Haunted Hotels in Asia: Spooks in Sheets

With more and more of us travelling around the world, it’s not a stretch to say that some of us have encountered experiences out of the norm. Especially when it comes to strange occurrences in hotels that are known to attract more than just tourists – we’re talking visitors from another realm. There are plenty of famously haunted hotels around the world, and here are some that have had their fair share of eerie stories.

Asia Hotel, Bangkok

Established back in 1967, Asia Hotel is still famous for its otherworldly happenings – particularly when it comes to occupants being touched (some woke up with bruises and scratch marks) while they’re on the bed, as well as hearing random laughter and crying noises. Many guests reported dimly-lit corridors and rooms, as well as random sightings of apparitions and shadows. One guest’s luggage was making tapping noises by itself in the middle of the night, while other guests felt their bed being shaken the moment they closed their eyes.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

At 88 floors, Baiyoke (opened in 1999) is the city’s tallest hotel. The horror stories here have been attributed to the construction workers who died in a falling gondola. In addition to dimly lit corridors and bathrooms, stories include weird sounds coming from the bathtub, and random apparitions keeping watch and moving things – like chairs and notepads – around. In one case, a guest’s key card went missing and found later at a strange place; in another, an extra unknown (used) toothbrush randomly appeared on the bathroom sink overnight.

Grand Hyatt, Taipei

This hotel is said to be built on a WWII prison camp, and the eerie happenings are the attributed to the restless spirits. Although recently renovated, some guests reported feeling extra beings in the room – one guest reported hearing snores from a phantom, and another reported an eerie presence next to them on the bed. Other were more benign; like a random child in a corridor, a continually-flushing toilet, and make-up found in a disarray.

Hotel Marroad Narita International, Narita, Japan

Some guests complained about being kept awake at night from a leaking tap and loud footsteps from upstairs even though there was no room above. The hotel’s legend may be linked to a gruesome incident in 1999 when members of a cult smuggled a very ill 66-year old fellow member from a hospital to the hotel in order to heal him through touch. His rotting corpse was found in Room 1272 when the police were called in after the cult members repeatedly refused room service.

Hotel MyStays Premier Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan

Built on the site of the Akasaka Weekly Mansion, this hotel is still linked to countless cases of suicides and sudden deaths that have reportedly taken place at the former building. Guests of the Mansion have reported seeing eerie mists; some have seen apparitions standing at the end of their beds. Electrical appliances have also been known to switch on and off. Many also claim they’ve been touched by icy hands – apparently one woman was dragged across the room by her hair.

Hotel Presidente, Macau

Opened in 1984, a famous story involves a guest who reported smelling perfume whenever she stepped into the bathroom, even though she didn’t bring any. The next morning, her make-up was messed up despite it being neatly arranged the night before. The hotel has a gruesome history – in 1997, a man chopped up two prostitutes in this room after having sex with them, and flushed the remains down the toilet (he apparently took their heads with him upon check-out).

Genting Highlands, Malaysia

The entire resort has no shortage of horror stories, no thanks to the fact that many failed gamblers end up taking their own lives. One of the most famous of these haunted hotels is the 7,000-room First World Hotel, which is said to have an entire floor (21st floor) that the lift bypasses. Guests have reportedly been spooked by ghostly apparitions, experienced being pinned on the bed by unseen forces, and pranked by mischievous phantom children. One guest’s voice even changed into someone else’s.

Airbnb apartment in Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

Renters of an apartment in Ueno had to call the owner to open the front door because it was locked – from the inside, with the security latch on. Apparently the apartment’s former tenant was an 80-year old woman who lived alone, and when she died there, her body was only discovered after 5 months. In Japan, properties where their former tenants have died of unnatural causes (suicide, neglect, murder) are called jiko bukken, and a law mandates that new tenants have to be notified, but this law doesn’t apply to short-term rentals (yet).