Hotel Encounters, Anyone?


Gone But Not Forgotten
Oct 3, 2004
I just read this story over at's paranormal section aand it scared me out of my wits. I have a feeling it's true too. It got me wondering, especially since i'll be going on vacation soon and will stay at a hotel, does anyone have stories of strange encounters at hotels/inns? I've stayed in lots of places over the years, sometimes alone, and often there has been an extra bed in the room or the bed I slept on had lots of space. If I had ever seen anyone looking like the guy in the story above I would have fainted! ( I hope :shock: )
I've always hated hotel bedrooms with two beds in them ever since i read M R James Oh Wistle and I'll Come. Gives me the heeby geebies laying there looking at that 2nd empty bed, and wondering what i'd do if the bedding suddenly rose up :shock:
I once woke up in a strange hotel room, but simply couldn't find the door, or the lightswitch. Desperately, I felt my way round the walls, looking for something I KNEW was there, all in vain. Very quickly, my spirit crushed, I vomited copiously and fell asleep. I guess it had something to do with the bottle of gin I had downed that I was trying to open the wall where the door is back in my room at home! Waking up next morning was fun too, playing hunt the puke. All with a very tender head and stomach. Never again. Well, not gin anyway!!

Many years ago, whilst a slip of a lad, I worked as a trainee chef in a hotel, an old coaching inn. Being a small place, not PLC owned or anything, some nights were quiet, and we staff would congregate in the bar and drink away till the wee small hours, along with the odd guest who was there.
On one particular night, after service had finished, a couple of us chefs, the manager, couple of waiting staff and the night porter were in the bar quaffing ale, when the one and only guest came into reception, collected his key and declining joining us, headed up the stairs. A couple of minutes later he returned, with a strange look on his face, and told the manager someone was in his room, a woman, she'd obviously been given the wrong key.
That got all of our attention, the manager was on his feet and taking the key from the guest as he passed him, declared this was impossible and headed off up the stairs. The rest of us sat there wondering what the hell was going on, because we KNEW there was no-one else staying in the hotel that night.
Several minutes later, the ashen-faced manager and guest returned, large brandies were dispensed (Yep, I had one, just to be polite you understand), and the guest told his tale:
He had opened the door to his room, and was startled to find the lights on and a woman sitting on the end of his bed with her back to him looking in the mirror and brushing her long hair.
"Whoops, I'm sorry" he said, "I've got the wrong room"
The woman turned, smiled and said "That's alright", leaving him backing out of the door. As he shut the door he checked the number, he was right, it was his room, so he headed back downstairs to find out what was going on.
When the manager and guest returned, they found the room empty, the lights off, and the foot of the bed cold and undisturbed.
I'd love to be able to tell you more, but after that, us staff supped up and cleared off, leaving the seriously shaken manager and the night porter there to conduct a quiet search of the rest of the rooms just make sure no-one was somewhere they shouldn't be. I don't recall the guest saying he felt scared or even whether he was given another room, but I know the manager was never there late at night again! (Which meant more spirits emerging. Vodka and brandy, mostly. And profits disappearing, I guess!)

Incidentally, the night porter was always hearing and seeing stuff there, banging and crashing in the kitchens after everything was locked up, and once saw a man in a mirror, standing on a chair in the restaurant (!)
I NEVER liked being there alone, night or day.
Dunno how old the place was, but the pub next door (joined to it) used to have the holding cell for people awaiting trial by visiting magistrates, and a tunnel was found in the cellars there (which went nowhere in particular, I seem to recall).

Sorry for the length (oo-er)
Darn I came on this thread hoping the title was an invitation.....

How disappointed am I?
Where was this, LordRsmacker? Might be close to me - I could get a photo posted on the board if it is. Genuinely spooky tale - made my hair stand on end for a few seconds - great stuff!

That's the thing about hotels - you never know who has been (or still is!) there before you. At the very least, I often wake up with a panicky sense of "where am I?" in hotels, but nothing genuinely scary.

Actually, that's not entirely true.

I've just remembered (and not sure why it had slipped my mind, as it was only a fortnight ago). We'd popped up to Yorkshire for a couple of days, and were staying in a lovely little pub/hotel in the Dales. Super room, nicely appointed, nice view. But...

