5. Haunted Hotels: Tarrytown House, Tarrytown, New York
You may not have heard of Tarrytown, but you’ll certainly know of its next-door neighbour, Sleepy Hollow (actually formerly known as North Tarrytown). The town was popularized in Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” first published in 1820, and the 1999 Tim Burton film featuring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci that was loosely based upon it.
According to a story in the Hudson Independent, Sleepy Hollow and its surroundings-including Tarrytown-have been called the most haunted places in the world. Get a taste of the region with a stay at Tarrytown House, haunted hotel: a property of 11 separate buildings including the circa-1840 King Mansion, the estate’s oldest building with 10 Georgian-style bedrooms that some say are haunted. Special offers include the fall Horseman’s Hollow Package, which combines a deluxe stay at the estate with two tickets to the Horseman’s Hollow at Historic Phillipsburg Manor, a haunted trail and house that ends with a party in honour of the Headless Horseman.
6. Haunted Hotels: The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta
You won’t find information about hauntings on its website, but stories abound online of ghost sightings by both staff and visitors at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Banff travel guide taximike.com, for example, posts ghost-related stories and photos submitted by readers, including one recent story of an elevator mysteriously opening and closing its doors, accompanied by a photo of the elevator with a strange blue light on one side. And according to travel website Grumpy Traveller, the haunted hotel is haunted by former bellhop Sam Macauley, who retired unwillingly in 1978 and persists in helping guests with luggage and letting them into rooms.
7. Haunted Hotels: The Fairmont Empress, Victoria, BC
Best known for high tea and its imposing presence above Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Empress is also said to be home to a number of ghosts. Local tour company Discover the Past includes this haunted hotel on one of its guided walks; Saturday evenings, join a tour to hear the story of chambermaid Lizzie McGrath, who died in 1909 after stepping out of her sixth-storey room to stand on the fire escape that she thought was there but had been removed for construction. Other reputed otherworldly residents include a a carpenter who hung himself during the hotel’s construction and Empress architect Sir Francis Rattenbury himself who was murdered in 1935 in his homeland of England by his chauffeur (and wife’s lover).