Haunted Hotel

Old Saybrook Travel Blog

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Really 2003
Several years ago my buddy Tom and I took one of our many weekend trips to New England. Once in awhile, when he couldn't find a sitter, we would take his cat with us. Thunder was generally well-behaved and people always seemed to have fun with her. On this one trip, we went on a Christmas Train in Essex, Connecticut and she even took a picture with Santa (NOT my idea). We checked in overnight at a well known chain motel. It was reasonably priced, got decent reviews and was near where we wanted to be. We checked in after dinner. It was a standard 2 double bed room, like you would find anywhere. However, something wasn't right about it. Thunder immediately went crazy upon entering it. She was running around in circles, meowing at the window, and jumping on and off both beds. This was NOTHING like her. Like I previously said, this was a well behaved, even dignified cat. At first we thought the long car ride and maybe even the train unnerved her. But her actions definitely unnerved us.Tom was worried that he traumatized his baby. After we turned off the lights Thunder was still restless, she would still jump on the beds and was now focused on the window, every now and then giving these long crying howls. Very strange, especially considering we were on the second floor so nobody could possibly be outside of it. We thought maybe she saw a bird or bat, but the cries were so unusual Tom thought she must be sick. As we were starting to fall asleep, a steady knock could be heard under Tom's bed. Once we determined it was not Thunder we turned on the lights to see what was causing it. Then the noise stopped. When the lights turned off, it restarted. This went on several times. We figured there must be some annoying kids in the room below us with no consideration of their neighbors. Tom got dressed and went downstairs to see if he could ask them to be quiet. Problem was there was no room below us, just a breezeway. Strange! In any case, when he returned the knocking ended for good, so we both finally went to sleep. Sometime later I woke up with a light shining in my face. Tom had gone to the bathroom, left the light on, and the door open. How annoying! I was pissed since once I get up I can't fall back asleep. Then Tom woke up and said that I forgot to turn the light out in the bathroom. I told him I thought he forgot since I had not gone to the bathroom. Neither had he. As we were discussing it, the bathroom light suddenly went off, and then the locked front door of our room burst wide open! We both screamed! Thunder went wild. When nobody came in, Tom ran out of the room undressed to see who or what opened this double-locked door. There was nobody there and no wind. Meanwhile Thunder was howling loudly at the window and banging on it with her paw. Tom locked the door, and put a suitcase or something in front of it. While we were still trying to gather what was happening the knocking below Tom's bed restarted louder than before. Tom and I were trying to come up with rational explanations about what the Hell was going on. Neither one of us thought about this being a haunted room, or wanted to, but eventually that seed was planted in our minds. Eventually things quieted down, even Thunder. However, neither Tom nor I was about to go back to sleep at that point. At first light, exhausted, confused, and completely shaken, we checked out. We explained to the attendant on duty SOME of what happened, such as the noises and the loose door, as we did not want to appear to be a couple of crackpots. She asked us what room we were in. When we told her, she looked up with big eyes and gave us this really weird smile and wished us a good day. Creepy. Behind her I noticed that the chain hotel's transparent nameplate had covered up the previous name of the place, which looked to say The Lamplighter Inn. Later I had researched to see if I could find anything about the place. Sure enough, after much searching I found a story about a girl who had mysteriously died at that hotel many years ago. I suspect I know in which room, and I also suspect Thunder knows what she looked like! Later that night we checked into another motel. Still not sure what the Hell happened the night before, Tom was worried that Thunder would have another night of agitation ahead of her at this hotel. That could not be farther from what happened. She entered the room, went on what would be her daddy's bed, curled up, and could not be more relaxed and content. They say cats can sense what others cannot. Unlike that previous place, there was nothing here for her to worry about. We took notice of her completely changed behavior and started wondering what in fact she saw out the window of the other room. Then we decided to forget about it and get some much needed peaceful sleep, knowing that Thunder will warn us if there was anymore supernatural danger.
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Really 2003
Really 2003
Old Saybrook
photo by: furiousfowl