Even ghouls and goblins need a home and staying at a haunted hotel can turn a Halloween holiday into a whole load of spooky fun. In the spirit of the season, online travel adviser Hotels.com (www.hotels.com) offers its top 10 spooky hotels. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Langham Hotel in London
Situated in London's classy West End district, this grand five star hotel has been home to many famous guests in real-life, including George Orwell, Mark Twain and Charles de Gaulle. However, the hotel's most intriguing have been its supernatural inhabitants, who were reportedly first sighted by British Broadcasting Corporation BBC.L journalists after World War II. Reporters claim to have seen the ghost of Emperor Napoleon III, and a German prince who died by jumping out of a fourth-floor window. The hotel's room 333 is said to be the room where many of the ghosts like to congregate.
2. The Russell Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Tucked away in The Rocks next to Circular Quay in Sydney, this historic hotel is said to house the ghost of an ancient sailor from the colonial era. Guests staying in room 8 have reported sightings of the seaman watching them sleep and wandering the corridors, before vanishing into thin-air.
3. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, U.S.
Occupying 28 acres of the Pacific coastline in San Diego, California, this luxury resort is also the subject of a long-standing murder mystery. Ever since the body of guest Kate Morgan was found on the hotel steps in 1892, guests have complained of strange noises and smoky apparitions. Her now-infamous room is commonly avoided by superstitious visitors.
4. Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff Springs, Alberta Canada.
At this picturesque property in the Rocky Mountains, the resident ghost is reportedly a former employee of the hotel. A bellhop who died after announcing his retirement in 1967, Sam Macauley has lived on in the eyes of some guests and staff members, who claim to have seen visions of the man in full uniform, helping out guests just as if he had never left! A young bride, who died in the hotel on her wedding day, has also been seen within the hotel grounds.
5. Ballygally Castle Hotel, Larne, Northern Ireland
Built in 1625, the Ballygally Castle was later transformed into a hotel and the former Lady of the Castle, Isobel Shaw, continues to frighten visitors by knocking on different guestrooms, before disappearing. Shaw fell to her death from the bedroom window after her husband had locked her in her room to starve.
6. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, USA
Hosting the first-ever Academy Awards in 1929, several of the hotel's guestrooms include the hand-prints of Hollywood stars preserved in cement. The celebrity connection doesn't end there. The ghost of pop star Marilyn Monroe, a permanent and popular resident of the hotel has been sighted as has actor Montgomery Clift, who has been known to play a brass instrument in his old room.
7. Hotel El Convento, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Originally the home of a war-widow, Spanish noblewoman Dona Ana, before becoming a cloister for local nuns, this property was temporarily converted into a hotel in the 1960s, before opening permanently as a hotel in 1995. Eery swishing sounds and nun's robes have since been sighted, while some guests even say they have been woken by the ghost of Dona Ana if they've slept in too late!
8. Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy
A popular hang-out for artists, musicians and politicians in the early-mid 20th century, the Hotel Burchianti in Florence has become the scene of many ghostly rumours. Not the most chilling of all supernatural tales, but guests have claimed to have seen visions both a child skipping down the hallways, as well as a phantom woman knitting in a chair. Stories of the hotel's Fresco room are not so innocent, with reports of guests feeling an icy breath sensation.
9. Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA
Opened in 1909 and offering spectacular panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, the Stanley Hotel is best known for its role in the classic horror film, The Shining, featuring Jack Nicholson. The film was motivated by novelist Stephen King's stay at the hotel; supposedly King's suitcase mysteriously unpacked itself while he briefly left his room. The hotel is also home to a variety of ghosts, including the hotel's builder and owner F.O. Stanley. Guests have also reported the sounds of children playing through the night and a woman who froze to death in the basement of the concert hall is regularly seen roaming the hotel.
10. Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
Located in the centre of Taipei's business, shopping and entertainment district, the luxurious Grand Hyatt is well known by local Taipei residents to be haunted. Believed to be built on the land of a wartime political prison where many prisoners were executed, the hotel has supposedly been home to a number of ghosts ever since. To combat the lingering evil spirits, a Chinese sutra has been positioned in the hotel's entrance, and the lobby is decorated with sacred scrolls.