Anyone who follows me or my writing knows I once worked at a haunted motel. Some people may not believe in ghosts but after all the things I witnessed and experienced there, I have no doubts, they are truly here with us. Here’s a little story I wrote for a FB group a few nights ago sharing about one of my nights at the motel. I hope you enjoy it…
Winter in the Smoky Mountains is traditionally a hit or miss situation. Some years you have snow which leaves you to deal with iced over winding roads, power outages, and 4×4 trucks helping stranded motorists in the coldness of the early morning hours or inky blackness that surrounds night in the mountains. Other years, things move along with a few cold snaps, a little frost, and nothing bigger than a dusting. The year I want to talk about was one of those snowy, cold winters. It was back when I was working at Reagan Resort Inn. The motel is no longer there, but in its day, it stood directly in the middle of Gatlinburg and was a hot spot for tourists and local functions.
The local weather had called for a significant snow. The road leading from my place to Gatlinburg is notorious for accidents and other issues when mother nature dumps the putrid white stuff on the ground. To avoid issues, our boss would allow us to bring the kids and stay in a room so we could be around to take care of the guests. This happened to be one of those times. We had a party going on at the convention hall and needed a few hands-on deck in case things got a bit sticky. My husband, my son, and my daughter who was just a little thing at the time were asked to go. We talked about it and decided the overtime was too much to pass up, so we packed up and made our way to find a room.
Our motel was notorious for ghost stories. Most everyone who worked there had experiences to share. I certainly did. Uhm, Piano Man anyone? Lol. Still, nothing ever made me feel threatened or truly scared while at the Inn. That is, until that night.
By the time we drove up, most everyone who was staying was already there and in their rooms. The 4th floor had issues with a few leaks so when we weren’t massively in need of it, we didn’t rent rooms up there. Maybe this is why it was considered one of the most haunted parts of the motel? I don’t know for sure, but I do know it was creepy up there, even on a good day so imagine it at night, in the snow and cold.
Things went on like normal. The kids were fed, Cody played his game, Amber played with her toys, then everyone found their way to bed. I still remember the exact time I woke up that night. The clock read 2:57 a.m. I have no idea what woke me. All I remember was the strange feeling of something not being right. I sat up, noticed the room was chillier than I liked for the kids, and climbed out of bed to adjust the heater. That’s when I saw the flickering. It immediately caught my attention when I was close enough to see the main door.
I’m sure you know how motels are set up. There are always hallways lights. They don’t dim at night or turn off. They stay on to provide safety and security. They also lightly show under the door, especially in old places like the Inn. I knew what I was seeing was the hall lights. Common sense told me one of them had a bad bulb and was about to go out. The strange feeling I had told me that wasn’t actually the case. The more I stared at the door, I realized the flickering was movement. Someone was standing outside our door and blocking the light as they moved around.
Assuming it was another employee, I went to the door and used the peephole. I was hesitant at first, but like I said, I never felt threatened at this haunted little place. I peered out into the hallway to find nothing. No one. And the lights were perfectly normal. No flickering. No bad bulbs.
A little shaken, I stepped back to see nothing had changed with the door. It still appeared as if someone was standing there. Years of working and staying at the place, I knew that wasn’t how things were supposed to look from inside the rooms. Instead of venturing out into the hallway alone, I woke Daniel. Of course, he thought I was crazy until he stepped toward the door and saw it for himself.
Being the so-called brave guy, he yanked the door open like it wasn’t a big deal at all. No one was there. He stepped into the hallway, noting all the lights were good, no issues. He looked both ways, saw no movement, no one rushing to shut their doors, nothing. Then a noise erupted in the hallway making us both jump, and me shriek slightly. I knew the sound but wasn’t expecting it. The ice machine at the end of the hall was on. We could clearly see it and the ice dumping out of it into the little crevice beneath then onto the floor. Daniel gave me a look, then started down the hall to try and figure out what was happening.
I stood in the doorway, watching my husband as he turned his head from side to side checking every nook and cranny as he went. No one was in the hallway. By the time he made it to the machine, it had dumped enough ice in the floor to fill an entire bucket if not more. He wiggled with the handle and tried to figure out why it was doing it. It finally stopped. He still had his back to me when I saw a woman, come from the darker part of the hallway near the stairs, and walk straight into room 456.
I knew instantly something wasn’t right. No guests were on that floor. No workers were on the end of the hallway. I rushed back into our room and grabbed my room key. It was a master, which let you into any room, even if deadbolts were on. I met Daniel in the hall and told him what I saw. He agreed, saying he thought he saw someone but thought maybe it was a worker. We went to the room, knocked, then used the key. Oddly enough, the deadbolt was engaged, we heard it open. I immediately thought somehow a guest had been moved up there but when we made it inside, we realized that wasn’t the case. There was no one inside. The room itself was frigid cold. We searched high and low, even the room next to it, and no one was there.
Giving up our search, the two of us made our way back to our room. Once we were there, Daniel stepped out on the balcony to have a cigarette and check out what the snow was doing. I sat down on the edge of the dresser, still a bit shaken. When I glanced at the door again, the lights flooding under were normal. Then, suddenly, they weren’t. Whatever had been standing in front of our door was back. I hurried over, still thinking it could be a joke. I reached for the handle and before I could touch it, the thing started rattling like someone was trying to get in. I froze and watched as what seemed like forever passed in mere seconds. When the rattling stopped, I saw the shadow of whoever was at the door move, like it realized we weren’t letting it in.
I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. Nothing else happened, but the whole situation had me off kilter. The next morning, when the kids woke up, Cody went to take a shower while I got Amber some cereal. She looked up at me, innocent as could be, and asked, “Did you let the lady in last night?” I shook my head no and didn’t say anything. How did she even know about it? She smiled up at me then said, “Good. She scared me.”
Hope y’all enjoyed! Keep an eye open for the things that go bump in the night!!
Lots of Love,