In the early hours, I found myself half-awake, with the feeling that someone was standing by the bed. Now, half-awake is half-asleep, so I sort of knew I was probably dreaming, but I had this nagging feeling that a figure was standing there, looking at me in a not-unkindly way. Despite feeling sure that I was imagining this, I tried to sit up and say something. Of course, I was unable to do either (sleep paralysis, dontcha just hate it!). After about ten seconds, I finally managed a small grunt, and once my vocal chords had started to respond, I managed to wake myself fully with a short yell, and that broke the spell. We were alone in the room, it was just getting light outside, but still very early, so with a quick "sorry, I was dreaming", I lay back down and we both slept until breakfast.

The cynic in me says that, given my experience, a lot of ghostly encounters in bedrooms can be put down to sleep paralysis and that strange realm between sleeping and waking, but just as with UFOs, there will always be a small percentage of cases which defy "normal" explanation.
Had none really screaming in my sleep in a small French Hotel doesn't count. :lol:
Stayed in a hotel in Glastonbury that used to be a nunnery/abbey. Mrs Heck reported feeling a cold spot as she walked across one particular place in the room (that previously had been the library). Being the cynical sort but open minded I looked around for an obvious draught or vent but could find none, it was however possible with my hands to delinate the cold spot started near the ground and continued to about five and a half feet. There was a definite change in temperature at the edge of the 'field'.

Now I'm a bit of an amateur Parapsychologist and I was carrying an EMR meter which showed very little background radiation (apart from of course near electrical fixings and features and cables). However when I passed the meter through the 'field' there was a visible increase. I couldn't see a visible reason for this and the readings seemed to appear only where the cold feelings existed.

Suddenly and without warning the readings stopped and appeared to return to background levels and equally and just as strangely the cold spot vanished, no temperature change could be felt.

As I mentioned earlier I could see no obvious explanation for this, there was no air-con in the room (the building was listed and largely structurally the same as when it was originally a abbey/nunnery) and the EM didn't extend beyond the 'field' precluding a mains cable.

It could have been a refirdgeration unit in the celing of the floor below, it was impossible to determine from the geography where the kitchens were located, but I would assume that cold air even from a refrigeration unit wouldn't rise.

All in all very very odd.

As a post-script Mrs. Heck had a vivid dream that night of a nun standing at the bottom of the bed offering her a tiny statuette of the Virgin Mary, the woman, she reported, wasn't threatening in any way but felt 'warm' and almost welcoming.
This isn't a hotel encounter as such, but a similar tale.
When my wife and I got married, for our honeymoon we decided to book a Gite in rural France.

It was one of those converted farmhouses out in the French countryside, quite rural and secluded.
It was a long drive and we arrived very late, somewhere between 1-2am.
We managed to find the place eventually in the complete and utter darkness. To say this place was rural is an understatement.

Feeling rather tired, we dragged in our bags, made a drink and found the bedroom.
There was only one room upstairs, with a kitchen, bathroom and living room downstairs.
We flopped into bed and settled down, my wife fell asleep quickly, leaving me laying in the moonlight.
Before I fell asleep, I began to hear voices, both male and female talking quite loudly, I couldn't make out what they were saying due to my very limited French.
I thought it a little odd but figured it was the neighbours having a party or something and I went to sleep.
Later, I woke up to some more odd sounds, a faint banging and more voices.
I listened and thought the voices sounded very close to the house, as I continued to listen, I noticed the sounds were actually coming from the bathroom and living area :shock:

Taking stock, I decided to go downstairs and investigate, now not knowing where any light switches were I had to go down in the moonlight.
I crept downstairs and the voices did indeed get louder, taking a deep breath I stepped into the living area, at which the voices stopped and then moved into the bathroom :?
I decided at this point not to follow the sounds and said out loud "I'm going back upstairs now." At which the noise stopped.

The next morning, I thought maybe it was the neighbours after all, I looked out of the window and found that the nearest other house was around a mile away!

The sounds continued for our entire stay and made for rather interesting listening.
Peripart said:
... We were alone in the room, it was just getting light outside, but still very early, so with a quick "sorry, I was dreaming", I lay back down and we both slept until breakfast...


