NOTICE: YOU WILL NOT FIND INFORMATION ON THE WHITMORE HOTEL BY SEARCHING ONLINE, AS I HAVE CHANGED THE NAME OF THE HOTEL AND THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS IN THE STORY (BESIDES MY OWN) FOR PRIVACY REASONS.
The pool incident was very unnerving for me. There was no logical explanation for my being soaking wet when I hadn’t been in the water. I took an inventory of all the things that had happened so far. There was the red light emanating from room 323, the vanishing episode, the towel/picture/fainting incident, and now the pool event. Those coupled with the few minor happenings I mentioned in chapter 4 had let me know one thing: I had not yet been attacked or directly harmed in any way. Even with the pool, in my…dream…I guess you’d call it, Mario Kennedy didn’t push me, he simply startled me which in turn caused me to fall backwards into the water. Neither he nor the woman, who I was assuming to be Marion Kennedy, had ever physically touched me.
I should also clear up something. I didn’t directly ask any of my coworkers if they had been experiencing any strange things regarding room 323, the third floor, or the hotel in general, for the sake of not wanting to come off as crazy. Instead, I chose to keep an open ear and see if anyone mentioned something. I did not. And when I delegated certain responsibilities unto other employees which required them to venture to the third floor, I was met with no opposition or apprehension. So, I believe myself to be the only one being affected by whatever it is that’s going on here.
That said, I decided I was going to figure out what was going on. I know, horror movie cliche, head towards the danger. My only explanation for this is that once it’s actually happening to you, it’s almost impossible to not want to get to the bottom of it. I knew what was happening, but I wanted…I needed to know why it was happening. So, with that, I waited until the following Monday’s night shift (the weekend was fairly uneventful, save for a few doors closing by themselves and computers restarting). I told the day staff to not book rooms on the third floor unless absolutely necessary, so as to shield any and all others from any harm that might come from my endeavors.
So Monday night, I had just finished sending an incoming guest to the second floor for the night, it was just after 2am. After the bar emptied out, I said farewell to the bartender and set my ‘back soon’ placard on the front desk. I made my way up to the third floor. I exited the staircase (I have always had an irrational fear of elevators, that’s why you may have noticed I never mention taking it anywhere), and headed to the hallway that contained room 323. As soon as I turned the corner, all lights between the two at the ends of the hall went out, as they usually did whenever I entered the vicinity. Also true to form, my consciousness seemed to now be void of all sound, only a fear-inducing silence surrounded me. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I was SO. FUCKING. SCARED. It took, quite literally, everything I had to try to unravel this mystery that had presented itself to me. I took a deep breath with each slow step I took down the dimly lit hall, with each pace taking me further into the darkness.
As I reached room 327, all the symptoms of fear hit me like a freight train. Cold sweats flooded down my back, the hairs on the back of my neck and my arms stood at attention as if commanded by a drill sergeant. My breathing turned shallow, as if the air had suddenly become thinner, like I was standing at the top of a tall mountain. My mind was bombarded with possible scenarios, as I had literally no idea what I was walking into. I was now standing in front of room 325. I hesitated walking any further, until I looked behind me, and found only a solid wall about 3 feet behind me, decorated with the same paint pattern as the rest of the hallway. I was at, much to my dismay, the point of no return. I turned back around and found another solid wall in front of me, just inches past the door to the dreaded room 323.
Faced with the revelation that I had no choice now, I resolved to continue onward. I only had a few feet left to go, but every centimeter felt like a mile. I lifted my right foot off the ground to take a step when I heard the door creak open. Doors in the Whitmore don’t creak, so in hindsight, I feel as if this small effect was added simply to scare me more. I decided that since I was in this no matter what at this point, I took 3 long steps and confronted room 323. The red glow I saw the first time I had an experience with the room was back, and if you’ll remember, it was definitely from a light, and was not blood as was the case with room 325 in chapter 3. The red light spilled out into the dark hallway, and I could feel heat drifting out of the room. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and nudged the door open. I don’t know what I was expecting. I half thought I was going to be dragged into the room and be gruesomely murdered by some ghost demon hell spawn baby killer cult assholes, and half thought I was going to pass out from a fear and adrenaline overdose. I opened my eyes, and saw that the bulb in the lamp that illuminated the room was red. I took a careful step inside, and saw nothing, and no one. You know how you get that feeling that someone is around you, even before you know it? Well, I didn’t have that feeling. I very slowly and nimbly made my way into the room. A dated set of women’s clothes were draped neatly over the chair in the corner of the room, and a very nice, very expensive looking men’s suit was hanging up atop the slightly ajar bedroom door.
I looked around the room, and it took me a second to notice that it was different than the rest of the rooms in the hotel. It was styled like it hadn’t been changed in 20 years. That would make it 1996. Makes sense. I tiptoed over to the bedroom door, and just as my fingertips grazed the door to lightly push it open, the television in the living room area turned on, a disorienting cacophony of static and white noise assaulted my senses. I quickly got my bearings, and when I did, it was a video recording of the hotel’s basement. It looked like it was being recorded on a Super 8 camera. I watched as whoever was holding the camera made their way to the back storage area. The camera focused on a pile of newspapers, as if inviting me to examine their contents. Then the television cut off. That feeling I mentioned that you get when someone is near you and you know it before seeing them? I had that now.
