Sleep or scare? 6 of the world’s most haunted hotels

Want to add a bit of unpredictability to your travels? These places may not seem particularly spooky, but you’d be surprised to learn of their haunted history. Find a flight to one of these six destinations and book a room at a spine-chilling hotel – if you dare!

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The First World Hotel – Genting Highlands, Malaysia

The ghosts of high rollers stalk the halls of the First World Hotel

The ghosts of high rollers stalk the halls of the First World Hotel

If you’re looking to gamble with the dead, make your way to Kuala Lumpur. The First World Hotel has a little bit of everything. Set atop Malaysia’s Titiwangsa Mountains and boasting a tropical rainforest and theme park on its grounds, its most mysterious attraction is its paranormal activity.

Reports suggest that some visitors to the largest hotel in the world have suffered from sleepless nights due to the restless poltergeists that haunt the 7,351 rooms. These noisy night-walkers are the ghosts of high-rolling gamblers who lost big at the resort’s 24/7 casinos.

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Hotel Burchianti – Florence, Italy

Catch a flight to Florence and stay the night in the former 1930s hang-out of Benito Mussolini, Hotel Burchianti, one of Florence’s spookiest spots.

Guests have reportedly spotted a phantom old woman knitting in a lobby chair and a spectral maid waking up in the early hours to clean the rooms. For the biggest scare, book the Fresco Room, where a beautifully decorated ceiling is trumped by an eerie presence that haunts the room. Those fearless travellers who have spent the night in this palatial crypt have described the sense of being watched by an unknown entity and an icy breath kissing their faces. The numerous close encounters haven’t stopped the hotel’s glowing reviews, however.

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The Russell Hotel – Sydney, Australia

The Russell Hotel and its spectral sailor sit right the heart of The Rocks neighbourhood

The Russell Hotel and its spectral sailor sit right in the heart of The Rocks neighbourhood

Looking for the perfect place to sleep after a long-haul flight to Sydney? Look no further than Sydney’s Russell Hotel. Situated prominently in the city’s oldest neighbourhood, The Rocks, the hotel was frequented by rowdy seamen looking for a place to lay their weary heads and was later used as a makeshift hospital during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in the early 1900s. The Russell Hotel has since transformed into one of Sydney’s best boutique guest houses, but the spirits of its past are said to remain today with stories of a spectral sailor residing in Room 8, casting his ghostly gaze over his fellow lodgers.

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The Queen Anne Hotel – San Francisco, California, US

Beginning its life as the Miss Mary Lake’s School For Girls, this cosy B&B hotel in San Francisco’s scenic Pacific Heights district is allegedly haunted by the ghost of the strict headmistress herself. With the school sold against her will, she remains there today, roaming around the Victorian-style hotel. If you want the first-class spirit experience at The Queen Anne, make sure you book room 410, Miss Mary Lake’s former quarters wherein she’ll gladly fluff your pillows or tuck you in at night.

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The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac – Quebec City, Canada

The former Governor is said to stalk the halls and grounds of the Fairmont

The former Governor is said to stalk the halls and grounds of the Fairmont

The centrepiece of Quebec’s old town, this hotel is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in a rich history. Named after the 17th-century governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the governor that died there in 1698. More than three hundred years later, guests to The Château Frontenac have spotted the governor wandering around the halls and hotel grounds.

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The Stanley Hotel – Colorado, US

The Stanley Hotel is rumoured to have a few rowdy ghosts as guests

The Stanley Hotel is rumoured to have a few rowdy ghosts as guests

Fancy yourself a ghost hunter? Book a flight to Denver and head to the Stanley Hotel. The inspiration behind the best-selling novel “The Shining”, The Stanley Hotel fully commits to its terrifying reputation, inviting guests out on five-hour ghost hunts and frosty late-night strolls through the hotel grounds. However, if you’d prefer to explore alone, watch out for the young giggling girls running around on the fourth floor. If their persistent play becomes too much, you can always head downstairs for that loud jamboree happening in the ballroom. But don’t be surprised if you arrive to find it’s a ghosts-only party.

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Read more: 

  • For more spooks check out this guide to New Orleans during Halloween
  • Feed your appetite for the weird and wonderful with these 22 unique hotels
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