I scare easily.
Ask any of my friends who have seen me watch a scary movie, visit a haunted house, or simply hear a sudden noise. I’ll jump at anything, yet I still adore everything about horror movies, haunted hayrides are my jam, and Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. Sure, it may be a sign of a slight adrenaline addiction, but I love scary stuff, as long as I don’t think I’m in any actual danger. If the haunted house I’m in turned out to actually be haunted, I absolutely wouldn’t investigate it, or call an exorcist in, or try to understand the ghost.
Nah, I’d get the hell out of there.
So, you may ask, how exactly did I end up in a haunted hotel?
Let’s roll back in time with some history. The Omni-Homestead resort is one of the oldest hotels in America, built in 1766. In 1901, a fire in the bakery burned down the original buildings, which is never a good sign. It seems like most of America’s haunted hotels have been on fire at some point in history, although, surprisingly, the fire is apparently not the cause of the Homestead’s ghost.
Apparently, in the early 1900’s, a young woman was due to be married in the beautiful resort, but her husband got cold feet. He fled the wedding, leaving the heartbroken bride at the hotel. She was so upset that she took her own life. Ever since then, people have said her ghost roams the 14th floor of the hotel, asking people for the time, waiting for her husband.
I hadn’t heard this tragic story when my parents booked the hotel. All I knew was that this place was kind of in the middle of nowhere, and it had beautiful skiing and snowboarding slopes. Until, of course, the day we left, when I looked up the name of the hotel and the headline AMERICA’S 10 MOST HAUNTED HOTELS stared back at me.
I began to get a little nervous. Now, I’m not a superstitious person, but sleeping in a haunted resort doesn’t sound like the greatest idea. Even if there was a .001% chance of me encountering a spirit/getting possessed by a demon/seeing a creepy doll in my doorway, I didn’t want to take it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much choice. So, we made the long drive to western Virginia, images of The Shining flashing through my mind. The hotel was beautiful, in an aged sort of way. Distracted by the hassle of unpacking, lugging up all of our ski stuff, and scoping out the area, I forgot about the alleged ghost. In fact, by the end of the day, I was so tired I fell asleep without even thinking about it.
No slamming doors. No little ghost girl singing. No tinkling piano.
The second day, I had a chance to look around the hotel. It certainly gave off a Shining vibe. There was tea time, narrow halls, and a ridiculously intricate ballroom. But, as far as I could tell, no ghost. Everybody seemed fancier and friendlier than normal, but nobody seemed particularly ghostly. I even took a trip to the fourteenth floor, but nothing seemed “off”. It was just a normal, old-fashioned hotel, as far as I could see.
This story doesn’t end with me being possessed. It doesn’t end with an angry bride seeking her revenge, either. Instead, it ends with me going back to Maryland, and not being able to find my makeup. And, I’m not going to lie, my first thought was that the ghost had stolen it. But, it turns out that it was just in my mom’s bag. Because, sometimes, there is no ghost. Sometimes, it’s just a hotel, and you’re just on a ski trip with your family.
Having said that, I probably won’t be heading to any haunted hotels anytime soon.