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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A night in a haunted house

We stayed in a beautiful old hotel last weekend and neither of us knew before the room was booked that the hotel was reportedly haunted. I caught a whisper of it when I told people at work where I was staying but they reassured me it wasn't haunted and to enjoy the trip. So I did. For a while.

We arrived and it was late when we checked in. We spent some time walking through the hotel and bumped into a girl who works there. In hindsight, I foolishly asked her if there had ever been any ghost sightings. She proceeded to tell us one tale after another. It was about this time I wished I wasn't so inquisitive!
Kids walk the hallways at night talking and giggling.
Ghosts tuck in bed sheets while guests are lying in their beds.
Two chefs got into a knife fight and one later died. The girl lives in the apartment that he haunts.
The ghost of Miss Chisolm who worked at the hotel and now rearranges table settings so that they are perfect, throws candlesticks at staff who aren't performing well and once pushed a staff member down the stairs.
Ghosts haunt the guest laundry which incidentally is next to the room we were staying in (!!). 
The boy who was convinced he was once possessed by a ghost.

I didn't sleep that night. I stayed up thinking about the stories, about the old building, about the people who used to stay here in the years gone by and even though I had worked myself up to believe I had heard whispers during the night I knew it was probably nothing but an overactive imagination heightened by the ghost stories.
What it did make me realise though is how much history is contained within the walls of buildings and the experiences that we can't predict when we design or decorate interiors. Some of these are lost forever when the people involved are gone and can't re-tell the story, other stories live on. This building lends itself well to hauntings with its grand staircase, tall windows, heavy drapery, large chandeliers, high ceilings and peeling wallpaper in the hallways. I find it fascinating how a building can affect a person's mood, through the decor, the structure itself or its age.

Have you ever stayed at a haunted house?







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