The Almost Haunting

Let me just start with this. I am a believer.

Here goes.

I decided to take my little girl for a “girl’s night” away in a hotel for a night. I chose Boston as what better summer city than Boston, right? And it was close. A two-hour drive and easy to maneuver.

I thought it would be fun to take the train into the big city, so I booked a suburban hotel, actually an historic inn about 20 miles away. I chose it because I knew the town and it had a great deal on some of the newly renovated rooms in the more than 200-year-old inn. Key word being renovated.

Anyway, I booked our room about two weeks before we were due to go. The day of our trip it was beautiful out. Gorgeous blue sky, puffy white clouds. CD in the player. And off to Bean Town we went. My daughter was so excited. She read Make Way For Ducklings and couldn’t wait for her own swan boat ride.

So we arrived at the inn at 12:30 and I was told by the clerk, who thought it was sweet that I was taking my daughter for a girls night, that our room wasn’t ready until 3. That’s fine. We were going into the city anyway, I told her and she said she’d put our bag in our room and it would be waiting for us when we returned.

We walked over to the commuter rail station after a quick stop for some sustenance. (Ok it was really Swedish Fish, Taffy and some dark chocolate orange creams for mom.) We hopped aboard and off we went.

After a day of walking, an awesome Swan Boat ride, lunch at an Au Bon Pain (Park Plaza veranda version) Newbury Street, Copley and some crystal barrets at a kiosk, and a trip to the Top of the Pru, we rode the T back to North Station because my 6-year-old wanted to dine on the porch of the inn back in the suburbs. I think the city might have been a lot for my little country babe.

Alas, the T was late and we missed the 6:25 p.m.train back to the burbs. We had to wait another full hour. It was okay. My daughter said she wanted to “people watch.” I think she was mesmerized by the amount of sequins and tiny skirts we saw on the women going to the J Lo/Enrique concert at the Garden, which is attached to the rail station.

Finally we caught the 7:35 p.m. train and arrived back at the inn at 8:45 for a dinner on the porch. We were tired and were excited to eat and then snuggle back in our room in our big bed. My daughter even  said NO to dessert, much to my chagrin because the inn’s selection made my mouth water. I paid the bill and went into the lobby to get our room.

The night clerk took my name, checked her computer and then looked at me and then my 6-year-old and said, “Huh. Well it’s not exactly what you booked.”

Turns out, they were fully booked in the main inn and put us in the “cottage” across the street. Not one big bed, but two twins in an efficiency style room fronted by a dumpster in the parking lot.

Yeah. NO. Normally I am pretty accommodating, but that night, me and my tired little girl wanted a king bed, in a renovated room that I booked, nearly 2 weeks ago. The fact that they were booked was surely not my fault. I was, to say the least, pissed.

The clerk, who had walked us to our room, looked at me and, apologetically, said, she’d see what she could do that she had a man checking in later and would try to switch his room with ours. We walked back to the inn and she got on her compute again and said, “OK, I will switch the room. Again, not what you were told, but nice. And it’s right upstairs.”

Fine. It was now nearly 10 at night. Who she had checking in that late, I don’t know, but better him across the street in the dumpster room than us.

We walked upstairs to Room 24, a king poster bed, toile bed spread, fire place and a private bath, and the moment we got inside, my daughter look at me with terror in her eyes and said she was scared. She was adamant that she didn’t like it here, didn’t like the room because it was scary. She started to cry and I knew I had to take her out. I called my husband and told him what was going on and he tried to find us another room in town, but nothing. I decided to just take her home.

We headed back to the lobby and the clerk looked at us and said “Uh oh.” Not a surprised Uh Oh, just an uh oh. I explained that we didn’t get what we were told we would and my daughter was afraid and I just couldn’t make her stay there. Easy peasy and the clerk gave us a full refund on our room. No questions asked.

Well that’s just fine, except for a little voice that told me to look further.

The next morning, after driving my sleeping, and much happier girl home, I looked back on the hotel’s website. There was a little place on the hotel’s website that detailed “The Haunted Inn”.

I thought no way in hell would a clerk have tried to put us there, but I checked further and sure enough it says in bold letters, “if you want a paranormal experience, ask for — can you guess what room number? . ROOM 24.” Turns out, the hotel was on Ghost Hunters and a few other articles and shows had investigated ghosts as well as detailed letters from guests who got more than they bargained for.


I can look at it as a coincidence, maybe a reaction to a series of events that my daughter just wanted to go home. Or I can look at it as a reaction of an innocent child to something she couldn’t explain. She was afraid to be in Room 24.

I haven’t decided what I want to do about it. The clerk had to have known that was the room that was well documented as a paranormal one and I am not sure why she would have tried to put us there. I realize she was trying to accommodate a mistake the inn made about our room, but I would think she would have told me about the possibility of a ghost hanging out with us during the night.

In any case, I probably won’t tell my girlie about her almost haunting until she is much older.

And I will try to figure out what to say to the hotel manager.

And I will remember that the next time I want a night away with either of my kids, I’ll book a hotel and ask the clerk whether there is any possibility that it’s haunted.

Three’s a crowd.