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One of the world's most haunted hotels: You have to sign a waiver to stay there overnight.

Built in 1895, and tucked away in the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County, New York, The Shanley Hotel is widely understood to be one of the most haunted hotels in the world.

People who stay report feeling lightheaded, or like they’re unable to breathe. There’s ominous whistling, thought to belong to James Shanley, the deceased former owner. There are footsteps in the halls, and loud thumps up the stairs. Doors open and close, clocks chime on their own accord, and there are unusual smells that are believed to belong to people long dead. Rocking chairs are rarely still, piano music echoes through the halls, and guests hear whispering voices and children’s laughter. Sometimes, their possessions are moved to unusual places. There have been reports of shadows and apparitions, and guests cannot shake the sense throughout their stay that they’re being watched.

James and Beatrice Shanley opened the hotel in the late 19th Century, and welcomed notable guests like Thomas Edison and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Shanley family. Image via The Shanley Hotel website.

But despite the success of the hotel, tragedy struck their family. Beatrice birthed three children, all of whom died before their first birthday.

The hotel barber, who lived in The Shanley, lost his four-year-old daughter Rosie in 1911, when she went for a walk one afternoon and fell to her death into a deep well.

A few years later, Beatrice's sister died of influenza in one of the hotel rooms.

LISTEN: Ghost stories from a death nurse, on Meshel Laurie's Nitty Gritty Committee. Post continues below. 

The Shanley Hotel website claims that throughout the turn of the century, "there were several other accidental deaths, missing persons and rumours of murder..."

It is now believed that Rosie, Shanley, Shanley's brother Andrew, Beatrice, her sister Esther, and many others haunt the premises.

The most haunted room of the hotel is rumoured to be the 'Bordello', which was built in the 1920s to sell bootleg liquor during the Prohibition period. Many guests report feeling sick as soon as they enter.

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The Bordello. Image via The Shanley Hotel.

Paranormal investigators and TV shows such as Ghost Lab and Ghost Hunters have visited The Shanley Hotel, and say there are between 30 to 40 spirits that occupy the area. The cries of a woman have been heard, believed to belong to Beatrice mourning the death of her sister and three children. A man who looks much like pictures of James Shanley has been seen wandering around the hotel, almost as though he is a regular guest.

It has been reported that guests must sign a waiver before staying overnight at The Stanley Hotel, and must be over the age of 16. There are strictly no Ouija boards allowed on the premises. The hotel also offers frequent ghost tours with mediums, where bizarre activity is almost always witnessed.

It might be a hotel where people stay overnight, but I very much doubt occupants are having a restful night sleep.

Would you stay in The Stanley Hotel?

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