Before picking our rooms, the resident paranormal and history expert, Caley, came down to talk to us. With long straight hair, glasses, a peaceful nature and a look of a flower child in touch with spirits, she fit her title. After exchanging some pleasantries, she suggested we stay on the fourth floor, which was the old servant’s quarters as it had the most “activity”. At this point I was seriously wondering if there were any newly constructed La Quintas down the hill that I could stay at instead. While making escape plans, Caley went over the available rooms with the front desk manager and picked us each a room that has had “things happen”. Hearing this, I started to feel my lower legs tremble. This was going to be a long week….
After riding up a tiny, beautiful but creepy antique elevator, we each headed to our rooms with a plan to meet up in a few hours for dinner. While I knew Kane did not have time to get into my room to play pranks on me, I still entered suspiciously. After standing in the open doorway for a few minutes examining every inch with my eyes, I felt comfortable enough that there were no booby traps waiting for me (for now at least). Throwing my bag on the bed, I was a bit underwhelmed with the room. It was rather small and felt much more like an old dorm room I had in NYC than a hotel. While tastefully decorated, you could tell the area was not originally made to be a hotel room, but rather a small space for staff to sleep and not do much else. There were low slanted ceilings, full sized bed, a tiny desk and about three feet of free area. It wasn’t creepy in the least, but I still would have felt much more comfortable in a cookie cutter, spacious Marriott, with a king size bed.
As I started to unpack, I turned on the television for some white noise (to drown out the possibility of any ghosts trying to whisper to me). As the TV buzzed to life, instead of the typical annoying screen trying to get you to buy over priced movies, I was greeted by an insane looking Jack Nicholson, hell bent on killing his family. As my mouth dropped open, I was baffled by the sheer coincidence that The Shining just happened, to be playing the moment I turned on the television… at The Stanley Hotel. Of course this was not the cosmos telling me anything, the hotel, like a sick joke, has a “Shining Channel” that played nothing but the original movie on a twenty-four hour loop. Nothing promotes a good night’s sleep in a haunted hotel like watching a scary movie that is based off of the very place you are sleeping in. For reasons unknown to me, I literally watched nothing but this movie for the next five days straight, I never once changed the channel.
After dinner, I reluctantly left Kane and Shawn and went back to my room. Getting ready for bed I made sure the door was locked and that a chair was in front of it, to rule out anyone sneaking in and messing with me (though in hindsight getting out in case of a murderous ghost would have been rather hard). Being an old building with no thermostat in my room, it was rather hot, so I was forced to open the creaky wooden window, allowing for the creepy nature sounds and vague mutterings of people taking walks to the tone of pure fear that was already building in my head. And that is not even counting the white billowing curtain taunting me when the lights went off.
Finally ready to go to bed I made sure my phone and emergency flashlight were on the nightstand. Two minutes after shutting my eyes, the flashlight was in my hand… and it stayed there the rest of the night. While there were regular noises which an old building would make, my mind attributed each creek, tick and rustle to slimy, decaying, vengeful ghosts that wanted me dead. I don’t think I slept more than an hour straight without waking up to flick on the flashlight and point it at the wall, knowing it was the last thing I would ever do. Thankfully… nothing happened, besides a severe lack of sleep.
In the morning, we all quickly and curiously asked each other if anything happened. The response was a unanimous, nothing, though having one one-hundredth the testosterone Kane does and less than a quarter of what Shawn had, I was the only one who was up all night with a flashlight. Later in the day however, Kane did ask if we were annoyed with the kids running up and down the hallway. I hadn’t heard nor seen any kids in the building and said so, Shawn said the same. Kane brushed it off saying they must be near his room and not ours as we were spread out over the fourth floor. He also said he could hear kids talking, though couldn’t tell if they were in the hall or coming from outside, so there had to be kids around somewhere….
When we met up with Caley that day I quickly asked her about children and if she knew if any were staying in the hotel. A sly smile came across her face. “Well, it’s the slow season so the place is rather empty. Especially your floor, only a few rooms are taken.” I could tell Kane was about to say the kids must have been running up and down each floor, but Caley cut him off. “Also, there are no families with children here at all.” Shawn and I looked at each other like two spooked little children hearing a ghost story. Kane remained straight faced and stared at our guide with a look that saiddon’t f*ck with me. She kept her cool and kept the creepy level going. “I purposely didn’t tell you any of the things that happen on the fourth floor. I didn’t want to influence your stay… the sound of children is one of the most common occurrences on that floor.” At this point goose bumps shot out of my skin like mini volcanoes ready to erupt. While I hadn’t heard the sounds myself, I knew Kane wasn’t messing with me as he made a promise to not pull any pranks while at the hotel. When it came to ghost stuff, he always made sure to not play pranks as he didn’t want to ruin anything that could really happen. Knowing Kane might have had an actual experience… freaked me out. Especially since we had a lot more nights to go! Sadly, only a few minutes later I was in so much pain I would have preferred to been locked in a room with some ghost children….