Celebrate Halloween with this collection of Haunted Homes, Creepy Hotels and Spooky Castles, as revealed by Booking.com customer reviews
There are many reasons to travel: escaping the day-to-day, finding adventure or simply doing something you have never experienced before. For a large chunk of travelers 23% “finding thrills and excitement” is a major personal motivation. As nights get longer and Halloween approaches, some travelers might even work up the courage to find the ultimate thrilling experience - staying the night in a haunted room.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has delved into its more than 159 million verified guest reviews to present a collection of unique properties offering some level of paranormal activity, as revealed in reviews left by Booking.com customers. From a “classic” haunted castle, to a creepy converted prison hostel and even an eerie Spa, Booking.com has a range of spooktacular accommodations to fit every fright level.
Starting its life as Nicholas Street Gaol, this former prison in central Ottawa has since been converted into a hostel. Although some of the rooms have been renovated to meet the standard of modern day comforts, the hostel still has the original wooden prison doors and all of the windows still have bars.
What’s more, some say that the facility also still houses some of its erstwhile inmates: ghostly screams and mysterious noises are common occurrences. The most sighted apparition in Ottowa Jail is Patrick J. Whelan, an Irish tailor who was executed onsite for the alleged murder of a local politician. Sharing a dorm is possible, but there is no guarantee who (or what) you might be sharing it with…
“It's a unique experience to stay there! Beware of ghosts !” – Marion, France
Tulloch Castle is located in the Scottish Highlands and was originally build in the 12th century. Now converted into a hotel, Tulloch Castle is an unique accomodation with a chilling and historic past, having even been used a makeshift hospital after the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. Guests love taking the ghost tour, which explores the building’s many passageways and staircases, but don’t stray too far as the halls are said to be haunted by the infamous Green Lady of Tulloch.
“... had a good time with the rest looking for the ghosts and spirits in the bedrooms, who sadly where on their night off, but soon found that they had spirits also in the bar!!” – Donald, UK
Originally opened as a luxury resort at the end of the 19th century, the Crescent Hotel fell into disrepair before becoming a college and conservatory for young women and then a hospital and health resort clinic run by Norman Baker, a fraud without any medical training.
Today, the turbulent history of the hotel lives on in the form of its many “permanent residents”. Counting among them a stonemason who fell to his death during construction of the hotel, cancer patients from Dr. Baker’s hospitals days and the resident ghost cat. Take the chance of meeting these residents while on a ghost tour of the hotel, which also includes a visit the hotel’s chilling morgue. On a lighter note, the hotel also offers a spa so guests can chill following their thrill.
“Hotel was haunted! BOOKING.BOO!!!” – Joan, USA
Until its closure in 1972, new arrivals who were suspected of bringing diseases to Australia where isolated for 40 days in the North Head Quarantine Station. Infectious diseases like smallpox, cholera and the bubonic plague made the quarantine centre the final resting place of over 500 of its forced residents.
Today it’s been converted to a Visitor Center and heritage accommodation, but is still known as Australia’s most haunted spot and has been featured on TV shows and in horror movies. Apart from ghost tours that explore this chilling past, Q Station also offers informative historical tours and outdoor activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.
“Saw echidnas, bandicoots and lots of GHOSTS!” – Kathleen, Australia
In a city as romantic as Florence, it is only fitting that one of the most famous ghost stories is also a love story: Bianca Capello, a Venetian noblewoman renown for her beauty, secretly married Francesco I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, following a longstanding affair. However, in October 1587 the couple died under mysterious circumstances – possibly by poisoning.
Hotel Paris is a former palazzo that served as the meeting site of the two illicit lovers. Now converted into a boutique hotel, it is said that the spirit of Bianca Capello still sometimes wanders these halls, looking for her husband the Grand Duke.
“The room was big and the kids got excited reading about the ghost that the hotel claims roams the area” – Xenia, Italy
Officially declared Europe’s most haunted city, York is positively swarming with spectres; the city has haunted alleys, churches, hotels and pubs. The Trembling Madness Apartments are located near an ancient courtyard in the heart of York’s city center. One of them, the 600 year old chamber, is said to be haunted. Guests of the apartments love the quirky decorations, which are also outfitted with all the necessary amenities for a spooktacular stay: an Ouija board, EMF meter and extensive taxidermy collection.
“It was like walking into the ghostly past, the ghostly past of a stranger who's personality seeps through by his collection of bizarre and spooky ornate collections.” – Lisa_nne, UK