If there’s something I’ve learned from watching horror movies is to never, ever, under any circumstances, spend the night at a place you know is haunted. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that you'll experience a horrific encounter like those in the movies, but there’s no doubt that some places have some heavy and sometimes sinister vibes that can make our spine tingle. In my opinion, when a murder happens or someone dies in tragic circumstances, their story becomes attached to the place, creating a haunted aura. Having said that, I have to admit that visiting or spending the night at some of the places listed below takes some real bravery and guts to endure the psychological stress that these stories can induce. So, do you have what it takes to wander around these?
Queen Mary (California)
We’re going to start with this important historical landmark because most stories about hauntings have a historical background. And well, the Queen Mary has all that. As one of the busiest ships during the thirties and forties, this ship was the protagonist of many important historical events, and of course, some gory ones as well. Why is this ship haunted? Many horrible events took place here, but the most famous one happened on Halloween 1967, in cabin B340, to be precise. The ship departed on its very last trip to dock in its final destination in Long Beach. During the cruise, a man killed two women, and the crew locked him in his cabin with a guard posted right outside the door. As the story goes, the guards heard the murderer screaming and asking for help, claiming there was someone inside trying to kill him. After some time, the screams stopped, so the guard assumed it was just a trick and he had gone to sleep. The next day, the ship arrived in New York and the police were ready to bring the murderer to justice. But what happened when they opened the door? He was found dead, his body ripped apart and his limbs and organs all over the room. Cabin B340 underwent some renovations and is available, so you can actually check in if you dare.
The Stanley Hotel (Colorado)
If you happen to be near the Rocky Mountains, looking for some extreme experiences, you might want to check in at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. The inspiration for Stephen King’s famous novel The Shining, this place has seen its fair share of horror. In 1911, a housekeeper lit a candle in a room that had a gas leak, causing a terrible explosion that destroyed half of the outstanding hotel. Since then, guests have claimed to see the spirits of people who died in the terrible fire, including a woman who likes to mess with the beds or even take the sheets off while guests are sleeping. Guests also claim that the hotel's founders, the Stanley's, never left the premises after their beloved project failed due to high costs and the fact that they could only open during summer due to lack of heating. Of course, there were even ghost stories about the hotel after Stephen King wrote his novel after staying at there. You can get their famous “ghost adventure” package for the full experience.
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast (Massachusetts)
Speaking of haunted hotels, Massachusetts has its very own, as a result of a terrible murder. It all started in 1892, when the bodies of the Borden couple, Andrew and Abby, were found. They had been killed with an axe, and the first suspect was none other than their youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden. As the story goes, Lizzie had financial motives; she wanted to have the house for herself. Lizzie was acquitted due to lack of evidence of the murder, and with the she money inherited she bought another house, where she lived until her death. The original house was eventually bought in 1948, and in 1996, it opened as a Bed and Breakfast with a lot of success after people learned the story of the house. Today, you can stay at the very room the Bordens were murdered, which is decorated with real photographs and documents of the investigation and trial. It's kind of tacky, in my opinion, but people really claim to experience paranormal encounters with the Borden ghosts.
The Villisca Axe Murder House (Iowa)
Have you noticed that axes are really frequent in these sorts of stories? Well, this place in Iowa is actually named after one. In 1912, an entire family was murdered with an axe, and although it was a super small town, the authorities were never able to find the murderer. There have been many theories and speculation throughout the years trying to link famous serial killers to these victims, but there’s nothing certain. Anyway, since the crime took place, townspeople have claimed that the family’s spirits never left the premises of their house and that there are some dark spirits accompanying them. Today, you can rent the entire house for about 400 dollars to hang out with them.
The Roosevelt Hotel (California)
Last but not least, we have one of the hotels that draws hundreds of curious people to its premises not only for its paranormal fame but also because it was once home to some of the most glamorous and iconic celebrities of Hollywood’s Golden Age, like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift. The hotel has a reputation of being one of the most haunted spots in Los Angeles, with guests claiming to have seen tons of ghosts, including that of Marilyn Monroe. Apparently, the most haunted room is 928, where Montgomery Clift stayed for a few months while filming. It’s said that his spirit has been seen sitting in the old chair in the room or even playing his trumpet and practicing his lines. There are also stories of a child talking with guests who has been dead for decades, among many other stories. By the way, this hotel was the main inspiration for the Hotel season of American Horror Story, so there’s a lot of spookiness around it.
These five places have been listed as the most haunted in the United States. It might be a marketing stunt or there could be real spirits haunting them. The only way you'll know is if you go. Would you dare?
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