Writers of the macabre have long looked to the transient nature of hotels for inspiration in horror tales. From the infamous Bates motel located somewhere in the deserts of the Southwest to the isolated Overlook Hotel situated on a lonely Colorado mountain top, there is just something unsettling about long, desolate hallways and creaking staircases.
But even scarier are the real hotels that claim to be haunted by the spirits of guests who never checked out. Below are just a few of the hotels getting into the Halloween spirit this month, either by highlighting their spectral legacy or offering up spooky concoctions.
- The 86-year-old Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is getting ghoulish this Halloween with a new “Spirits Menu” available in their on-property restaurants Marchand’s Bar & Grill, the Promenade Lounge and Alfresco’s. The menu features frightening libations such as the Graveyard Brew ($10), Pumpkin Spook ($12) and the Ghost-tini ($12) which is quite a sight as the Baileys Carmel, Absolute Vanilla vodka and pumpkin spice drink is finished off with dry ice and gummy worms.Travelers looking to add some “spirit” to their stay can request a room in the resort’s historical main tower built in 1925 which has reportedly been known to experience friendly paranormal activity. Scaredy cats can rest easy as rooms are also available in the more recently built guest room tower which is guaranteed spook-free! October rates start at $209 per night. Visit www.vinoyrenaissanceresort.com.
- Opened in 1904, the landmark Wolcott Hotel in midtown Manhattan has received numerous reports of paranormal events and happenings during its 108 years of existence. Various guests, vendors and employees have reported similar unusual occurrences including mysterious music playing from unseen sources, deliverymen, and workers feeling an unknown presence and even being touched by thin air while in the historic (and now vacant) Wolcott ballrooms. Repeated ghostly sightings of an elderly man with a cane walking through one of the hotel’s hallways and two young boys wearing pajamas either playing in the stairwells or running up or down the stairs have been recounted. In fact, the NY Daily News recently featured the hotel as one of NYC’s Greatest Places, touting its historic significance and haunted hallways. For courageous travelers looking for an eerily inexpensive stay (Oct. and Nov. rates begin at $200), visit www.wolcott.com.
- Allegiance Bed & Breakfast in the Finger Lakes is home to long-term guests “Karen” and “Ray” (yes, the paranormal residents have names). As the tale goes, Karen and Ray enjoy sitting on guests beds in the middle of the night. For travelers who may doubt their existence, Steve the bed and breakfast’s host, has two verified recordings of their voices. Talking to Steve will thoroughly convince anyone that they are “real.”The hotel is also located less than one mile from the north entrance of the Letchworth State Park the “Grand Canyon of the East,” and blocks away from the New Deal Art Gallery (which happens to be located on the grounds of an old tuberculosis hospital which is said to also be a residence for several young ghosts), the Mount Morris Dam, and is on the newly revitalized Main Street of historic Mount Morris. Visit www.allegiancebandb.com.
- Esperanza Mansion sits in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine country and is home to a resident lady in white ghost. The mansion is part of the National Register of Historic Places and is sure to please guests, ghost sighting or not. Not too far from the mansion is Spook Hill – a hill where if guests park their car and put it in neutral it will start moving slowing up the hill by itself. Some believe this to be an optical illusion while others claim that a Native American ghost pushes the cars or bikes up the hill.
- This Halloween families can have a ghostly good time at the new Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, which is celebrating with poolside activities and frighteningly good cocktails. The resort will host a Haunted Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 27th from 7 to 10 p.m. complete with a costume contest, DJ, games, face painting, and refreshments. On Halloween youngsters can participate in resort wide trick-or-treating extravaganza. For the adults, Bar 1521, located outside the resort’s signature award-winning restaurant, deep blu seafood grill, will be featuring Halloween inspired cocktails including the Red Rum Sangria and Zombie cocktails (recipes available). Bar 1521 specializes in cocktails mixed with house made ingredients that are almost always staff inspirations.Orlando’s newest upscale destination resort, the Mediterranean-inspired Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is conveniently located within the Disney complex (with complimentary shuttle service to the Disney parks). Nestled amongst Bonnet Creek’s 500 acres of stunning woodlands the resort offers a perfect gateway to experience Orlando’s legendary attractions, theme parks, entertainment and shopping. The resort especially caters to families with family-friendly bunk rooms (complete with two sinks in the bathroom, one at a standard height and one lower to the ground to accommodate children). Visit www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com for more.
The Mixing Room Cocktail Lounge at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live is offering a Halloween-inspired Trick-or-Treat cocktail menu for the month of October. Guests are invited to enjoy festive Halloween cocktails with nostalgic flavors including candy corn and pumpkin such as the Candy Corn Martini with house-infused candy corn vodka, orange liqueur, lemon, and egg white, garnished with candy corn or The Great Pumpkin made with cinnamon and cardamom house-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon, pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, shaken, and garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. All cocktails are $14. Visit www.lalivemarriott.com for more.
- It is estimated that Americans will spend about $370 million on Halloween pet costumes this year. In honor of these pet owners (and to help foot the Halloween bill) The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel will offer free Wi-Fi to all guests who check into the hotel with their furry friends in costume and post photos to Facebook tagging the hotel. In addition, all pooches checking in on Halloween, whether decked out in ghostly gear or not, will receive a special spooky treat. Visit www.affinia.com/Liaison for more.
Traveler beware! There’s fright behind every corner!