With Halloween fast approaching, Hostelworld has revealed the hostels that will send a few shivers down the spine! Whether it is ghosts of guests past or former prisons, all these hostels offer guests something that no other accommodation can come close to! Just don’t get too comfy…
1USA Hostels, San Diego, USA
This hostel housed a brothel back in the late 18th century. People staying in one of their private rooms and the adjacent staff dorm over the past ten years have regularly told stories about the lights going on and off without reason, unexplained breezes and more. That room has since been turned into a bathroom but the stories haven’t ended. In another room since then, one guest felt her leg grabbed only to wake up and find everybody asleep, while two other guests were awoken in another dorm by banging coming from under their bunk. Apparently the banging went on for 15 minutes and started coming from all sides of the room and the ceiling, changing location very quickly. If you thought those were scary imagine being up in the rafters and being told repeatedly to ‘turn the water off’ by a disembodied voice. This is what happened to the hostels maintenance man a few days ago! Believe the stories or not staying here will definitely keep you on your toes!
2HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Canada
If your Halloween travel plans will find you in North America, the Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel is your best bet for a fittingly eerie experience, and is sure to deliver a unique overnight stay. The only hostel in North America located in a former prison, it offers a realistic—perhaps too realistic for the faint of heart—prison experience. You’ll sleep in actual prison cells, or maybe even the former prison hospital. If that’s not enough to get your heart pumping, it was on the hostel’s site that Canada’s last public hanging took place when Patrick James Whelan was hanged in 1869 for the assassination of Thomas Dárcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation. But be wary – it is said that the ghost of Patrick James Whelan walks the corridors to this day. If living the experience isn’t enough, tours of the un-renovated 8th floor are available, during which you can hear inmate stories or maybe even come across a few inmates who “never checked out”!
3The Pirate Haus Inn and Hostel, St Augustine, Florida, USA
As St Augustine is regarded as the oldest city in America, it is no surprise it has a haunted hostel. The Pirate Haus is located on Treasury Street and staff and guests of the hostel have experienced things falling off shelves for no apparent reason while others have reported seeing strange blue lights in Room 6. All ghost tours in St Augustine describe tales of murder and deception and soon stop outside the Pirate Haus to tell the tale of Estefania de Cigarroa, who ran out of a house with her baby sister in her arms during Searle’s Raid, only to be shot for her trouble. Estefania reportedly lived, but her sister died. The house where they lived stood on the spot where the hostel is.
4Georgian House Hostel, London, England
Located in London, the Georgian House Hostel is sure to give guests a thrill. Built in 1851 by William Chinnery Mitchell, the hostel was originally the private Chinnery residence. Amongst the enchanting, blue stained glass and charming fireplaces lurks a mysterious and ghostly presence. Guests and staff members have reported visions of two ghosts in the form of children playing on the top floors. The sights became so frightening that one of the managers asked the ghost children to remain upstairs so they don’t disturb the guests. However, these children are not the only super-natural inhibitors of the Georgian House Hotel. An unknown man haunts the basement staff rooms, and a ghost has also been seen in the kitchen and a bedroom on the top floor. Although they are sure to give guests goose bumps, the ghosts are harmless and disappear out of sight within minutes of appearing!
UPDATE [27/05/2018] – this hostel is no longer available
5Langholmens Vandrarhem STF/HI Stockholm, Sweden
Voted Sweden’s best hostel in 2008 Langholmes’ Vandrarhem is Sweden’s Alcatraz, situated on an island centrally located in Stockholm. Serving as the Crown Prison and Sweden’s biggest penitentiary for 135 years this once housed some of the coldest convicts in Europe, the Lanholmes is no longer the Crown Prison, but a unique accommodation option for travellers with a yearning for excitement. After two years of renovation the facility re-opened as a premier hostel with freshly modernised prison cells, offering visitors a quiet and comfortable place to stay. The old prison entrance hall, used as the current reception, boutique and cafeteria, gives an ominous feel and can be explored through out the night as its open 24 hours a day.
6Jailhouse Accommodation, Christchurch, New Zealand
Dungeons, cages and jailhouses have always had the reputation of being dark, desolate and frightening places. This Halloween, when booking your travel accommodation, consider a night in the big house. Located in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Jailhouse Accommodation hostel offers visitors the thrill of sleeping somewhere offbeat and unique. Voted Oceania’s third best hostel in 2008 this hostel, once a penitentiary to local crime-lords, has been newly modernised to a clean, hospitable and relaxing hostel with fantastic facilities. The staff are very knowledgeable about the hostel’s eerie history and will pass on stories full of dread and misery to whoever listens!
7Hostel Celica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Does the thought of spending the night behind bars chill you to the bone? Or is it just the vision of yourself behind bars and in that hideous jump-suit that’s revving up your nerves? At Hostel Celica, you may not escape the remnants of the prison’s iron bars, which are artfully placed on the doors and windows. But at least the rooms are hip, clean and friendly. The building was completely renovated and all 20 former prison cells were converted and artistically renovated into a unique, priceless work of art. The hostel also enjoys a great location in the centre of Ljubljana, among the new cultural area surrounded by galleries, artists’ studios, funky bars and a vivid weekend party life. With free internet access and an in-house art gallery there is no need to keep you locked away!