I thought we agreed we wouldn't tell anyone we were sleeping together!

You floozie!
That's as maybe - just keep the moaning down in future. Anyone would think you'd seen a ghost or something the way you carry on.

I wouldn't mind but this happens EVERY time. God only knows what you really get up to when I'm asleep.
peripart, where in the dales were you? i am from yorkshire and would love to know where it was you stayed!! i might not know it but i have to satisfy my curiosity!!

I stayed in a hotel in Breccon a couple of years ago, on my way back to university. I was put in a room away from my family up in the loft, they were on the floor below. It was cosy and decorated in traditional B&B style; flowery wallpaper, rag rugs, drawings of puppies on the wall, etc. I was tired from the journey and fell asleep quickly.
However, I was woken by a loud crash, as though something heavy had been thrown against my door. I sat up in bed in time to see that the door was still shaking on its hinges. I listened very carefully but didn't hear another sound. I wish now that I'd looked outside the door, but the crash had freaked me out enough that I just wanted to stay put.
I did ask in the morning, but no one else had heard anything. It was a small hotel, my family of six filled all of the available rooms and the owner was a little old lady.
I’d like to share a story that my friend has told me many times; this is mainly because I make her retell it on countless occasions, due to the wonderfully bizarre creepiness of it all. I’m afraid that I may lose some of this atmosphere in the retelling, it not being my story, but will have an attempt nonetheless.

My friend’s family used to own a large hotel on the quay in Bideford, an old port in North Devon probably most famous as the one-time home of Charles Kingsley, who wrote much of the Water Babies there. This, I presume, is irrelevant. Just trying to set the scene…

Clearing up one night in the restaurant, my friend looked up to see a man moving across the room. She hadn’t seen him come in, and the direction he was coming from held no point of access. I say moving, because the man was not walking. He was kicking his legs out straight in front of him, bringing his hat to and from his head in the manner of a jerky silent movie star. He was dressed in an old fashioned suit, with a bowler hat. All in all, my friend says, he bore a striking resemblance to the common public perception of Charlie Chaplin. After somewhat startling my friend, he apparently had the courtesy to promptly disappear.

She says many guests reported various odd occurrences at the hotel – including one of a guest unexpectedly encountering a woman in his room brushing her hair (!) I wonder, could LordRsmacker be talking about the same hotel or, more likely, why do different hotels (and many others, I’m sure) spawn the same stories?
minkycats said:
peripart, where in the dales were you? i am from yorkshire and would love to know where it was you stayed!! i might not know it but i have to satisfy my curiosity!!
This was at the Lister Arms in Malham.

Don't get me wrong, though - I'm not claiming to have actually seen a ghost, I'm sure it was really just a combination of being half-asleep and being in a strange place. But I figured it was worth mentioning in the context of odd hotel encounters. Not unpleasant or scary, just odd.

Take no notice of Frobush - we all know that anyone he shares a room with regularly encounters strange smells in the room and an unearthly presence at the bottom of the bed.
BlackRiverFalls said:
I've always hated hotel bedrooms with two beds in them ever since i read M R James Oh Wistle and I'll Come. Gives me the heeby geebies laying there looking at that 2nd empty bed, and wondering what i'd do if the bedding suddenly rose up :shock:

did you ever see the bc tv adaptation? seriously freaked me out.

maybe reading this thread wasn't such a great idea, seeing as how i go on holiday soon.....i always sleep in hotel rooms with the light on anyway. and check under the bed for dead bodies...
Picture gallery:

The world's most haunted hotels ... otels.html


Langham Hotel, London
Hotel Burchianti, Italy
Russell Hotel, Australia
Castle Stuart, Scotland
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, US
Hotel Chelsea, US
Dalhousie Castle, Scotland
The Ragged Cot, England
Jamaica Inn Launceston, England
Coombe Abbey Hotel, England
The Jekyll Island Club Hotel, US
The Stanley Hotel, US
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, US
The Hawthorne Hotel, US
The Carolina Inn, North Carolina
The Bell Inn, England
The Bear Hotel, England
White Hart, England
The Bull Hotel, England
Royal George Hotel, England
Tulloch Castle Hotel, Scotland
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taiwan
Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada
Ballygally Castle Hotel, Northern Ireland
Toftaholm Herrgård, Sweden
Hotel del Coronado, US
Elvey Farm, England
Chillingham Castle, England
Ahwahnee Hotel, US
The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales

