In honor of Halloween, here is a list of the 10 scariest movie hotels of all time. Crazy managers, haunted rooms, murderous owners — movie hotels are dangerous places!
1. The Bates Motel in Psycho, (1960)
As an alumni of Bates College, and someone who knows a real man named Norman Bates, and he’s a hotel/motel security expert, it’s hard for me to crack jokes … but I’ll try.
An out of the way location, a “quirky” manager. And a murderous mother, who’s really the quirky manager. Has anyone taken a shower in a hotel with the door unlocked since this movie came out?
If you’re very brave, and live near Glen Mills, PA, during the Halloween Holiday season, you can check out the haunted house –and weather permitting, go on a hayride at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride.
A.k.a. the other movie made in 1960 that starts with an attractive blonde, who arrives at a desolte motel and gets murdered. By the creepy manager. Who stabs her to death. Starring Christopher Lee and Venetia Stevenson in the role of Janet Leigh the pretty girl who dies.
3. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining (1980)
The isolated location. The endless hallways. The ghosts. That carpet. Who wouldn’t go crazy and try to kill their family with an axe? Although they used the Timberline Lodge in Oregon for the movie, in the book it’s a resort in Colorado. Thankfully, The Overlook doesn’t exist at all in real life.
4. Motel Hell(o) in Motel Hell (1980)
It’s a horror-comedy, um, sort of, about a farmer who runs the Motel Hello. The catch? The “O” of “Hello” blinks on and off, giving guests a hint (that they all miss!) that they will be turned into smoked meats if they stay there.
Sort of a different take on “breakfast included.” Thanks, I’ll skip the bacon!
5. The Hotel Dolphin in 1408 (2007)
Again based on a Steven King story, 1408 stars John Cusak as another unstable writer, this time in New York City. Room 1408 is a dangerously unlucky room — no one can survive a night. Cusak insists on trying, and horrors ensue. If only he’d taken the free upgrade to a suite!
6. The Starlight Hotel in Eaten Alive (1977)
A redneck owns a hotel, kills a hooker, feeds her to his pet alligator. Realizes people are cheaper than alligator chow, continues to kill his guests. Moral of the story? Don’t stay at a motel with a hungry pet alligator.
7. Hungarian Palace Hotel in Hotel (2001)
Another movie about making a movie at a hotel, this time in Venice, where they eat humans, but the real horror appears to be the incomprehensible plot — something about a hitman, a prostitute, a film crew, a nosy maid … when in Italy, skip the hotel restaurant and stick to pasta!
8. Wessex Hotel in Nightmare on the 13th Floor (1990)
Some guests don’t like to stay on the 13th floor of a hotel, and this made for TV horror flick explains why: that’s where Satanists bring victims and perform murderous sacrifices!
9. Pinewood Motel in Vacancy (2007)
Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson play a young married couple who take a wrong turn, wind up lost, and pull into a motel somewhere in Northern California. There is no cell phone service. However there are hidden cameras all over the property, which is used to make snuff films … and guess who they use for the “talent”? That’s right, guests like them who show up without reservations.
10. The hostel in Bratislava in Hostel (2005)
Everyone gets annoyed by horny American frat boys chasing after the local ladies. But as far as I know, they don’t usually get killed for being jerks — except at this one hostel in Eastern Europe. Guests there are required to either mind their manners, or literally lose their heads!