It’s finally October! And you know what that means — it’s time to celebrate Halloween!
If you’re a fan of everything paranormal, you might already be listing down your activities for this spooky season. Of course, there’ll be costume parties left and right, binge-watching of your favorite horror movies and documentaries, and decorating your home with pumpkins and cobwebs. But if you’re someone who wants to take your Halloween game to the next level, here’s an idea you don’t want to pass: spending a night or two in a haunted accommodation.
Yes, Haunted Hotels, Vacation Rentals, and BnBs exist
Some hotels, AirBnBs, vacation rentals, and other accommodation properties claim to be haunted, and they make sure to include this detail in their promotion.
Usually, these properties have a dark past. You can find hotels housed in a former asylum or vacation rentals standing in a former soldiers’ camp that witnessed bloodshed. Other properties are simply inhabited by friendly ghosts of their previous dwellers who just love goofing around. Validating the history are stories of caretakers and previous guests who have reported sightings and experienced paranormal activity.
Sure, it’s creepy, but we can’t deny that it feels exciting to sleep in a property people claim to be haunted. Will you have your own horror story to tell by the end of the trip? Will someone invisible pull down your blanket in the middle of the night? Will you be served by a “hotel staff” that actually doesn’t exist? You’ll never know unless you sign yourself up!
But be warned: whether you believe in ghosts or not, haunted accommodation properties usually have that eerie vibe that’ll send shivers down your spine. Some places hold on to negative energies, and this may cause unexplainable headaches, nausea, fever, and body pain. Other properties are just too old and shabby, that the dust, pests, and creaky wood floors are enough to keep you up at night.
To avoid nightmares, heart attacks, and unpleasant experiences, check out our tips!
1. Do your research
Some haunted hotels and accommodation properties are more frightening than the rest. It’s good if you find properties with harmless ghosts of previous dwellers. However, you can also sleep (or fail to sleep) in a building that’s said to be inhabited by demons, satanic cults, witches, war victims, and restless souls looking for justice.
So before booking a stay, know what exactly you’re signing yourself up for.
2. Don’t go alone
Even if you pride yourself as the bravest person in your circle, it’s suggested to go with someone you trust. It can be your romantic partner, family, or friends. Doing so will put you at ease, knowing you have someone to rely on in case of emergency. Besides, isn’t it better to embrace someone (human) in case of a ghost apparition?
And if you’re going with someone you know, make sure you never wronged any of them in the past, which might give them a reason to play pranks on you.
3. Don’t bring the kids and turn this into a family holiday
Your haunted house stay only lasts for a night or two; your kids’ trauma would last forever. Instead of booking a haunted hotel in Dublin Ireland for your family holiday, stick to kid-friendly Halloween experiences. These include corn mazes, pumpkin festivals, and trick-or-treating.
4. Eat well and stay hydrated
As previously mentioned, haunted properties have that negative energy that can make you sick. A friend of mine reported headaches, fever, nausea, and chills after visiting a renowned haunted destination for some reason, Whether or not these illnesses are caused by malevolent spirits, eating well and staying hydrated will give you a fighting chance against such symptoms.
5. Familiarise yourself with the hotel/property
Remember where the exits are.
Keep a copy of the contact number of the front desk or caretaker, so you can call them up if something arises.
Know the address of the property so your family back home will know where to find your body in case you don’t return!
Kidding aside, knowing these things will give you some peace of mind during your stay.
6. Ask the caretaker about do’s and don’ts
Respect the place and follow the house rules. Or should we say, “haunted house rules”?
There might be curfews, off-limit rooms and areas, and furniture and decorations that shouldn’t be touched. There might also be superstitions to abide by, believer or not. Lastly, you might need to ask for permission before bringing out the ouija board or going ghost-hunting past midnight.
One wrong move can make you less of a guest and more of an intruder. And we all know that spirits hate intruders — ever wondered why the most stubborn fella in the group gets killed first in every horror movie?
7. Knock three times before you enter
If you’re in the Philippines, you’ll be asked to say “tabi tabi po” (which translates to “excuse me” or “may I pass?”) to avoid disturbing the entities living in the trees, grass, bushland, and even in buildings. In the same way, you can knock before you enter the room to courteously make your presence known.
Don’t just barge in and own the space. Ghosts don’t really like sharing a room, especially with a guest that doesn’t know how to knock!
8. Make space for positive energy intended for the living
Make the space ideal for the living. Open the curtains and air out the space. Turn on the lights, especially the lights in the bathroom, because ghosts lurk in the dark. Turn on the TV and let the noise kill the dead space. Flush the toilet to purge any negative energy.
9. Cover the mirrors
Ask for an extra sheet and cover the mirrors in your bedroom. Some believe that mirrors are portals to the underworld. By covering them, you “seal” this entrance and keep the ghosts and ghouls from coming through.
10. Don’t leave a spare bed vacant
Do you have a spare bed? If no one’s planning to sleep on it, cover it with your luggage, toiletries, and other items. This makes the bed uninviting to “invisible” guests who would love to spend the night with you.
11. Leave the lights on at night
You know the drill: ghosts hate bright lights. And even if they don’t mind the lights and they decide to haunt you nonetheless, they’d still look 100% creepier if they show up in the dark.
12. Be careful when shopping for antiques
Antiques are usually old items that belonged to someone else. The previous owner is probably dead. Or, worst-case scenario, the previous owner used to be a member of a satanic cult. Just watch Annabelle and you’ll get the idea.
Another thing: never ever bring home anything from your hotel or accommodation property.
13. Leave the hotel bible out
In Asia and other countries where Christianity is a dominant religion, the bible can be viewed as a good luck symbol that protects them from bad entities. Some hotels have them in their drawers. If you find one, just leave them out on the desk. If you return to your room with a holy book opened, it may be time to head out and find another room!
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a travel and lifestyle writer. Aside from taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit Ashling Hotel Dublin.