There is a house around the corner from us. It’s a really cute one level ranch. I’ve always liked it. The problem is, it goes on the market every year or two. In the 11 years we’ve lived here, it’s changed hands half a dozen times. Rumor has it that it’s haunted. And I believe it.
I love haunted houses. I think that they are totally cool. Not in the Amityville kind of way. That’s disturbing. But if Casper haunted my house, I’d totally be down with it. Which leads me to my story.
I have an aunt who passed away a few years ago. The kid and I drove up for her funeral. It was in upstate New York. In Osh-kosh-b’gosh land. There was this really cute old village in the middle of town where I booked a hotel. I believe it was the only hotel around. It was so old, you literally used a real key to open the door to your room. If you lost that key, you were pretty much screwed. There was no swiping of a card and getting a new one.
We checked in at around 3:00 in the afternoon, then went to the funeral home for the wake. We had dinner with some family then had to get back to the hotel by 10pm before the lobby closed.
It was about 9:45 when we pulled into a spot directly in front of the hotel. I pulled out the key and the kid asked if she could hold it. I said, “sure, but please be careful and don’t lose it.” She was a very responsible child. And anyway, what could happen?
She lost it. Literally 20 seconds after I handed it to her, it was gone. I completely freaked out on her. It was late, I was tired, it was an emotional day. So, I lost my patience. She started crying. And I was pissed.
Even though it was dark and late, I ripped everything that wasn’t bolted down out of the car. I looked between the seats, under the seats, behind the seats. I got out the flashlight from the glove compartment and got on my hands and knees. I literally crawled under and around the car looking for that ever-loving key.
At this point it’s just about 10 o’clock. We called it quits and went inside in hopes there was another key available. We would continue our search in the morning, in the daylight. After apologizing profusely, the clerk handed me another one. He had a sly look on his face. I thought it was weird because he didn’t even comment, he just looked at me strangely. The guy kind of creeped me out.
The next morning, we went out to start our search again. We even got some family members who were staying there in on the act. Again, we ripped everything out, searched high and low, in and out. We couldn’t find it. I was completely perplexed. That damn key was no where.
When I went to check out, I told the clerk (who is a woman this time) how sorry I was that we lost the key and that I would pay to have a new one made. She just looked at me and laughed. She said not to worry because “they” like to play games with the patrons who stay there. Specifically with the keys.
Legend has it that a woman jumped to her death from a top floor balcony in the 1800’s and her spirit haunts the hotel. Along with some others. There is also a little boy. And he likes to mess with the guests. My aunt, who was staying in the room next door, said she had an encounter as well. Apparently they also like to play with people’s showers.
We had that car for a couple more years after that incident. Before we sold it, we had it detailed. Thoroughly detailed. The key never showed up. Ever.
Look you nay-sayers, I can see you rolling your eyes. But how is it possible that a key get that lost in a matter of seconds? And stay lost. Forever. It’s just too weird. And I like my little ghost story. It’s the only one I have. So I’m keeping it.