Destination weddings are incredibly dreamy. The most romantic day of your life gets even more fairytale-worthy when set on a white sand beach, in a whimsical forest or on a cliff looking out over a stunning landscape. But no destination is more badass than a haunted wedding venue.
Think about it: If you appreciate even an ounce of edginess, a haunted venue will fit right into your aesthetic. And your destination will likely be beautiful in that kind of historic, vintage way—offering you the chance to lean hard into classic elegant decor or create an eye-catching juxtaposition with more contemporary pieces.
Not to mention, yours will be the most memorable wedding any of your guests ever attend. Because honestly, what can top a haunted wedding venue? (Nothing—that’s what.)
Whether you’re a macabre ride-or-die, a paranormal enthusiast or a bride-to-be who’s interested in something slightly unconventional, the following slideshow is sure to sate your desires. We’ve rounded up the most breathtaking haunted venues in the country so you can make your big day even more special (or, you know, spectral).
Originally posted on SheKnows.
The Driskill Hotel
Built in 1886, the iconic Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin is steeped in paranormal lore. The hotel's namesake and founder, Colonel Driskill, is rumored to haunt the halls—emitting the telltale smell of cigar smoke.
In 1887, the young daughter of a Texas senator fell down the grand staircase and died only to return as a ghost and chase her ball around the first-floor lobby. Other spooky rumors include two "suicide brides," who committed suicide in the same tub in the hotel 20 years apart to the day.
The Driskill Hotel.
The Ohio State Reformatory Prison
You may be thinking, "Why would I want to get married in a prison?" To which we would respond, "Why not?" Especially if that prison happens to be the legendary Ohio State Reformatory Prison.
Of the 154,000 inmates who came through while it was still an active prison, it is said many never left. And to say the prison (which was memorably used in filming The Shawshank Redemption) has endured a streak of unnaturally bad luck would be an understatement. In addition to the Mad Dog Killings of 1948, the warden's wife accidentally shot herself with a hidden pistol in 1950, and a few years later, the warden suffered a fatal heart attack. They supposedly joined the inmate apparitions already haunting the reformatory.
Ohio State Reformatory Prison.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort
The Omni Mount Washington Resort would undoubtedly make a beautiful backdrop for any wedding. However, be prepared for a possible photobomb of the ghost kind.
Completed in 1902, this historic hotel was opened by a wealthy industrialist by the name of Joseph Stickney, who died only a year after it opened to the public. He was survived by his wife, Carolyn, who remarried a short time after and continued to summer at the hotel. It was only after Carolyn died in 1936 that reports began surfacing from staff and guests about strange things happening—like lights turning on and off by themselves and the shadowy figure of a woman appearing in a staff picture.
Ghost Hunters has investigated Carolyn's presence at the hotel twice.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort.
The Hotel del Coronado
You can't get much more scenic than this circa 1888 seaside hotel. The trade-off is you may be visited by the ghost of Kate Morgan during your nuptials.
Found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on the beach in 1892, forever-24-year-old Morgan can't seem to stay away from the affectionately dubbed Hotel Del. The havoc she wreaks includes moving drapes, falling screens, mysterious noises, flickering lights and even the figure of a woman wearing a black lace dress.
The Hotel del Coronado.
The Hawthorne Hotel
Need a helping hand on your wedding day? How about many—all invisible? That's precisely the sort of thing guests who've stayed in the Hawthorne Hotel's Room 325 have reported feeling.
Given that information and the fact it's located in the former witch-hunting capital of the States, it's little wonder this venue is ranked one of the top 10 most haunted hotels in America.
The Hawthorne Hotel.
If you want to get married at a grand estate, you can't go wrong with Belcourt Castle. However, there is one caveat: Several of the items inside the castle could be haunted. Think of it as the manor from Beauty & the Beast, only scarier—guests have reported seeing possessed furniture, a screaming suit of armor, a monk statue with accompanying apparition and a mirror that doesn't reflect back the people staring into it.
But, hey, it sure is pretty!
The Pen Ryn Estate
Just a heads-up: If you plan to get married on Christmas Eve at The Pen Ryn Estate, be prepared to put up with a few surly guests who definitely didn't RSVP. Or maybe long-deceased owner Robert Bickley's RSVP got lost in the mail—along with the plus-one for his also long-deceased girlfriend.
No matter, though. They'll show up anyway. And on Dec. 24, Bickley reportedly knocks on doors and windows while his girlfriend (riding a black horse, no less) whips anyone who dares to cross her path.
The Pen Ryn Estate.
The Stanley Hotel
Yes—that Stanley Hotel. As in, the one Stephen King modeled The Shining's Overlook Hotel after. The room King stayed in while writing the book, Room 217, is said to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. Among the happenings, there was the electrocution of a housekeeper during a lightning storm.
The hotel's original owners, F.O. and Flora Stanley, are also often seen in the hotel. Mr. Stanley apparently favors playing the piano, while his wife lingers in the billiards room or lobby.
The Stanley Hotel.
The Congress Plaza Hotel
You might call Chicago's Congress Plaza Hotel a hidden gem among haunted wedding venues. For starters, it's jaw-droppingly picturesque. But in regard to the paranormal, it's also thought to be one of Chicago's most haunted spots. You just don't hear about it much.
However, according to Sherman's Travel, the hotel experiences more than its fair share of spooky occurrences. The staff often reports seeing the ghost of a young boy, one who is rumored to have been thrown off the roof of the hotel by his mother before she took her own life. And some of the staff actively avoid the Florentine Room, where it's said a female ghost whispers in people's ears.
Then there's the peculiar case of Room 441. Throughout the hotel's history, more guests have called security from there than any other space—and they all report seeing a shadowy woman.
The Congress Plaza Hotel.
The Lucerne Inn
The Lucerne Inn.
The Crescent Hotel
If you watch and put any stock in the show Ghost Hunters, then you'll consider the Crescent Hotel to have tons of paranormal street cred. When the show's Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson visited, they claimed to have caught a full-body apparition wearing a hat and nodding on their thermal camera.
According to local folklore, a construction worker fell to his death when the hotel was being built more than 100 years ago, and he landed in what eventually became room 218. Not surprisingly, guests and staff report unexplained activity in that room, from a self-flushing toilet to humanless footsteps.
In fact, there's a whole website devoted to America's most haunted hotel.
The Crescent Hotel.