There’s still plenty of time to plan your summer vacation, but when it comes time to make arrangements for lodging, steer clear of these classic horror hotels. They do have great stories to tell, though, if you enjoy them from the comfort and safety of your own home.
7. Starlight Hotel – Eaten Alive (1976)
In director Tobe Hooper’s follow-up to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the mentally disturbed proprietor (Neville Brand) of a dilapidated hotel turns his guests into food for his pet crocodile.
Trivia: In one of his early screen roles, Robert Englund plays a frisky customer at the town brothel whose demand for kinky sex sends a naïve prostitute to become the Starlight’s first victim.
6. Pinewood Hotel – Vacancy (2007)
When their car breaks down after David Fox (Luke Wilson) and his on-the-verge-of-divorce wife, Amy (Kate Beckinsale) take a wrong turn on a remote mountain road, they book a room for the night at the Pinewood Hotel where the manager assures them that the screams they hear are coming from the TV.
Trivia: Sarah Jessica Parker was originally cast in Beckinsale’s role.
5. Dolphin Hotel – 1408 (2007)
In this adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, horror author Mike Enslin (John Cusack), who is known for investigating allegedly haunted houses, spends a night in room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel and experiences a series of supernatural events.
Trivia: Besides references to the number 13 in the movie (for example, the numbers in 1, 4, 0 plus 8 equal 13), the DVD runtime is exactly 104 min. and 13 sec.
4. Motel Hello – Motel Hell (1980)
The letter “O” in the motel sign next to Farmer Vincent Smith’s (Rory Calhoun) farm flickers, providing it’s more familiar name. Nothing I say about the movie can beat the tagline: “It takes all kind of critters to make Farmer Vincent Fritters.”
Trivia: Harry Dean Stanton was originally approached to play Farmer Vincent, but he turned down the opportunity.
3. The Hostel – Hostel (2005)
College students Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) travel across Europe and are preyed upon by a mysterious group that kidnaps and tortures attractive young people like them.
Trivia: Room 237 is featured in reference to another creepy movie hotel that may just appear later on this list.
2. Bates Motel – Psycho (1960)
Whether located in Arizona like in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, or in Oregon like in the A&E television series, the little motel off the new highway shadowed by the gothic house on the hill is no place to stay on a rainy night. You’d be better off getting wet outside than taking a shower in room number 1.
Trivia: On set, Hitchcock referred to Anthony Perkins as “Master Bates.”
1. Overlook Hotel – The Shining (1980)
25 miles from the closest town, the mountain-isolated Overlook Hotel is arguably the main character of Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, even though Jack Nicholson tries to steal the show. When Jack Torrance (Nicholson) becomes the winter caretaker, he learns that all work and no play make him a dull boy.
Trivia: Red Rum was a famous racehorse in the 1970s. Stephen King did not know that it spelled “murder” backwards until he actually typed it.