As Samuel L. Jackson nails it in the haunted hotel thriller movie 1408, “Hotels are all about fertile creature comforts.” Feeling at home while you are away from home is the key…although anyone who’s ever seen the movie can agree, this is one overnight stay that will probably have the opposite effect.
Most people just want the chance to get away, see the world, visit someplace new, and experience something relaxing or exciting at the end of a long, stressful workday or week. The ideal scenario is to relax in a beautiful hotel to forget about work and recharge while thinking about new adventures or while thinking about nothing at all.
When it comes to America’s Most Haunted Hotels and Inns, the motivation to visit or even stay overnight is another world altogether. The drive is to seek out the supernatural, the thrilling, the shocking, and the unknown. After all, why do people watch thrillers, horror movies and visit haunted locations like these?
“How many people have slept in that bed before you? How many have died?” John Cusack asks these pertinent questions while his mind spins from the unending unexplained and ghostly encounters in Room 1408. It may be just a movie, but his desperate questions echo in the black abyss of the unknown and obviously haunted. Some hotels are centuries old and have seen thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of humans pass through their doors–from everyday visitors to celebrities to politicians to infamous historical figures. The Gadsen Hotel in Arizona even witnessed Poncho Villa ride his horse into the lobby and up the stairs, chipping the 7th step on the way and forever cementing the hotel’s place in history and haunted legend.
If we know anything, it is that energy itself leaves a mark. Whether from the sudden buzz and shock of an electric outlet or the final jolt of death, it leaves something so permanent that it continues to exist in life after death. Paranormal events are witnessed worldwide, and, in some cases, the spirits are attached to events that even occurred on the land before the hotel was even an idea. More frequently, however, it is due to the tragic, mysterious, horrific, and unknown events and happenings going on in the building itself. If the walls in a hotel could speak, what would they tell us about what occurred in those rooms…?
The next time you check into a historic hotel or inn, remember to lock your door, check under the bed, and keep your eyes wide open and peeled, looking into the darkness for any movement or aberration. The room may have been listed as vacant when you checked in, but the room could already be occupied…indefinitely.