Spooky Resorts

Haunted resorts with spirits, otherworldly guests and other things that go bump in the night promise a shivering good time.
Stella Katsipoutis

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, best known as the inspiration for the hair-raising Stephen King novel, The Shining, and the iconic film starring Jack Nicholson, still draws visitors to Estes Park, Colorado. Nestled in the Rockies, the building, with its classic Georgian architecture, fashioned from local wood and stone in 1903, gives off a definite air of mystery. Vintage decor adds to the ambience.

the stanley hotel
The Stanley Hotel
Photography courtesy of The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Ghost hunters will want to shoot a game of pool in the Billiards Room, allegedly haunted by the spirit of hotel founder F.O.Stanley (it was his favorite room). Tiptoe into the Music Room after dark and pay close attention: You may just hear the ghost of Stanley’s wife playing the piano. If you’re brave enough, ask to stay in room 217, where Stephen King himself reported spotting the ghost of a child. Plus, all of the guest rooms on the fourth floor are said to be visited daily by apparitions. Don’t miss the hotel’s popular ghost tour, which highlights the area’s spookiest landmarks (The Stanley Hotel, 333 Worldview Ave., Estes Park, CO; room rates start at $119 a night; stanleyhotel.com).

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

Fifteen acres of gorgeous gardens surround the historic Crescent Hotel & Spa, which was built in 1886. Dubbed “The Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks,” the Victorian-style grande dame, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, exudes Southern elegance, gracious refinement and numerous otherworldly guests. Keep an eye out for Miss Theodora, the resident specter since the 1930s, when the building housed a school for girls. Nowadays, Miss Theodora is said to reside in room 419. Guests have reported hearing voices at night, receiving strange phone calls and witnessing an occasional floating object.

the 1886 Crescent Hotel.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel
Photography courtesy of 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

The hotel offers spacious rooms decorated in elegant antique furnishings, accented with modern conveniences. In the inn’s cozy drawing room, check out the 97-year-old Welt Organ, one of only three in the world. Don’t miss the galleries and antique shops nearby (1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, 75 Prospect Ave., Eureka Springs, AR; room rates start at $119 a night; crescent-hotel.com).

The Sagamore Hotel

Situated on a 70-acre private island in Lake George in New York State, the hotel boasts 100 classic country-inn guest rooms, most with sweeping views of the Adirondack Mountains. Built in the late 1800s, the grand building once served as the social hub for the wealthy of New York City. Now, it’s a year-round luxury sports resort, known for its Donald Ross-designed golf course (said to be frequented by the ghost of a young boy who collected lost golf balls in the 1950s), championship tennis courts, and waterfront activities.

a lounge and bar at the Sagamore.
A lounge and bar at the Sagamore
Photography courtesy of The Sagamore Hotel, Lake George, NY

The Sagamore Spa offers massage treatments that blend Native American, Swedish and Australian Aboriginal healing techniques. Dine at any of the hotel’s six fine restaurants and keep a lookout for apparitions bedecked in evening gowns and three-piece suits (The Sagamore, 110 Sagamore Rd., Bolton Landing, NY; room rates start at $200 a night; thesagamore.com).