My Night in a Haunted Hotel
I always adored the Scottish moors. Even though I was born and raised in the US, more precisely in Utah, there was a huge appeal that I always felt for this rugged European nation. A lot of it comes from the fact that my ancestors were, partly from Scotland and this mostly presented itself in my life in the form of my grandfather Harold.
He was a personification of a Scottish man who came to the United States after the WW2, working on a merchant ship. But, he liked the country so much that he decided to stay here, first living in the New York and then moving to the interior, directly to Utah, where he created a small convenience store.
Here, he met my grandmother and started a family, finding a wonderful life in the US. But, he never forgot about his native land and kept it in memory even in his old age, when I got a chance to meet him. Being that I was the only granddaughter in the family, Harold immediately took a shine to me. He used to take me to long walks around our small town, showing me the natural wonders of the world and telling me stories about his home on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.
Harold grew up in the Scottish moors and he never failed to mention them to me. When he talked, his perception of the moors gradually became mine as well and it began to imagine that I could experience them as well. Eventually, as the years went by, Harold died of old age as a happy man and I became a grown woman. Then, right after I finished college and started working, I decided to take a trip to the UK and see the incredible Scotland I always heard about.
First, I thought about traveling there with someone but this proved to be too complicated, so I simply bought a plane ticket and took off into the unknown. I landed in Edinburgh and took a train to a small and isolated town in the middle of the moors. As the train rode through the countryside, I was thrilled with what I saw – beautiful glades, endless landscapes of rugged terrain full of stones and boulders and much much more.
When I arrived at my destination, I was in Forfar, a town in the region of Angus. Here, I was advised by the locals to take a cab to the Glamis Castle, a place that was turned into a hotel. I arrived, still completely in love with the country and everything in it. But, the hotel I came to stay had a strange cold feeling to it, as if everything was somehow violently stuck in time.
An old receptionist gave me a key to the room 85 and I took to the stairs. As I climbed up, the many portrait paintings seemed to be looking directly at me. It was as if something tried to warn me about that place, but I just staggered further carrying my suitcases. I came to my room and entered, leaving the door open behind me.
As I placed my suitcases down, the doors slammed shut behind me. At first, I thought it was only the draft, but deep down I knew I was not. What followed that night was the worst experience of my life. The room and the entire hotel were haunted. I heard screeching sounds, things whispering into my ear and chills going through my body. I dreamt that I had breast cancer and other terrible illnesses, while all those who loved me in real life just looked at me.
When I was up, I thought that my body was getting terribly fat in super-fast speed, even though I knew I was slim using the program that included weight watchers. I even thought that my scar from my weight loss surgery was getting opened and that spiders were crawling from the wound. All the while, haunted sounds keep ringing in my ears and disturbing me deeply. In some ways, I thought I was dead and that this is my own version of hell.
When I woke up that morning I quickly packed and took a cab straight to the airport. I came home back to my family and told them everything. At first, they were skeptical but then agreed that the best thing was that I came back safe and sound. I continued with my life, happy that I saw my granddad’s birthplace, but still slightly terrified by my experience. On stormy nights, while I lay awake in my bed, I wonder sometimes if I ever really left that Glamis Castle at all, or am I also just a ghost now.