The Most Terrifying Real Estate Around The World
Halloween is here, and the real estate world knows a thing or two about tricks, treats and even a few monsters depending on how bad a deal goes. In the spirit of Allhallows Eve, Bisnow dug up some of the most terrifying properties in the world, and not because they have absurdly low RevPAR or zero tenant activity. From the guest who never leaves in Massachusetts to the angry ghosts of war criminals in Tokyo, these properties all go bump in the night.
The Hawthorne Hotel - Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts, is known for its 1692 witch trials and massive annual Halloween celebrations that bring hundreds of thousands of people to the coastal New England town. Ghost sightings of Colonial-era accused witches have abounded since they were executed, but Salem's spookiest pocket of hospitality did not arrive until 1925.
Travelocity ranked the Hawthorne Hotel the fourth most haunted hotel in the U.S. The Hawthorne was built on an orchard owned by Bridget Bishop, the first woman executed for witchcraft in the trials. Guests have reported a strong scent of apples around the hotel even though there is nothing going on in the kitchen. A female ghost is claimed to have been spotted lurking around the hotel — some think it is Bridget while other paranormal experts say it could “just” be the ghost of a former female guest. For the record, hotel management denies any haunted happenings and said it prefers guests focus on the history and not the alleged ghosts.
The Chicago Water Tower
One of the most prominent landmarks on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Chicago Water Tower was built in 1869 to house a large water pump used for firefighting and to control water surges by drawing water from Lake Michigan. It was one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and some say that is when it became haunted. One of the building’s employees stayed behind to man the pumps instead of saving his life, and he perished by hanging himself before the flames could reach him. People to this day claim to occasionally see a shadowy figure of a hanging man in the tower’s upstairs window. Paranormal experts say limestone, which makes up the entire building, tends to contain spirits, so maybe that is why the employee has stuck around all these years.
The White House - Washington, D.C.
America’s most famous house is haunted by more than politicians. Presidents, first ladies and their guests have all reported ghoulish happenings at 1600 Pennsylvania. The ghost of Abigail Adams is said to loiter around the East Room, and President Calvin Coolidge’s wife claimed to have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln looking out an Oval Office window. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands visited the White House in 1942 and fainted when she opened her bedroom door and was allegedly greeted by Lincoln’s ghost. President Ronald Reagan said their family dog got agitated by things he and Nancy Reagan did not see — but maybe that was just a radio transmission from the Soviets.
Alcatraz - San Francisco
Ghost hunters claim the former prison in San Francisco is one of the most haunted places in the world. Even before a prison opened on the island, settlers to the region felt it housed a disturbing atmosphere. Prisoners and guards have claimed to have ghoulish run-ins, many believed to be ghosts of Native Americans who were buried on the island before Alcatraz was built. Cell blocks A and B and the isolation cell 14D are reportedly particularly spooky. A 14D inmate was found strangled one morning after he spent the night screaming of a pair of glowing red eyes and a creature trying to kill him.
The Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, Colorado
Denver may have left the Stanley Hotel off the day trip section of its HQ2 bid. Nearly 70 miles from the Mile High City, the hotel is known for its incredible views steps away from Rocky Mountain National Park. It also was Stephen King’s inspiration for the hotel in “The Shining.” Paranormal activity is said to have picked up after publication of the book, and the hotel hosts ghost walks and tours. Several ghosts are believed to haunt the property — and they have even been caught on camera.
Sunshine 60 - Tokyo
This mammoth 786-foot mixed-use property in Tokyo was the tallest building in Asia when it was finished in 1978, but what went on before Sunshine 60 arrived is the source of its supernatural tendencies. The site was originally home to Sugamo Prison, which housed political and war prisoners. Former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, was hanged at the prison in 1948. Construction on the project was beset with numerous freak accidents and deaths from faulty equipment that had shown no sign of damage when inspected. The restless, angry prisoner spirits are said to still haunt the property, with reports of apparitions, strange groans, disembodied faces and mysterious bursts of cold occurring to this day.