Consider sleeping somewhere spooky. If you dare, here are five hair-raising places to consider:
1.La Fonda. Santa Fe, NM. Located in the historic district of this storied state capitol, the hotel site has reportedly been the scene of important business meetings, legal wrangling, fur trading, gambling and even hangings, since it began welcoming tourists as early as 1607. The ghosts of a distraught salesman and a former Judge, as well as several other long term guests are said to walk the halls. The establishment has been rebuilt many times and today serves as an ideal central location from which your family can explore the art, culture and history of Santa Fe. Contact: 800-523-5002; www.lafondasantafe.com.
2.The Stanley Hotel. Estes Park, CO. Some say the chilling laughter of young children still fills the hallways of this 138-room historic inn that served as the inspiration for scare-master Stephen King’s popular book and film The Shining. Located within six miles of the Rocky Mountain National Park, outdoor activities abound. But don’t miss the history and ghost tour offered for families eager to hear more about Room 217, where King’s Shining story began. You will also stop by the hotel’s other most haunted spaces including an underground tunnel. Children must be five or older. Tour reservations required. Contact: 800-976-1377; http://stanleyhotel.com
3.Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Alberta, Canada. Put your ghostly fears aside and check-in to this expansive hotel set in a majestic mountain setting. Designed in the likeness of a Scottish Baronial Castle, the inn welcomes kids with prince or princess crowns, the offer of a castle scavenger hunt, and a coupon to stop by the Castle Pantry for milk and cookies. However, should your bags be delivered, know the ghost of “Sam”, a former bellman, is said to sometimes roam the halls, still clad in his 60’s style- uniform. Contact: 866-540-4406; www.fairmont.com/banffsprings/
4. 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Eureka Springs, AR. Take the nightly tour and hear of strange happenings, odd noises and creepy disturbances said to have transpired in what is known as America’s most haunted hotel. Hear about the Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel and is said to occasionally visit Room 218. Other ghosts, including a nurse, a gentleman in Victorian finery and a cranky Doctor, reportedly roam the halls and play innocent pranks. Forewarned: the tour includes a trip to the basement, a spooky space once used as a morgue. 877-342-9766, www.crescenthotel.com.
5. The Queen Mary. Long Beach, CA. Throughout October and beyond, the opportunities to learn about paranormal particulars aboard this 314-room, historic ship are plentiful. Former passengers, from sailors to socialites, met their demise on the Queen Mary or were somehow determined to return and keep their spirits alive. Take a self-guided tour (Don’t get lost!) or choose from a menu of options that include touring with the resident paranormal investigator. For visits during October, ask about Dark Harbor, an extra-scary Halloween extravaganza, and Dark Harbor packages. Bring your flashlights. Contact: 877-342-0742; www.queenmary.com/