Everyone loves a good ghost story. Whether you're sitting around a campfire with friends or alone in a dark room with Netflix, sometimes a spine-tingling tale of terror is what you need most to feel truly alive. We don't mind being scared senseless by these stories because at the end of the day - when the lights come back on - we know they're just that: stories. But how can we explain away the similar tales of ghosts over countless years from unconnected, totally separate sources? And why do all of these horrifying real-life ghost stories seem to come from hotels?
Maybe it's just that hotels are frequented by so many guests that some are bound to die within their walls and thus stories are spread about them. Maybe we're drawn to stories of haunted hotels because so many of the best horror films and books of recent memory have centered around them. Or maybe hotels really do draw visitors crossing over from the other side.
Which hotels around the world are home to hauntings that can't be considered purely fiction? Where do you need to stop at - but maybe not stay overnight in - on your next holiday? Read on to find out!
10. Castle Stuart - Inverness, Scotland
It's safe to say that any medieval castle turned into a hotel is going to be at least a little bit creepy, but Castle Stuart in Inverness, Scotland may just be the creepiest castle-hotel around. Originally built by the Stewart family in 1561, the castle has been owned by various people over the centuries, but all of them were eventually chased out by what they described as pure horror. Now it's a five star hotel, though we have to wonder if the ghosts that reportedly live within the walls of the castle find their accommodations so luxurious.
The East Tower of the castle in particular is famous for its hauntings, which began way back in the 1500s when the Earl of Moray had enough of the castle's ghost stories and decided to disprove them. Apocryphally at least - after hearing stories from his servants of faces appearing in the darkness, blood-curdling screams, and whispering voices in the night, the Earl hired four men to stay in the Tower overnight to put an end to the stories. The first three men didn't make it through the night.
The fourth, a notoriously brave man named Rob Angus, claimed he was afraid of nothing. He locked himself in the room and told everyone that the next morning "you will find me as I am or dead. None other." When the door was unlocked the next day, the Earl found the room ripped to pieces and the small window shattered. Beneath the window on the castle grounds was the dead and twisted body of Rob Angus.