Five Best: Haunted hotels

Hallowe'en treats where things go bump in the night.
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The Independent Travel

Le Pavillon, US

Le Pavillon Hotel started life as the National Theatre in 1867. It was restored and converted into Le Pavillon in 1970. With its marble-floored lobby featuring an impressive collection of antiques, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. No fewer than five ghosts are said to reside here, including a young, depressed girl who sits on the bed in Room 930, and a mischievous man on the third floor who plays practical jokes on the cleaners. None of the spirits is malevolent, and the hotel is keen to stress that guests' stays will not be affected.

Le Pavillon, US

Le Pavillon Hotel started life as the National Theatre in 1867. It was restored and converted into Le Pavillon in 1970. With its marble-floored lobby featuring an impressive collection of antiques, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. No fewer than five ghosts are said to reside here, including a young, depressed girl who sits on the bed in Room 930, and a mischievous man on the third floor who plays practical jokes on the cleaners. None of the spirits is malevolent, and the hotel is keen to stress that guests' stays will not be affected.

Le Pavillon Hotel (001 800 535 9095; www.lepavillon.com), 833 Poydras Street, New Orleans, La. Doubles from $199 (£108)

Hotel Castello della Castelluccia, Italy

This 13th-century castle, surrounded by the rolling Lazio countryside, is 45 minutes north of Rome. Each of the 24 rooms is individually decorated and activities available to guests include fishing, cycling, golf and horse riding. However, ghostly horses reputedly circle the castle at night, when the sound of their hoofs can be heard. The horses have supposedly returned to their original breeding ground, after being shipped abroad centuries ago where they died within months in the unfamiliar surroundings. It is also thought that Emperor Nero wanders the grounds, restlessly seeking somewhere to sleep.

Hotel Castello della Castelluccia (00 39 0630207041; www.hotelcastellucciarome.com), Doubles from €385 (£275) including breakfast

Castle Stuart, Scotland

Lovers cling together extra tightly in the Three-Turret Honeymoon Suite at Castle Stuart. It was here that a local poacher, "Big Angus", met his fate in the 17th-century after accepting a £20 reward from the Earl of Moray to spend the night in order to prove that the castle was not haunted. The next day they found a broken window and Big Angus's body in the courtyard. The castle, which is still owned by members of the Stuart family, was completed in 1625 and perches on the Moray Firth near Inverness. It has been restored and furnished in keeping with its Jacobean history (each of the eight bedrooms is decorated in a different tartan), and is riddled with secret stairways, alcoves and doorways.

Castle Stuart (01463 790745; www.castlestuart.com), Petty Parish, Inverness. Doubles from £125 pp, including breakfast, honeymoon suite £135. Rooms by prior reservation only

The Bear at Woodstock, England

The Bear, an old coaching inn dating back to the 13th-century, is located in the centre of Woodstock, minutes from Blenheim Palace and eight miles from Oxford. There are oak beams in many of the bedrooms and a roaring fire in the dining room. Two spirits are said to haunt the hotel; Elizabeth Downing and her son Christopher, who died in 1768. The Kempster Room is the place to see a ghost, although Christopher is supposedly a fan of hide-and-seek, so to be sure to check under your bed.

The Bear at Woodstock (01993 811124; www.bearhotelwoodstock.co.uk), Park Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Doubles from £158 with breakfast

Castle Leslie, Ireland

Castle Leslie boasts an impressive array of ghosts. "Uncle Norman" is said to haunt the Red Room; the spirit of a friendly monk is purported to reside in the Banquet Hall; while the ghostly figure of "Lady Constance" dwells in the Mauve Room. There are 14 rooms in total, each one has its own name and unique style. The castle retains much of its original furniture and has been in the Leslie family for 300 years. They still haven't given way to televisions or radios, making it easier to hear any bumps in the night.

Castle Leslie (00 353 478 8109; www.castleleslie.com), Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland. Doubles from €290 (£207) including breakfast

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