Oct. 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM ET
Add ghost hunting to your fall travel itinerary by booking a stay at a haunted hotel. Far from the stuff of theme parks, each haunted hotel on our list has a storied past filled with ghost sightings sure to make your fall trip brag-worthy.
From sightings of the Lady in Red who roams The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and giggling ghostly girls at Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, N.Y., to a former whaling captain who wanders the halls at the Jared Coffin House in Nantucket, Mass., these haunted hotels are full of ghost stories, and they also boast spirited suppers.
To increase your chances of seeing a ghost, The Daily Meal has included which rooms are favored by these amicable apparitions so you can have the best odds of slumbering with spirits.
Otesaga Resort Hotel (Cooperstown, N.Y.)
For years, the 103-year-old Otesaga Resort Hotel was rumored to have paranormal activity. From 1920 to 1954, the hotel was the Knox School for Girls, a private girl’s school, and guests have reported hearing children playing and giggling in the third floor hallway. Voices have been heard in the Glimmerglass Room, apparitions have been seen walking hand-in-hand in period clothing, staff have heard their names being called from unseen sources and a security officer has heard people walking above him on the fifth floor. After a visit from Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, the stories were found to be true, as the crew confirmed that the historic hotel is indeed haunted with "friendly spirits." Guests should try chef Michael Gregory’s locally-sourced fare at The Hawkeye Bar & Grill.
Jumby Bay (Jumby Bay Island, Saint John's, Antigua)
Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort located on the private island of Jumby Bay, takes its name from "jumbie," Antiguan colloquial for "playful spirit." In Antiguan culture, it is considered taboo to pass by graveyards at night for fear of becoming entrapped by jumbies, spirits of people who have become trapped in a state of limbo or purgatory who remain near their grave sites until they have served enough time to earn a place in heaven. The small island of Jumby Bay has an old graveyard near the main beach dating back to the 1700s. After avoiding ghost sightings (or seeking them out), visitors can feast at The Estate House, a Spanish Colonial plantation that was once the centerpiece of the island’s sugar plantation and now serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine like a palm heart salad with garden greens, tomato, celery and passion fruit dressing.
Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
The 86-year-old Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club may add some "spirit" to the vacations of guests who request to stay in a room in the resort’s historical main tower built in 1925, which has reportedly been known to experience friendly paranormal activity. The hotel is getting ghoulish this Halloween with a Spirits Menu at Marchand’s Bar and Grill, the Promenade Lounge, and Alfresco’s, which features the Graveyard Brew ($10), Pumpkin Spook ($12) and the Ghost-tini ($12).
La Posada de Santa Fe (Santa Fe, N.M.)
La Posada de Santa Fe dates to 1882, when a Santa Fe Trail merchant, Abraham Staab, built it as a three-story Victorian mansion for his family. When Staab’s wife, Julia, died in 1896 at the age of 52, her presence continued to live on in the property. Today, the Staab House at La Posada de Santa Fe retains its original structure and is home to a cozy bar and Suite 100, which used to be Julia’s bedroom. To honor her, the hotel staff makes sure to invite her to parties held in the house and greet her when they enter her bedroom. The resort recently appointed a new executive chef Carmen Rodriguez, and his Nana’s Mexican Chocolate Mousse, a recipe passed on from his grandmother, is a must-try.
The Homestead (Hot Springs, Va.)
Built in 1766, The Homesteadis one of the oldest resorts in America. As the story goes, in the early 1900s, a woman was set to be married at The Homestead, but on the day of her wedding her husband-to-be ran out and never returned. The bride became so distraught that she took her own life. Now, her spirit supposedly roams the 14th floor of the resort asking guests and staff for the time, with hopes that her groom will return. Guests of The Homestead resort can enjoy the sweet smells of fall at breakfast with the resort's signature cinnamon donuts.
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