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Infamous Hotels

Monday, Oct 21 2019 by

Not all hotels are created equal. Some are world famous for their luxuries, others have reputations of being sub par, while most are not memorable, just providing a good night’s sleep, decent WiFi, and maybe a hot breakfast in the morning.

But some hotels are famous for being infamous, tied to serial killers, untimely deaths, hauntings and murders.

Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles

Now called the Stay on Main Hotel, the Cecil Hotel is a budget hotel that has a reputation for housing transients, addicts and even murderers.

So many suicides have occurred that the hotel has earned the nickname “The Suicide” among it’s more familiar residents.

The serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger stayed there during their sprees.

The music group U2 filmed a music video for “Where the Streets Have No Name” with the hotel in the background.

Cecil Hotel (Google Maps)
Cecil Hotel

Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.

The Washington Hilton is a famous and elegant hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. that once had a reputation as being a gathering place for the political and social elite.

However, on March 30, 1981, it became infamous when John Hinckley Jr. shot at and nearly killed President Ronald Reagan.

Hinckley Hilton (Google Maps)
Hinckley Hilton

President Reagan was leaving an event at the hotel when he and three others were shot by Hinckley, who was under the delusion that shooting the president would gain him the attention and affection of actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed.

The president and two of the victims were able to quickly recover, but White House Press Secretary James Brady suffered brain damage and was severely disabled for the rest of his life.

Site of the assassination attempt on President Reagan (StreetView)
Site of the assassination attempt on President Reagan

Stanley Hotel, Colorado

One of the scariest horror books, which was turned into a classic horror film, was inspired by the Stanley Hotel in Colorado.

Stephen King, famed novelist, stayed at the remote mountain hotel where he came up with the idea for the story The Shining.

Stanley Hotel and Conference Center (StreetView)
Stanley Hotel and Conference Center

The plot of a winter caretaker being possessed by the hotel’s spirits and attempting to murder his family was based on the story of a real hotel caretaker who murdered his family and then committed suicide.

Visitors to the Stanley Hotel can immerse themselves in the hotel’s history of being haunted if they dare.

Hotel from the movie 'The Shining' (Google Maps)
Hotel from the movie 'The Shining'

Hotel Chelsea, New York City

The Hotel Chelsea was built in 1885, and has housed countless artists, musicians and other notable individuals. It housed survivors from the Titanic, including Mary, who as a ghost continues to wander the halls and gaze at her reflection in mirrors.

Hotel Chelsea (StreetView)
Hotel Chelsea

The hotel is not only haunted, it has also been the scene of murders and suicides, including the murder of Nancy Sprugen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

The writer Dylan Thomas died of pneumonia in his hotel room.

Even those who did not leave the hotel after their last breath have had an impact on the hotel’s legacy, from Mark Twain to Andy Warhol to Jack Kerouac to Madonna.

Sid Vicious / Nancy Spungen Murder Site (Birds Eye)
Sid Vicious / Nancy Spungen Murder Site

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast

Lizzie Borden was a single adult living with her father and stepmother when on August 4, 1892, they were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie was the prime suspect because of her presence in the house that morning and her suspicious behavior. However, she was acquitted of all charges after the jury debated only half an hour.

The house was turned into a bed and breakfast where visitors often request staying in the room where the stepmother was found.

Lizzie Borden axe murder home (Birds Eye)
Lizzie Borden axe murder home

Most people look for free WiFi, pools and free breakfast when looking for a hotel, but if you’re looking for something more exciting or more memorable, this list is a great place to start.

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Is Washington, D.C. Haunted?

Tuesday, Oct 15 2019 by

With all the craziness happening these days in Washington, D.C., some have asked if the people there have gone mad.

Well, have they?

Looking over the city’s long and colorful history of slavery, political intrigue and international dealings, it would make sense if the disgruntled, upset and betrayed individuals were rising up and demanding justice for unsettled scores and crimes.

The White House

The White House is home to several ghosts, the most famous of which is Abraham Lincoln himself. No less than President Harry S Truman himself told several accounts of seeing the 16th president on multiple occasions, pacing up and down the halls.

Dolley Madison also makes her presence known here, but she shows up in many houses throughout the city, as busy in the afterlife as she was while she was alive.

White House, The (Google Maps)
White House, The

US Capitol Building

The US Capitol Building likely houses the most disembodied spirits, including one demon cat that appears before national tragedies and right before the presidential inauguration, which occurs on the steps of the Capitol. Rumor has it the cat was seen late on the night of September 10, 2001.

Other spirits include slaves who constructed the building, soldiers who died there when it was an army hospital during the Civil War, and even John Quincy Adams, who suffered a heart attack and died in the building.

United States Capitol (StreetView)
United States Capitol

Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters

Perhaps the most surprising and saddest haunted site in the city is the Federal Aviation Administration office building, which is now a boring government site. However, it was once the site of two large covered slave pens, which were used to hold slaves awaiting sale or transfer during the horrific slave trade in the 1700s and 1800s.

The pens were disguised by a plain yellow house, but those who were once chained to the wall, suffered hunger and pain, and separated from their families forever still haunt this place.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Google Maps)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Octagon House

The Octagon House is purported to be the most haunted residence in the city.

Built by Colonel John Tayloe III, it is likely that slaves were sold in the back yard, and it did house several generations of slaves in the early 1800s.

President James Madison and his wife Dolley resided here while the White House underwent repairs after the War of 1812. Dolley, of course, is spotted regularly on the front porch.

A daughter of Colonel Tayloe died in 1812; she and her father fought over a man she loved, and she ran down the stairs in anger. She tripped and fell to her death. Five years later, her sister also fought with her father, also over a love interest, and tripped while running down the stairs. Both sisters haunt areas of the house related to their suspicious deaths.

