Lady Gaga nor all of her imitators won’t be the spookiest-looking creatures roaming the land this Halloween. If you’re on the road during the haunted holiday, you can visit some hotels that boast of real, live (or dead) spooks.
1. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This ornate relic of the early glory days of Tinseltown boasts two famous ghosts. The image of Marilyn Monroe is said to appear some midnights in a large mirror just outside her former room at Suite 1200.
When Montgomery Clift stayed at the Hollywood Roosevelt in 1953, he supposedly had trouble memorizing his lines for his starring role as a soldier in “From Here to Eternity”. Some guests claim they’ve seen his ghost stalking the halls and practicing bugle calls near his former room, Number 928. For information about the haunted hotel: 7000 Hollywood Bvd., Los Angeles CA 90028, 323-466-7000, www.thompsonhotels.com
2. Farnsworth House Inn: One of many quaint hotels and bed and breakfast stops in the historic Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg, it boasts of many ghosts. This year celebrating its 200th birthday, the vintage Inn is near the famous Civil War battlefield. It’s rumored that some of the ghosts are actually live Gettysburg actors in the uniforms of Yankee and Rebel soldiers.
However, if you get into the right Halloween mood, that doesn’t detract from the interesting locale, its artifacts (including alleged 1863-era bullet holes in the walls) and you-are-there war stories created to impress visitors. 401 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg PA 17325 – 717-334-8838, www.farnsworthhouseinn.com
3. Elaine’s Victorian Inn and Dinner Theater: The New Jersey shore town of Cape May, just down the coast a few dozen miles from busy-all-year Atlantic City, is mobbed throughout July and August. Then, by Halloween time, tourists are gone.
So, what did the 160-year-old Elaine’s do about it? They came up with great haunted house tales that attract visitors from all over America. In addition to great food and entertainment, Elaine’s staff conduct walking tours to many of the haunted mansions where the very wealthy of the 19th Century once spent their summers, far away from the peasants who bathed in the surf up the coast at Wildwood and Atlantic City.
Elaine’s favorite ghost is of a little girl named Emily. Guests can hear her naughty behavior at night when she bangs on doors as she thumps up and down the inn’s hallways. Sometimes she’s accompanied by several spooky, but live black cats. Guests can pet them at their own risk.
More realistic Halloween thrills are provided at the inn’s dinner theater’s production of “Zombie Beach Party,” and the Haunted Mansion’s audience participation dinner show, “Ghost Hunting 101.”
There are many, many more allegedly haunted hotels and inns worth a visit at Halloween time. We won’t even attempt to talk about spooky destinations in Great Britain, where they’ve had a 1,500-year start over America in creating ghosts.