The Whitmore Hotel – Part 1
I beg of you, please, please forgive trajectory of this story. This was my first series I ever wrote, and I put myself under a very strict schedule for some reason unbeknownst to even me. I hope to one day revisit this story and alter the ending, but for now, enjoy the series! I will be posting a new update every day.
Let me just start off by saying: the reason I stayed employed so long even after the first weird thing that happened was because the job paid well over minimum wage, and it was about a 10 minute drive from my house. So, before anyone asks, THAT’S why I didn’t up and quit.
I worked at a large hotel in a medium sized city in the Midwest, where isn’t important. I got the job right out of high school, and it was perfect for me; good pay, close to home, easy as hell. And I did my research on the hotel, it wasn’t buried on any ancient burial grounds, and from what I could tell no one had ever died there. I didn’t experience anything remotely weird until the third floor renovations started.
I had kind of a jack-of-all-trades position at the hotel, meaning I did a lot of different things. I cleaned rooms, worked the front desk, delivered room service orders, sometimes even did lifeguard duty at the pool. Once the shit started happening, it happened all over, and me being in the position I was, I saw more than any other employee did. Believe what you want, but the events I am about to recount were all too real for me. I wish I were just being creative.
I got to my night shift at 8PM on a Tuesday. Being that it was the middle of the week, we had about half of our regular occupancy. By no means an empty hotel, but just generally less hustle was needed than say a Friday or Saturday night. The first few hours of my shift went as they normally did, I checked for any incoming reservations due to arrive that night, of which there were two. The kitchen closed at 10 so I only had to run up one room service order, which I ended up getting a $10 tip from, so that was nice. I was getting ready to settle in at the front desk when the phone rang. I looked and noticed it was from a room. Our new phone system had a digital display showing us what room was calling us, and this call said it was coming from room 323. Immediately I was suspicious, as remodeling had started on the third floor about two weeks prior. I answered the phone.
“Front desk at ________________, this is Nick, how may I help you?”
There was a cough on the other end.
I repeated myself.
“Oh, oh, sorry. How are you?” replied a young woman’s voice.
“I”m doing fine, and yourself?”
“Well, not too good actually.” she said, with a hint of worry in her voice.
“I’m sorry to hear that, is there anything in particular I can help you with?”
“I’m not sure…maybe.”
My regular script I followed had made me forget where the call came from. I finally inquired.
“Can I ask where you’re calling from ma’am?”
“I’m in room 323, and you’re right, I need help.”
I had never suggested she needed help, but okay.
“Ma’am, room 323 is currently unavailable due to the third floor renovation. Are you sure that’s where you are? What’s your name?”
“I need help Nick. Right now. I don’t think I was supposed to come up here.” she said, with a sense of dread I could feel through the phone.
Now I got it. She had wandered up to the third floor and somehow gotten lost (how she could do that is beyond me, there’s signs everywhere). She went into room 323 and used the phone to call.
“Okay, what’s wrong? And what is your name, miss?” I asked.
“I can’t get out. The door won’t open. It needs to open.”
Confused, and slightly irritated by her not answering my question, I cut to the chase.
“Your name, miss.”
“Marion Kenn–Kennedy.” She sputtered out.
“One moment please.” I said, already halfway through my check into the current occupants list in the computer system. No Marion Kennedy.
“Okay Miss Kennedy, I’m not finding you here. Are you here with someone else who your room may be under? And what room were you initially in?”
“I need help. Please come to room 323 and help me. Please.” She said, noticeably more calm than before. Almost as if she was annoyed to still be on the phone with me.
“Miss Kenn–” is all I managed to get out before the line clicked and I realized I’d been hung up on.
“What the fuck..” I muttered to myself. I set a “Be back in 5” sign on the front counter and made my way up to the third floor. I reached the hallway that room 323 sat in and as soon as I crossed the threshold into it I was overcome with a feeling of panic. The hairs stood up on my neck, as they say. Now apprehensive to move forward, I looked around me. There was equipment and materials strewn about, and a large sheet of plastic covering most of the wall and doors on the left hand side. I could hear the faint sound of music coming from down the hall. Room 323 would be somewhere in the middle. I slowly made my way down the hall, illuminated by only 2 lights bulbs at each end, darkness meeting at the center of the hallway. As I got closer, the music got louder. It was 1920’s style music, like it was being played on a phonograph. As I got closer to the darkness, I noticed a dark red light emanating from under one of the doors. I’m sure you can guess which one.
I stood in front of room 323, essentially shaking due to the sense of uneasiness I had. I listened closely, trying to head over the music from anything else.
“Miss…Miss Kennedy” I choked out from my dry throat.
No response. Just as I was about to turn around and get away, I heard a voice from the other side.
“Come on in!” said a cheery, male voice.
The calmness in his voice proved soothing, and I became ever-so-slightly more comfortable with the situation.
“Miss Kennedy called down to the front desk saying she needed help with something?”
“She’s in the bathroom right now, why don’t you come on in here and we’ll get to the bottom of it/” the man said.
“Come on in, boy, we don’t bite!” He said, and let out a small chuckle.
He kept on chuckling as I used my master key to unlock the electric lock. I turned the knob slowly, still scared half to death. As I inched the door open, his chuckle turned into a full blown maniacal laugh as the red light from the room began to flood into the darkness. Suddenly, the laughing and the music stopped as if it had all been one noise abruptly cut off. I will never forget the small moment of silence I stood in. It enveloped me in fear. I stood there motionless until I heard a faint whisper, from not one, but two voices.
“Just a little bit further.”
That was it. I sprinted full speed down the hallway back the way I came, ran down the stairs, and back to the front desk. I immediately called the police. They got there, and went up to check room 323, and found nothing but the renovation equipment related to the work being done in that room at the time. No music player, no people, and nothing that could’ve given off a red glow. On top of that, there was no evidence that anyone had been in there, workers included, in quite a while, as evidenced by a buildup of dust. And if that weren’t enough, there was no phone in the room. They said to call back if I had any more trouble, and I apologized for wasting their time. They were cool cops though, told me their job was my safety, and reiterated to call them back if anything else weird went on. I walked them out the front doors of the hotel and walked back to the front desk. On it was a return envelope for room keys people give back at check out, marked 323. On the back of the envelope was a short survey. They marked 1 (poor) for each line, and included a short note on the provided lines below.
“Maybe next time.”
I never dealt with anything quite like that again, but I do have some other really scary shit to tell you about the hotel I worked at. If there’s enough interest, I’ll write more, maybe even tell you why I eventually did quit.
Thanks for reading,
Categories: Nick Botic Original Series