Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Haunted Hotels

Happy Halloween!
I promised friends that I would
write about my ghostly experiences.
First, I should tell you I am a huge chicken.
When I was young I would make up scary
stories while washing my hair.
(Sign of a future suspense writer) I was
afraid to put my head under the faucet,
but did because I had to get the soap out.
When I left the bathroom, I ran down
the hall, then casually walked into the family room like nothing was wrong.
I still can't believe no one ever caught
me. Not that I couldn't come up with a good excuse.
Anyway, my fascination with ghosts outweighed my fear. (Sort of) Five years
ago I joined the Valley of the Sun Chapter of RWA and quickly turned their writer's retreat into a haunted one. Every October we stay at a haunted hotel.

The first two years we stayed in Prescott, AZ. Eighteen wild and crazy-
okay - mostly middle aged and bored women, invaded this bed and breakfast armed with laptops and liquor. We laughed, brainstormed, shopped, and shared ghostly stories. I'm convinced some of those were made up-Not mine, of course.

Every year I take my secret weapon; my sister. She is ten years younger and a whole lot braver. Most of our ghostly experiences happen to her, so we can keep going year after year. When we stayed in Prescott, about 15 of us were talking in the haunted room and the closet door suddenly closed by itself. You would think we would have been afraid. Mostly we looked at each other, trying to figure out how that happened. While in my room, I felt something push off my bed, like a cat. I turned, expecting my sister to be standing there. Nope. She was in her bed on the other side of the room. I can handle a ghostly cat, so I did manage to get some sleep. At least thirty minutes.

The last two years we stayed at the Grand Hotel in Jerome. It was once a thriving mining town. Now it's Arizona's infamous ghost town. The Grand is reported to have a lot of paranormal activity. One of our writers woke up to an apparition of a man standing at the foot of her bed. Too bad it wasn't George Clooney.

Last year a ghost pushed down on my sister's head during her sleep. We think it was because a worker there died when the elevator landed on his head. Talk about a migraine! This year, a ghost played with my sister's hair. She moved to the couch, hoping it would leave her alone, but it didn't. I snored through the whole thing. My sister brought a tape recorder to capture ghostly voices and soon realized that was pointless. The ghost would have to scream and basically throw a tantrum to be heard over my snoring.

My most fascinating ghostly moment happened to someone else. (Couldn't have planned it better.) Young teen aged boys were hanging around taking pictures with their cell phones. In one of the pictures, a ghost was standing next to one of the boys. At first, I thought I was seeing a man standing next to the boy. I did a double take when I realized I could see through the man. I walked around with my cell phone for hours, but couldn't capture any ghosts.

I spoke to a young lady who worked at the hotel restaurant. (She knows my daughter) She said she saw an apparition of a woman several times, and the ghosts constantly locked her in the dry storage room. She worked there longer a lot longer than I would have.
At the end of the weekend we all agreed it was another successful trip and we booked our rooms for next October. I'm ready. I have my camera, my nose strips and my younger sister.

1 comment:

Nysa said...

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