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Blog 10 of the world’s most haunted hotels
Date: 27 September 2019

10 of the world’s most haunted hotels

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When you check into a hotel, there are some basic things you expect: a comfortable bed, a hot shower and a decent breakfast, to name a few. But in some places, you get a lot more than you bargained for…

There are tales of spooky goings-on in hotels all across the world, from little girl ghosts and wailing spirits to objects moving by themselves and cold chills in the night.

So if you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night, there’s nowhere better to stay on your travels than in one of these top ten haunted hotels.

Tip: You can book all of the hotels below via Norwegian Reward and earn CashPoints on your stay. Plus, you can fly to these fabulous destinations with Norwegian (and rent a car through us to get to those that aren’t so central) and pick up even more points!

1. Dragsholm Slot, Zealand, Denmark

White facade of hotel as seen from across a river
This picturesque hotel is the setting for some some dark and twisted stories. Photo © Ida Ejdrup Nielsen

This elegant countryside hotel is in Zealand, just a short hop from Copenhagen.

Widely regarded as being one of the most haunted hotels in Europe, it’s reportedly home to 100 supernatural guests.

If you stay at Dragsholm Slot, you’re most likely to bump into the White Lady – the ghost of a girl whose father promised her hand in marriage to a nobleman friend.

The girl, however, had other ideas. She had fallen in love with a commoner and found herself pregnant. When her father discovered the news, he was furious. He ordered servants to entomb her inside the castle walls.

For many years, few took the story seriously. But when structural renovations were made to the castle in 1910, the skeletal remains of a woman in a white dress were found in the walls.

It’s said the White Lady walks about the castle looking for her lover to this day.

On a happier note, the hotel has a Michelin star restaurant that serves up delicious Scandinavian dishes.

Chef prepares something in a rose-gold coloured pan in a kitchen
On the bright side, you can get some top-notch grub at Dragsholm Slot’s restaurant. Photo © Claus Starup

Tip: Zealand is less than an hour’s drive from Copenhagen. Hire a car through Avis and earn 10% CashPoints!

2. The Georgian House Hotel, London, England

Living area with green sofa and green wallpaper and a table and chairs in the middle of a room
Children can be heard playing at the Georgian House Hotel, but are they really there? Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

This stylish, London-based hotel is as popular with holidaymakers as it is with the undead.

A short stroll from the trendy Victoria area, tales of the supernatural date back to 1989, when the hotel manager was showing guests around the property. He became irritated by some loud and unruly children on an upper floor and asked the receptionist to speak to their parents, only to be told that no children were staying there.

These same kids have been seen on the upper floors of the Georgian House Hotel, but no-one’s entirely sure who they are.

Fly to London Gatwick

3. Hotel Bilan, Karlstad, Sweden

Dining table in the centre of a room with several doors
This hotel was a working prison from 1847-1968. Photo © Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan

This hotel’s haunted reputation starts with an eerie tale from the mid 1860’s. Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan in Karlstad, was once a prison. One of the inmates, a priest, was sentenced to death for poisoning his congregation with arsenic-laced communion wine. He never made it to his execution date however, as he hung himself in his cell.

Apparently, he wasn’t ready to leave this world completely, though. Today, his cell forms part of a prison museum in the hotel basement. And he’s said to haunt it.

Old prison artefacts in a room with no windows, including wooden stocks and a uniform on a mannequin in a glass case
Visit the prison museum in the basement of the Hotel Bilan. Photo © Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan

Legend has it that one night, when a member of hotel staff was locking up, she was blocked by an invisible force as she descended the staircase to the museum and had to turn back. She tried again, but the same thing happened. Was it the priest playing tricks?

Brave a night at Hotel Bilan and your prayers will be answered: It’s family friendly, close to the airport, and evening meals are included in the price.

Fly to Karlstad (seasonal) or fly to Gothenburg and rent a car via Norwegian Reward.

4. The Shelbourne, Dublin, Ireland

The facade of the Shelbourne Hotel
The Shelbourne is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in Ireland. Photo © The Shelbourne Dublin

The magnificent Shelbourne Dublin is the epitome of luxury. Over the years, it’s welcomed many famous faces, including British actress Lily Collins. In 2013, she claimed to have been visited by a ‘presence’ while staying at the hotel. She told TV host Jimmy Fallon, “I opened my eyes and heard a giggle. Then I felt a rush of cold air across my body.”

Lily mentioned the incident to hotel staff the next morning, who casually said she’d met their resident ghost, Mary Masters, a seven-year-old girl who died of cholera in the hotel in 1846.

Other hotel guests at the Shelbourne have reported taps and showers turning on by themselves, and wardrobe doors opening and closing.

If you can stomach an encounter with Mary, you’re in for a treat. This stunning hotel combines Irish charm with a healthy dose of luxury. But maybe sleep with one eye open!

Tip: If you’re not freaked out after a night in the Shelbourne, we dare you to visit Dracula’s birthplace, St. Michan’s Church. Find out more about this creepy Dublin crypt in our post on the spookiest places in Europe.

Fly to Dublin

5. Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

View of the side of the Dalhousie Castle as seen from across a grassy area
The Grey Lady is said to haunt Dalhousie Castle in Edinburgh. Photo © Jim Barton / CC BY-SA 2.0

This majestic 13th-century castle sits on the bank of the River Esk in Edinburgh. Popular with honeymooners, it’s the perfect place for a romantic stay – if you don’t mind ghosts.

