People wanted to know what happened on the third floor before the renovations were finished besides my first story, so here I’ll just briefly outline the occurrences:
- I took the stairs one day, and since nothing had happened in recent memory I decided to see the progress on the renovations. I noticed they’d finished painting the walls, and hung new light fixtures, though no bulbs were in yet so I didn’t venture down the hallway save for a few steps. When I turned around, the ladder that had been to my left was now stood up directly in front of the door. I moved it to the side and immediately went back downstairs.
- I remember one evening I was waiting to be done after a day shift, and I had personally said goodbye to the construction crew for the day. When I was getting my things together, I heard the unmistakable sound of tools (one could hear the construction noises faintly from the lobby and nearby floors during the day when the crew was working).
- You can see the the main hallway of the third floor (rooms 301-317) from the lobby, and one night when I was there, I happened to gaze upwards, and saw that every door was open. No lights were on in any of the rooms, so a looming darkness presented itself. I blinked, and each door, going from right to left like dominoes, slammed shut. I don’t know if this happened with every door on the third floor or just the ones within my sightline, but it was pretty unnerving either way.
- I would receive calls from different rooms on the third floor (never 323 again), and all I would hear upon answering was static. It got to the point where I stopped answering.
So, there I was with more time on my hands than I’d had in quite some time, as I’d took what I believe to be a well-deserved week-long break from the Hotel Whitmore. I filled my time by catching up on sleep, binge-watching The Wire (aka the greatest television drama ever created), and most importantly, doing some deep research on the Whitmore. I did some basic Google searches, and didn’t really find anything noteworthy. I pretty much got lists of celebrities or other important people who have lodged there in the past, and a basic history of the hotel.
The Whitmore Hotel was built from 1930-1931, during the development of the entire area in which it’s located. The owners were actually a group of men, each of whom funded different aspects of the project, and was named after one of their associates who passed during the planning phase. I did individual research on each of these men, and nothing really jumped out at me, they just seemed like normal opportunistic businessmen. When it opened, it was bigger and better than any other hotel in the midwest. It featured 9 floors, an elaborate bar off the lobby, over which hung a lavish chandelier.
Certain changes have been made since, including multiple weight rooms, and a very, very large indoor pool area. In addition to the added amenities, the rooms have also been remodeled more than once. Over the past decade or so, the hotel’s business has slowly dwindled, with chain hotels such as The Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta, and Days Inn, among others, sprouting up new franchise locations. Most of the guests now come for the fact that when they leave, they get to say they spent the night in a historic hotel, somewhere multiple presidents have stayed during their time in office. I personally have stayed a few nights, and I might add I never had anything strange happen when I did.
After reading all this, I was pretty underwhelmed, as I’m sure you are, so thank you for bearing with me. I stopped to watch more TV, but something was bothering me. I went back to research the names of the gentlemen who funded the hotel, and found one common theme. They all got their start with a now-defunct (as of 1996) investment company called The Kennedy Conglomerate. Now we were getting somewhere.
I looked up The Kennedy Conglomerate and found a basic history which I won’t bore you with, besides the fact that it was located on the west coast. What was interesting about The Kennedy Conglomerate was the fact that in it’s last years of functioning, it was ran by the original owner’s grandson, Mario Kennedy. Researching Mario Kennedy gave me a lot of insight to what I was dealing with. Now, much of what I read were second and third-hand accounts of rumors, so I don’t know if what I read was true or not. However, if it were true, it would certainly give credence to what was going on around me.
Mario Kennedy was a playboy of sorts. He had all the money in the world and nothing responsible to do with it. He funded several businesses, most of which failed. He spent his money on drugs, women, alcohol, cars, properties which he would let go to ruin, Then one day, he met Marion. Supposedly, the day he met Marion was the day he stopped indulging in his numerous vices. He gave everything up cold turkey. They married the same day they met, and Mario and Marion spent the next few weeks in the tropics, without telling anyone where they went. When they got back, everything with the business was a mess. Mario did the most selfish thing he could, and liquidated the company, leaving his entire staff to fend for themselves. He and Marion now had nothing to get in the way of their relationship.
This gets really interesting when i read that Marion was part of what you could call a cult, called the Congregation of His Infernal Divinity. It was a “religion” that didn’t necessarily worship Satan so much as it did demons. Demons of all kinds. This “church” was supposedly home to some of the younger elite in the state of California, and one aspect of their modus operandi was the kidnapping and sacrificing of children. Without going into too much detail, I will say that the accounts I read were revolting. Again, I’m taking it all with a grain of salt, but let me continue.