(I had a slightly spooky experience while clicking through this list. I wondered if the The White Hart in Hayle would be included - and the next hotel I clicked on was The White Hart - in Essex!)
On searching for new posts in threads I've added to, I find that I have posted in this one, and that's rather odd.

Although I clearly remember visiting the pub/hotel in question, I have absolutely no recollection of the incident I described, let alone telling the story here. Quite bizarre!
I have in a book a very nice photo of an apparition in a hotel room. Can find it on Google, taken by Raul Juarez, August 2004, Cornstock Lodge, Nevada. Lovely shadowy figure looking out of the hotel room window.
I'll attempt a scan tomorrow. If I must.

As a student I stayed in the Cintra Hotel, Boscombe, Bournemouth. Room 32 was my first room. One of the first projects (this was pre "Most Flaunted's days) was filming a ghost investigation of Bournemouth Town Hall, supposedly haunted by three ghosts. The night before, apprehensive, I found it hard to sleep. I opened my eyes in the half light of dawn and for an instant thought an old man's face was about an inch from mine, staring at me. It dispersed as I woke and I've always put it down to the half asleep/ half awake state I was in coupled with a restless nights sleep due to the filming the following night.

I did ask the "janitor" of the hotel one day as he was cleaning about room 32 being haunted? To which he informed me; while cleaning the stairs that lead down to a fire door and the landing on which room 32 was, he had spotted a figure pass the frosted glass heading for room 32, on investigation found the door locked and empty.

Within days I had moved to a larger room but not because 32 was haunted.

Hotel Cintra, off Boscombe Road, room 32.
Don't tell Mr. Jarhal that you know me.
In a holiday apartment in Prague a few years back, I awoke on the first night to see someone opening the bedroom door and peeping in at me. (We were on a main road, well lit from the street lamps outside the window.)

First I heard the door handle turn, then I heard the door itself creak, and then I turned over towards the door and noticed that it was open a few inches, showing a shadowy face looking down at me.

It didn't frighten me, which probably indicates that I was dreaming.

However, we had had an argument with the landlord on the first day and I think I assumed it was him creepily checking up on us.

After a hectic day of sightseeing I wasn't up for confrontation so after the first night I took a chair and jammed it under the handle of the apartment's front door.

Over the four nights we stayed it happened twice more, even though the front door handle was jammed with the chair. On the last night I stared at the door as long as I could, and didn't see anyone… but instead I felt an icy-cold hand slip into mine.
escargot1 said:
After a hectic day of sightseeing I wasn't up for confrontation so after the first night I took a chair and jammed it under the handle of the apartment's front door.

I always do that as a matter of course when staying in hotels.
The genealogists of the family have traced - maybe - one of our lines back to a tribe whose ancestral residence still stands as an allegedly haunted hotel.

There is talk of booking a weekend there to see if the ghost recognizes the old family in residence!

I'll keep you posted. :)
escargot1 said:
On the last night I stared at the door as long as I could, and didn't see anyone… but instead I felt an icy-cold hand slip into mine.

You were in a Shirley Jackson story! Just be glad it wasn't The Lottery!
Is The Lottery the one with the village? It was on R4 late last night. :shock:

edit - it's on now, brr! :nooo:
The oddest night I've had in a hotel was the first time I stayed at the Twa Dogs in Keswick. We both had an odd, disturbed night. I had a false awakening dream where I woke and the en suite door was open and light on, then woke for real and it wasn't, was woken by a massive crash somewhere in the building and by voices outside the door more than once through the night. I know more than that happened but I've forgotten some of it. The building isn't old, the pub was re-built on land behind the original not too long ago. The noises were all explainable but the atmosphere that went with them was spooky. The second time we stayed there we were given the same room and nothing odd happened at all, it was just a normal non-spooky stay.