We wish you a scary Halloween!

You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Haunted Places :: Lady in White at the Hotel Bar

Real Ghost Stories

Lady in White at the Hotel Bar

 

I was 27 in 1997 when I joined three friends -- Steve, David, and Stephanie -- on a long-weekend road trip to escape the July heat of Washington, DC. We drove west through Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio to visit prehistoric burial mounds and sites associated with the French and Indian War. Late Saturday evening, our second day, we arrived in Marietta, Ohio. Due to a convention, the only rooms available were at the historic Lafayette Hotel -- a riverboat hotel constructed in 1918 at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers. With David's corporate discounts we were able to secure rooms at decent rates, and we were pleased with our great fortune to spend the night in such a grand, well-preserved, historic hotel.

Unfortunately, we arrived late enough that the hotel restaurant was no longer serving food. Our search for dining in Marietta's historic downtown proved fruitless. When my friends decided to have drinks at a saloon with overly loud country-western music, I opted out. But upon returning to my room I was restless. Unable to sleep, I dinned at the vending machine and decided on a quiet drink in the Lafayette's Riverview Lounge.

When I took a seat near the corner of the bar (with my back to the lobby entrance) it was probably 11:30 PM. Besides the bartender, the only other occupants were a middle-aged couple at a small, low table in the far corner and two hotel employees flirting over after-work drinks. With its high ceiling and massive bar, the enormity of the lounge seemed to absorb the couples' voices creating a hushed, impenetrable atmosphere. Other than the movements of the bartender cleaning up, the lounge was very still.

I drank a Jim Beam and Coke then started a second (I've since moved on to more palatable cocktails). I felt entirely relaxed and at ease. I sat -- not thinking about anything -- just appreciating my growing fatigue, the bourbon, and the beautiful atmosphere of the Lafayette. When it happened, I was neither intoxicated nor asleep and dreaming; I was in a state of complete relaxation in which my mind was not consciously focused on anything. While looking straight across the side of the bar, I noticed a pale haze moved along the left periphery of my vision.

At first, I was unable to identify or clearly discern the pale, vaporous image, but suddenly I realized this was a woman. She wore an Edwardian dress pulled tightly about her waist with either a sash or wide ribbon. Her long-sleeved dress (or skirt and blouse -- I'm not sure which) had subtle, narrow vertical design lines and a high collar. Her hair was pinned up in the style of the beautiful Gibson Girls. She and her dress were colorless, yet oddly, I thought the woman was a brunette. She was the classic "lady in white".

As soon as I realized it was a woman, I turned my head, but otherwise did not shift. She moved across the lounge from somewhere near the middle-aged couple. She traveled on a straight, undeviating path toward the lobby -- which brought her closer to me. As she moved, I realized she was transparent because the wall and carpet faintly showed through her skirt. But what startled me most was how she moved. She did not walk, but glided without effort. When I looked down and expected to see her shoes, she was hazy and less tangible near the floor. She did not touch the carpet as much as she seemed to hover above it.

She was fixated on the door to the lobby and never once moved her eyes or head from her goal. I did not break eye contact with her, but she seemed wholly unaware of me. She came within about 10 feet of me and was approaching the lobby threshold when she suddenly and completely vanished. At the very instant before she disappeared my reeling wits finally caught up, and my mind shouted excitedly, "It's a ghost!" It was at this precise moment -- the instant of my realization -- that she vanished. The entire episode probably lasted 10 seconds -- just long enough for her to cross the large room.

Immediately I looked back across the lounge hoping that someone else had witnessed this, but everyone was looking away. At first, I sat in disbelief. I tried to debunk it and contrive an explanation -- that headlights from a car glimmered on the bar mirror and my mind created this fantasy -- but as I looked out the windows and watched the mirror, I realized I could not explain away so easily what I had witnessed. I finished my drink and the bartender poured another -- my last of the evening. I asked him about the history of the Lafayette. When it opened in 1918, the Lafayette was built on the foundation and incorporated the walls of the Bellevue Hotel (1892-1916) that had been gutted by fire. When I asked about the function of the room before it became the lounge he seemed surprised that I knew the room once served a different purpose. During the 1980s the bartender said that the current lounge was created from space that he thought was originally the women's sitting room in 1918.

I did not tell my friends of the lady in white until after our trip ended -- largely for fear that they would not take my experience seriously. When I finally told Steve, we called the hotel. The manager told us of the Lafayette's unheralded reputation for the paranormal. Guests and staff often report stirrings in their peripheral vision, elevators moving without passengers late at night, strong sensations of being watched, and objects moved about rooms on the third floor. Traditionally, these events are attributed to S. Durward Hoag, a dedicated owner and tireless manager of the hotel. Obviously, it was not Hoag who I saw and unlike other accounts, my experience occurred in the lounge. From the vantage of a decade, I wish I had told my friends immediately and I wish we had stayed another night. I would love to know what important errand this lady in white was on and if anyone else has encountered her.