Marion brought Mario into this group of sick human beings, and he apparently fit right in. They had a ritualistic induction ceremony, in which he stalked a 9 year old boy, abducted him from his home in the middle of the night, and slaughtered him at one of the cults “temples”. Allegedly, Mario rose up the ranks of the CHID, with his wife riding his coattails. However, his previously flamboyant and eccentric lifestyle seeped back through the barriers he had put up, and he got sloppy.
Word got out about the Congregation of His Infernal Divinity, and they were eventually shut down. Members were arrested and tried, most of whom received the death penalty. All except two members: Mario and Marion Kennedy. In a cross country manhunt, they were finally cornered in [the state I’m in], at none other than the Whitmore Hotel. They supposedly kidnapped a child from another family staying in the hotel, murdered him in their room, covered the room and themselves in the child’s blood, and each committed suicide (the year was 1996). It didn’t say which room this allegedly happened in, but I don’t think it’d be too hard to guess.
Despite all this rich Kennedy history, there has never been one single complaint or allegation that the Whitmore is or ever was haunted. Like I said, the initial search I did on the place when I started working there gave me nothing. There were no ghost stories, no spectral sightings, nothing. And, as someone asked in the comments, no, no other employees were reporting anything strange happening. At this point, I thought I was going crazy. But at the same time, the things I’d been experiencing had been so real, so convincing, and on top of that, I’ve always been of sound mental health. I have no history of schizophrenia or delusions of any kind. I felt as if this was happening to me specifically, and for a reason.
When I went back to the hotel the following week, I decided I was going to tough it out and figure out just what the fuck was happening and why it was happening to me. My next experience with room 323 gave me some answers, and looking back, I honestly wish I never would have found them.
But before that happened, I went back to the Whitmore for my first shift back from my vacation. It was a day shift on a Thursday, where I was to be the lifeguard for the indoor pool area. The girl who was to be the other lifeguard called in sick, and the only other person who had undergone lifeguard training started his vacation the day I got back from mine (we were severely understaffed). So I sat in my perch, and basically just hung out for the first five hours. Around 1pm, I suddenly got very tired out of nowhere. I had gotten so much sleep the week prior that staying up for a day shift should have been nothing, but fatigue hit me like a slap in the face. My eyelids felt almost as heavy as my head, which was lowering by the second. I suddenly jolted awake (like when you fall asleep in class and pop up, then look around to make sure no one saw), and what I saw was burned into my brain. Every guest in the pool area was floating face down in the pool, moving ever so slowly by some unknown current. I observed that every body was perfectly still, no flailing or struggling to swim, and on top of that, some of the bodies looked bloated, as if they’d been there a while.
I climbed down from my perch, completely taken aback at what I was witnessing. Had all these people drowned once I fell asleep? That made absolutely no sense. I know I wasn’t in a deep sleep, certainly not a deep enough sleep for close to 20 people to die without me fucking noticing. It wasn’t until I took a few steps along the side of the pool that I noticed that same deafening silence as the vanishing episode from chapter 2. As soon as I noticed, I became disoriented. I stumbled a bit, but caught myself before I tumbled into the pool. It was then that I noticed something. A woman wearing all black was crouched in the far corner diagonally across the pool from me, laughing hysterically, yet very quietly, just quiet enough to break the uncomfortable silence. I attempted to yell over to her, but I couldn’t hear my own voice. Her stifled, terrifying laughter was the only sound that existed in my currently abhorrent consciousness.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. I spun around and was standing about an inch away from a man. I only saw him for a brief, brief moment, but I saw that he was wearing all black, and he was definitely the same man I’d seen first standing in the corner of the room in the picture of room 325, and then standing in front of me at the front desk before I blacked out (from the events of chapter 3).I unequivocally knew it was him from the impossibly wide, bright-teethed grin that covered his lower face. It startled me to my core and I instinctively stepped back, falling into the watery grave that was now the Whitmore pool. I struggled to get to the surface but it was as if the bodies had all drifted towards me the moment I hit the water, trapping me underneath them. I flailed aimlessly under the water, the light closing in on me as I felt my last breaths escaping my lungs.
It was then that I snapped back awake. I looked around, now wide awake, and everyone was as they were the moment my eyes all but forced themselves shut. Children were playing in the shallow end, adults were horse-playing in deep end below my feet. I looked to the far corner where the woman had been laughing, and there was no one. I would have chalked this instance up to a terrifying dream, if it weren’t for the fact that I was inexplicably soaking wet from head to toe.
Until next time,