2 Oct 2007
Ghosts among the guests at these hotels?
The Blue Room at the Union Hotel Øye in Norway is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman named Linda, who shared the Blue Room with a Prussian count when he stayed at the hotel. Linda committed suicide when she was unable to marry the count.
Boo! Plenty of you enjoy ghoulishly good Halloween getaways and things that go bump in the night.
With the haunting season fast approaching, we asked the experts at Tauck World Discovery (tauck.com), one of the oldest tour, cruise and safari operators in the world, for their suggestions of hotels they would consider among the world’s most haunted. Tauck surveyed its global team of more than 200 tour directors to solicit their “otherworldly” suggestions:
•The venerable Omni Parker House in Boston was founded in 1855 and is the oldest continually operating hotel in America. Several ghost stories are affiliated with the hotel’s third floor.
According to one tale, a former longtime resident of Room 303 was known for his fondness for whiskey and foul-smelling cigars. To this day, guests occasionally complain about the smell of whiskey and cigars in Room 303 — even after it’s thoroughly cleaned.
Another frequent occurrence involves elevators being summoned to the third floor, without a button being pushed or anyone awaiting the elevator when it arrives.
•At the imposing castlelike Chateau Frontenac, a landmark hotel in Quebec City, Tauck director Britta Svensson and several guests on one of her tours each saw a strange man sitting spookily on a hotel windowsill, only to have him suddenly vanish.
According to the hotel, the apparition might have been that of Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, for whom the property was named. De Buade was a 17th-century governor general in Quebec, who upon his death left instructions that his heart was to be sent in a decorative box to his fiancee in Europe. His distraught fiancee was too grief-stricken to accept the memento, which was returned to Quebec. De Buade is said to still wander the hotel, seeking to be near his beloved.
•Tauck director Cindy Walker adamantly refuses to stay on the sixth floor of the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park, which is thought to be haunted by the ghost of Mary Curry Tressider. Tressider, who was instrumental in the hotel’s development, lived in a sixth-floor apartment until her death in 1970. Afterward, reports of an apparition moving about the sixth floor became common.
When President John F. Kennedy stayed on the third floor in 1962, a rocking chair was placed in his room so he could rock and help alleviate his chronic back pain. After Kennedy’s death, housekeepers began reporting seeing a chair rocking slowly in the room where the president had stayed — even though the room hasn’t been furnished with a rocking chair since Kennedy’s visit.
•Tauck director Ed Gans tells two stories of ghosts at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in the Canadian Rockies.
The first involves a helpful bellman named Sam who frequently assists guests on the hotel’s ninth floor and then quickly departs — “almost into thin air.” Guests are invariably shocked to learn that Sam is a former hotel employee who died decades ago.
The second story is a tragic tale of a young bride who, after her wedding ceremony, was descending a marble staircase in her bridal gown. A sudden gust of wind tangled the gown’s long train in her feet, causing her to fall to her death. The hotel still reports mysterious breezes on the marble staircase and occasional sightings of a beautiful woman in a flowing white dress descending the stairs or dancing in the ballroom.
•The Chateau Rochecotte in the Loire Valley of France was owned by the Duchesse de Dino in the early 1800s, and Tauck director Nicole Kreigenhofer relates a story suggesting that the duchesse may still be in residence.
According to Kreigenhofer, a Tauck motorcoach driver named Michel awoke one night at the chateau to find a woman dressed in white floating above his bed, her long hair flowing around her. Michel was so paralyzed with fear that he was unable to move or scream.
“From that night on,” Kreigenhofer said, “Michel would either stay awake all night with the TV and lights on, or he’d sleep in the motorcoach — he was too proud or embarrassed to ask for a different room.”
Michel told his story to the front desk and the staff thereafter always tried to assign another room to him.
•The Langham Hotel in Boston has been popular with celebrities from Mark Twain to Madonna. But the seven ghosts reportedly wandering the Langham make it arguably the most haunted luxury hotel in the world.
The Langham’s most famous ghost hangs out in Room 333, where numerous people have reported seeing a man clothed in Victorian evening wear. The ghost is rumored to be the spirit of a doctor who killed himself after murdering his bride while they honeymooned at the hotel. Other guests have felt a cold presence and reported seeing an 18th century footman dressed in blue livery.