This Is What Happened When I Visited A Haunted Hotel

This Is What Happened When I Visited A Haunted Hotel

A couple of winters ago, I visited one of the oldest resorts in America.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Hipmunk

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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10 Things We Should Do For Our Country Before Outlawing Abortion

Just take one minute to think before you act, will you?

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As we all know by now, this past week Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill that will make performing an abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In 2019, Alabama passed its own abortion bill making it the most restrictive in the nation with Ohio and Mississippi following suit.

An ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat in as early as 6-7 weeks. This is before most women even know that they are pregnant. This raises multiple uncomfortable, jarring, but necessary questions. Why are men able to make laws regarding a woman's body? Do we except pre-teen rape victims to endure a nine-month pregnancy followed by childbirth? If enforcing stricter gun laws won't stop people from buying guns, what is telling us that stricter abortion laws will stop people from having abortions?

Instead, I would like to propose 25 alternative issues to tackle for the people of our country before we open up this can of controversial worms.

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Homelessness in the US is a deepening crisis in America. In places that are doing better than ever before economically, the rates of homeless families are at an all time high.

2. Foster Care

Nearly three-quarters of US states have reported an increase in the number of children entering foster care since the year 2014. However, with this increase, there is a steep decline in families applying to be foster parents, mental health care for the kids, trauma counseling for drug abuse by a parent, and additional community resources.

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4. Plastic Waste

"Because plastic wasn't invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin."

5. Student Debt

Student loan debt in 2019 is the highest ever. It is a $1.5 trillion dollar crisis.

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There are roughly 70 million stray animals living in the US today.

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The American healthcare system spends roughly 5.6% of the national healthcare budget on mental health treatment.

9. Plant More Trees

Combatting climate change, cleaning the air, providing oxygen? Good enough for...literally everyone.

10. Save the bees

A third of all of our food depends on their pollination.

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