If there's one thing we can all agree on about fall, it's the fun of Halloween. You might not enjoy the cold weather or the seasonal allergies, but who doesn't love a spooky jack-o-latern, a bag full of candy, or a creative costume? Or, maybe you're into the spookier elements of Halloween.
Throughout New England you'll find plenty of hayrides, haunted houses, spooky mazes and fright-night events. For those brave enough, you can extend your fear by staying overnight at a haunted hotel. That's right – it seems the ghosts of New England's past aren't ready to truly depart, and like to make sure guests at hotels in the area are aware of their influence.
Are you brave enough to stay the night? Think you'll sleep soundly? I'll admit I couldn't do it and yes, I think you're insane for wanting to – but I applaud your efforts. If you're willing to brave it for a night, I found a few hotels that will test your fear limits:
Grab your X-ray goggles, your high-def cameras, your Ouija boards and whatever else you want to help seek out spirits, and book at night at some of these haunted hotels. Make sure you send me a note if you find something abnormal, paranormal, ghastly and/or ghostly during your stay.
For family fun: Omni Parker House, Boston
The ghost of Harvey Parker (the original owner of the hotel) continues to roam the halls of the Omni Parker House in Boston. Parker was known as a perfectionist who was deeply involved in all aspects of the hotel, and prided himself on being the ultimate host to guests. Clearly, a host who has a hard time leaving... Sightings of Parker's ghost usually come from guests on the 10th floor, and rumor has it he visits room 1078 on occasion. Apparently, there's also a gathering of ghosts on the 3rd floor and in room 303 – the hotel elevators have been known to stop there for no reason, and without any buttons being pushed. This is the perfect option for families, thanks to the hotel's location to everything else in Boston. If the kids get too spooked, there are plenty of places to run to outside of the hotel.
For couples: Colonial Inn, Concord
The Concord Inn is listed as one of the oldest inn's in America, and is said to be spooked by the ghost of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Stories are told of Emerson's spirit walking the hallways. The Concord Inn was visited by paranormal experts that claim they found "phantom presences" in Room 424, which was once the operating room of Dr. James Minot who had a medical practice here. Couples can snuggle up here and attempt to ward off the ghosts of legends past by reading some Emerson aloud, which can also make for a rather romantic evening.
For the luxury traveler: Hotel Viking, Newport
The say Rhode Island is especially haunted because it was one of the 13 original colonies and the native American souls are still not at rest. Apparently, they also like the party. Guests who stay in the back of the hotel have reported being woken up by "phantom parties" – music and laughter happening in the hotel's courtyard but no one is there. Luxury travelers will love staying here, mostly because of the hotel's high-end amenities (don't miss an opportunity to sip from the scotch bar).
For the completely insane: Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River
Rated one of the creepiest places in America, the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast has it all: murder, mystery, and a museum. You're probably familiar with the story: In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered with an axe. According to the gruesome nursery rhyme, their daughter Lizze was the culprit: "Lizzie Borden took an axe; Gave her mother forty whacks; And when she saw what she had done; She gave her father forty-one."
Today, the B&B allows guests to stay in any of the bedrooms once occupied by the Borden family. Guests who stay here typically don't sleep that well. The spirits of Lizzie's parents are said to haunt the house – guests have seen a woman in Victorian garb straightening up the house or heard her weeping. Doors have randomly open and shut, windows have closed without warning, and the sounds of muffled conversations can be heard throughout the house.
Some other options:
Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH, hosts the ghost of Caroline Foster, the wife of railroad tycoon and the resort’s builder, Joseph Stickney. Visions of an elegant woman in Victorian dress are often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, but perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in room 314, where guests report seeing the vision of the woman sitting at the edge of their guest bed.
Witches Woods in Nashoba Valley is said to be taken over by the souls of the dead around Halloween. The woods of Nashoba Valley turn into a Halloween fright scene complete with hayrides and haunted houses. Witches Woods is open to ages 6 and up and admission gets you a hayride and access to 3 haunted houses. The Jack O'Lantern Jamboree is perfect for those who prefer not to be less- spooked, and just enjoy some creative jack-o-laterns.
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