This past weekend, Morgan and I took a trip to visit his grandparents in Alturas, CA. He had often regaled me with stories of his childhood days spending the winter months sledding down Tank Hill and his adventures down Main Street to the Foster Freeze. En route, Morgan had briefed me on two things in particular. One being that his Meemaw smoked like a chimney, and two, that he had reserved a room at the Niles Hotel.
I knew that the hotel was build in the early 1900's, and had passed through several owners and was currently up for Sale, but it never occurred to me that we might be the only tenants for the night. When we arrived to check in, all the doors to the hotel were locked. It looked completely deserted from what we could discern from peaking
That someone happened to be someone I would have easily cast in a horror movie to play a front desk clerk. He was in his mid thirties, glasses, sort of nervous and he had said he had only been in Alturas for a year. In my horror-movie-Rolex-of-a-mind, I'm thinking he just hitchhiked here after murdering someone in a previous town and wanted to escape to another small town where no one would know him. He was extremely nice though, which only made things that much more off to me. This would usually be the point in the horror movie where the heroes have a choice of either getting the FUCK out of there or be dumb and continue down the rabbit hole. In our case, we could have stayed at the Super 8 down the street, but we allowed the front desk guy to grab our lone bag and lead us up the velvet red staircase to the second floor, slowly turning on the lights as we proceeded upstairs.
The walls were adorned with vintage saloon-inspired wallpaper and black and white photographs and paintings of portraits of children. We turned down the first long hallway that was sprinkled with obscure closed doors. We turned another corner that led to an even longer hallway that was quite reminiscent of The Shinning. While in the hotel room, i couldn't help but thinking that the man showing us the hotel was going to pull an axe out seeing as we were the only ones in the hotel and no one really knew we were there.
While getting us situated, we heard a voice from downstairs call out "Is anyone here?" We go back down the hall and down the stairs to see three people in the saloon. One one who yelled was an older man with a cane. He was wondering if they were still renting out rooms for the night. The guy who let us in said he didn't have the authority to make that decision. The man with the cane seemed put off and explained to my virgin ears that he was from a Texan paranormal society and he had heard that the place was haunted. He wanted to spend the night to find out for himself.... As things weren't creepy enough. Anyway, we went back upstairs and Morgan was like "maybe we can have him leave the radio on down here" all night. In m
y mind, I'm thinking that's a horrible idea because i would wake up in the middle of the night to a skipping stereo and have to walk down to the first floor in my pajamas to turn it off. Also in my mind, radios would skip and most likely, it would be stuck on a freaking Patsy Cline song.
When we got back to our room, i made Morgan do the courtesy closet and under the bed check, turned on the Disney Channel, and took deep breaths. We gave Morgan's parents a call to talk me down and find out more about their stay at the Niles. Seeing as how in horror films, no one has cell reception anywhere anytime, I'm surprised we had a few bars. We were also lucky in having our room be the only room with a full bath. The other rooms had to use a communal bathroom down the hall.
The bathroom had a large claw foot tub with a floral curtain that pulled all the way around. I took a shower and had to leave it a little cracked because i was still freaked out. I kept imagining that a mold of someone's face was going to push through the curtain. When i was done, i tried falling asleep before Morgan. We woke up the next morning with no unexpected bruises on our bodies and a quite rested. I did wake up a couple times during the night because i thought i heard clanging upstairs, which we later found out was the haunted floor. I know......
The Hotel was less creepy in daylight but it didn't help when at 7:45, the front desk guy knocked on our door as a wake up call. My heart nearly stopped. Despite my raised levels of anxiety which was the result of watching too many horro