The Ten Creepiest Roadside Motels

If you see any of the following ten stops during your travels, maybe just keep driving if you're not particularly adventurous.

10.) The Stanley


The thing about the Stanley in Colorado is that it's actually a great hotel with a stunning location. However, there's a catch, as TheBaron2112 explains:

I was traveling through the mountains of Colorado with my dad in a Porsche 944. It was our last day and we were making the trek from Boulder to Estes Park and through the Rocky Mountain National Park on Trail Ridge Road.

In Estes Park we ate lunch. Afterwards, we drove out of town and headed towards Trail Ridge. That's when we passed the large white hotel off in the distance. It had a red roof and was nestled at the foot of some fantastic mountains. But both my dad and I sort of got a weird feeling looking at it. Like something wasn't quite right about it.

We passed it by and continued on our journey. It wasn't until a few days later when we were back home that I discovered what the hotel really was.

The hotel was the Stanley Hotel - the very one that influenced Stephen King to write The Shining and that is reportedly haunted.

Maybe it was them. JSWilson64_g:

You got a weird feeling about the hotel but were fine with spending time in a 944?


Suggested By: TheBaron2112, Photo Credit: Rob Lee

9.) South of the Border


It's the billboards for this South Carolina motel. JayDeZ:

South of the Boarder by far! The area around it is mostly abandoned now and you feel like you are going to get mugged there.

Last time I drove to South Carolina we needed gas right around that place and stopped. I refused to let my mom get out of the car and we only put in enough to get to the next exit.



Drove down to Florida from the Canadian east coast, there must be about 200 bill boards for this place stretching hundreds of miles on each side of it. That alone made it creepy to me.


Suggested By: JayDeZ, Photo Credit: Mark Doliner

8.) Black Horse Motel


This New Jersey stop is gone now, but there's a band named after it. This is how creepy it looked back in the day, and Green Pig has more:

From what my father told me, this was a decent, family-run motel back when it first opened in the 1950's, but went down hill in the '60s once the Atlantic City Expressway was completed and the Black Horse Pike was no longer the primary road between Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

I was forced to stay there one time around '90 or so when my car broke down on the BHP and I couldn't get in touch with anyone to give me a ride home (this was pre-cell phones.)

I checked into a room that looked like it hadn't been painted or renovated in 25 years, and smelled strongly of cigarettes even though it was supposed to be a non-smoking room. When I complained to the woman at the front desk, she told me that it was the only clean, unoccupied room that she had, and no I could not have a refund.

I slept with my clothes on, ON TOP of the bedspread and all the towels in the bathroom.

Around 1am, I was awoken by someone who was crawling in through the window. I jumped off the bed and this scared the intruder so much that HE screamed. I turned on the lights in time to see him practically dive out the window. An inspection of the sliding glass window revealed the latch had been removed.

I called the front desk and the lady told me NOT to call the cops. I gathered up my stuff and decided it was probably safer to hitch-hike home in the middle of the night rather than stay any longer.


Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: Pax Romano

7.) Igloo City


In case you're looking for a bad investment in Alaska, it's for sale. Vic-in-Norway:

In the middle of nowhere in Alaska, never completed due to code violations, (already creepy with that?), now completely abandoned. This place was "open" when I was a kid, just the first floor, with a little crappy cafe and giftshop, with no windows. You could look up and see the impressive (to a 10 year old) unfinished guts of the hotel.



I've driven by this! It's on the main route from Anchorage to Denali, I believe? It was a super random thing to come across out there....definitely creepy! I'd imagine it's that much weirder in winter when everything is covered in snow.


Suggested By: Vic-in-Norway, Photo Credit: Allison Barden

6.) Topanga Ranch Motel


Guns were involved in this LA story. Grand Moff Talkin':

Nestled in a cove at the bottom of the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu lies a collection of dilapidated red-and-white bungalows known as the Topanga Ranch Motel. It is on some of the best real estate in LA county, as it sits next to winery and is a one-minute walk from the beach.

The Topanga Ranch was originally constructed in the '20s as housing for workers who were building the Pacific Coast Highway. Then it became a cheap motel. In 2001 it was designated an historic landmark and only a few of the bohemian Topanga Canyon crazies lived there before the sheriff evicted them in 2005.

Now, when you drive by there just this creepy ghost town that looks like the grisly crime scene that usually opens up an LA noir story, juxtaposed with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.


Suggested By: Grand Moff Talkin', Photo Credit: Joe Crawford

5.) Skinny Dick's


This is between Nenana and Fairbanks. They are serious about dick jokes in Alaska.

Suggested By: DonG, Photo Credit: Skinny Dick's

4.) Green Valley


The trick is not to ask any questions in this California dream. SeniorVerde:

You should be concerned when the owner says "you might want to take a look at the room first." So, around back, behind an Iroc Camaro on blocks, next to a pile of drywall and debris from the last remodel several years ago is our room...

"If you hear any noises in the morning, it's the kids upstairs gettin' ready for school."


Suggested By: SeniorVerde, Photo Credit: Google

3.) Motel Caswell


Call a cab at this Massachusetts stop, and you're likely to get a different kind of Crown Victoria than you expect. Jonee:

The Department of Justice almost seized it because of all the drug and prostitution busts made there. There's also a sign advertising in-room hot tubs that I would only go in wearing a wet suit.


Suggested By: Jonee, Photo Credit: Google

2.) New Sea Breeze


The new motels in New Jersey are different to the old ones in that the oldies were rumored to be filled to the brim with blood. Automatch Tom:

Any run-down motel in West Atlantic City (on RT 40 on before the bridge)....a couple of prostitutes where murdered in one of these places a few years ago. They never found a suspect.

My wife calls this street "Hooker Killer Alley".

Redevelopment is in progress, involving total teardown.

Suggested By: Automatch Tom, Photo Credit: Google

1.) Ryugyong Hotel


Behold the crowning glory of Pyongyang, North Korea. Started in 1987, halted in 1992, restarted in 2008. They said the exterior was finished in 2012, but 1,080 ft glass pyramid remains the hotel of doom. And you better not complain about the room service.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: AP Images

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Skinny Dick's

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