‘Tis the season for festive lights, singing carolers, and holiday cheer. Yet as the winter solstice approaches, the veil between worlds grows thin. For some troubled locales around the globe, Christmas brings less tidings of joy than a yearly influx of unsettled spirits.
As days grow dark and icy nights stretch long, these eight locations come alive with vivid, terrifying tales of their haunted histories. Behind their welcoming holiday decorations lurk unrestful ghosts who can’t wait to come out and play.
- The Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana
This antebellum estate claims to be one of America’s most haunted homes year-round. But during the Christmas season, paranormal activity spikes dramatically, according to terrified guests. Mysterious piano music, strange footsteps up the stairs, and blood-curdling screams disrupt the usual holiday tranquility.
- The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The remote mountain lodge that inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining” definitely earns its reputation for spookiness around Christmas. Late at night, guests report hearing the bone-chilling laughter of children echoing from the hotel’s supposedly empty hedge maze. Talk about traumatizing!
- The Moore House, Pennsylvania
This Revolutionary War-era house has one particularly troubled spirit that only manifests during the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The ghost of a young British officer killed on the grounds tries in vain every year to complete his journey home to celebrate Christmas with his family.
- The RMS Queen Mary, California
The historic ocean liner permanently docked in Long Beach offers haunted holiday tours for thrill-seekers. With eerie tales of ghost children calling passengers by name and gremlins tampering with the Christmas decorations, this Ghost Ship of the Pacific has no shortage of spine-tingling Xmas tales.
- The Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Louisiana
It wouldn’t be Christmas in New Orleans without some ghost sightings. In this 19th century hotel, a curmudgeonly spirit named Scary Mary chases oblivious guests from her former room on the sixth floor every Christmas Eve. Her creepy cackling echoes throughout the premises all night long!
- Don CeSar Hotel, Florida
Spending Christmas on the sunny Gulf Coast might seem pleasant enough. That is unless you book Room 36 at this pink palace of a resort. The mischievous ghost of hotel founder Thomas Rowe plays pranks on unwary guests, switching TV channels mysteriously and rattling the closet doors all night like the ghosts of Christmases past.
- Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Restless spirits roam this medieval fortress all year, but become especially active around the holidays. Phantom soldiers are seen on the ramparts, unearthly cries fill the chapel, and strange glowing orbs float around the cobblestone grounds on Christmas Eve, supposedly remnants of souls not yet at peace.
- Hotel del Coronado, California
Around every Christmas season, this iconic beach resort is plagued by the ghost of a heartbroken young woman named Kate Morgan. She mysteriously died at the hotel in 1892 just before Christmas. These days, Kate spends her lonely holiday seaside vigil switching lights on and off, breezing past guests down the hall, and riding the hotel’s elevators going up and down aimlessly all night.
Have a wonderfully creepy Christmas, haunted travel fans!