The 13 Most Haunted Hotels in America

 

Haunted hotels entered the public imagination in a big way with the spectrally occupied Overlook in The Shining. But creepy stories of spooky stay-overs have always been the subject of speculation – and some reportedly haunted stays still exist today.

Here’s Halloween Alliance’s list of the 13 spookiest hotels in America. Pack your bags and stay a while…if you dare.

#1: The Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Unearthly dancers are said to waltz through the Bourbon Orleans ballroom.
Unearthly dancers are said to waltz through the Bourbon Orleans ballroom.

Nestled in the iconic French Quarter of New Orleans, the Bourbon Orleans is the site of the original Orleans Ballroom, built in 1817. Among those reportedly at unrest at the Bourbon Orleans: a Confederate soldier for whom the war will never really be over (seen on the 3rd and 6th floors), children and nuns who were victims of a yellow fever epidemic when the hotel was an orphanage, and mysterious dancers who disappear as quickly as they appear, ruffling the draperies as they waltz from one world into the next.

#2: The Omni Homestead Resort

Despite its idyllic appearance, the Homestead is said to be anything but restful (or at rest).
Despite its idyllic appearance, the Homestead is said to be anything but restful (or at rest).

According to guests, the Hot Springs, VA-located Omni Homestead Resort is anything but restful. Though the entire building is said to experience ghostly disturbances, the 14th floor receives the most reports of paranormal activity. Originally erected as a much smaller facility in 1776, the resort is said to have a bloody history, including a bride left at the altar who committed suicide in one of the rooms. More recently, the hotel has experienced violence that visitors swear was spurned by the unrest in the building: two hotel supervisors were shot by an employee in the hotel’s kitchen in 2009.

#3: The Onaledge Inn

Harassed male visitors claim some of the Onaledge's guests have reserved a postmortem stay at the haunted locale.
Harassed male visitors claim an aggressive elderly woman has booked a post-mortem stay at the Onaledge.

Built as the Red Craggs Inn in 1844, this Manitou Springs, CO bed-and-breakfast is said to have a number of unearthly “regulars,” including a “blue boy” who plays near the pond and, perhaps more dangerously, an unidentified elderly female who attempts to shove at male visitors. The location was rebuilt as the Onaledge Inn in the early 20th century, but these spooky guests, visitors say, refuse to leave.

#4: The Stanley Hotel

stanley hotel ghost
The spooky Stanley Hotel has a dangerous history and is said to host at least one ghost (see image above).

That’s right: it’s the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining in 1980. And it’s not just King who felt something eerie in the famous locale. According to hotel employees, the Estes Park, CO structure, built by Stanley Steamer magnate Freeland O. Stanley in the early 1900s, things go bump in the night, and not just in Room 217. The place has been plagued by a gas leak, a mystery explosion, power outages and, according to records, has resulted in injuries, including two broken ankles by one of the employees.  Among its spookier stories: beds are found by chambermaids already made up (and not by the guests), and honeymooners report being physically separated on the marriage bed by a spectral presence. And according to hauntedplacesinamerica.com, an eerie image (shown in the pic, right) has been captured – temporarily, anyway – on camera.

Continue the Haunted Tour ->

 

How to Dress Your Pet for Halloween

 

On Oct. 31 of last year, the doorbell rang, and I opened my door to the most adorable little trick-or-treater you ever saw.

She was covered with shaggy hair, had pointy little fangs and her eyes shone at me with a yellowish cast. Ooo, so spooky!

Plus, she was wearing a costume.

Yes, that’s right. A pet owner was making the neighborhood rounds with her tiny terrier.

Obviously, the owner didn’t want candy . She just wanted a chance to show off Madison (yep, that was Pooch’s name) in all her decked-out glory: a shaggy little ballerina in a pet-size tutu.

Click Here For The 15 BEST New Pet Costume Ideas for 2015

Pomeranian dressed as pumpkinA New Fad?

I’m not the first to experience this phenomenon. Readers have emailed us to let us know that they’ve had similar experiences among their neighbors. And a few have asked how to dress up their own beloved furbabies – and whether they should.

There are a few things to consider, so let’s take a closer look at whether or not your li’l guy or gal is a candidate for getting in on the Halloween fun.

