From the legendary room 237 in Stephen King’s The Shining to the eponymous room 1408 in the short story (and subsequent film) of the same name, we are all fascinated by the idea of haunted hotel rooms—or, at least, Stephen King obviously is.
Hotels are inherently spooky places. They are liminal spaces, locations that look like homes but where we don’t live. Places we stop in-between other destinations, and where our lives might brush against the lives of countless other people – some of whom may have already departed. Add to this the fact that many hotels all over the world are old construction, buildings that have been standing for decades or even centuries, and that often previously served other functions such as hospitals and asylums, and you have the perfect recipe for a haunting.
America alone is filled with hotels that boast a haunted reputation, and other countries have their fair share, as well. But it’s one thing to hear stories of a ghost sometimes roaming the halls and quite another to spend the night in a room that has a uniquely haunted reputation. These 5 rooms are supposed to be particularly haunted—even amongst the haunted hotels of the world, and most are still open for business. Would you dare to spend the night in one?
Room 333 at the Langham Hotel in London, England
None other than the Prince of Wales himself was in attendance when the Langham Hotel first opened in London’s Marylebone district. The grand old edifice was damaged during the war, however, and in the 1950s it was purchased by the BBC. During this time, people began reporting sightings of ghosts on the premises, including a World War II soldier who leaped from one of the windows. Its most haunted room, however, is on the third floor.
According to stories told around the hotel, a doctor and his new wife checked into room 333 on their wedding night, back when the hotel was still new. Before morning, both were dead. The doctor had slain his wife and then taken his own life—a setup straight out of a ghost story. And, according to ghost hunters, they still haunt the room. As of this writing, the internet suggests that room 333 is not normally open to guests—but if you ask nicely, they just might let you try your luck in the haunted room for a night.
Room 7 at the Malaga Inn in Mobile, Alabama
With 39 private rooms and suites, as well as a carriage house that’s fit for weddings and special events, the Malaga Inn is one of the finest boutique inns in Alabama. It’s also said to be one of the most haunted. Originally constructed as twin townhouses during the Civil War, the inn is still home to secret tunnels where Confederate soldiers once hid from the Union army.
The Malaga Inn is particularly well-known for its lovely, Southern-style balconies, but the balcony of room 7 has a somewhat more unsavory reputation, as several guests have reported seeing an apparition of a woman pacing to and fro outside—and sometimes coming in for a visit…
Room 311 at the Read Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee
You know that a hotel room haunting is serious business when the hotel stops letting it out to guests. Such is the case with room 311 of the historic Read Hotel in Chattanooga. According to reporting from Forbes, the hotel doesn’t use the room for guests anymore, but you’re still welcome to take a tour of it—if you dare.
Haunted or not, room 311 is a sight to behold. It’s the only room left in the hotel that’s still filled with some of the original late-19th century antiques. Why the old-fashioned furnishings? It’s said to be a nod to the bloody crime that got the room its reputation. The story goes that a woman by the name of Annalisa was violently murdered by her husband in room 311’s bath—shades of The Shining’s room 237—and that she still lingers on the premises.
Room 325 (and 612) at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts
It may not come as much of a surprise that Salem, Massachusetts is home to one of the most haunted hotels in America. The Grand Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hoel was once the site of a séance to try to contact Harry Houdini, while episodes of shows like Bewitched and Syfy’s Ghost Hunters have been filmed within its walls.
According to the website “Historic Hotels of America,” the most haunted room in the place is 325 (third floors, it seems, are unlucky) while room 612 has also reported a “ghostly woman walking the halls.” But you don’t have to take our word for it. “I had the full experience,” one user wrote on TripAdvisor, “physical contact (finger poking me), crying outside the door, knocking on the door (from the mid-level of the door), whispering sounds, lights flickering when a presence would be felt and then stabilizing when it would leave, and changes in temperature.” And they weren’t even staying in room 325!
Rooms 1101 and 1102 at the Bigelow Hotel in Ogden, Utah
According to Salt Lake City news outlet KSL, the haunting of rooms 1101 and 1102 of the historic Bigelow Hotel in Ogden dates back to the days of Prohibition. A new bride who was also the mother of a grown son from a previous marriage drowned in the bathtub of room 1102 on her wedding night. When her son arrived to collect her belongings, he was booked into the room next door, where he took his own life.
Those who have encountered the two ghosts in this luxury hotel, built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, say that the mother runs the bath water in room 1102, while the forlorn son sometimes makes appearances in his own room, and can often be heard talking to himself.