Infamous Hotels

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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