Halloween and haunted houses go together like costumed children and epic sugar highs. This year, perhaps you would like to spend Oct. 31 at a house or hotel frequented by the dearly departed. In the United States, there’s no shortage of rumored haunted accommodations, and the five options here celebrate their haunted histories with Halloween festivities, ghost encounter-filled guest books and more.
Built in 1909 and revamped in 2014, this 110-year-old hotel boasts a rumored ghost who was a scion in the arts scene of the early 20th century: Alice B. Toklas. All encounters, many of which are said to occur in and around Room 408, Toklas’s regular accommodation — are friendly ones, said Tiffiny Costello, Hotel Sorrento’s marketing manager. “We like to use the word spirited!” The hotel is celebrating the legacy of their lingering guest with events throughout October, including a Tuesday tarot reading, a Witch’s Tea, aura photography and the annual Alice B. Toklas dinner and ghost tour celebrating Toklas’s cookbook.
Rooms from $199 for two adults in October.
Hotel del Coronado
This sunny beach resort near San Diego opened in 1888 and acquired a ghost just three years later. Kate Morgan was 24 when she checked into a third-floor guest room on Nov. 24, 1892. After five days she took her own life — estranged from her husband, the story goes that she was to meet with a lover who failed to show. Since then, guests and employees have noted phenomena, including flickering lights, doors that open and close, unexplained footsteps and voices on the hotel’s third floor and in the guest shop. Kate sightings in hallways and on the beach have also been reported. Get in the Halloween spirit at “The Del’s” adults-only Hallo-wine and Spirits party, or follow in Morgan’s footsteps on an hourlong Haunted Happenings Tour.
Rooms from $299 for two adults in October.
A bed-and-breakfast that claims to be “Connecticut’s Most Haunted Inn,” Captain Grant’s was built in 1754 and is currently sandwiched between two cemeteries, one from 1650 and another from the 19th century. There is no shortage of reports of spirited encounters, from objects moving around rooms — the Adeleide room is the inn’s most haunted — to rattling doors and occasional sightings, one of which included a group of ghostly children playing marbles in the inn’s hallway (confirmed by three couples the following morning over the inn’s hearty country breakfast). This year, Captain Grant’s is hosting a full weekend of Halloween festivities, including a cemetery tour, ghost-hunting tips and the chance to sit in on a seance.
Rooms from $119 for two adults in October, also available on Airbnb.
William O’Dale House
Fishers Island, N.Y.
This Victorian “cottage” was built in the 1880s and is currently owned and rented out by the Walker-Maysles family. “No one wanted to touch it, since it was haunted!” said Sara Mayles, whose grandfather bought the property in the 1970s. “He sat on the porch and watched the sunset and was blown away by the beauty. Well, and it was very cheap!” While no one in her family has experienced a ghostly encounter, Mayles has heard of guests feeling something pressing down on them and sightings of a stately, backlit man. The house’s most famous ghost is the 1920s Broadway actress and singer Amy Fay Stone (stage name, Anne Faystone), who was friends with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. She is said to haunt the dining room. Seances, per the house’s current owners, are welcome.
William O’Dale House sleeps nine, with rates from $835 per night on Vrbo. Contact the owners for pricing and availability.
Hobo Hill House
Jefferson City, Mo.
Aaron Clark and his family lived in this three-bedroom house for “seven long months” before the supernatural occurrences became too much to take. “We couldn’t sell the house in good faith,” he said. Clark did have enough interest to make the house a short-term rental, listing it on Airbnb and Vrbo late last year. The house appeared on the Travel Channel show “The Dead Files,” which explores paranormal phenomena around the United States, this past August, and has since seen an explosion of interest from ghost hunters and visitors to Jefferson City’s haunted prison. As for specific hauntings, Clark can’t guarantee what guests might experience. “A lot has happened around the steps of the house. One young lady saw a dark figure on the balcony of the master bedroom. People keep smelling sulfur,” he said of encounters, many of which have been recorded in the house’s guest book. Clark makes no promises, but Hobo Hill House is not for the faint of heart. “The very first group we had couldn’t stay the whole night,” he says.
Hobo Hill House sleeps 10, with rates from $275 a night on Airbnb and Vrbo. The house is booked on weekends through October but has availability on weekdays.