Prepare yourself for a spine-tingling visit from beyond the grave at these eight haunted hotels. Visit the New York hotel where Sid stabbed Nancy, or get haunted by Marilyn’s ghost at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
The Hay-Adams was built in 1927, for the not-too-modest sum of $900,000, over the former homes of best friends John Hay (Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary and later a secretary of state) and Henry Adams (the author and descendant of John and John Quincy). Supposedly, the ghost of Adams’ wife, who committed suicide on this site in 1885, still walks the halls, trailed by the scent of mimosa.
The Chelsea Hotel holds particular appeal for historians, art lovers, locals, and travelers wishing to get closer to the ghosts of greatness. According to one manager,”plenty of ghost hunters [visit the hotel] on the lookout for paranormal activity,” particularly for signs of the ghost of Nancy, whom Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious infamously stabbed to death in one of the hotel’s first-floor apartments. A painting by current artist resident Robert Lambert references the event and hangs in the hotel’s hallways.
The Ghost Suite was originaly occupied by the wealthy Henry Doherty — a minority shareholder of the hotel — and his wife after the hotel opened in 1930. The family’s live-in housekeeper, and later the Doherty’s adopted daughter, both died mysteriously in the suite, and allegedly haunt it to this day. Televisions and lights have apparently turned on suddenly in the middle of the night, housekeeping carts have been moved, and numerous complaints of noise from unoccupied rooms have been reported.
One of Oyster’s users, Dani S., wrote in to say that she saw a ghost roaming the pathways of The Round Hill Hotel in Jamaica. When she told the manager, he simply replied, “If duppy don’t know you, duppy won’t bother you.” A “duppy” (a term that’s popped up in a Bob Marley song or two), in Jamaican folklore, is a restless spirit of the dead that is believed to still haunt the living.
Marilyn Monroe (one of many celebrities to stay at the Roosevelt) posed for her first ad on the hotel’s diving board (long gone, though the pool remains). The ghost of Monroe is said to have appeared in a mirror that once hung in her poolside suite (the suite can be rented, but the mirror is no longer displayed). Montgomery Clift’s ghost apparently haunts the hotel as well, pacing back and forth on the ninth floor.
The Algonquin was home to the meetings of the Round Table, the now-famous literary society that founded The New Yorker. (Members included poet Dorothy Parker and columnist Franklin Pierce Adams.) Many guests at the hotel have claimed to have seen ghosts of various members wandering through the hotel.
You can’t walk two feet without stumbling over some historical artifact or the site of a ghostly encounter at the Parker. With gentle prodding, concierge Seamus Murphy, who’s worked for the hotel for over 30 years, will regale guests with tales of the 19th-century whiskey salesman’s ghost who lives in the closet of room 303 and plants booze-soaked kisses on slumbering female guests.
You’d never guess that this swanky Ritz lies on the grounds of a haunted 18th-century sugar plantation. The ghost of wicked slave owner Annie Palmer, known as the White Witch of Jamaica, can be seen at night riding across her former estate, wearing a velvet green dress and yielding a whip. Palmer, a practitioner of voodoo and witchcraft, allegedly murdered all three of her husbands, as well as her many slave lovers. Local folklore says she was eventually strangled by her slaves, which is why her spirit still haunts the plantation.