Octagon, The (Birds Eye)
Octagon, The

The Old Stone House

Giving the Octagon House a run for its money, the Old Stone House in the Georgetown neighborhood has a litany of ghosts, including children, women and a hostile man nicknamed “George”who has been known to strangle visitors. While the specters haven’t been definitively linked to individuals from the house’s history, the descriptions are consistent, leaving little doubt that this three hundred year old home has many otherworldly residents with unfinished scores to settle.

Today, visitors can tour the site, as it is part of the National Park Service.

Old Stone House, The (Birds Eye)
Old Stone House, The

Around every corner in the Capital it seems there is a ghost haunting their death place, looking for loved ones, seeking revenge, or just enjoying the social atmosphere, so be prepared to interact with both the living and the dead if you ever happen to find yourself in Washington, D.C.

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October Celebrity Birthdays

Tuesday, Oct 1 2019 by

Curious who might be having a birthday this month?

Here’s a list of just a few celebrities who will be celebrating their annual trip around the sun in October, and some of the homes where they might be celebrating.

Kelly Ripa

October 2 is a weekday, so viewers will certainly be able to see her on her morning television show Live! with Kelly and Ryan. Hopefully she’ll celebrate on stage with the audience and crew, but she’ll certainly be celebrating with her family after work.

Maybe they’ll head to their mansion in Southampton, which is a 5,500 square foot house with five bedrooms, a great yard and a sweet pool. It set them back $2.35 million in 2004, and has been a great retreat for the family since then.

Kelly Ripa's house (Google Maps)
Kelly Ripa's house

Kate Winslet

Film icon Kate Winslet may turn 44 on October 5, but she’ll likely look as glamorous as ever. She may celebrate her birthday in her lovely home on the beach in Sussex, Great Britain.

She loves her eight bedroom beachside manor so much she’s even using it as the location for an upcoming Hollywood film, so it would make sense she celebrates there with her family if at all possible.

Happy Birthday, Kate!

Kate Winslet's House (Google Maps)
Kate Winslet's House

Simon Cowell

America’s favorite grumpy judge should remember that frowning can cause wrinkles, which you don’t want to see on your birthday. Simon Cowell turns 60 on October 7, and hopefully he’ll smile as he blows out all those candles.

If he’s in California filming America’s Got Talent or working on one of his many¬†television projects, he has no shortage of homes to celebrate in without leaving the area.

His main LA home, bought in 2005 from Jennifer Lopez, has been significantly renovated to be more family-friendly. The new 10,000 square foot “dream home” includes an epic terrace off the master suite, tanning salon, screening room and areas for the live-in help.

Simon Cowell's House (StreetView)
Simon Cowell's House

If that doesn’t satisfy him, he can zip down the street to the home he bought in 2011 for $15.5 million, and promptly began an extensive renovation.

It includes cashmere-covered couches and an ottoman that turns into a television.

Simon Cowell's House (Birds Eye)
Simon Cowell's House

If he’s in New York, he can celebrate in his newly renovated town home, which he bought for nearly $11 million, and of course, immediately began to renovate.

The home overlooks Central Park, which would make a lovely setting for a rendition of “Happy Birthday”, on tune of course.

Simon Cowell's House (Birds Eye)
Simon Cowell's House

Bruno Mars

Any home for Bruno Mars has to have a lot of shelf space to hold all his Grammy Awards.

The Hawaiian crooner should serenade himself with “Happy Birthday” on October 8 in his lovely $6.5 million Los Angeles mansion.

He’ll have plenty of activities to choose from in his home, which includes a children’s wing, a wine cellar, steam room, dry sauna, infinity pool and heated cabana.

Bruno Mars' House (Birds Eye)
Bruno Mars' House

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is everyone’s celebrity, from the people who love his X-Men character Wolverine to those who love to see him sing and dance in The Greatest Showman, and everyone will be wishing him a happy birthday on October 12. Aussie Hugh can celebrate his birthday all around the world.

He might eat cake and ice cream with his family in his Hamptons estate. The main house has been under renovation for four years, but the family stays in the gorgeous guest house when they visit, as often as their schedule permits.

Hugh Jackman's House (Google Maps)
Hugh Jackman's House

They may celebrate just down the road in the family’s New York City apartment, which they bought in 2008 for roughly $15 million. They actually bought a unit that spans three floors in the exclusive building in the West End.

Hugh Jackman's Apartment (StreetView)
Hugh Jackman's Apartment

Of course, the family may celebrate at home in Australia in their exclusive Bondi Beach apartment, which they bought for about $4 million. It overlooks the bay, has a state of the art kitchen,  and imported European wood floors.

Hugh Jackman's House (Google Maps)
Hugh Jackman's House

Drake

Hopefully Drake will celebrate his 33rd birthday at his Los Angeles home, which he bought in 2012 for almost $8 million. He claims he bought the house, which has a library, wine cellar, and indoor gym, for the pool, which is a huge, landscaped expanse that includes underground grottos.

The estate is nicknamed the “YOLO Estate” and it certainly lives up to the reputation. He hosts parties that are so awesome that the neighbors used to complain. Not for long, though, because Drake actually bought the neighbor’s house to resolve the issue!

If he’s in Los Angeles on October 24 to celebrate, the entire neighborhood will know about it, that’s for sure.

Drake's House (Birds Eye)
Drake's House

Having a birthday is usually fun, filled with song, celebration, good food and loved ones. But having a birthday as a celebrity is even better because you can celebrate on a whole new level, and choose among your many mansions where you want to party.

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