Another story from the hotel now. We’ve already heard about the real hauntings that I
experienced in the flat and the kitchen, now the final part. Reception...
The front door of the hotel opened into the reception area. Turn left, and you’ll find the public bar. Right, the restaurant and kitchen, and go past the reception you’ll find toilets just before you hit the beer garden. The ladies toilets were constantly cold, and many customers told stories of strange feelings, and sometimes even sightings. Before the right turn to the restaurant were the stairs that led to the flat. I did not like the stairs. Not one bit. Whenever I was going up the stairs, it felt like there was someone behind me. Every. Single. Time. It also had the same feeling of malevolence as the presence in the flat.
The main focus of the reception area was the office. There were two kinds of things happened around the office. The first kind was nasty. Just outside the office both of my parents experienced the same thing on separate occasions, something I’m fucking overjoyed never happened to me. They were standing outside the door, when a disembodied voice barked AGH! Right in their ears.
The other kind was playful. One afternoon, I was counting the takings from the restaurant till. My maths is pretty good, but I usually used a calculator, just because it was quicker than recounting if I did make a mistake. I carried the plastic tray from the till into the office and placed it on the desk. No calculator. After a quick search I decided it would just be faster to count using pen and paper. It wasn’t the most exciting job, scraping the coins from their relative compartments and out onto the desk. Left to right, starting with pound coins and working through to the pennies. Counting them, marking the amount and moving on to the next section. On this day it was a quick job. All present and correct, I took the tray back to the till, but when I got back to the office, I froze...
Sitting in the middle of the desk, where the tray had been, was the calculator. There was nobody else around to play a prank on me, so my first conclusion was that I’d made a mistake, done something stupid, put the tray on top of the calculator and not noticed. But something felt off. Neither the calculator nor tray from the till were flat. The calculator had a raised section for the display; its profile the shape of an ice-hockey stick. The bottom of the tray was the opposite of the top. Plastic where there were gaps and vice versa. I went back to the till and collected the tray and tried to fit it over the top of calculator so that it wouldn’t wobble. I tried every possible position and there was no way that fucking thing would fit. Whenever I got something close and tried scraping the coins out from the tray, it noticeably wobbled. I hadn’t made a mistake. I’d been pranked by a playful ghost!
But the strangest thing was the lock. It was a Yale lock. For those not in the know, a Yale lock is an auto locking system. Nothing fancy. Two buttons – one that twists to open the lock, and a smaller switch that fixes the lock in place: either stopping the lock from closing if the door is being used a lot, or holding the lock closed for extra security (so much so that when it is locked like this, the key won’t even open it).
One night I had to go to the bar, so I left the office, making sure I had my keys (because locking yourself out of somewhere with these locks is far too fucking easy) before dropping the switch to lock the door. After about an hour, I went back to the office, stuck my key in the lock and twisted. You guessed it. Nothing.
I jumped to the obvious conclusion: we were looking at a shitty lock. I thought the switch must have fallen from the up position to the down and fixed the lock shut. Fucking gravity. The hatch where guests would sign in and receive their keys was closed and locked with a bolt. After a few minutes of rattling I managed to get the lock open (yay, security!), and I climbed through into the office. I went to check the lock. The strange thing was, to fix the lock in place, either locked or unlocked, the switch had to be put up. And there it was. Up. It didn’t move easily and even if it had happened on its own, it was giving gravity the middle finger. Again, after a few minutes of fiddling I came to the conclusion that there was no way it could have happened accidentally. Oh, and the ghost at reception was an asshole.
Have you ever had an experience you can't explain? Let me know in the comments! As before, I’d like this to be a serious discussion, so no jokes, memes, etc. And (I really shouldn’t have to tell you this) please be respectful of others!
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In this blog I'll be bringing to you short tales of things that go bump in the night, true stories of weird and unexplained events, and the real-life news of all things odd and macabre, and entertain you along the way.