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Sunday, 06 December 2015 11:33
Special to the Daily Planet


Rule #1: They always know you’re coming.

It was the week before Christmas and I was ready for a romantic getaway. But when my boyfriend Miles showed up at my door, he was different. Not quite himself. I shrugged it off and grabbed my bags and we headed out. We were on our way to a mountaintop retreat in a small town.

When we checked in, we saw a full-page newspaper article hanging beside the office window, boasting the hotel’s haunted history. Fine. I wasn’t here for ghosts. I was here for romance. Even a paranormal investigator deserved a night off, right? I brought lacy bits not meters. The hotel was decked out with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations which we admired as we walked to our room. We didn’t pass a single person.

We went out in search of food. The whole town was quiet. I don’t even recall any other customers in the restaurant. Weird. Our waiter was feeling chatty and started telling us about a haunted hotel. Our hotel! We never mentioned where we were staying and we certainly didn’t ask any questions about it. We paid for our food and left.

When we got back to the hotel, we again climbed the three flights of stairs passing no one.

After dinner, we walked outside to smoke under the porte cochere. At some point, we realized we were the only guests. We stood outside in the freezing cold, barely speaking to one another, when I turned and noticed for the first time that blood was dripping down the column. It had gathered in a thick, dark puddle all over the ground. Miles was facing me the whole time and he hadn’t said a word about it. “Do you see that?” I asked him.

“No. I don’t see anything.”

“You really don’t see that?” I asked, my voice rising a bit.

“I already told you no!”  He was hateful and that was very uncharacteristic. I  looked back at the column. The blood looked like it was dripping from up high and streaking the column as it pooled thickly next to my feet. I didn’t think to reach out and touch it. Or to grab a tissue and dab at the blood for a sample.  Nor did I grab my cellphone to snap a picture. I just silently acknowledged it and put out my cigarette. We walked back inside. The Christmas decorations didn’t look nearly so cheery anymore.

Our room had a Jacuzzi, so we grabbed a bottle of champagne and a couple of glasses and climbed in.  We stayed in there a long time, so long that the room was steamy, but we could still plainly see each other in the light from the bathroom. It was around midnight when Miles swore that my face kept morphing into that of a cat!

Most people would have packed up and left by then. But not me. I don’t scare easily and I am a Paranormal Investigator, so it’s only natural that I’d stick around to see what else happened. Besides, we weren’t ourselves.

When I woke up the next morning, Miles was still sleeping.  Light streamed through the window. I laid there for awhile and then I became aware of a woman speaking in my ear. The voice was soothing but the words were chilling. She was urging me to get up, go into the bathroom, take a razor blade and slit my wrists! “Come on. It’s so easy,” she coaxed. There’s never been a suicidal bone in my body and I wasn’t about to listen to that crazy bitch! 

We packed up and got on the road, both of us glad we didn’t get snowed in. We walked around the little town for a while, neither of us saying much, both lost in our thoughts. We both knew we weren’t ourselves. Other people were staring out of our eyes and using our bodies. How long would they stay? 

When we got home, the first thing I saw was my grey cat. She looked like she was in the middle of a huge stretch. Her eyes were open and unblinking. The other cats scampered about, seemingly oblivious to the death in their midst. That was enough to break the spell. My eyes welled up and I reached out to my boyfriend and held on tight, tears falling silently.

The spell broke for him, too. He was back to being himself again and just held me as the pain washed over me. I believe that she, too, was caught up in the series of unbelievable events that occurred that night and that she died because of it.

 Just because you don’t go looking for ghosts, doesn’t mean they don’t come looking for you. 


Shelley Wright, an Asheville native, is a paranormal investigator. She works at Wright’s Coin Shop in Asheville and is a weekly participant in the “Speaking of Strange” radio show from 9 p.m. to midnight on most Saturdays on Asheville’s WWNC-AM (570).




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