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October 21, 2008
Hostels offer some of the most unique forms of accommodation in the world. Some are in disused prisons, others up trees, whilst in some you can learn a new language or how to salsa dance! However many are much more sinister and with Halloween fast approaching, Hostelworld.com has highlighted a few of the world's best haunted hostels...
Foulksrath Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
Foulksrath Castle, which is located in a 16th century Norman Tower House, is said to be Europe's oldest hostel! Just 8km from the famous city of Kilkenny, its medieval features include a spiral staircase to the upper floors, but there is a secret passageway out to the roof. A BBC television team of British Ghost hunters visited the hostel and sent back a report to say that 'their machines recorded the best ghostly sounds of any place they visited in Ireland'. It is believed that the daughter of the owner Dean Swift fell in love with an Irish boy and was locked away by her father in the 'Cuckoo Nest' room to stop her from seeing him. The girl is believed to have finally been killed by her father in this room and it seems that the ghost of the girl still can be found in this 'Cuckoo Nest' room. Another story has it that in 2002 someone was sleeping in this room and awoke to find her duvet moving in a wave like motion. Therefore the stories continue as to whether Foulksrath is actually haunted or not!
Rates from €14.00/night
USA Hostels, San Diego, USA
This hostel housed a brothel back in late 18th century. People staying in one of their private rooms and the adjacent staff dorm over the past ten years have regularly told stories about the lights going on and off without reason, unexplained breezes and more. That room has since been turned into a bathroom but the stories haven't ended. In another room since then, one guest felt her leg grabbed only to wake up and find everybody asleep, while two other guests were awoken in another dorm by banging coming from under their bunk. Apparently the banging went on for 15 minutes and started coming from all sides of the room and the ceiling, changing location very quickly.
Rates from €15.67/night
HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Canada
Centrally located in Canada's capital, HI-Ottawa Jail is sure to deliver a unique overnight experience. Formerly a prison, it was on the hostel's site that Canada's last public hanging took place when Patrick James Whelan was hung on the eleventh day of the eleventh hour on a gloomy day in February, 1869 for the assassination of Thomas Dárcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation. Stay here and you can visit death row and the gallows during a jail tour then sleep in a former jail cell. But be wary - it is said that the ghost of Patrick James Whelan walks the corridors to this day!
Rates from €19.91/night
The Pirate Haus Inn and Hostel, St Augustine, Florida, USA
As St Augustine is regarded as the oldest city in America, it is no surprise it has a haunted hostel. The Pirate Haus is located on Treasury Street, and just up the street stood the old Spanish Treasury, to which Robert Searles and his band of pirates would have headed in their raid of 1668. Staff in the hostel have experienced things falling off shelves for no apparent reason. Then other things that wouldn't have moved in weeks, months would suddenly fall to the floor, sometimes breaking, sometimes not. Other guests have reported seeing strange blue lights in Room 6. All ghost tours in St Augustine stop outside the Pirate Haus to tell the tale of Estefania de Cigarroa, who ran out of a house with her baby sister in her arms during Searle's Raid, only to be shot for her trouble. Estefania reportedly lived, but her sister died. The house where they lived may have stood on the spot where the hostel is.
Rates from €15.95/night
Georgian House Hotel, London, England
Located in London, the Georgian House Hotel is sure to give guests a thrill. Built in 1851 by William Chinnery Mitchell, the hotel was originally the private Chinnery residence. Amongst the ench anting, blue stained glass and charming fireplaces lurks a mysterious and ghostly presence. Guests and staff members have reported visions of two ghosts in the form of children playing on the top floors. The sights became so frightening that one of the managers asked the ghost children to remain upstairs so they don't disturb the guests. However, these children are not the only super-natural inhibitors of the Georgian House Hotel. An unknown man haunts the basement staff rooms, and a ghost has also been seen in the kitchen and a bedroom on the top floor. Although they are sure to give guests goose bumps, the ghosts are harmless and disappear out of sight within minutes of appearing!
Rates from €44.36/night