The claims at this hotel ran the entire spectrum of haunted experiences. Footsteps coming from behind, voices being heard, objects being thrown at hotel staff,
doors closing, apparitions and one very familiar claim of rooms being disheveled after they were just reset for the next guests to stay. Needless to say this made some of the less seasoned production members very uneasy and even gave us a bit of the heebie jeebies.
We check into this hotel, built in 1901, probably had about 200 rooms, 5 floors, ball room conference rooms, and a basement with a gym and a restaurant that was open to the town for dinner. The unique part about this was, like I said, it was the dead of winter. The hotel was actually closed and there was no staff on hand except for the front desk guy and a security guard. When the guy at the front desk cut us our keys he said don’t lose these because there will be no one to cut you another one and you will be locked out till morning. Great!!
We had been staying at this hotel for a week. Finished our first investigation of another location and hadn’t had too many weird experiences during our stay. Except…
A few crewmembers had been hearing people talking loudly in the hallway outside their room and figuring it was someone coming in late decided to pop their head
out and look to see whom it was. No one was there. Sometimes the elevator would open by itself and no one would be on it. But most of the time we were gone during the night working another location and sleeping most of the next day. We weren’t around long enough to walk around the hotel at night…till it was time to investigate it!
With all the reported claims in this hotel I was eager to get at it. I was also super excited because I was a new team member on the world’s greatest paranormal team.
I had years of experience investigating and looking for claims, evidence and experiences to feed my hunger for the unknown but I had no idea what I was about to encounter.
It was the second night of a weeklong investigation and my partner and I had been to every part of the hotel so far. We investigated the piano which supposedly plays on it’s own. It didn’t. We were in the dining room looking for closing doors; we even spent a ton of time in the basement and had some cool experiences there with voices and movement. Caught some evidence too. Then we went to the 5th floor…
We set up our equipment at the far end of the hallway. It was this fancy video camera and software that would record in full spectrum, infrared and thermal imaging all at once and download the footage straight to the laptop. Three separate windows so you could view it all in real time and cross-reference how any potential anomaly was captured in each view. The laptop was plugged in directly to the wall outlet along with the camera. No battery drain, no loss of power. Ultimately, we thought, no malfunctions. Yeah right.
We start our investigation of the 5th floor. We find room 585 and begin to talk about the claims. Camera is on, recorder going and our cameraman is filming. All set. The claim in this room is that housekeeping would finish resetting the room for it’s next guests and move across the hall to the next room. A few minutes would go by and they would hear laughing and giggling and then loud crashing sounds coming from, what they believed was the room across the hall. After looking down the hallway and seeing no children or anyone for that matter they would reluctantly go inside 585 and be completely shocked. The room was disheveled, completely a mess, sheets off the bed, cushions on the floor and lamps knocked over. They couldn’t believe their eyes. So this is what we were looking for, till I saw something at the other end of the hallway.
It was weird. It looked like a black mass was hovering around our laptop and moving up one side of the hallway wall, across the ceiling and down the other side of the wall. We watched in amazement for what seemed like forever, not wanting to disturb it but also playing it safe. The last thing we wanted to do was run down there and push it away. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. A floating black mass doing circles above and around our equipment, holy crap!! Then the laptop and camera and all the little green and red lights went out. Gone. Just like that. Now, we had to go down there. It was part of the job, go towards the crazy scary unknown thing and try to take a picture of it! What a job!! So, we did!
We slowly approach the equipment and this black mass disappears into the wall. We crouched down and find nothing is wrong with the connections, the plug is still in the outlet and everything looks fine. The computer and camera just quit for some reason. A reason that is still unknown to us to this day because we have used this device several times prior and after this investigation without a problem. So my partner is kneeling down on the floor working on rebooting the system and checking the connections and I am standing against the wall with my Mini DV camera just watching the other end of the hallway. You know, the end we were just at, in front of room 585. I’m talking to him a little as he is working on the computer but my eyes are fixated on the dark hallway beyond. I don’t think I blinked at all for a few minutes. I had a feeling, a strong feeling that this anomaly might reappear so I didn’t want to miss it if it did. I can’t see much in the dark and there was no way I was going to look at the viewfinder on my Mini DV because I would get blinded for a few seconds after. I was fixated on that hallway. Waiting for movement, for something to appear. My feet were sweating and glued to the floor I had no idea what to expect. Then I saw it!! It saw me and we both jumped back. It was a dark black humanoid figure leaning into the hallway right near room 585. Just leaning in looking at us! It was there the entire time and I was looking at it but couldn’t see it at first.
It didn’t move into the hallway. I saw no forward movement into my view. It had already been leaning in, thinking, I think, to itself, ‘he can’t see me I’m under the cover of darkness.’ But I did see it and it freaked out and ran, or floated or did whatever these things do when they are discovered. My heart was racing!! I yelled out “Holy shit dude what the bleep was that? You’ll never believe what I just saw!” I didn’t even believe it at first. I was freaked. This entity was shaped like a human with a head, arms and a torso, leaning through a solid wall, looking at me!! It vanished as quick as I witnessed it and what still intrigues me to this day is how confident it seemed, at the moment my eyes focused on it, that I couldn’t see it. It had intelligence and was self-aware and was so curious about what we were doing. Yet I took it by surprise the moment I new it was there. It was definitely not expecting me to react like that and I am sure it was very cautious about what we were capable of doing.
After this experience I was floored. My life had just changed forever! I had just witnessed the most incredible encounter with an unknown being and on top of that I was going to be living in this hotel for another week or so. We had no video evidence to support my claim or bring to the other team members. There was nothing concrete except the personal encounter, nothing to back it up. But it was real and it changed me forever.
I will always remember how self aware this entity was, how it seemed playful and curious of us. How it did not feel threatening or malicious in the least to me but it sure did freak me out for the rest of our stay and for the weeks to come.
Photographs are Courtesy: KJ McCormick
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd