If your idea of fun consists of eerie apparitions, strange noises and things that go bump in the night, Vinnie Van GO dug up these spooky spots guaranteed to add some fright to your night – just in time for Halloween!
The iconic Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago is a historical landmark on Michigan Ave. and noted as the city’s most haunted. Built during the 1893 World’s Fair, the swanky, gilded hotel has a dark reputation. Ghost sightings include Al Capone, a frequent visitor in his lifetime and “Peg-Leg Johnny,” reported to be the ghost of a hobo murdered behind the hotel who can be seen everywhere in the property, including the lobby, dining room and several floors. His hi-jinks include turning lights and appliances on and off at random. During WWI, a young immigrant mother was staying at the hotel with a six-year old boy and his brother. Worrying about deportation, she suffered a nervous breakdown and threw her sons out the 12th floor window before jumping herself. The six-year old has been seen wandering the property ever since. Guests in room 411 claim to be kicked awake by a “shadow woman,” hear objects moving and other eerie noises. Not brave enough to spend the night? Several local companies offer group ghost tours of the property.
Head overseas to stay in the most haunted hotel in London, one of the most haunted capitals in the world. The Langham London has ghosts galore! There’s the figure of a man in military dress, said to be the ghost of a German prince, who jumped out of the window before WWI and a butler still trying to attend to his guests on the third floor long after his death. Linger in the hallways and you might run into an apparition with a gaping wound in his face. Head down to the basement to “meet” former guest Napoleon III. If you go for Halloween, you might run into a man in Victorian evening wear in room 333 who only appears during October. The legend goes that a doctor killed his new wife in that room, and then took his own life. Apparently he likes to turn the water faucet on and off. Guests all describe the ghoulish figure in the same way – upping the creep factor.
Perhaps New Orleans should becalled the Big Uneasy because of all the haunted happenings. If you’re a brave soul, spend the night at Hotel Monteleone, a luxury propertywhich opened in 1886 and welcomed celebrities of all sorts including movie stars and politicians. The spirits of the original owner as well as a jazz singer linger around the hotel as does the clockmaker who still takes care of his masterpiece which sits in the lobby. Ghosts of former employees can be seen tending to children playing in the hotel’s halls. Many guests report seeing the ghost of a small boy named Maurice Begere in search of his parents who died young and left him an orphan. Some guests might think they’ve had one too many when seeing the ghost of a man wearing nothing but a feathered mask, who appears then vanishes in guest rooms.
Celebrity staking ghost hunters should stay in the Chelsea Inn in New York City, which is known primarily for the notability of its residents over the years – many of whom refused to leave even after their deaths, tormenting current guests. Most notably, Sid Vicious, bassist of the Sex Pistols, accused of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in room 100. He later died of a heroin OD and the two are supposedly still occupying the venue, perhaps hobnobbing with poet and author Dylan Thomas, who died there of pneumonia in 1953. Lesser known is the ghost of a woman named Mary, who hung herself in her hotel room after her husband dies in the Titanic.
One of the most haunted hotels on the west coast is The Benson (originally called the New Oregon Hotel), a 12-storied, 1913 historical Portland landmark that was developed by successful businessman Simon Benson, who always wanted to build a first-class hotel to rival the east coast’s European style hotels. When the New Oregon Hotel began losing money Benson became frustrated and took it over, renamed it “The Benson Hotel” and made the venue profitable. The property had since been updated and retains its glamour and reputation as a premier Portland accommodation. Benson himself, a teetotaler, can still be seen, dressed in a dark suit. He is thought to knock over patrons’ drinks and float down the main staircase. Other sightings include an unknown man dressed like a porter who helps unsuspecting guests and a woman wearing a turquoise dress and red cocktail rings who can be seen in a large gilded mirror in the hotel lobby. A young boy likes to visit guests and make silly faces, much to his own amusement.