I bring up haunted hotels a great deal: on my Facebook posts, in this blog, even in the current book I'm writing. There seems to be no end of haunted hotels all the way around the planet. That said, I have yet to feel haunted in a hotel. (Gettysburg is the exception, but the dead soldier who visited with me wandered in from the battlefield, and I don't think he had anything to do with where I was staying.)
But truly. I've traveled, not extensively, but enough, since childhood (my dad loved travel) and all through my adult life. We've stayed at hotels, motels, and resorts, and never once have I ever felt that the place I rested my head every night was haunted. I have definitely felt a weird presence or two in dormitories where I've spent a night or more. That's a whole different ball of wax, since universities and colleges are notorious for their hauntings. But I've never yet felt it at a hotel.
I have encountered a bit of uneasiness. Jim and I were on a coach tour of the British Isles and Ireland, and there was a place in Dublin where we spent one night. That whole motel felt a bit strange, sort of dark and uneasy, like something else was hanging around and watching what we did. Jim admitted he felt it, too. But that was it. And see, that's the corker - we were all over England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and the motel in Dublin was the only place we felt anything even close to disturbed. To me, the U.K. and Ireland are like the mother lode for things that go bump in the night. But we got nothing. Maybe a large group of tourists is enough to make even the most extroverted spirits fade into the woodwork? I'll never really know.
BUT things may just be looking up.
For one thing, next month Jim and I and another couple are going to stay at a bed and breakfast down on the Mississippi that is purportedly haunted. The local ghost tour operator wants to put the place on the tour, but the owner has graciously declined. A few times. So there's a possibility I'll run into at least some mild activity there. The owner has assured me that it's a gentle presence that sometimes can be heard whistling, or doing other everyday activities like that. I should be okay even if that happens.
In addition to that, I'm including a hotel in the book I'm currently writing, and lucky for me, my niece works at a hotel. She's an employee of one of the bigger chains, and she has offered to give me a behind-the-scenes tour so I have an idea how hotels are really run. Knowing what I write about, she also volunteered to find out what paranormal things, if any, are going on at her particular establishment. "I know one of the employees died there," she began, and then stopped for a moment while she thought over the details. "Yes. And I know where he died," she added. So that's one place we can all check out. She also offered to look into things a little further to see if she could find any more strange activity around the place. And then she smiled at me. "And there's always room XYZ," she added. (Room number shielded to protect all parties, including the dead ones.) "We're always getting calls from that room [at the front desk]."
I needed a moment to process what she was saying. "You mean, you get calls from the room even though no one's there?"
"Yes," she said. "All the time."
Hmm. Can't wait to see what she digs up about the place before I go meet her there for my tour! And yes, I will be taking pictures to see if someone else shows up!