Remember the show Fear? It was the best thing MTV ever aired this side of Clone High, and it scared the shit out of me. The basic premise: Good-looking twentysomethings won money if they could spend a whole night in an abandoned, supposedly (definitely) haunted building by themselves. But if memory serves, hardly anyone ever made it through the night without bailing, because of the whole fear thing.
The contestants on Fear usually had to hang in creepy old prisons and insane asylums, but at least they were rewarded for their suffering. Nowadays, the transaction is reversed: People are actually spending money to stay in such places.
Granted, these haunts have since been tricked out into very fancy hotels, but I’d have to think the scares are still the same.
The latest lodge to go from “crazy people roamed our halls” to “the ghosts of those crazy people probably still roam our halls, but have you heard about our yoga package?” is the Hotel Henry in Buffalo, New York.
It used to be a mental hospital back in the 19th century, where physician Thomas Story Kirkbride treated patients in therapy centers with natural light and big, open spaces. The asylum closed up shop in the 1970s and remained dormant for decades, but $100 million later, the Hotel Henry recently reopened as a stunning, 88-room resort.
The property, designed by New York studio Deborah Berke Partners, is indeed beautiful, but you’re not fooling me. Thanks to thr trauma inflicted upon me by MTV’s Fear, I will never sleep in a place where ghosts probably don’t (but maybe do!) stalk the halls—unless, of course, I pass through Buffalo, perhaps on my way to Niagara Falls, in which case Hotel Henry looks very lovely indeed.