Axe wielding murderers, lunatics, sadistic hostesses and people disappearing randomly from elevators, lets take a look at some of America’s most haunted tourist destinations for you to explore – if you dare.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
Made famous by Stephen King’s The Shining and immortalised in Stanley Kubrick’s 1979 movie of the same name, the Stanley Hotel was built in 1909. Boasting 140 rooms, many believe the hotel to be haunted, particularly its infamous ballroom. The team from Ghost Hunters were able to explain most of the eerie ongoings throughout the hotel but could never find a reason for the paranormal activity plaguing the hotel’s Art Deco ballroom. To make matters worse, the hotel decided to dig up the pet cemetery next door in 2013. If you are a horror movie fan you know too well that disturbing the dead is one of the top ways to conjure up evil spirits and attract ghosts…
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, New Orleans
American Horror Story’s Voodoo queen Marie Laveau and sadistic killer Marie Delphine LaLaurie could find some fellow ghostly company at this old Bourbon Street bar, supposedly haunted by the pirate Jean Lafitte. The bar is rumoured to be the hiding place for Lafitte’s stolen booty and many still believe its hidden somewhere beneath the charred ash and brick. Some staff and guests claim to have seen the ghost of Lafitte himself, leaving the faint trace of tobacco behind as a warning to those who go in search of his treasure.
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Massachusetts
The woman who loved the axe. It was never proven if Lizzie had butchered her father and stepmother with an axe. Though the case remains unsolved, Lizzie is widely considered to be the culprit. During police interviews her behaviour was described as erratic and irrational at times, offering contradictory events in her story and remaining curiously calm throughout the interrogation. A few days before being apprehended they say she burnt a blood-stained dress- according to Lizzy it was red paint…if she says so. The house is now a charming bed-and-breakfast.
The LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans
Yes, back to New Orleans. If you are a fan of American Horror Story you are bound to have come across the charismatic and sadistic Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Whilst arguably the perfect host during lavish dinner parties, her slaves suffered big time. Chained, tortured and mutilated in a hidden room in the attic, this crazed murderess enjoyed watching her slaves suffer on a daily basis. It was not until a fire broke out and when neighbours helped to evacuate the house that her grizzly secret was discovered. She fled after an angry mob destroyed the house. Since then the house has been a high school, an apartment building, a bar and briefly the residence of actor Nicholas Cage. Cage’s brief stay may have been the result of the sounds of screams and the ghost of a young girl hurtling above the roof being documented on a regular basis!
Hotel Cecil , Los Angeles
You have spotted the trend, yes another location just about to feature in season 5 of American Horror Story – it’s now pretty obvious where Ryan Murphy gets his inspiration from. One of Downtown LA’s most famous hotels is also its most haunted. Its guests have included deranged maniacs, murderers and well, ghosts. 21 year old Elisa Smith strangely disappeared in February 2013 after being spotted in one of the hotel elevators. Two weeks after her death, hotel patrons and staff complained the water began to taste and look strange. Unknowingly, Elisa’s body had been decomposing inside one of the rooftop water tanks for a full two weeks. The investigation led LAPD officers to a strange security video showing Elisa alone in a lift pressing buttons on the panel. After several failed attempts at working the buttons, she leaves the lift and appears to have a conversation with someone who is not there. She was never seen alive again. You can watch the security footage here. Other guests have included the Night Stalker, AKA Richard Ramirez one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. If you are going to stay at this hotel you had better take some holy water with you.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia
Later called the Weston Hospital, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is now an inactive hospital for the mentally ill that was in operation between 1864 and 1994. Suffering from overcrowding and poor sanitation, patients that could not be controlled were often locked in cages and treated like animals. Continuous reports of voices, screams and strange paranormal sights have lead people to believe the former asylum is haunted. If you are brave why not go on one of the overnight ghost tours?