noise of chains dragging along the floor, cell doors which rattle violently in the night and light bulbs that unscrew themselves. We’ll stick with the trusty Travelodge, thanks.
7. Jekyll Island Club Resort, Georgia, USA
The ghosts who allegedly haunt Jekyll Island Club Resort obviously have a weakness for the finer things in life, because the facilities include a private runway. One of the most frequently-spotted visitors from the afterlife is J. Pierpont Morgan – a former (and very much deceased) guest of the hotel. Several visitors staying in the building claim to have seen him sitting on a balcony, smoking his beloved cigars. Guests also regularly claim to have been helped by a friendly bell-hop, despite there being no such member of staff. Even spookier is the fact he sports a uniform worn by the hotel’s staff in the 1920s. And if you’re staying in the Spencer Suite? You might just be visited by the gentleman it’s named after: Samuel Spencer, the former president of the Southern Railroad Company President. Ironically, he died in a train cash, although he’s regularly caught helping himself to guests’ coffee.
8. Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, USA
This Chicago hotel attracts some discerning ghosts: none other than Al Capone, who once had a suite on the eighth floor. Doctor H.H. Holmes, known as America’s first serial killer, is said to have met his victims in the lobby and in addition to the ghosts of the victims, the hotel is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a small boy who was killed, along with his brother, by his mother. However, the boy’s body never made it to the morgue and his spirit is said to remain at the hotel. The Gold Room is the favoured hangout of the ghost of a hotel worker who got trapped behind a wall during renovations, and several guests have claimed to see a hand emerge from the wall.
9. The Langham, London, UK
Room 333 is said to be the most haunted area of this historic hotel, which was built in 1865. Its ghostly resident is a German prince who jumped out of a fourth-floor window. The hallways are the stomping ground of a ghost with horrific injuries to his face, and another corridor is said to be home to the ghost of a butler. But the hotel’s most famous ghost is undoubtedly Emperor Napoleon III, who stayed at the hotel during his final days in exile. If you’d prefer soft furnishings, no ghosts and a comfy bed, check out these budget stays in London instead.
10. Dalhousie Castle, Scotland, UK
Lady Catherine is the ghost you’re most likely to spot at this Scottish hotel. In 1695 the 16-year-old was banished to the castle’s tower after being caught with a stable hand. Little is known about her fate, although the Dalhousie’s bagpiper is one of the many people who say they’ve seen her stalking the castle’s corridors. Another spectre – a silent woman – has been spotted sitting at the end of guests’ beds, and guests have also seen ghostly butlers in the castle’s church.