- 22nd October 2019
Check in at your own peril and join us on a tour of the top-five hotels of horror
Axe-wielding maniacs, demonic witches, and ectoplasmic ghosts don’t usually make for a positive Trip Advisor review, but plenty of us like a bit of a scare on Halloween. And it turns out you can have one…
As October 31st approaches, we count down five famous hotels that all share two things in common: they have all been forever immortalised in the hallowed halls of horror cinema, and you can really book a night’s stay this Halloween.
You can forget Psycho and its Bates Motel; these are all real-life. We’ve ranked them based on things like the quality of the film they appear in (according to IMDB), as well as how scary the characters and overall movie is.
5 - Millennium Biltmore, Los Angeles
Image Courtesy of the Millennium Baltimore via Flickr
Bed and breakfast: £241.46
Movie: Ghostbusters (1984)
IMDB ranking: 7.8 | Scare factor: 5/10 | Horror character ranking: 5/10
Serving up laughs and scares in equal measure, Ghostbusters was the top-grossing movie of 1984 and spawned a franchise in the process. Numerous scenes took place at the four-star Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles (renamed the Sedgewick Hotel in the movie), including the action-packed hoedown with gooey green ghost Slimer.
Today, the hotel remains largely unchanged and proudly claims to have hosted no fewer than nine US presidents over the decades. A night in the upscale two-storey Presidential Suite will set you back close to £1,800. Presumably, it’s immaculately clean with not a spot of ectoplasm in sight. Who you gonna call if you need a midnight snack? Room service, of course.
Despite the enduring and irresistible charm of Ghostbusters, Slimer is far too loveable to conjure up any real fright and so this hotel loses points when it comes to the scare factor
4 - The Headland Hotel, Cornwall
Image Courtesy of Ian Halsey via Filckr
Bed and breakfast: £170
Movie: The Witches (1990)
IMDB ranking: 6.8 | Scare factor: 7/10 | Horror character ranking: 7/10
Author Roald Dahl was famous for his deliciously dark children’s books and The Witches was arguably his most horrific of tales and was turned into a feature film in 1990’s The Witches. Focusing on a young boy and his encounter with a gaggle of witches hell-bent on ridding the world of all children, most of the film’s action played out at The Headland Hotel in Cornwall.
Perched on a clifftop with dramatic ocean views, this decadent retreat was the perfect setting for the Grand High Witch (played by Anjelica Huston) to host her twisted witches convention. With multiple interior and exterior shots filmed at the Headland, Dahl fans still flock here in their droves to see where their favourite scenes were created.
During filming, Rowan Atkinson famously did a ‘Mr Bean’ and accidentally flooded his bathroom, ruining expensive camera equipment the crew was storing in the room below. The hotel has welcomed many celebrities and Royals over the years, including regular customers Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall.
3 - The Roosevelt Hotel, New York
Image Courtesy of Wolfgang Jung via Flickr
Bed and breakfast: £486.11
Movie: 1408 (2007)
IMDB ranking: 6.8 | Scare factor: 8/10 | Horror character ranking: 4/10
Stephen King movie adaptations have been something of a mixed bag over the years, but 1408 (2007) is arguably one of the more chilling efforts. The story tells the tale of an author (played by John Cusack) who checks into the Dolphin Hotel to investigate the supposed paranormal activities occurring in room 1408.
While much of the film was shot on set, the hotel exteriors belonged to The Roosevelt in Manhattan. The hotel has been used in several other movies, including The French Connection and Wall Street, and has an impressive guestbook that includes screen icon Marilyn Monroe.
While the interior of the Roosevelt isn’t used in the film, a room 1408 does exist for those that want to check in at their own risk for the ultimate horror selfie.
2 - Bauer Hotel, Venice
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia
Bed and breakfast: £526.34
Movie: Don’t Look Now (1973)
IMDB ranking: 7.3 | Scare factor: 8/10 | Horror character ranking: 9/10
What is it about horror movies made in the ‘70s that make them instantly creepy? Cult classic Don’t Look Now focuses on a couple that goes on vacation to Venice to get over the death of their daughter, only to encounter a strange pair of psychic sisters and a series of unsettling events.
Boasting some of the most disturbing imagery to ever grace the silver screen, this is the kind of film that will make your skin crawl for weeks. Multiple shots were filmed in the nearby Hotel Gabrielli, however, the notorious love scene between actors Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie took place in the Bauer.
Of course, the décor in the five-star Bauer has been updated since the ‘70s, however, the distinctive gold trim used on the bed frame in the movie and the deluxe vintage style remains in many of the hotel’s rooms to this day.
1 - Timberline Lodge, Oregon
Image Courtesy of Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr
Bed and breakfast: £227.23
Movie: The Shining (1980)
IMDB rating: 8.4 | Scare factor: 10/10 | Horror character rating: 10/10
Is there anything scarier than an angry Jack Torrance smashing through a door with an axe? The Shining is noted for being one of the most effective chillers of all time, despite Stephen King rejecting director Stanley Kubrick’s vastly different version of his novel.
Timberline Lodge in Oregon is best remembered for the memorable exterior shots that feature towards the film’s snow-driven climax and still looks much the same today. But, as most of the interior shots were filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, you won’t get a sense of déjà vu once you step inside.
Movie purists would argue that to get the true Shining experience, you, in fact, need to visit The Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which is where King was inspired to write his bestselling novel. Even without that scene, the film is chock full of spine-tingling imagery that will make you think twice before checking into an isolated hotel.
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