Before you pop your popcorn and set the mood to have the hair raise on the back of your neck. Perhaps waiting to have every creek make you shutter in fear for your safety. I would like to point out that it’s not that scary. I mean it isn’t gross scary, it’s just that I am mostly a chicken shit and really have no balls. My imagination runs away with me and that is why this was scary…..for me!

So let me set the stage for my story by telling you that my daughter was away at college in Virginia and my favorite hotel to stay at while I visited her was built in 1882. It is a beautiful grand hotel and I absolutely love it. I was going down one weekend to visit my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter was coming with me. My oldest daughter was about twenty-years old which makes my youngest fourteen-years old. My son was in his first year of college. My husband stayed at home to take care of my menagerie of animals.

We get to the hotel and as we are checking in the woman at the front desk says to me, “Oh you are in luck, you are staying in one of the oldest rooms in our hotel!”

I hear “Oh Shit, you are staying in the fucking haunted room, Peace be with you. Should you make it through the night there will be coffee for the bravest of souls in the lobby in the morning!”

I walk the corridor to our room and because this is an old historic hotel it has  mini-museum corners with dishes and pictures and as we ascend the hallway in one corner is a dress dummy wearing a maid uniform. Oh and next to this poor unfortunate dress dummy that is apparently wearing the uniform of what I can only assume is the ‘butchered maid from some famous murder that I am as of yet unaware of’ is my room. Oh Thank God! I get the extra fucking creep factor. But I have my fourteen-year old daughter with me so that I have to be brave. We enter the ‘haunted’ room and put our bags down. There is an air purifier in the room because I am asthmatic and my husband requests one every time I travel. The air purifier makes a quiet white noise buzz and I like it. It can cover the sound of that murdered maid’s heavy breathing.

Once we are settled in our room and I make the appropriate phone calls to my husband to tell him that we made it safely and my oldest daughter to tell her that we arrived. We make our arrangements of what to do next. My oldest daughter was coming to the hotel to meet us and to take us to dinner. My youngest is super excited because there was some talk about her older sister maybe staying in the hotel room with us.

You see when your college aged sister says “MAYBE!” to “Can you stay with us tonight?” That is a hard yes for a fourteen-year old. We go out to dinner and my oldest daughter’s cell phone is “blowing up” with texts. As dinner wore on my oldest daughter’s plans are drawing out and her night is about to begin. My youngest daughter is still thinking that big sister is staying in the room and maybe we can rent a movie on the hotel tv AND our dessert from room service. To my youngest, this is an exciting night. To my oldest college student daughter, this is a quiet night in with mom. We get back to the hotel and my oldest daughter comes to the room with us. She even points to the ‘poor beheaded maid’ in the corner and I say “Oh I didn’t even see that !” I lied because what I want to do is to forget that I have ever seen it. Because that thing is what nightmares are made of!!!

“So do you want to order room service dessert?” my youngest asks. My oldest looks at her hopeful little sister and she grimaces a bit.

“Hey, little one, remember when I said that I was going back to my dorm tonight to hang out with my friends?” oldest trying to let her down easy.

“Yes, but you also said that you might stay here with us.” she beams because she only hears what she wants to hear.

“No, what I said was I might, IF nothing comes up, but something HAS come up. My friends are all going to the a capella show on campus and I am going to go with them.” oldest still trying to let her down easy.

“But your friends get to see you every day!” youngest not being let down EASY, she’d rather go the HARD route instead.

“We can still get room service and rent a movie. I am all over that bread pudding they have here.” I announce to no one, because I was not the reason the fourteen-year old came.

“Mom, I can see you any time I want to. I want to spend time with my sister.” youngest is really hurt.

My phone rings and it’s my husband and I take it. The girls are talking amongst themselves and by the time I get off the phone with their dad the plan has morphed into a win/win for everybody but mom, because I am being left to fight off that fucking Dead and clearly possessed maid in the damned hallway. That bitch has been giving me the ole evil eye since I walked into the place.

“Are you sure you want to take her with you to your dorm?” I ask pretending that it is about anyone else but me.

“Yeah its fine, she’s cool! Everyone will love her.” My oldest says. This is all true. My youngest is beyond excited about this turn of events.

My youngest has packed up everything that she had taken out when we arrived and she is at the door clearly broken up about leaving me here by myself. I literally have no one to be brave for. I do not know how to be brave for myself so I am going to shit myself if I hear any unusual noise. (as if on cue that fucking air purifier starts purifying my air loudly now) No I didn’t shit myself but I was not loving it.

I give kisses and tell them to let me know when they get to the dorm. I tell the youngest one to text me throughout the night to let me know how much fun she is having. They agree with my demands and off they went. It’s just me, my noise making air cleaner and Wanda the psycho maid that was beheaded because she was pure evil. Why did they even keep her uniform anyway? I mean really she was not a great person, she was horrifyingly the worst, honestly!

I lie in bed and start reading my book. It is about murder and I decide that this is the dumbest idea I have ever had. I didn’t order room service even though I was now hankering for that amazing bread pudding because I was afraid that Wanda was going to deliver it. Could you imagine a headless waitress in an old timey uniform delivering delicious bread pudding. On the one hand it’s bread pudding on the other hand it is probably my last meal, which is great because it is bread pudding! I turn on the tv and watch food network because that is never scary and guess what, it was all about dessert. Great! I remember that they gave me cookies when we checked in. I search the room as a woman who needed her fix of sugar and chocolate would. I’m flipping mattresses and moving furniture! I can’t find that brown bag filled with gooey delicious chocolate-chip cookies that melt in your mouth and in your hands so that you get to lick your fingers after the cookie is all gone. I text my youngest.

