The Ghost Service: Haunted hotels around the world
Hotels are, primarily, establishments to provide comfortable and, maybe, luxurious lodging. But what if the moment you step into a hotel, a light breeze glides past your hair, windows and doors start squeaking, and strange sounds send chills down your spine?
There are quite a few ghostly tales of haunted hotels across the world and India has its own fair share of hotels with spooky tales from the past. From a spooky encounter that served as the inspiration for an Agatha Christie novel, to ghostly appearances in old wings of famous hotels, here are some of the spookiest hotels from India and the world.
Fortune The Savoy, Mussoorie
Rumor has it that the ghost of Lady Garnet Orme haunts the Savoy Hotel in Mussoorie. The story speaks of her murder in the hotel by a stranger adding strychnine in her medicine bottle. Years later, the doctor who was tending to her was found dead in a similar fashion. The buzz of this story spread far and wide and even made it to the Agatha Christie classic – The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Brijraj Bhawan Palace Hotel, Kota, Rajasthan
Brij Raj Bhavan, a palace built in the 19th century, was converted into a heritage hotel in 1980. It is said to be home to the friendly ghost of Major Burton – an English official who was killed by the Indian sepoys in the mutiny of 1857. The ghost is rumored to walk the corridors of the palace and occasionally slap the guards who sleep on duty.
The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Hotel Taj Mahal Palace has an interesting history. Jamshedji Tata was once denied permission to enter the Watson Hotel by the British. Furious by the discrimination, he got the hotel plan made by W.A. Chambers. However, when Chambers returned from his England trip, he found that the hotel was made in a direction opposite to his architectural plans. The disheartened architect committed suicide by jumping from the 5th floor of the hotel. Rumors of the ghost of Chambers walking in the Old Wing have been popular ever since.
Hotel Mastbosch, Breda, Netherlands
In a particular room in Hotel Mastbosch, located next to an old pine forest near Breda, several guests have spotted a ghost. It’s supposedly the ghost of a Belgian 18 year old girl by the name of Desiree Verstraelen who was killed there by the Nazis during the Second World War. Guests have reported she appears when the lights are turned off and she just stands there and looks at them.
The room number has not been disclosed by the hotel owner because he fears nobody wants to stay there anymore...
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
The Queen Mary has been docked in Long Beach since 1967. There have been 49 confirmed deaths on the ship between passengers and crew members (most of them crew members). Most infamously, there's Cabin B340. B340 is the smallest room on the ship, and according to legend, it's so haunted by a malevolent ghost that it can't be rented to anyone and has been sealed.
Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, Florida
The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables is reportedly haunted by the ghost of Thomas "Fatty" Walsh, a mobster who was murdered there on September 7, 1929 during a gambling dispute. Claims include that his ghost haunts the hotel elevator. Guests also have reported seeing the ghost of a woman who was said to have jumped out of a window to save her child and a woman in white clothing in their rooms.
Boston Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts
The ghost of Harvey Parker (the original owner of the hotel) continues to roam the halls of the Omni Parker House in Boston. Parker was known as a perfectionist who was deeply involved in all aspects of the hotel, and prided himself on being the ultimate host to guests. Clearly, a host who has a hard time leaving... Sightings of Parker's ghost usually come from guests on the 10th floor, and rumour has it he visits room 1078 on occasion. Apparently, there's also a gathering of ghosts on the 3rd floor and in room 303 – the hotel lifts have been known to stop there for no reason, and without any buttons being pushed.