It's time for another rendition of "how will American Horror Story freak us out this year": The Ryan Murphy-created series already cast Lady Gaga to star in season 5, and, apparently, the theme of this newest incarnation of the anthology series will be hotels. Or, rather, a singular hotel — a creepy, creepy singular hotel. All we really know at this juncture is that it's set to be called American Horror Story: Hotel . And so what better way to celebrate that then to talk about some of the creepiest hotels in America? There are many.
Yep, if one thing's for certain it's that this is a pretty ripe area — there are plenty of allegedly haunted spots in the United States, and a whole lot of stories at each of them to use as a jumping off point for a season's narrative. The producers of AHS pretty much have their pick at any region of the country; every one of them's got some, ahem, skeletons in the closet that could provide material to pick through and use as inspiration like they did with AHS: Coven 's historically-inspired women.
The options are plentiful, and given that the most horrific hotels in this country tend to come along with rumors of hauntings, it might just be filled with spirits, too. Here are some of the most haunted hotels in America, in case Murphy & Co are looking for inspiration.
Hotel Roosevelt (Los Angeles, CA)
If the show's looking to mix some old-school Hollywood lore in with their (presumably) haunted hotel, I would suggest the Hotel Roosevelt. Among the spirits rumored to roam the place: Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Errol Flynn. There's a lot of opportunity for surreal musical number with that crowd, and we all know Murphy's a fan of those.
Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO)
This one's perhaps the most well-known, by virtue of it being the hotel that inspired The Shining. That might take it out of the running for the fifth season of Murphy's horror show simply because it's already so iconic and so many of its allegedly haunted elements have already spooked the American cultural mind so thoroughly.
Myrtles Plantation (St. Francisville, LA)
This one might be out of the running just because Murphy & co. have already taken us to Louisiana through Coven, but it's got quite the history (even for a plantation, which tends to come prepackaged with awful history). And it's one that encapsulates a number of the shames and horrors America's history has wrought on those not in power: Among the twelve ghosts said to haunt the place are a Native American woman (the place was built on a Native American burial ground, according to lore) and a woman who'd been a slave, the latter of whom was apparently hung after poisoning the plantation's mistress and the mistress' children. Now that's a place with some baggage.
The Crescent Hotel & Spa (Eureka Springs, AZ)
Assuming anywhere in Louisiana is out of the running thanks to Coven, this might be my top pick of the potential AHS: Hotel candidates.
Built in 1886, this place served as a hotel until it went bankrupt, reopening as a conservatory for young women and then, much more menacingly, as a place where a man without a medical degree conducted horrific medical experiments on people while pretending the place was a cancer hospital. Now it's said to be haunted by a bunch of the former patients and the "doctor" himself, as well as other inhabitants throughout the years. It's also got the distinction of having been named "America's Most Haunted." So there's that.
La Fonda Hotel (Santa Fe, NM)
If they're looking to explore the American Southeast, La Fonda's got some ghosts who might be interested. Lots of suicides and murders in this place's history.
Maribel Caves Hotel (Maribel, WI)
Here's something spooky, according to How Stuff Works: "The hotel burned three times on the same date and glows under a full moon." And actually, it kind of doesn't exist right now — it's in ruins. But this is TV, so they can do whatever the heck they want with it. Al Capone reportedly hid out there, after all, and this one's a doozy:
Black witches performed a ceremony that opened a portal to hell in the front yard fountain. The hellish demons haunted the town of Maribel until a white witch sealed the portal.
Sounds up AHS's alley.
The Chelsea Hotel (New York, NY)
If AHS wants to head to New York City and explore a bit of rock history, this is the place. Dylan Thomas died on pneumonia here. This is where whatever went down with Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious went down (translated: This is where she was found dead with stab wounds). Both are said to haunt the place, alongside people like Janis Joplin.
Hotel del Coronado (Coronado, CA)
This one's got Hollywood credo as the hotel where the Marilyn Monroe feature Some Like It Hot was filmed, but it's not Hollywood stars who haunt this place — it's said to be the ghost of Kate Morgan, a woman who died there under mysterious circumstances.
Ahwahnee Hotel (Yosemite National Park, CA)
I find this one interesting mainly based on who's haunting it: Marie Curry Tressider, the former operator of the place who died there in 1970. According to Buzzfeed, she hasn't let go of her job even in death: They say she's still checking in on guests. Now that sounds like an interesting character to include in a season of AHS.