I spun around and there they were. Mario and Marion Kennedy, standing in front of the now closed door, with the exact opposite of their disgusting grins; their faces were now home to terrible grimaces, as if they were extremely displeased that I was in their home. As soon as Mario began to move towards me, I threw myself into the bedroom and closed the door behind me. Panicked, I flicked the light switch on, which filled the room with the same red light as the room I had just escaped from. To my surprise, there was another door in the room. Not a closet door, as that was to my right, and open wide with clothing strewn about it’s floor, but another full sized door, directly in front of me on the wall, next to the California King bed that took up most of the rest of the room on the left. Before I had time to react, what I am sure was both Mario and Marion began violently pounding on the door, simultaneous to Marion’s crippling laughter. It was as if she was enjoying the dread she knew she was instilling in me.
I used every bit of energy in my body to run across the room to the other door, but what happened was something straight out of a bad dream in a horror film. The room turned into a hallway, growing longer with every stride I took, the door just out of my reach. I heard the door behind me burst open, and turned my head to see Mario and Marion floating (not running, but hovering over the ground as if they were on some sort of track) towards me, now with those indescribable smiles back on their disproportionate visages, gaining on me quickly.
I don’t know how I did it, or what made it possible, but as I silently begged and pleaded to whatever higher power there is to let me reach the door, I did. Just as the Kennedy couple reached me, I was able to grab the door handle and push it down, opening into another hotel room. As I tried to leap inside, a scalding hot hand grasped my left wrist. In a fluid motion, I ripped my hand from the grip of who I turned to see was Marion Kennedy and lunged forward. I tumbled in and immediately scrambled to turn around and close and lock the door behind me. I sat with my back to the door as the Kennedy’s once again beat against it. I took a deep breath and observed my surroundings.
I was in room 325. I had completely forgotten that 323 and 325 were connected via a doorway, a popular style of room for two families travelling together. Each gets their own room, with the convenience of having an open door between them to enjoy each others company. Upon this realization, I concluded that I wasn’t any safer here than I was in room 323. I had seen this room covered in blood with the Kennedy’s standing in the corner, so it’s not as if this room was uncharted territory for them.
You have to realize, I knew next to nothing about what I was up against. I didn’t know what they wanted, I didn’t know why me, I didn’t know the extent of their abilities. I didn’t know if they had free reign over the hotel and could go where they pleased, or if they were confined to room 323/325 and the pool area. All I knew at this moment was that I was without question in a room they could inhabit, and, finally looking at my left wrist, I noticed a light burn in the shape of a hand, which informed me that they could in fact physically hurt me. I did the smart thing and ran for the door to the hallway, silently praying that it wouldn’t open up to a solid wall. Luckily, it didn’t. I stumbled into the hall, my mind hazed by a vicious cocktail of darkness, silence only broken by the banging on the door in the room behind me, and fear. I ran to the left, towards the light at the end of the hall. Once I made it to the point where the light reached me, I looked back. Mario and Marion Kennedy were standing outside room 323, next to each other, both smiling and waving. I kept running until I made it down to the lobby. To my surprise, the guest I had checked in about 15 minutes prior was standing at the front desk with all of her luggage, and the bartender was back in the bar, serving patrons a round of shots. I wearily walked behind the front desk, and glanced at the clock, which read 1:59, as the woman addressed me.
“…So?” she said, visibly annoyed.
“Do you have a room with a balcony open? I don’t get why you couldn’t just check on your computer, don’t you know which rooms have them?”
“Oh. I…yeah…I’m so sorry. I just–”
“Look, I don’t care, just get me set up, I’m tired, and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. I need to get some sleep.”
How long had I been gone? Why did I tell her I needed to go check on a room with a balcony when she was right…I could have just checked on the computer. I was so confused.
“Of course ma’am, my apologies.”
I went through the process of setting her room up, gave her her keycard to room 239, and sent her on her understandably thankless way. By this time, the patrons in the bar had done their shots and the bartender was putting their glasses in the dishwasher as they headed back to their rooms for the night. He set the dishwasher to clean the contents, and turned off the lights in the bar. In a true déjà vu experience, we exchanged the same goodbye’s as I could’ve sworn we’d done not 15 minutes earlier.
I reflected on what had just happened. The few things I’d learned, and what I needed to do next. I resolved that on my next night shift, which would be the following night (Tuesday into Wednesday), I would go into the basement to find out whatever the television in room 323 was trying to tell me. I figured I had already gone this far, why stop now? I guess you could say I’m a pretty persistent person. I needed to know why this was happening to me.
In all, this entire circumstance boggled my mind. Had I just hallucinated that whole nightmarish ordeal? As with the pool incident, I might have assumed so, were it not for the slightly stinging, hand shaped burn wound that wrapped around my left wrist.