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With Halloween creeping up on us, travellers can choose a truly unique way to spend the holiday by staying the night in some of the most haunted hostels around the world.
Hostelworld, the global hostel-focussed online booking platform, helps us find the spookiest hostels to celebrate the festivities.
1. Hostel Celica, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Price: From £15.25 per night
We love Ljubljana. If you’re looking for the experience of a spooky hostel but with the best of the best home comforts, look no further than Hostel Celica.
Following recent renovations, this hostel has been transformed from an old military prison to a funky hostel, the perfect place to celebrate with friends. Spend the night in one of the 20 unique former prison cells with prison bars on windows and doors or make your bed in one of the hostel’s more traditional 4, 5, 7 and 12-bed dorms featuring unique artistic elements.
2. HI Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Canada
Price: From £20.14 per night
Set inside the old Ottawa Jail, this hostel is said to be one of the creepiest buildings in Canada. Guests have reported seeing the ghosts of former inmates roaming the halls, whilst others have even reported seeing figures hovering at the end of their beds. Most reports of paranormal activity have come from the former cells, death row and the former gallows.
3. Clink78, London, United Kingdom
Price: From £22.92 per night
The hostel is a former courthouse set in the bustling heart of King’s Cross. With jailhouse rooms and a courtroom common space for its guests, travellers can soak up the rich history within the walls of the courthouse. Home to the legendary trial of the Clash in 1978, travellers can follow in the footsteps of their favourite anarchists in their own jailcell rooms or dance to London Calling in the basement bar.
4. Burg Hostel, Sighisoara, Romania
Price: From £9.45 per night
Situated in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara, Burg Hostel is set in the hometown of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind Dracula. Just 100m across the town square from the home of the bloodthirsty warlord, this hostel is perfect for exploring during the spooky season.
Keep your wits about you in this history-steeped city, and probably best to keep some garlic close by too to warn off any lurking vampires.
5. Langholmens Vandrarhem, Stockholm, Sweden
Price: From £53.42 per night
Up next is another prison. Built in the 1840s, Crown Prison remained active until 1975, when the last convict left the island. This prison, located on the famous central Stockholm island of Langholmens, was the perfect place to isolate inmates from the world. For a more realistic prison experience, take part in the prison break activity put on by the hostel, or look through the on-site museum to read the stories of those who lived (and died) within the cells.
6. USA Hostels San Diego
Price: From £26 per night
Housed in an 18th century brothel, the number of stories hidden behind the doors of USA Hostels in San Diego is unbelievable. Over the past ten years, guests and staff have regularly told stories of lights going on and off without reason, unexplained drafts, nocturnal noises, icy chills and knocking on the walls. Creepy.
7. Freemantle Prison YHA, Freemantle, Australia
Price: From £11.51 per night
At this hostel you can play prisoner or guard with a choice of sleeping in the prison cells or staying in the perfectly preserved Victorian-style guards’ cottages. World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison was built in the 1850s with the first convicts occupying it in 1855, all the way up until 1991. The women’s division of the prison is now the Fremantle Prison YHA. Fremantle Prison will have you screaming with fear and delight this October with the return of their popular Halloween tours. Join their guides in the dark as you visit cells protected by the spirits of lost souls, encounter dark corners and ghostly shadows.
8. The Pirate Haus Hostel, Florida, USA
Price: From £76.40
The Pirate Haus is the only hostel in St. Augustine, America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. The building dates back to 1915 and has seen no end of ghoulish activity in its lifetime. Notorious for being a magnet for pirates, Florida has had a long history of corruption, shipwrecks and fabled buried treasure. It’s no wonder Blackbeard is rumoured to trawl the hostel corridors at night searching for bandits to recruit. Beware of Room 6 that is infamous for mysterious lights appearing in the middle of the night… could it be pirates searching for their next victim to walk the plank?
9. YHA Ilam Hall, Peak District, England
Price: From £20 per night
A fan of the Gothicism of Wuthering Heights would feel like they’d died and gone to heaven at this 17th century manor – not one of the first to do so. The National Trust property sprawls over 84 acres of land, overlooking wide meadows and a river. It’s rumoured a lady in white can be seen from one of the windows of the manor house searching for her husband that once went out to for a walk in the mores and never returned. While on a walk in the nearby Dovedale Stepping Stones, keep an eye out for any fossils buried beneath.
10. Jailhouse Accommodation Christchurch, New Zealand
Price: From £11.88 per night
The final stop on this ghost train of hostels, is the award-winning Jailhouse Accommodation Christchurch. Located in, you guessed it, a refurbished prison, this hostel has lots to keep you occupied if things that go bump in the night are keeping you awake including free pool table and cinema room. If you prefer a different kind of spirit, to the ghostly apparitions seen in the hostel, fear not – this ex-prison is located within walkable distance of ‘The Strip’, full of bars and shops to explore.