Spooky experiences and haunted hotels for a Halloween meeting like no other
Spooky season is here! You know what that means—the holidays are rushing in, kicked-off with one of the most fun-filled of them all: Halloween. Whether you’re a horror junkie, or you prefer the more light-hearted joy of pumpkin patches and hayrides, there’s no shortage of ways for you to get the most out of this exciting time of year.
Read on for a comprehensive list of hotels putting on Halloween-themed activities that everyone can enjoy, as well as hotels with chilling histories that claim to host some ghostly guests who never left. If you have a Halloween-themed meeting coming up, look no further than these hotels that put forward the very best of the season.
Lake Nona Graveyard Smash, Orlando, Florida
This Halloween, the neighborhood of Lake Nona will transform into a spooky fantasy world. From 5pm to 10pm on Oct. 28, The Spooknona event will feature a Graveyard Smash party with an expansive pumpkin patch, trick-or-treat stations, inflatables and DJ performances.
Free and open to the public, The Graveyard Smash is only a short walk from Lake Nona Wave Hotel. This incredible wellness resort is infused with ultramodern, technology driven experiences through the boardroom, entertainment sectors, guest rooms and beyond. With over 17,000 sq. ft. of inspiring meeting venues, it’s a prime destination for an invigorating and exciting Halloween meeting.
The James New York – NoMad has stood since 1901.
This Halloween season, professional witch and owner of Witchy Wisdoms, Shawn Engel, will guide groups in assembling their own spell sachets and manifesting intentions. A “Spell School” can be booked at leisure, on-demand, for groups to learn how to craft and cast spells. On Oct. 30 through 31 from 5pm to 7pm, partake in a boozy witch’s brew and more spell sachet lessons.
The James’ Stay Spooked package is a spine-chilling team bonding activity for all ages. In a suite transformed into a horror movie-setting, groups can view their choice of true crime documentaries on a floor-to-ceiling projector. Additionally included in the suite is a true crime mystery solving box, a pumpkin decorating kit, red wine, chocolates, tarot cards and more.
The property offers 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space throughout theater-, boardroom- and gala-style rooms. Planners can also book suites as meeting or event spaces.
The Drake Oak Brook, Oak Brook, Illinois
In a beautiful Illinois village is an English-style estate reminiscent of the iconic Clue mansion, The Drake Oak Brook.
Head to their 10-acre gardens fully decked in Halloween decor. There, enjoy a tea served from a witch’s cauldron at the Hocus Pocus High Tea experience. Don’t pass up the opportunity to taste Chef Ezequiel Dominguez’s best sweet and savory treats and over-the-top candy-inspired cocktails.
At their Candy + Cocktail Pairing and Fall Menu experience, groups can enjoy boozy candy-pairings such as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini with Reese’s-infused vodka or a Sour Patch IPA. Their special apple-themed menu includes an Apple-Cranberry Moscow Mule inspired by the Cranberry Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
The Drake is the site of the largest garden venue in the region, at 10 acres. It features a veranda, several patios, a gazebo and dual waterfalls. Their outdoor event space comes in at over 34,000 sq. ft. in all. They also offer 12,000 sq. ft. of unique indoor event space, including the Sinatra Room, a posh speakeasy-style space featuring its own bar, and the 1,402 sq. ft. Flower Room, a glass terrace decorated with 18,000 lbs. of colorful handblown flowers that cascade across the ceiling.
Historic Haunted Hotels
TW: ghost stories and mentions of death, homicide and suicide.
The Seelbach Hilton, Louisville, Kentucky
You might recognize the Grand Ballroom at The Seelbach Hilton as the setting for Daisy and Tom Buchanan’s wedding in the 2013 blockbuster film, The Great Gatsby. This hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, however, is the setting for much more than Hollywood films. It’s also home to a few ghostly residents.
Most famous is the Lady in Blue. Accompanied by the smell of lilac perfume is a spirit wearing a blue chiffon dress. In life, she was known as Patricia Wilson. In July of 1936, she and her ex-husband agreed to meet at the hotel to reconcile their marriage, but he was killed in a car accident on his way there. Wilson, in her grief, threw herself down the hotel’s number three elevator shaft.
Now, guests report seeing a woman with long dark hair wearing a blue chiffon dress who walks into elevators and disappears. Some guests also recall feeling a presence in the elevators and some even have felt their shoulders touched. You can watch a video of the hotel’s historian, Larry Johnson, telling her story here.
The Seelbach has all the meeting space you need, with 32,000 sq. ft. of meeting space made up of numerous elegant meeting rooms, along with 308 guest rooms.