  • Is your pet easily distressed by strangers? If so, even if you decide to dress her up, taking her door-to-door may not be a good idea. However, if she’s fine with passing people she doesn’t know on the street, taking her out on the sidewalk on Halloween to show her off might be feasible.
  • DON’T force items onto your pet’s body that she simply can not stand. If your pet refuses to wear that cute cat rappernurse cap, but will allow the little white dress, accept her boundaries on this issue. If you try to force things, you may begin to lose her trust.
  • Observe your pet’s “silent signals” carefully. If Pooch is wagging his tail, but his eyes are wide and frightened or he’s trembling, he is trying to be nice in order to please you, but you are increasing his anxiety.
  • If your pet tends to snap and you need to pull her back frequently on her leash, no matter how badly you want to take her out on Halloween night, please don’t. The strangeness of the odd colors and shapes of kids’ costumes, plus the excitement level and crowding factor, my set your pet off and cause something you’ll all regret, such as charging or biting.
  • Small pets may tire more easily than larger or older/more mature ones. Take your little guy or gal in a pet carrier, comfortable carry-on or even a stroller.

Welcoming Pets to Your Door

dog santa clausIf you know you’re going to have some furry trick-or-treaters this year, you may wish to have pet treats ready. You’ll be the hit of the neighborhood if you do!

It can be wonderful to offer pet-friendly treats. Be sure to move slowly and to ask the owner whether you can reach out. Kitty might look adorable at your door, but the situation is strange to her, and you can’t know how a stranger’s pet will react.

For dogs, extend your hand in a fist (not open fingers), coming near but not touching the nose and going slowly. This will allow the pup to sniff you, which will give him “information” about you so he’s less nervous.

Keep small children in the home back. Ask the owner whether the pet is good with children. If so, go SLOWLY and HOLD YOUR CHILD while bringing her within proximity to the animal. If you sense any anxiety at all in the pet, do not allow your child close enough to actually touch the pet. Children move more quickly than adults and are more unpredictable, which can make a pet anxious.

Know your pet's distress signals. It may look cute to you, but if your pet's eyes are widened and she's shrinking back, you may be causing her anxiety.
The costume may look cute to you, but if your pet’s eyes are widened and she’s shrinking back, you’re causing her anxiety.

Fun Pet Costume Ideas

Now that we have the precautions down, are you ready for the fun part? Here are some awesome pet dress-up suggestions:

  • An “opposite” costume. Dress your dog as a cat or your cat as a dog.
  • “Ferocious” animals: tiny Pomeranians and cuddly kittens are bound to get a smile from one and all if they’re dressed up as bad-boy types such as lions or tigers.
  • Try something seasonal, such as an elf, Cupid or a Thanksgiving turkey.spuds
  • Dress your pet the way your children are dressed so everyone “matches,” even Fido!
  • Have your cat go as a celebrity you admire and who has/had an immediately identifiable look, such as Elvis.
  • Superhero costumes are adorable on pets, especially small ones; however, this is a look that will get giggles no matter what the species and breed.
  • Choose a favorite book or movie character (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, a Star Wars or Star Trek character, Jack puppy tacoSparrow, etc.).
  • Have your pet be a sports character (football player, cheerleader, soccer champ).
  • Go for humor, like the puppy taco shown.
  • If your pup will allow makeup (see the Spuds MacKenzie image above), go for it – but make sure you use 100% non-toxic makeup that’s easily removable.

 

 

Be creative with this idea – but always within your pet’s comfort level. Dressing your pet up can be a fun and adorable way to add to the holiday. Have fun!

The Monster Reborn Doll Trend is So Big, It’s Scary

 

Q: What’s scarier than a doll? You know, like…any old doll.

A: How about a sweet-cheeked vinyl kit that’s been taken apart, painted and all dolled up into a vampire, zombie or even a werewolf?

If you  haven’t heard of reborn dolls, you’re late to the game: refurbishing factory-made dolls is a 15-year-old phenomenon (and counting).

Today, there are kits specifically designed for reborn artists – hobbyists with mad skillz and a heavy dash of creativity – to craft their own realistic babies and toddlers.

While reborn dolls have been hot nearly since their inception, in recent years an entirely new subcategory arrived on the reborn doll scene: horror  and fantasy reborns.

These creepy kiddies mimic the Halloween monster icons we know and (yes, we’re weird) love.

