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 reception at the hotel was home to a mischievous spirit, with multiple reports of both auditory and poltergeist activity.
The front door of the hotel opened into the reception area. Turn left, and you’ll find a passageway leading to the public bar. Head right, and you’ll end up the restaurant (and those swinging double doors leading to the kitchen) and go past the office you’ll find toilets just before you hit the beer garden.
The ladies toilets were constantly cold even at the hight of summer, and many customers told stories of strange feelings, and sometimes even sightings in there. Just before the right turn to the restaurant were the stairs that led to the flat. I did not like the stairs. Not one bit. In fact, I hated them. Whenever I was going up the stairs, it felt like there was someone behind me. Every. Single. Time. Whoever this someone was, I got the same feeling of malevolence from them as I did the presence in the flat. Maybe it was them.
The main focus of reception was the office. There were two kinds of phenomena around the office. The first kind was nasty. At the entrance to the office, both of my parents experienced the same thing on two separate occasions, something I’m overjoyed to say never happened to me. They were standing just outside the door when a disembodied voice screamed in their ears. A vicious barked AH! up close and personal, targeting them when they were alone.
The other kind was mischievous. One afternoon, I had to count 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 departed the office, collected the money, and carried the tray from the till back into the office and placed it on the desk. No calculator.
Just as with the auditory phenomena experienced by my parents, I was alone and there was no-one around to play a trick. After a quick search, I decided it would just be faster to count using pen and paper. Not the most exciting job, scraping the coins from their compartments and out onto the desk, left to right, starting with pound coins, and working through to the pennies. Count them, mark the amount and move 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. When I returned to the office, I froze.
Sitting smack in the middle of the desk, where the tray had been, was the calculator.
My first conclusion was that I’d made a mistake, done something stupid, put the tray on the calculator and not noticed. But something about that didn’t feel right.
Neither the calculator nor tray from the till were flat. The calculator had a raised section for the display; its profile looked like 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 thing would fit. Whenever I got something close to the tray being flat, I scraped the coins out from the tray, it noticeably wobbled. I hadn’t made a mistake.
Putting those events aside, the strangest thing to happen in reception was connected with the lock on the office door. It was a Yale lock. For those not in the know, a Yale lock is an auto locking system. Nothing fancy. The key needed from the outside, and on the inside, two buttons – one that twisted to open the lock, and a smaller switch that fixed the lock in place: either stopping the lock from closing if the door was being used a lot, or fixing the lock closed for extra security (so much so that when it is locked like this, it won’t be opened even with a key).
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 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: the lock was broken, thinking the switch must have fallen from the up position to the down and fixed the lock shut. 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. To fix the lock in place, either locked or unlocked, the switch had to be put up. It couldn’t have dropped and locked me out. And when I checked the switch… Up. I didn’t move easily and even if it had happened on its own, it was defying gravity.
Again, after a few minutes of fiddling I came to the conclusion that there was no way it could have happened accidentally. If we were dealing with a defective lock, I would expect this to happen often, with increasing regularity. In ten years, this happened twice.
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.