Stories of tragedy haunt these structures that were once simply family homes and luxurious hotels for wealthy guests. But due to their gruesome histories, each of them gained reputations for being a hotbed of paranormal activity. Today, visitors are invited to stay the night and potentially interact with the very people who used to reside in these buildings.
The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis
This 33-room Victorian mansion, built in the 1860s, was home to the Lemp Family who migrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1838. Two years after they arrived, John Adam Lemp started a lager brewery in the natural cave of the their home's basement. The family brewery business took off and was at one point valued at $7 million. But their good fortune was not meant to last. The family's troubles began with the mysterious death of Frederick Lemp, grandson to John, in 1901 which led to four suicides within the family over the next 60 years. The mansion has been recently restored and guests can stay overnight in hopes of witnessing paranormal activity.
Loftus Hall, Ireland
Located on the Hook Peninsula in Ireland, Loftus Hall was originally built in 1350. The Loftus family acquired the property in the 1650s and has had many owners throughout history. According to a 2008 article in The Irish Times, the daughter of the original owners was said to have been visited by the Devil, while playing cards in the house. The private home was turned into a convent and school for young girls in 1917, and a hotel in 1983. It remained vacant from 1992 to 2008 and the only visitors during that time were ghost hunters and local teens. This year marks the hall's 666th anniversary, and visitors are invited for an overnight paranormal lock-down.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colo.
American inventor and businessman Freelan Oscar Stanley built this infamous hotel in 1909, which is widely known to have inspired author Stephen King's horror novel "The Shining." Initially, the grand, red-roofed hotel, aimed to draw in an affluent crowd, and it wasn’t until the 1970s when the hotel started to gain a reputation for being haunted. It has been reported that the horror all started in 1911, when a woman was struck by lightening in room 217. Today the hotel is still advertised as haunted and it's said that both Freelan Stanley and his wife Flora, can be seen or heard roaming the halls.
The Langham Hotel, London
The luxurious Langham Hotel, built in 1865, is located on the West End of London and boasts 500 rooms and suites which were recently restored in 2009 in a manner that still retains the structure's original historic architecture. When the British Broadcasting Company owned the building in the 1950s, they discovered that the 500 rooms came with some uninvited guests. According to The Huffington Post, there are seven ghosts that make regular appearances—including a German prince who is said to have thrown himself out of an upper story room. But, the most haunted room is supposedly room 333, where overnight guests may see ghostly figures moving through walls, feel quick temperature drops, hear water taps, and witness lights flickering on and off seemingly by themselves.
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, Fall River, Mass.
In 1872, just 50 miles south of Boston, Andrew Borden bought a house at 92 Second St. with his wife Abby and two girls, Lizzie and Emma. Andrew was a businessman and his wife Abby was described as, "a kind woman who was easy to please," according to the Lizzie Borden website. In 1892, both Andrew and Abby were found murdered in their house with a hatchet—a crime so gruesome, it is still talked about today. Lizzie, who discovered her father’s body, was a prime suspect during the investigation, but never charged for the murder. Now a bed and breakfast, guests can sleep and ghost hunt in the house where the Bordens met their untimely death. For extra spooks, thrill-seekers can sleep in the John Morse room, where Abby was discovered after she had been murdered.