Visitors at this cushy, luxe hotel in the heart of the nation’s capital should be aware: if you catch a scent of almonds, something is fishy. Before the 138-room, Italian Renaissance-style hotel opened in 1928, the site was formerly one of the grand homes of John Hay and Henry Adams in the late 19th century. Clover Adams, Henry’s wife, was a photographer who allegedly committed suicide in the house by ingesting Potassium cyanide, a darkroom liquid that smells like almonds. Today, her ghost is rumored to cause minor trouble in the hotel — opening and closing doors, turning on radios, and the sound of sobbing through the walls — as she carries a lingering, almondy scent as she haunts.
Do you like a little terror with your turn-down service? Well then, these historic and haunted hotels in the U.S. are just dying to host you. We’re not talking zombies here (no one wants to be in real danger), but a few serious chills now and then will keep you on your toes.
Murders, suicides, morgues, and epidemics are all part of the mystery at these hotels — after all, what could be spookier than the elegant Stanley Hotel in Colorado, the same hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining (a.k.a. one of the scariest books around)? Or what about The Marshall House in Georgia, which served as a hospital during the Civil War and two yellow fever epidemics? The Lizzie Bordon B&B in Massachusetts, home of gruesome 19th-century axe murders? Some of these hotels are so haunted, they even offer ghost tours to brave guests (fear not: you can visit during the day if you’re afraid of the dark).
From flickering lights and unnatural noises to actual apparitions roaming the halls, these haunted hotels in the U.S. are sure to give you a scare. And if you can think of nothing better than chasing otherworldly frights, there’s plenty more to add to your itinerary. These haunted Airbnb listings, real-life haunted houses, and jaw-dropping ghost tours are as fun as they are bone-chilling.
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