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Six Haunted Hotels that Will Keep You Up at Night

By Linda K. Nathan
October 9, 2013; 11:24 AM ET

Hotels love repeat guests. But what about those guests who depart but never leave? Visitors from the past-some call them ghosts-not bound by the constraints of time, in no hurry to return to earthly pursuits, find their accommodations so supernaturally superior that they never check out!

Courtesy Jekyll Island Club Hotel


Jekyll Island, Georgia

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel, on a Georgia barrier island, welcomes railroad magnate Samuel Spencer, who prefers the Club's Annex and its "airiest and brightest of all" suites on the second floor, last door on the left. Although Spencer "departed this world in 1906," according to a hotel spokesperson "under mysterious circumstances," while riding a train that was struck by another, he nonetheless is said to sip coffee and read the newspaper in his favorite quarters during early morning hours....

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Courtesy Visit Estes Park


Estes Park, Colorado

In Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel reportedly inspired guest Stephen King to conjure up The Shining's fictional Overlook Hotel. But King is not the only traveler to succumb to the Stanley's lure. The hotel staff has heard many such reports from visitors. In 2009 one Amber Walker from Denver reported: "During my stay there, I had an encounter with unseen forces I'd heard so much about..." When a loud crash awakened her from a deep sleep, she found the door she had secured with the interior deadbolt wide open. Other travelers relate sightings of the hotel's founder F.O. Stanley, co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer, and his wife, Flora, playing her haunting melodies from the ballroom piano.

Courtesy The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa


Denver, Colorado

Apparitions aplenty reputedly favor The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Here a uniformed old-worldy railroad conductor directs spirited travelers to their destinations before disappearing into an alcove where the Rock Island Railroad ticket office once operated. A dining room, originally the San Marco Room, was the long ago setting for guests to enjoy musical entertainment from string quartets. The hotel historian recounts employee tales of hearing music emanating from that room late at night, and once, a young bellman even glimpsed a formally dressed string quartet. No cause for alarm the ghostly group assured the stunned employee. "We live here."

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