Read More: 10 Famously Haunted Hotels of America
The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina
Just minutes from downtown Asheville is a historic, 513-room resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Omni Grove Park Inn.
This resort is home to a much-loved gentle spirit, The Pink Lady. During the 1920s, an unknown woman mysteriously passed away at the resort. In the modern day, guests report simply seeing a pink mist; others witness a full apparition of a young woman wearing a pink gown. She is said to open and close windows, flush the toilet and play with the televisions.
31 classic meeting rooms numbering in total at 86,852 sq. ft. include two ballrooms, pre-function areas and outdoor terraces, patios and balconies. The meeting facilities all include technological services by Pinnacle Live, as well as catering, planning and floral design teams.
The Sagamore, Lake George, New York
Amidst the tranquil beauty of Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains, The Sagamore Resort in Boston Landing, New York, offers a diverse range of classic, elegant accommodations. Throughout its 140-year history, the hotel has continued to host some guests who never left.
One of the most famous is a little boy who was killed by a car while chasing golf balls. Dressed in 1950s-style clothing, he is known to play pranks on golfers, stealing and hiding their golf balls during their games.
The second floor is home to a hotel maid from the 1930s-40s. After being fired for having an affair with a married guest, she returned to the guest’s room to tell him the news. There, she ran into his wife, who smothered her with a pillow. She is said to wait in the room for her lover’s return and wander up and down the second-floor hallway.
After a stay at the resort, two separate women called asking if the hotel was haunted. One witnessed a child run through her bedroom into the bathroom. Another woke up to find a man standing against a wall in her room. She wasn’t afraid though—she expressed that he had a surprisingly comfortable presence.
The resort offers 32,000 sq. ft. of indoor venue space and 20,000 sq. ft. of outdoor event space.
The Elms Hotel & Spa, Excelsior Springs, Missouri
The Elms Hotel & Spa, in Excelsior Springs, Missouri is known for its lavish 25,000 sq. ft. spa and lovely grounds. It’s been frequented by celebrities and politicians. It is also known to be frequented by some paranormal guests.
The hotel faced two fires throughout its history, first in 1898 and 1910. No known fatalities occurred, however, rumors circulated that the fires had paranormal causes. Guests have reported seeing a female spirit running through the halls, searching for her child. Others encountered the spirit of a gambler relaxing by the lap pool. And the housekeeping staff has its own spiritual advisor, complete with a 1920’s-style housekeeping uniform. The property holds paranormal tours year-round and employs an onsite historian.
The hotel offers 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space from grand ballrooms to breakout rooms. In addition, it offers 16 acres of pristine resort grounds and patio space.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
Established in 1888, Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton, has spent the last century and a half curating its atmosphere to be one of sun, sea and timeless hospitality. It is also known for its resident spirit, who in life, went by the name of Kate Morgan.
When she checked into the hotel on Thanksgiving Day, 1892, she told hotel employees she was waiting for a man to meet her. She looked sickly and sad. Five days after she checked in, hotel staff discovered her body in an exterior stairwell. It appeared that she had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Newspapers referred to her as “the beautiful stranger.” Later investigations revealed that she was in a strained marriage and speculated that she had checked in to the hotel to meet a lover.
The third-floor guest room where she stayed over her five days at the hotel is the most requested room at the property. It has been the site of numerous strange occurrences: flickering lights, inexplicable scents, sounds, temperature changes and footsteps, as well as items moving on their own and a television that clicks on and off. Other guests and employees have reported spotting a woman dressed in black. She has even been captured in photographs. In the resort’s gift shop, giftware mysteriously flies off shelves, but never breaks and almost always lands upright.
The hotel offers a nightly guided one-hour Haunted Happenings tour, and it offers 96,000 sq. ft. of event space and 65 event venues.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
In 1902, New Hampshire Native Joseph Stickney opened the most luxurious hotel of the day, a grand Spanish Renaissance masterpiece, which is now The Omni Mount Washington Resort.
Beyond its breathtaking scenery, popular winter sports and year-round activities, the resort is also known as the home of its own resident ghost, called The Princess. She is believed to be the spirit of Joseph Stickney’s wife, Carolyn Foster Stickney. Her husband built an indoor pool and private dining room specially for her; it is now known as the “Princess Room.” In the hallways, guests and staff report seeing an elegant woman in Victorian dress. She is said to lightly tap on doors when nobody is outside. In room 314, guests have reported seeing her sitting on the edge of the four-poster bed, where she herself used to sleep.
The resort offers a total of 42,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, made up of 22 unique meeting rooms and event spaces. With the 2020 addition of the Rosebrook Lodge, it’s the perfect location for a thrilling Halloween meeting.