BANGKOK,Thailand October 20, 2008
Just in time for Halloween, Agoda.com, the Asian online hotel service that is part of priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) today released its list of the most celebrated haunted hotels around the world. Halloween falls on a Friday this year, making it possible to take a long and exotic scary weekend. Many haunted hotels in the U.S. and abroad are still available for booking through Priceline.com and Priceline's network, e.g. Agoda.com for hotels in Asia and Booking.com for hotels in Europe.
So darken the lights and pull up a chair. It's time to introduce Agoda’s haunted favorites:
The Nottingham Road Hotel (South Africa)
What's the best way to keep good staff? Don’t let them leave. This hotel in KwaZulu-Natal has a barmaid who apparently decided the tips were just too good. The barmaid's spirit has been known to move pots around the pub, open beer taps, ring a service bell (which was supposedly no longer in working order) and has even been attributed to deflating tires of certain guests. They were poor tippers of course.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (USA)
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California is supposedly home to the ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. Marilyn is said to haunt a full length mirror that was once in a room she was known to frequent. Guests have reported catching glimpses of the blonde bombshell in the mirror as they pass. Clift stayed in room 928 while filming From Here to Eternity and guests have reported being able to hear him pacing and rehearsing his lines.
Buma Inn (China)
The Chinese take their spirits seriously, and this one at the Buma Inn in Beijing seriously wants revenge. Apparently, a guest at the Inn was poisoned by the chef and subsequently died. The chef took his own life afterwards. The murdered guest is said to be seen roaming the halls forever in search of the chef, looking to inflict his revenge.
Toftaholm Herrgard (Sweden)
Once home to a baron, this hotel in Toftaholm, Sweden, is haunted by a young boy. The boy, a commoner, fell in love with the baron’s daughter. The baron disapproved and arranged for his daughter to be married to someone else. On the day of the wedding, the boy hanged himself from the rafters. His spirit is said to haunt Room 324 where the rafters once were.
Breakfast Creek Inn (Australia)
According to the local Visitor’s Guide, this Brisbane hotel and its legend are known throughout the continent. Breakfast Creek Inn was built in 1889 by William Galloway, the former Lord Mayor of Brisbane. One night, after a drinking bout, he fell from a second floor window to his death. Galloway’s ghost has been seen and heard wandering the older, original portions of the hotel.
Genting Highlands Resort (Malaysia)
Located just north of Kuala Lumpur, this popular resort and casino has apparently seen its fair share of suicides by those distraught after incurring gambling debts at the tables. Various visitors have related stories of seeing a man jump from the top of the hotel only to vanish before hitting the ground. It's also said there are rooms in the hotel that are not available to stay in no matter what the occupancy level of the hotel, because of the strong presence of otherworldly spirits.
Ballygally Castle Hotel (Ireland)
Ballygally Castle Hotel is haunted by Lady Isabella Shaw, who was imprisoned here in the 17th century for the horrible crime of giving birth to a daughter instead of a boy. She apparently jumped from the parapets to her death clutching her newborn daughter. Her ghost is said to wander the halls, knocking on doors while holding her crying baby.
Dragsholm Slot –Hotel (Denmark)
Another castle, this one is located in Sealand, Denmark, and is home to three ghosts; The Gray Lady, The White Lady and The Earl of Bothwell. The Gray Lady is apparently a maiden who was so devoted to the castle she returns nightly to check on the grounds. The Earl of Bothwell was captured here in the 1500s and imprisoned in the cellar where he subsequently went mad and died. He, too, wanders the halls. The White Lady is a daughter of one of the former owners who fell in love with a commoner. Her father found out about the illicit affair and imprisoned her in the castle. During renovations in the 1930s, a skeleton in a white dress actually was found behind one of the walls.
The Stanley Hotel (USA)
The hotel in Stephen King's novel "The Shining" is based on the Stanley Hotel located in Park Estes, Colorado. The Stanley is said to be haunted by its original owner F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora. Stanley's ghost has been seen wandering the lobby, bar and Billiard Room while Flora continues to play the piano in the Music Room. Guests have reportedly heard music coming from the room. When they open the door the keys are seen moving on the piano as well, but as soon as they go closer to investigate, the music stops.
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (Canada)
Set in picturesque Banff, Alberta, the Fairmont Banff Springs is said to be haunted by a ghost bride. Legend has it that a bride was walking down the grand staircase to the lobby for her wedding reception. The flowing train on her gown apparently brushed against one of the numerous candles used to light the lobby and caught fire. In her panic, she tripped and fell down the stairs, breaking her neck. Her ghost has been seen wandering the halls still in her wedding gown.
The Savoy Hotel (India)
Famous as the inspiration of Agatha Christie’s first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the Savoy Hotel in Mussoorie, India, is reportedly haunted by its former owner, Lady Orme, who died after sipping strychnine mysteriously placed in her medicine bottle, Ms. Orme’s murderer was never found. Her ghost has reportedly been seen aimlessly walking the halls of her old hotel.
The Langham Hilton Hotel (England)
An iconic hotel in the middle of London, the Langham is reputedly one of the most haunted hotels in the world, with as many as 7 different ghosts seen from time to time. Some of the ghosts are dressed in Victorian clothing, one of the ghosts is said to be that of a German soldier, another is said to be the ghost of a doctor who murdered his wife and then killed himself, and the Emperor Louis Napolean III is said to haunt the basement. Room 333 is supposed to be the most haunted of all, in which a BBC reporter watched a specter appear from a floating, glowing ball, right in front of his eyes.
The Queen Mary (USA)
It's a boat, a hotel and it’s haunted. How cool is that! The former luxury liner was bigger and faster than the Titanic in her day and was used to transport troops in World War II. Now permanently docked in Long Beach, California and converted to a floating hotel, the Queen Mary is reportedly home to various different ghosts. The boat has been the site of 49 deaths, so there could be a few ghosts to choose from. There is the sailor crushed behind Door 13 of the engine room, now seen roaming the halls only to disappear behind the very same door that killed him, there are the women in 30's style bathing suits seen sitting around the first class pool (though the pool has been closed for decades) and there's the little girl who drowned in the second class poolroom, often seen (and heard) in the area, while clutching a teddy bear.
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