Getting into the holiday spirit doesn’t always mean getting into costume and going trick or treating. This October, embrace the spooky side to some of your favourite places to travel and learn about a ghost story or two. Plan your next vacation about these haunted hotels to celebrate Halloween.
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (Banff, Alberta)
Don’t fact check this but we’re pretty sure there are a few Fairmont properties in Canada are haunted. A number of them were old railway hotel properties that are over 100 years old. From the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City to the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC, they all have their own haunted history.
But, arguably, the MOST haunted of them all is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, with tales of a murder in a room that no longer is open to the public, as well as a ghost bride, to name a few. A stay at the “Castle in the Rockies” isn’t complete without a tour of its spooky history. If you’re looking for a little more of a scare, drive north to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and ask to hear the story of the housekeeper that haunts one of the cabins…
Fort Garry Hotel (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
The Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba was built in 1903 by the Grand Trunk Railway and over the last centuries has seen a number of famous guests including Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, Laurence Olivier, Louis Armstrong, Liberace, and many more. But these special guests will not be staying in room 202, which is haunted by a woman who apparently committed suicide by hanging herself in the closet. Sightings have ranged from a glimmer in photos, the ghost of a woman wearing a cloak hovering over the foot of their bed, to blood dripping from the walls…
Hi Ottawa Jail Hostel (Ottawa, Ontario)
Rated one of the 10 spookiest experiences in the world, the Hi Ottawa Jail Hostel is located in former jail allowing guests to sleep in former cells (with the original bars) and wander through the gallows, stairwells and tunnels that are definitely haunted.
While there are many haunted corners of the old city of Ottawa, there is probably nothing spookier than spending a night in a solitary confinement cell.
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Ghost Train in Montérégie (Saint-Constant, Quebec)
At Halloween, the Saint-Constant’s railway museum, Exporail, turns into a haunted train station full of skeletons, bats, spiders and ghosts. It’s a fun experience for the whole family in Quebec. If you’re looking to explore this haunted rail situation, head on over to the P’tit train du Nord. You can cycle along 200 km of trails built on an old railway line that closed in the late 1980s. The tracks are filled with their own haunted history from the age of railway travel.
The Algonquin Resort (St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick)
Believed to be one of the most haunted spots in all of New Brunswick, The Algonquin Resort, Autograph Collection in St. Andrews by-the-Sea is home to 233 rooms, and a few ghosts playing tricks and rearranging the silverware. One of the best known is the jilted bride who stayed in room 473 and later died (not at the hotel) of a broken heart. But her spirit returned and has been seen moping around the hotel ever since.
A real-life Moaning Myrtle.
Windermere House (Muskoka, Ontario)
Today, Windermere House is Muskoka’s premier hotel and resort overlooking Lake Rosseau in Ontario’s cottage country. But, the “Lady of the Lakes” has had reported hauntings from the original owner Thomas Aitken, who has been said to knock on doors and move items around the hotel.
A haunted corn maze (Abbotsford, British Columbia)
What we consider to be “one of the most terrifying corn maze in Canada” is right near our HQ in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Maan Farms Haunted Corn Maze is one of many corn mazes that spring up in the Fraser Valley every fall, and needless to say, it’s terrifying. This corn maze is filled with the dead, creepy, corrupt clowns, creatures of the underworld, scenes of violence and carnage – and real chainsaws.
Voodoo Music + Arts Festival (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The home of voodoo and all things haunted, New Orleans is the place to go if you’re looking for something spooky this Halloween. From ghost walks through the French Quarter to cemetery tours; the city is brimming with activities all year long.
Over Halloween weekend, the Voodoo Music + Arts Festival brings together some of the best musicians and interactive exhibitions for a ghoulishly good time. Be sure to pack a costume to join in on the festivities. While in town, book your stay at a haunted hotel like the Dauphine Orleans Hotel or the Place d’Armes Hotel, which has been known for ghost sightings.
The Marshall House (Savannah, Georgia)
Likely tied with New Orleans, Savannah, Georgia is one of the most haunted places in the U.S. There’s something about those southern states that brings out the extra spooky vibes along with the centuries of history. A fairly walkable city (or floatable if you’re a ghost), Savannah has designed a walking tour of 6 spots to visit that are most definitely haunted. We dare you to visit all six! But if you can only squeeze in one, The Marshall House is known to hold the spirits of the Civil War where the building served as a hospital.
La Fonda on The Plaza (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
While La Fonda on the Plaza is surely not the only haunted hotel in New Mexico, it is one of the best known as it sits on the site of the city’s first hotels, dating all the way back to the early 1600s. The current building was built in 1922, but some of the more spirited guests have stayed long after their checkout and have been seen rising from the fountain in the lobby…
For a little history on another haunted property in Santa Fe, American Ghost tells the story of Julia Staab, who is said to haunt La Posada de Santa Fe and appears anytime they try and do renovations to her former residence.
A haunted history trail (Finger Lakes, New York)
New York State is so spooky that they have their own Haunted History Trail, taking you to some of the eeriest spots they’ve found. The Belhurst Castle in the Finger Lakes was just added to the trail because of its own torrid past including the death of one resident by blood poisoning. The most well-known ghost is Isabella, an opera singer often seen dressed in white.
The historic Naples Hotel also takes visitors on private ghost tours year-round to visit particularly “active” rooms within the inn, and attempt to reach the hotel’s famous spirits. If you dare stay the night after your tour, you’ll save 20% off on your stay and will have the chance to see something for yourself.
The Hollywood Roosevelt (Los Angeles, California)
Known today as the spot for pool parties for L.A.’s A-listers, The Hollywood Roosevelt has a long history welcoming celebrities in Los Angeles, California to stay in their iconic rooms. Guests have said they can hear the faint sound of trombones from actor Montgomery Clift, and have also have claimed to have seen the ghost of Marilyn Monroe in the mirror in her old suite.
Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
For Halloween, The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia hosts a Terror Behind the Walls experience that is rated by Forbes as the #1 scariest thing to do in the USA. Wind your way through this former prison with six haunted former cellblocks surrounded by soaring 30-foot high fortress walls. To this day the former prison is still believed to be haunted, with 60 paranormal teams coming annually to scout out the site.
The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)
Stephen King was inspired to write “The Shining” while staying at The Stanley Hotel where he heard children’s laughter in the hallways and eerie piano music from deserted ballrooms. In fact, the hotel is so haunted, they offer nighttime spirit tours that take you to some of the creepiest areas of the hotel, including an underground tunnel.
A whole haunted city (St. Augustine, Florida)
What makes St. Augustine, Florida extra creepy is that it’s the oldest city in the United States, meaning that centuries worth of ghosts are seen haunting the street. Stop in at the 17th-century fortress Castillo de San Marcos for a ghost tour, and you will hear about a love triangle that still haunts this city by a female apparition in a white dress.