Creepy Road Trips

by Colleen Clark

New York City to New Paltz, New York

Dearly departed: Unexpected guests are common at hotels, but sometimes, visitors stay on after they've checked out of the mortal world for good. In New York City, the Bowery's flophouses, brothels, and menacing gangs are long gone, but the spirits of the past remain. Specters are said to emerge from the marble graveyard behind the Bowery Hotel at 1 am each night, making the elevators go haywire. And at the nearby Lafayette House, moody Victorian furnishings nod to the building's past as a bordello, and former residents supposedly haunt the hallways.

Spooky stops: Following the siren call of departed hotels will lead you upstate to the remains of the Borscht Belt resort region in the Catskills. Since 1998, The Pines, two hours north of New York City in South Fallsburg on Laurel Avenue, has sat abandoned, moss slowly carpeting its lounges, graffiti blanketing its pool. Enter at your own risk. (If the spookiness doesn't get to you, the cops might—it's private property.) An hour's drive further north, in Woodstock, is the decaying shell of the 19th-century Overlook Mountain House, which suffered not one, not two, but four devastating fires before being consumed by trees and ferns. Its grand halls can be entered legally—again, at your own risk—but accessing it means hiking a mile and a half through dense, spooky forest (the trailhead starts at 335 Mead Mountain Road).

Final resting place: A half hour on steep, misty roads with hairpin turns takes you to New Paltz and the imposing Victorian-vintage Mohonk Mountain House. The 267-room hotel's endless hallways and garden maze look like something out of The Shining. Check in if you dare.

See a map of this road trip itinerary

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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