5 US haunts for Halloween thrill-seekers
Halloween and haunted houses go together like costumed children and epic sugar highs. This year, perhaps you would like to spend October 31 with an overnight stay at a house or hotel frequented by the dearly departed.
In the US, there’s no shortage of rumoured haunted accommodations, and the five options here celebrate their haunted histories with Halloween festivities, ghost encounter-filled guest books and more.
Built in 1909 and revamped in 2014, this 110-year-old hotel boasts a rumoured ghost who was a scion in the arts scene of the early 20th century: Alice B Toklas. All encounters, many of which are said to occur in and around room 408, Toklas’ regular accommodation – are friendly ones, said Tiffiny Costello, Hotel Sorrento’s marketing manager. Rooms from $199 (R2 900) for two adults in October.
Hotel del Coronado
This sunny beach resort near San Diego opened in 1888 and acquired a ghost just three years later. Kate Morgan was 24 when she checked into a third-floor guest room on November 24, 1892. After five days, she took her own life – estranged from her husband, the story goes that she was to meet with a lover who failed to show.
Kate sightings in hallways and on the beach have also been reported. Get in the Halloween spirit at “The Del’s” adults-only Hallo-wine and Spirits party, or follow in Morgan’s footsteps on an hour-long Haunted Happenings Tour. Rooms from $299 for two adults in October.
A bed and breakfast that claims to be “Connecticut’s Most Haunted Inn”, Captain Grant’s, was built in 1754 and is sandwiched between two cemeteries, one from 1650 and another from the 19th century. There is no shortage of reports of spirited encounters, from objects moving around rooms – the Adeleide room is the inn’s most haunted – to rattling doors and occasional sightings. Rooms from $119 for two adults in October, also available on Airbnb.
William O’Dale House
Fishers Island, New York
This Victorian “cottage” was built in the 1880s and is owned and rented out by the Walker-Maysles family. “No one wanted to touch it, since it was haunted,” said Sara Mayles, whose grandfather bought the property in the 1970s.
The house’s most famous ghost is the 1920s Broadway actress and singer Amy Fay Stone (stage name, Anne Faystone), who was friends with F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. William O’Dale House sleeps nine, with rates from $835 per night.
Hobo Hill House
Jefferson City, Missouri
Aaron Clark and his family lived in this three-bedroom house for “seven long months” before the supernatural occurrences became too much to take. “We couldn’t sell the house in good faith,” he said. Clark did have enough interest to make the house a short-term rental, listing it on Airbnb and Vrbo late last year.
“A lot has happened around the steps of the house. One young lady saw a dark figure on the balcony of the master bedroom,” he said of encounters. Clark makes no promises, but Hobo Hill House is not for the faint of heart. “The very first group we had couldn’t stay the whole night,” he says. Hobo Hill House sleeps 10, with rates from $275 a night on Airbnb.