The most sighted spectre at Dalhousie Castle Hotel is Lady Catherine, aka the Grey Lady. At the age of 16, she’s said to have locked herself in the castle and starved to death after her parents forbade her to see the man she was in love with. Listen out for her wailing late at night.

If you book a stay, be sure to dine at the Dungeon Restaurant. The beef carpaccio is out of this world. A side of spirits with your steak anyone?

Fly to Edinburgh

6. Asia Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Birds-eye view of the Asia Hotel Bangkok with the Bangkok skyline in the background
The Asia Hotel Bangkok is the setting for many spooky stories

Asia Hotel Bangkok is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in Thailand. Guests have complained about hearing strange noises, such as crying, coming from the bathrooms.

They have also reported being touched while sleeping and waking up to see ghostly figures staring at them or walking around.

Fly to Bangkok

7. Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, USA

Facade of the Congress Plaza Hotel as seen from across the street
It’s said Al Capone is one of the ghostly residents at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Photo by IvoShandor – Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The swanky Congress Hotel in Chicago was once a hangout for the notorious gangster, Al Capone. He used to hold his ‘business meetings’ in the bar, which he’s now said to haunt.

But Al Capone is not the only ghostly resident. If you find yourself spending the night in the South Tower, you might run into ‘Peg Leg Johnny,’ the spirit of a man who was murdered in the alley behind the hotel. Who exactly he was and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery, but he’s said to be mischievous, moving objects around in rooms and turning lights and appliances on and off.

Fly to Chicago (seasonal)

8. Castello della Castelluccia, Rome, Italy

Facade of the Castello della Castelluccia lit up at night
Magical or eerie? A night at this castle hotel could be both… Photo © Castello della Castelluccia

This beautiful 10th-century castle with its romantic terrace, is just outside of Rome, but it’s close enough (and haunted enough) to earn a spot on our list.

The ghostly residents of Castello della Castelluccia hotel aren’t your typical undead pranksters, though. It’s said that you can experience the presence of an alchemist who was struck by lightning in the castle’s tower, some horses that died after being traded to repay gambling debts, and even Rome’s infamous Emperor Nero, who’s buried near the castle and apparently prefers a warm bed to his cold grave.

That said, this is one gorgeous place to stay while visiting Italy’s capital. And if you’re into living like royalty, take a look at our top recommendations for castle hotels around the world.

Fly to Rome

9. Toftaholm Herrgård, Vittaryd, Sweden 

The front of the Toftaholm Herrgård country manor as seen from across a lake
A Swedish getaway at this country house could be an experience you’ll never forget. Photo © Sofi Kappel, Toftaholm Herrgård

Are you brave enough to stay at the idyllic Toftaholm Herrgård on the shores of southern Sweden’s Lake Vidostern? Guests at this former 14th-century country manor have experienced all sorts of inexplicable incidents, from strange noises in the night to doors and windows shutting by themselves.

The hotel is thought to be haunted by a peasant boy who fell in love with the daughter of the baron who owned the manor. But she was forced into an arranged marriage with a man chosen by her father. The boy hanged himself in room 324 on the morning of the wedding and it’s believed his spirit has remained there ever since. 

If you can cope with a little ghostly activity, the fantastic hotel facilities and scenic Småland countryside setting will be well worth it.

Reward tip: Rent a car from Gothenburg from one of our partners and earn CashPoints

10. Hotel Cecil, Los Angeles, USA

Sign on side of the Hotel Cecil as seen from below
This budget hotel is the setting for some of LA’s creepiest stories. Photo © James Ward

This is one of the most notorious hotels in LA for unexplained events. Although it’s closed now, and undergoing a major redevelopment, we couldn’t resist adding The Cecil, also known as Stay on Main, to our list of haunted hotels.

Built in 1924, this Downtown hotel was supposed to be a top place to stay for businessmen and the social elite, but thanks to the Great Depression, The Cecil soon became home to runaways, criminals, death and violence. By 1931 the hotel had seen its first suicide, and since then it’s had at least 10 more.

But The Cecil’s turbulent past doesn’t end there. It has served as a temporary home to its fair share of serial killers, including Richard Ramirez (aka the Night Stalker), who lived in the hotel during much of his horrific, mid-80s killing spree which saw the deaths of 13 people. He even used the hotel’s dumpster to dispose of his bloody clothes.

Right up until it’s recent closure, countless other creepy tales and tragic stories have come from The Cecil Hotel, including unsolved murders and paranormal activity.

Perhaps the most disturbing of all is the case of a guest who went missing in 2013 and was found almost three weeks later, in the hotel’s rooftop water tank.

Chilling video surveillance footage from inside the hotel’s elevator shows the 21-year-old student before her disappearance acting strangely. It’s said that the guest suffered from mental health issues, and her shocking death was ultimately ruled an accident, but the means by which her body ended up in the tank remains a mystery since access to the roof was secured with a lock. Her harrowing tale is said to have inspired an episode of pop culture show American Horror Story.

Fly to Los Angeles

Sweet dreams!

Test your nerve with a night in a haunted hotel. Earn CashPoints on all your hotel bookings with Norwegian and put them towards your next hair-raising adventure!

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