Sights & Activities

The Hunt: Best Haunted Places

October 31, 2013

GLOBAL – Every week, the Purple Passport team goes in search of a designated item in whatever city our team members happen to be. This week, we’re in full-on Halloween mode so we’ve decided to explore the best haunted places (the spookier, the better). So whether its ghosts, clouds, or celebrity spirits, this list of spots is sure to give you a little fright. And let us know about your favorite haunted places in the comments!

Photo courtesy of pds209 on Flickr Creative Commons

New Amsterdam Theatre
New York, New York

The Skinny: Get some glam with your ghost at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre, where Olive Thomas has crossed the great divide from famous Ziegfield Girl to alleged Ziegfield ghoul. Various guards here have reportedly sighted a spectral woman with a big blue bottle, while Ms. Thomas—formerly a Follie here—died drinking mercury bichloride from a flask of this very description. Keep your eyes peeled for a flash of green from the dress she is said to wear in death.

– Hannah

Photo courtesy of shani heckman on Flickr Creative Commons

The Hotel Chelsea
New York, New York

The Skinny: As Janis Joplin once said, “A lot of funky things happen in the Chelsea.” The Hotel Chelsea, an iconic New York City monument known for housing some of the most legendary creative minds, also has a reputation for being one of the most haunted buildings in Manhattan. Many say that there is even a “dark cloud” that hovers over it. Once a hub, in its heyday, for (starving) artists, playwrights and musicians, it isn’t surprising that palpable remnants of ghosts from the past (whether literal or figurative) still linger to this day.


Photo courtesy of demxx on Flickr Creative Commons

Hollywood Roosevelt
Los Angeles, California

The Skinny:
This storied Hollywood hotel has had its share of ghost stories. Staff and guests regularly report paranormal sightings, from a ghostly pianist jamming on the mezzanine to apparitions swimming in the pool after hours. But the most spine-tingling occurrences are those involving celebs−deceased ones, of course. Famous guests of the past have been known to make haunting reappearances, including Marilyn Monroe (who allegedly pops up primping in a mirror she bought for her favorite suite) and Montgomery Clift (who apparently makes a nuisance of himself practicing the bugle for his role in From Here to Eternity). Even if this isn’t officially a “haunted house,” why not stop by the hotel’s Tropicana Bar on Halloween and toast the spirits?

– Rachel L.

Photo courtesy of Paul Sableman on Flickr Creative Commons

Chicago Water Tower
Chicago, Illinois

The Skinny: The Chicago Water Tower might be best known for being the only public building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but its haunted past is also pretty notable. Rumors have it that the tower’s watchman and a friend noticed the roaring fire overtaking the city and decided to dampen the roof to help preserve and minimize damage to the landmark. He is then said to have hanged himself, and visitors and locals alike still claim to see him from the top window.

– Suzee

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