The hotel was just as beautiful as the website made it look. The outside of the building looked like it was straight from a book on Gothic architecture. Above the main entry way, there sat a dozen or so hideous gargoyles, each depicting a medical ailment. Just inside, there was a cozy-lit bar, and everything looked antique, from the furniture to the appliances. The lights and light fixtures were old and dim, the yellow tinted glow adding an air of mystery to the entire building. The elevator was much, much older than any new hotel’s, and I could already hear that it was as noisy as one would expect it to be.
My boyfriend, Sam, and I checked into our room, and quickly made our way upstairs. The hotel had put us on the 10th floor, so we knew that we were only 3 floors beneath the 14th floor, since superstitious builders had skipped the 13th. As soon as we walked into the room, we dropped our bags and excitedly started planning for the adventure ahead.
The real reason that we had come here was not for the view, nor was it for the local attractions. No, we were here because of the hotel’s history. Sam and I had a mutual love of creepy and supposedly ‘haunted’ buildings, and this hotel was next on our long list of to-visits. While most people tended to avoid the macabre and taboo, Sam and I reveled in it. We loved to see if we could feel or see anything during our visits, so the more intense the history of the building, the better. So far, we had only gotten tingles during our previous adventures, and the creepiest occurrence had been a drop in temperature in a bedroom where an elderly person had passed away in their sleep. There were understandably no places that boasted about deaths on their premises, so it was near impossible to find any truly terrifying buildings.
I, however, had done some intensive research on this particular hotel, and I managed to hit the ‘haunted building’ motherload. The hotel was originally a hospital, specializing in mental illnesses. It had treated the most acute patients, ranging from patients with psychosis to murderous prison inmates. The topmost floor housed the actual hospital and asylum, as well as the crematorium, and the rest of the floors served as office space. And on the basement level, there used to be a morgue. Now, however, the main levels of the hotel served as guest rooms with mostly beautiful, deluxe suites on the top floor, and the basement now served as the kitchen area.
It seemed extremely promising that we would get something far more titillating than mere tingles.
Sam and I decided that we would start by exploring the Basement. While the thought of being in a space with so much mental anguish made us yearn to start on the 14th floor, we felt that the morgue would be an interesting way to get in the paranormal mood. And the spirits that plagued the mental patients would be more apparent if we set the correct tone for the evening.
With this plan set in motion, decided to wait until around 10 pm, just for the scare-factor. When the time came, we exited our room and made our way down the dimly lit hall to the elevator. We knew that the dimness was to make the hotel seem cozy, but really it just added to the nervous tension in the atmosphere. We pushed the button to call the elevator, which clanked its way slowly towards us. It was as if the hotel knew that we were exploring its dark recesses and was trying its hardest to ward us off. The elevator dinged and opened, a speaker stating, “going down.” We selected the basement, but the doors didn’t shut automatically.
I pressed the ‘close door’ button, to which the doors responded with a hesitant groan. The doors scraped shut, and we began our descent. I could feel the vibration of the old, out-of-date pulley system as it lowered us down 10 floors. I counted down the ‘dings’ until we reached our destination: what used to be the morgue. As the final ding sounded, the elevator jolted slightly, as if it actually hit the ground upon our arrival. Yet again, the doors didn’t want to comply, which prompted me to push the ‘open door’ button. Almost identical to before, all we could hear was the groan of the doors as they slowly slid open.
We were surprised to see that no one was down here. Considering that this was the level with the kitchens, it should be bustling with activity, but not a sound could be heard over the dim buzzing of the antique light fixtures. It was as if we had entered an alternate universe in which we were the only living inhabitants.
We stepped onto the landing and noted that, while the rest of the hotel had antique, cozy looking furniture, this floor looked barren and clean. There was a polished concrete floor, and the walls were bare except for a few safety posters. The foyer was pretty much empty, save for a few room service carts along the wall. Already, it felt chillier down here, but whether it was due to the paranormal or due to the fact that it was the lowest level still remained to be seen. I asked Sam if he felt it, to which he nodded in the affirmative.
We walked towards the back of this foyer area, towards a hallway that led to the kitchens. As we were passing into the hallway, I caught a glimpse of something in my peripheral vision on my right-hand side. I turned quickly to see what it was, but nothing was there. I had never seen anything on our escapades, so I explained it away as a trick of the light.
As we made our way down the hall, I checked inside the doors on either side to see if anyone else was down here. Each room was empty and dark, each containing only identical stainless-steel sinks and counters. Finally, we reached the end of the hall, where there was a set of double doors marked ‘Kitchen”. I could swear that as soon as I touched the handle to try the lock, I felt the temperature drop about five degrees.
This is it, I thought. This is where things start to get exciting. This must be where the embalming processes took place! I whispered my thoughts to Sam, who responded that he agreed. Together we pushed open the doors and stepped inside.
I was startled to see a young man standing near one of the stoves in the far corner. Up to this point, we hadn’t seen another person. He didn’t even so much as turn around as I said a brief apology, which was cut short by his lack of response. All he did was stare at the stove for a few minutes. Finally, he turned around; he had a handsome face, and looked like he had stepped out of the 1920s.
I was frightened. He seemed to be looking everywhere but at us, and his movements were spastic and pained. I shakily asked if he was okay because I was worried that he was having a nervous fit or something, but he didn’t seem to hear me. Then, all the sudden, his eyes met mine. I looked to my side to grab Sam’s arm, but he was gone.
In a flash, the young man was right in front of me, staring at me with cold, piercing blue eyes.
Please help me. I heard this as clear as day, but his lips hadn’t moved an inch. Please, I need your assistance.
I felt a cold, hard hand grab my upper arm. In the excitement of my solitude and fear, I screamed and blacked out.