Do you believe in ghosts? You will.
This is a true account of my stay in Room 32. It contains strong language and embarrassing truths not suitable for all ages.
Viewer discretion is advised.
(50 Photos were taken of the Grand Hotel. All of which have mysteriously gone missing.)
We arrived at the Grand Hotel around 11 am. That was when we met Nearly-Dead Tommy.
He told us everything about the hotel, the history, the hospital, the deaths… Tommy knew details of the town’s past that no living person should know; an eidetic knowledge of all things true and arcane. It was almost as if he had been there for all of it. Maybe he was.
Tommy was our personal chaperone throughout the old Hospital/Asylum. Of all the rooms in the hotel, there was only one that Tommy would not enter… Room 32. Our room.
“Jesus” I thought. “What if there really was a ghost out there? How could I defend myself?“
The clock showed 3:44 AM.
What kinda sadistic Casper spook shows up at this ungodly hour?
And where was it when I was on the Ghost Tour; when I had my camera and EVP ready? C’mon man, I’ve got shit to do tomorrow.
There was that scritch scritch again. The sound moved from the balcony doors up the vertebrae of my nerves.
“Oh fuck me, is this really happening?“
I turned back to the room and took inventory: half eaten Haunted Hamburger, TV remote, toothbrush, a bottle of Caduceus 3/4 full, hotel bath towels + Robe stuffed neatly into my luggage, bubblegum, iPhone charger and Gideon’s pages tuffed neatly between its covers.
I admonished myself for not packing better—only a Foodie would account for this much gum and toothpaste packed into one trip. Had I really become that guy?
Never mind, I’ll deal with that later…
I reached for the nearest thing at hand, a Flyswatter. Standing in my underwear—under the practice of full disclosure, I have to admit that I don’t wear underwear…especially to bed. But for the PG-13 rating of the story, let’s pretend I do—I took a few practice swings until I felt confidence rising.
(Hey-hey-hey! I said “confidence“, keep your imagination above the waistline, Reader!)
I believe it was at this point I realized that if the Hotels haunting histories were true, I was truly screwed.
Before my brain knew better my hand was on the doorknob. My nerves were weak sputtering fuses about to burst.
If you’re ever in this situation, search for words of wisdom, like: Win one for the Gipper; or One for the Road, Bartender; or Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.
…I think that last one I learned from a poster in grade school.
So I needed something to steel myself onwards. This was a bad idea. My mind doesn’t work that way— sometimes I’m not even sure it likes me.
Instead of finding a galvanizing quote of encouragement, my mind set itself against me. Images of movie monsters terrifying the childhood inside me sprang from the shadows: the Clown from the movie “IT“; a whitish pink liquidizing skull pushing out in “The Blob“; The knifed glove of Freddy Krueger’s hand; Our Lord and Devourer Cthulhu…
— and for some God unknown reason—David Bowie dancing in the movie “Labyrinth“. That is some terrifying shit. I’ve seriously got to do something about my movie collection.
Finally, I turned the handle and asked the Patron Saint of Stupidity for protection reciting the three word prayer: “Fuck it, YOLO”.
I don’t remember moving, but there was the grown of hinges, a rush of crisp cold air enveloping me and suddenly I found myself outside, standing right in front of…
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Not a damn thing.
The dark coalesced in the corners of the balconyund my feet.
Off in the night, insects buzzed and chirped in lust and mating.
Below me, the night lights of Jerome and Clarkdale loomed as nearby galaxies.
There was a sense of relief and then, a sense of accomplishment—even if I hadn’t had a chance to use, what I am going to go ahead and call, The Fly Swatter of Doom.
I had faced my fears. In one move, I had given the finger to all the monsters that knocked under my bed as a child and scared me breathless beneath covers.
I stood in triumph. I was Man! I surveyed my conquered balcony kingdom, my insect subjects.
Aaand all to soon, that feeling of triumph evaporated as I became painfully aware that I was outside on a balcony—at almost 4 in the morning—standing in my underwear (NOT underwear) shaking from nerves and cold. holding a fly swatter.
If anybody had seen this, and they might have, I would have looked like the town drunkard in some obscure Irish movie.
I don’t know if you can Adam & Eve how embarrassing this was.
Oh my faithful readers, fear not; it gets worse.
It was here that I realized then, too, that there may-could-be, mayhap, maybe, might be, possibly, nae that there was the highly probable certainty… of shrinkage.
…If only the Lord could see me now.
I slunk back inside, abandoning my ghost adventures for the safety of the bed.
I still slept with the night table light on…and the Fly Swatter of Doom in reach.
So it wasn’t as scary as seeing a stillborn baby scurrying like an arachnid between the dark spots on the ceiling; or having your dead grandmother seated at the foot of the bed peaking between fingers at you whilst she cuts flesh with the look and ease of rotting fruit.
Don’t give me that look, reader, I don’t need your look. I was scarred man! Seriously, this shit really happens.
And Since my stay in Room #32, I have begun limiting my intake of Horror Films and Social Media and the Fox News. I have also decided to add more Disney to my movie collection; along with getting rid of my copy of the Labyrinth— ‘cos Bowie singing “Magic Dance“… seriously WTF?! It’s any wonder I turned out straight.
All in all I would recommend Jerome, a great town. Along with The Grand Hotel.
If it’sle, take the Ghost Tour, learn some history and if you can, ask for room 32.
Tell them I sent ya. (They’ll have no idea what it means)
Above all else, no matter what you see, whatever you hear; do yourself a favor and do NOT end up on the balcony at near 4 in the MORNING, waving a Fly Swatter (of doom) with your Bait and Tackle hanging out for all the world to see.
AUTHOR: JAMES WRIGHT
Despite the ghosties, Jerome is our home-away-from-home. No matter where we travel, every few months we find ourselves driving up the winding path, past The Haunted Hamburger and Maynard’s Tasting Room (Yup, I’m talkin’ Maynard of Tool/Perfect Circle. He lives there.)
We could easily spend two days wandering, tasting and exploring this simple, out-of-the-way town.
FAVORITE SHOPS | THINGS TO DO:
Caduceus Cellars (Maynard’s Tasting Room)
Puscifer (Maynard’s Shop)