“Hey cutie! How’s it going? Are you having fun?”

“Yup!”

“That’s good! BTW do you know where the cookies ended up?”

“I’ve got them!”

“Ok, cool! Have fun tonight!” I lied! It was NOT cool! I am in this damned death trap of a hotel room with the killer maid ghost waiting for me to fall asleep and I don’t even get to eat sugar to calm my nerves. I decide to change the channel. I watch “Modern Family” and that makes me slightly less paranoid. I finally fall asleep while watching television at around ten or so. I hear some strange noise that interrupts my sleep. I wake up with my fight or flight response kicking all the way in and I realize that I am not at home. I get up to use the bathroom and I look at myself in the mirror. I have done this ever since I was a little girl and my brothers watched “The Exorcist” in our living room and even though I didn’t watch it and  only listened to it, I was fucking horrified. I have, ever since that day, checked myself in the mirror in the middle of the night to make sure that I wasn’t possessed. The problem is that the mirrors and lighting in hotels are not the same as at home and there is some weird shading going across my face and I was all like “Well shit, I’m possessed! Fucking great! What am I going to do now?”

I turned on the light and I look at myself long and hard in the mirror and decide that I was probably ok. But I say the Lord’s Prayer just to be safe. Jesus, save my sorry soul, Okay?

I walk into the bedroom portion of my hotel room with the bathroom light still on and I turn all of the other lights on too, for safe measure. Now there is plenty of light in my hotel room so that I can see if anything is coming for me. I grab my cell phone and see that my youngest took pics and sent them to me. They look like they are having such a great time. I start flipping through channels to find something that won’t scare the wits out of me.

When I was younger it was “The Love Boat” that I would watch to calm me down. I don’t know why but that show was soothing to me. Tonight it is an old rerun of “Friends”. I text my husband and ask if he is awake, it is one in the morning and my girls are still awake and doing make overs or some such thing. My son is still awake and having fun with his friends. My husband is not. I eventually fall back to sleep and I stay asleep until the morning. I text the girls and tell them that I am awake. I get no response. I go down to the lobby and get myself a coffee, because I am survivor that’s why, and go outside for a walk. I am no longer afraid of the peril that is clearly besieging this hotel at night. I am alive and the sun is shining and I am ready to start my day. I go to my room and grab my book about murder and I take it outside. I get another coffee and I sit and read my murder mystery until I hear from my girls. We had a lovely day and then night-time comes again and sure enough my youngest wants to sleep at her sister’s dorm tonight too. AND LEAVE ME TO FIGHT OFF THE SCARY DEPTHS OF THE ANCIENT HALLS OF THIS FUCKING FRIGHTFEST OF A HOTEL ROOM????? Ugh! I’m not that brave! I was almost possessed last night, by Wanda! She is horrific and blood-thirsty! Someone should warn people about her really!

My oldest looks at me for help because one night with your little sister at college is fun, two nights is maybe less fun.

“You know what? I actually missed you last night. The hotel was unfamiliar and I really would like it if you would stay here with me.” I was telling the truth and I am certain the desperation in my voice and the pure horror in my tired eyes showed it.

“Okay Mom, I’ll stay here with you!” my youngest looks at my oldest and says “I think Mom is afraid to stay here alone, don’t you?”

Yes! Yes I am. I am absolutely terrified of this OLDEST ROOM IN THE HOTEL, haunted mess. Especially with the murderous Wanda the psychopath maid ghost waiting for me to let my guard down. But now with my fourteen year old here I am super mama bear and you are going to have to go through me you stupid deranged bitch!

My oldest thanks me with her grateful eyes and she leaves us to fend for ourselves. Fending for ourselves involved bread pudding and watching a movie that was still in theaters right there in the privacy of our own hotel room with our pjs on. We snuggle up and watched our movie with a belly full of warm sweet magnificent dessert. I was prepared to sleep well tonight because I know that if anything decides to show up and mess with my kid I will do my worst all over them! I say my prayers because I still need back up. We go to sleep. The next morning we check out of the haunted mansion and I look at the building fondly because as haunted as it is (or is not as the case may be) it is a gorgeous building. We get into our car we stop in at the little coffee shop on the campus for breakfast with my oldest. We say our goodbyes and head back home.

All the way home my youngest told me all about the people she met at college and about all of the wonderful things they had done. I love taking in these moments. The excitement of a fourteen year old who had a college-lite experience with her big sister blazing the way. We both grew that weekend. I found that even though I was afraid to stay in that room by myself, I put my daughter’s fun first. I just as easily could have rained on her parade and said that she was too young to stay in a college dorm. I didn’t! I was brave for her after all!

Moral of the story: I am a chicken-shit baby that had to stay in a haunted room that may or may not have had a psychopath killer ghost maid named Wanda and lived to tell the tale. Also it is October and I plan to tell Halloween type stories! Please check in periodically to see how I am doing. Halloween as you can suspect is Not my favorite! I don’t need scary television shows…I can do it to myself all on my own.

Until next time 🙂

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