In this age of cable TV and the Internet, news spreads fast, almost too fast; along with the rapid telling this same news often becomes exaggerated and distorted. The dog that mauled the little Indian boy can become the shape shifting werewolf of the haunted burial ground. The Ape that escaped from the zoo becomes a ravaging Bigfoot Creature racing through town. You get the picture. It is how many wives’ tales and other creepy legends are born. Do we really believe that the Boogeyman, Sasquatch, Alien Beings, Ghosts, and the like really exist? Or is it just a product of our creative, overactive minds keeping us entertained?
You can hardly turn on a TV these days without seeing a program that investigates strange or paranormal incidents as you surf through the channels. These shows are growing more and more popular because they come closer to awakening the ‘what if they are real’ side of our thoughts. It’s a place in our minds that is a little scary and exciting to visit all at the same time. We are exhilarated by a feeling which we are cautious and curious about; it is fun to get close to something spooky, but not too close.
Ghosts and Things that go ‘bump in the night’ have always intrigued but frightened us. There is something about very old houses, insane asylums, graveyards, and abandoned buildings which seem to be the places that generate a lot of these scary stories. What is it about them makes them ideal places for these spooks and specters to roam around?
When we start to hear a lot of stories about seeing the same ghost or experiencing objects being moved from a lot of different people in the same location, it heightens our senses even more and makes the hair on our necks stand up when we think about it.
What is it about that luxury hotel in a secluded place or the middle of a big city that makes it the setting of so many noisy spirits or hauntings? Are there lonely guests that never left? Let’s take a look at a few of these and see why they have earned the not so dubious title of being ‘Haunted”. We have all heard the saying, ‘you get what you pay for ’, with these luxury hotels you get more than you expected, but maybe not in the way you thought.
5 Toftaholm Herrgård, Lagan, Sweden
This beautiful five star hotel on the banks of Lake Vidöstern in Sweden will set you back about $400 a night. One wouldn't think that its peaceful and serene setting would be the subject of one of our hauntings, but unfortunately it’s true.
The 45 rooms in this converted old manor house are exquisitely decorated with antique furniture, but all that may not be enough to convince you to stay in room 324.
As with many stories of haunting, this one too starts out with a lost love. The Hotel is a converted manor that once belonged to a wealthy land Baron. His beautiful daughter met and fell in love with a local peasant boy. Their love continued to grow until they were discovered by her father one day, and he forbids them to see each other ever again. As she brooded, he arranged to have her married to an older man who was of equally wealthy stature. On the daughter’s wedding day, the boy climbed the steps up to one of the top floor rooms and hung himself from one of the rafters. You guessed it, in room 324.
To this day people have seen ghosts of a boy roaming the hotel, they find windows they left open are shut when they come back, and strange noises are often heard around the time in the afternoon when the boy died near room 324.
There is also a mysterious old ruin nearby which strange things are said to take place in too.
4 The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
In its heyday, this glorious luxury cruise ship made many a voyage across the Atlantic as it catered to its rich and eccentric guests. This gallant lady made over 1000 voyages across the Atlantic from England to New York until she was retired in 1967. She then moved to Long Beach where she was made into a luxury hotel. Not only does she feature a couple of outstanding restaurants and a museum, but you can take a ghost tour too.
There were many fatalities reported on the ship as it made its many crossings. Apparently some of their spirits decided they liked the ship so much they wanted to stay. Hotel guests have reported many sightings throughout the years, including hearing strange banging sounds, voices whispering when no one is around, objects moving, and seeing apparitions suddenly appear.
3 Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada
This ultra-picturesque hotel is one of the most beautiful hotels in the entire world. With the backdrop for its stunning scenery being the Rocky Mountains of Alberta Canada, there are few hotels in world that can boast of a nicer setting. At a hefty $500 a night it better be able to boast about a lot of things. But wait, there is a bonus, it also boasts one of the most active ghosts in the entire world.
It is the story of a tragic accident. A happy bride went to her room to get something during her wedding and fell down a marble staircase and broke her neck, such a sad ending. Or was it? The ghost of the bride is often seen in the ballroom and other places around the hotel. Also a strange, cold breeze sometimes is felt by the hotel guests as they walk down the stairs where she fell. This infamous apparition, known simply as the "ghost bride" is so famous she even has a commemorative coin.
2 Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
This magnificent luxury hotel is a beautiful addition to the scenic skyline of Taipei. It is just a few steps from the famous building Taipei 101, which at one time was the tallest building in the world and boasts having the world’s fastest elevators. It’s too bad the Grand Hyatt’s elevators are not as fast as her neighbors because you may need them to get you out of there in a hurry if the rumors of it being haunted are true.
I am sure when they designed this pristine hotel that they did not take into consideration that it was built on the site of an old political prison where many inmates ended up being executed. Maybe the planners did not take notice, but a lot of the guests that stay there sure do. Guests have reported many strange things like objects being moved and the sounds of chains and clanging. Apparitions of people dressed in inmates clothing have been reported many times, so many in fact that the hotel went to great expense to place a Chinese Sutra in the main lobby and other sacred scrolls around the building that are supposed to help ward off evil spirits.
1 The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Long Rumored to be the inspiration for Steven King’s famous book “the Shining”, it has since become a premier spot for ghost hunters to stay and they report they are seldom disappointed. It is often described as a paradise for Ghosts because it is built on a Quartz Rock foundation; Quartz is known to attract electro-magnetic energy which is often detected occurring when apparitions or other phenomena manifest themselves.
Beware of the fourth floor. Voices can be heard of children playing there in the hallway and in room 418 which is said to be the most haunted room. Mrs. Stanley, the long deceased wife of the builder, is said to be seen or heard occasionally playing the piano that still sits in the old ballroom. This is only a few of the many stories that are said to have occurred in this hotel.
I leave you with one last thought, a quote from the famous Eagle’s song ‘Hotel California’, “you can check-out any time you like, but you may never leave”. Think about it before you book a room at one of these places.