If your spooky corporate Halloween party is in need of a fitting backdrop, check out these purportedly haunted venues. Be forewarned, though: Some of these ghosts like to party, too.
McMenamins Grand Lodge
Forest Grove, Oregon
McMenamins establishments (a Portland-based chain of more than 57 pubs, theaters and hotels) are known for the spirits and apparitions randomly haunting about. Built in 1922 as a Masonic lodge, Grand Lodge has had its share of stories from guests and employees alike, who record their encounters in the ghost log of the hotel lobby.
The backstory? The Lavender Lady, a long-time resident of Grand Lodge while she was alive, lingers still, leaving her signature scent for guests to detect. The next-door Children’s Cottage and Cedar Grove (also part of the Lodge) is said to be haunted, too. Having once been an orphanage, you might hear the sounds of small feet running around or children laughing in the halls.
For outdoor events, this space holds up to 180. Indoor carousing can be accommodated in the European-style Compass Room, a wood-paneled, repurposed theater, with room for just over 100 within its antique walls. The Grand Lodge prides itself on being able to host 1,000-plus party guests at a time, providing various options for alumni reunions, anniversary parties, employee retreats and more.
(Photo Credit: Liz Devine, McMenamins Grand Lodge)
The Arctic Club Seattle- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Built for The Arctic Club in 1916, The Arctic Club Hotel is best recognized in downtown Seattle by the large walrus sculptures that decorate the face of the building. In 1936, the fifth story of the building served as campaign headquarters for Marion Zioncheck, who was running for re-election as a U.S. Congress representative.
According to Spooked in Seattle author Ross Allison, Zioncheck mysteriously fell to his death, leaving people wondering if it was a homicide or suicide. "We hear reports all the time about things disappearing, lights turning off and on and Zioncheck actually appearing," says Allison of room 517, the scene of most incidents. "Perhaps he really was thrown off," he suggests.
In addition to 120 opulent guest rooms, The Arctic Club offers more than 5,700 square feet of meeting space, including the grandest Dome Room Main, which can fit 200-plus guests. At more than 25-feet-tall, the ceiling is an aweinspiring, gold dome, featuring a prominent crystal chandelier and glass-stained windows.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia
Due to the economic woes of the Great Depression, two of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s eight elevators were never installed, leaving two shafts empty.
To this day, they remain vacant, except for a friendly phantom resident, The Lady in Red. Various guests have seen and even photographed this woman- dressed in a red, antebellum dress- entering and exiting the empty elevator shaft. Why did she choose the Fairmont as her permanent place of residence?
No one can say for sure, but we can assume, if she was a 19th-century hostess, the luxurious meeting spaces may be the draw. Planners of large corporate conferences or Halloween-themed networking events will have more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space to work with, including two large ballrooms and 16 function rooms. And at more than 2,000 square feet, the Vancouver Island Room is adorned with a marble fireplace, carved and gilded ceilings, and large french doors- perfect for corporate dinner parties and elegant enough to satisfy the chicest of phantom beauties.
(Photo Credit: The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver)
"The Sorrento Hotel does, indeed, have a friendly ghost appearing from time to time," says Regional PR Director Kirsten Andresen of the historic Seattle establishment built in 1909. The friendly- and perhaps, slightly stoned- ghost is said to be Alice B. Toklas. Known as the inventor of Haschich Fudge- aka hash brownies- as well as author Gertrude Stein’s life partner and confidant, Toklas makes occasional appearances throughout the hotel (and a block outside the building), but seems to especially like the fourth floor and room 408, which employees say is always colder than the rest of the hotel. "I bet she’s very happy about the passing of RN74 and the legalization of marijuana in our state," says Andresen. "Our ghost is very hip."
Just as hip as Toklas, the Sorrento is the longest-standing boutique hotel in Seattle and is known for its iconic Italian-inspired architecture and historically rich interior design. Host an executive meeting in the Penthouse Suite-another Toklas favorite-featuring a library, wood-paneled living space, a baby grand piano and an outdoor terrace overlooking the city skyline. This space is inviting for up to 60 guests, plus one ghost.
(Photo Credit: Sorrento Hotel)