BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

American Horror Story: Hotel is already getting underway with its fifth season as Chloe Sevigny has just been added to as cast that also includes Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson and, yes, Lady Gaga. Chances are there will indeed be at least one bad romance in the upcoming season.

The chances are also good that there will be more than a few inspirations that American Horror Story: Hotel will take from the classic haunted hotels that have proceeded the show's season 5 debut in October of 2015. In honor of the new season's setting, let's take a look at 5 of the best haunted and murderous hotels in America that pop culture, and real life, has to offer.

5. The Innkeepers & The Yankee Pedlar Inn

Modern indie horror auteur Ti West released this chilling tale of two bored employees at The Yankee Pedlar Inn jumping at the chance to do some amatuer ghost hunting before the infamous hotel closes. The Yankee Pedlar is indeed a very real hotel that has had a fair share of ghostly close encounters being reported since it opened way back in 1891. The original hotel proprietress, Alice Conley, died in room 353 and it has been a hot bed of paranormal activity ever since.

The Innkeepers changes the story to a fictional tale of a broken hearted suicide, but the mix of real life legend mixed with a new twisted tale is exactly the kind of American Horror Story that the show could use to brilliant effect.

4. Vacancy & The Pine-Wood Motel

Vacancy is an underrated little gem of a horror movie stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as an unhappy couple who check into the wrong secluded road-side motel after their car breaks down. Not long after they check in, they discover that the filthy room is used to make snuff tapes of couples being killed - masked men descend upon them and their nail-biting fight for survival begins.

Yes, I know, the title is American Horror Story: Hotel, not Motel, but the idea of an isolated establishment that murders its guests and video tapes the act for snuff tapes sounds like it is right up the show's alley.

3. 1408 & The Dolphin Hotel

Of course horror maestro Stephen King would have his own take on the classic "Ghostly Room at the Inn" genre. His short story was turned into the 2007 film of the same name, 1408, and it stars John Cusack as a writer trying to fill up his book of supposedly haunted hotel rooms by visiting New York hotel The Dolphin. After watching it you may never think of The Carpenter's tune "We've Only Just Begun" the same way again.

If nothing else, the 1408 short story and movie are quintessential haunted hotel stories - a skeptical man checks in to a room and all hell breaks loose. What else do you need?

2. Psycho & the Bates Motel

Speaking of quintessential spooky hotel movies, the one that pretty much set the standard for the old "they check in but the don't check out" story is Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho. Hotel proprietors don't get much creepier than Norman Bates, the momma's boy who has a peculiar fascination with taxidermy is the kind of character that American Horror Story: Hotel is going to have to look up to when it tries to add its own page to the classic genre.

Like The Inkeepers, Psycho famously drew inspiration from real life events. The headlines created by the notorious murderer Ed Gein, who also created a ghastly shine to his dead mother and liked to dress up in her clothes, added a chilling touch of reality to the events of the movie that the folks behind American Horror Story: Hotel should take note of.

1. The Shining & the Overlook Hotel

What else were you expecting? The mother of all haunted hotel movies is of course Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Yes, Stephen King famously didn't care for this adaptation of his novel but history has gone on to prove that there is no better movie about an isolated hotel and the murderous influence it can have than Kubrick's horror masterpiece.

In fact it has captivated so many viewers that there's a fascinating documentary called Room 237 that proves the movie has gone on to take a life of its own. Perhaps it is inevitable that American Horror Story: Hotel will live in the shadow of The Shining, just like any other movie or TV show taking place at a haunted hotel - but [American Horror Story](series:206668): Hotel will certainly be trying to piece together a captivating mythology with its new season and there is no better inspiration to look to than The Shining.

What do you think? What haunted hotel or murderous motel movies would you add to this list? Let us know by taking to the comments!


Latest from our Creators