Hush little baby…and please don’t eat me. Get a similar freaky little darling at amazon.com; click for info.

And guess what: they’re not necessarily just for decor. Reborn “adoptivemoms” adore their little monsters and dress, pose and even “feed” them from specialty made blood bottles, zombie juice and more.

With a growing interest across the globe in all things haunted and creepy, reborn monster dolls seem to fit the bill for offbeat and unique collectors.

Perhaps one of the largest draws is the extreme realism of a reborn doll when combined with the creepiness factor.

Image: marcjacobs-handbags.com
Image: marcjacobs-handbags.com

Reborn dolls are, after all, meant to be as realistic as possible.

Putting together the idea of a cuddly, adorbs zombie or werewolf infant with dimensionally-painted skin  and high-quality glass eyes, tiny fangs, and sometimes, carefully rooted hair, gives these monster kids authenticity.

But beware: the scariest thing about these creepy kids may be the price. Reborn dolls can run anywhere from $100-700 or even as much as $1000 or more for the biggest artist names in the business. With their unique (and expensive) additions, monster reborns are often given higher price tags than standard, realistic baby dolls.

But it’s worth it to the collectors who adore their monster creations, and feel the haunted baby dolls earn their price tag for the creepy cuddle factor.

“Holding these dolls is so calming and relaxing,” says horror doll artist Marilyn Mansfield of Krypt Kiddies, UK. “The experience is very absorbing.”

Click Page 2 For More Horror Reborn Dolls:

A Very Vintage Halloween: Hauntin’ it Old-School

 

Vintage means different things to different people. When it comes to Halloween, “vintage” may refer to the time period the person grew up (say, the 60s or the 80s), a culturally nostalgic time such as World War II or the Victorian era, or simply an “old” look and feel.

Therefore, we’re glad to bring you ideas that cover a range of time periods. You may remember them or your parents might wax nostalgic about them, but either way, everyone loves vintage – so enjoy and make this Halloween a blast from the past!

Biestle: The Cardboard Cutout Gold Standard

Biestle cutouts

Beistle is the ironic name for a Halloween hang-up decorations franchise that you may remember from the 60s, 70s or 80s. The name might not ring a bell – but once you see these traditional cardboard cutouts, we guarantee you’ll be transported into the past.

The company still offers the decor you remember at rock-bottom low pricing. Find great iconic decorations at Amazon, ebay or at beistle.com.

 

The Candy You Remember: Have a Bite!

wax fangs 2
candywarehouse.com

Mmmmmmmm! Long ago, we settled for stale wax lips, phony cigarettes and “Sips” of pure glucose – and we loved them!

If you think you can’t re-live the experience, think again. Nostalgic candy is big business, and dozens of retailers offer the insta-cavity makers you remember. Try these locales:

monster mashMusic: Step Into the Past to Set a Mood

Nothing transports a person into a specific time or past event like music. Playing the Halloween favorites from your childhood will set an instant mood. Set up a playlist or buy a ready-made CD and rock out at your vintage Halloween party.

A few Halloween song classics include:

  • Monster Mash (Bobby “Boris” Pickett)
  • The Purple People Eater (Sheb Wooley)
  • Love Potion No. 9 (The Clovers)
  • Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon)
  • Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  • Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
  • Spooky (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
  • Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr.)
  • Tubular Bells (theme to The Exorcist) (Mike Oldfield)
  • Devil Woman (Cliff Richard)
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band)
  • Time Warp (Richard O’Brien)
  • I Put a Spell On You (Nina Simone)
  • Dragula (Rob Zombie)
  • Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
  • Black Magic Woman (Santana)
  • Witchy Woman (Eagles)

Classic Posters Create a Retro Atmosphere

Classic horror movie retro posters can be had at a steal (as long as they’re repros and not originals). Hang up posters of The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Fly, Dracula, Frankenstein, and traditional Halloween icons such as Elvira, The Munsters and The Addams Family.

Ebay and Amazon carry them, as do big box sellers such as allposters.com.

Vintage Invitations for Your Halloween Bash

halloween postcard
trueghosttales.com

Google vintage Halloween postcards, download and paste text into the body to invite your friends to your amazing Halloween bash.

Don’t forget to tell your guests to come in the vintage attire of their choice, and make this one Halloween that will go down in history!