I am sure skeptics will scoff at my story. No one else at the bar that night can substantiate what I witnessed. Admittedly, I was tired and having a second drink on a somewhat empty stomach. And my story is not very original. Anglo-American culture is replete with tales of beautiful, tragic ladies in white. By contrast, those who believe we live in a haunted world will say that I encountered a residual haunting that replicated some moment in time. I do not know why I saw the lady in white -- only that I did. Some day, perhaps, science will explain it. In the meantime, I can only insist that I was neither drunk nor slumbering in a dreamscape. For those few fleeting seconds I was privileged to witness the inexplicable and, to this day, I cherish the experience.

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Ohio

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Kecoughtan, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Zander (4 stories) (125 posts)
 
2 years ago (2015-07-11)
This is fascinating and beautifully written. I was due to visit the LaFayette this past summer but had a change of plans. Have you heard of Lauren Coleman? He is an author who has a theory he calls the "LaFayette Factor." Basically paranormal events seem to occur more frequently in places named for the noble teen-aged patriot who came from France to help us win independence from the British in the late 18th century. I will definitely post should anything occur when I finally get to stay there. Interesting that 'Marietta' really does not want to stay there again after their encounter. I'm off to read that story as well...
Nysa (4 stories) (685 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2011-10-05)
I LOVE the Lafayette, we always stay there when we visit Marietta. I have not seen anything yet. I have not spent any time at the lounge, I think I will have a drink next time I am there.
MsPitstop (3 posts)
 
6 years ago (2011-06-04)
Loved your story. Added to my faves.

Even though the actual "event" was fleeting, it's all in the ability to, well, tell the story!

This website is replete with "this one time, this thing happened to me and my friends... Then this thing happened, and isn't that scary?" Ugh.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-16)
I have had other experiences, Angelwing. As the most tangible and undeniable of my experiences, I decided to share this one first. I have started to write a couple of the others and hope to get them up soon. I imagine that you, too, have other encounters and hope you will post those when you have time. I can't wait! 😁
Angelwing (2 stories) (9 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-15)
I would by lying if I said I weren't scared when Mr. Brady appeared to me. I could always feel my heart racing and that "fight or flight" feeling churning inside me, but I also felt frozen on the outside and couldn't seem to move. I had to talk myself into remaining calm and it did get easier over time.

I would love to someday visit the Lafayette Hotel to see if I could witness what you saw. I just know when I've seen things like that, I question myself and try to discount it as a shadow, or being tired, etc. But sometimes there just is no plausible explanation and we have to accept it as a reality for us. I truly believe some people are simply more in touch with that realm and allow ourselves to see what others cannot or will not allow themselves to see.

I'm sure you have had other unexplainable things happen since your experience in 1997 and I would love to read about it when you get time to share! 😉
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-14)
Thank you for taking time to read and for the very kind words, Angelwing. Honestly, before I experienced it I always found descriptions of apparitions gliding to be a bit preposterous and maybe even influenced by the movies. But having seen it, I now accept it. When I think back to that moment what amazes me is the fluidity with which the lady in white moved across the room. Her movement was entirely without effort and almost as though there was no friction to hinder her. But, you saw the Man in Hall many more times, and I have to say seeing him move backwards sounds more than a bit terrifying to me. I commend your courage and level-headedness keeping your nerve (and sleep schedule) knowing that he might reappear just about any morning. Most likely I would have been unable to sleep with the door open after that.
Angelwing (2 stories) (9 posts)
 
9 years ago (2009-01-14)
Kecoughtan,

Just read your fasinating, and beautifully written story. I was especially suprised to read "She did not walk, but glided without effort. When I looked down and expected to see her shoes, she was hazy and less tangible near the floor. She did not touch the carpet as much as she seemed to hover above it."

This description perfectly describes my "Man in the Hall". It was almost as if he was on ice skates and was able to move without actually moving his feet. As I said in my story, I never really saw his feet.

Thank you for sharing your story. Those who have never had an experiece may find it hard to believe, but having witnessed it myself, I'm a believer. There's just no way to explain it to those that haven't seen it for themselves. I'm sure there are many people afraid to share their stories for fear of people laughing or thinking they've lost a few brain cells.

The fact that you have seen these things when you are in a relaxed mood may mean you are more open to receiving the energy and visions during those times. It was the same for me. Relaxed and in a comfortable state-of-mind when I would see the man in the hall.

Thanks for sharing!
😁
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Don't worry about late commentary, hobbyholly. The primary reason I posted it here was to "document" my experience so that others encountering similar incidents--in that hotel or elsewhere--would be aware of it and, perhaps, benefit from my encounter. I am happy you found and enjoyed it--thanks for letting me know. And, please keep us posted on any developments with that fascinating case of your mysterious farmer.
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-28)
I'm late on commenting on this story:

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. If I had seen what you did, I would have needed a few more Jim Beams & Cokes
Annie (202 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-28)
Ha! I love your analogy on your experience, Kecoughtan. It's funny how one instance in our lives can change us, don't you think? Guess I'll have to make the Layfayette Hotel one of my "must see" places. Again, loved your story. Can't wait to read Marietta's!
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-28)
Thanks for the update, Marietta. I can't wait read your story. I think having both of our experiences from the Lafayette Hotel posted here will compliment one another.

I am also intrigued by the desk clerk being pushed in the lobby. After my experience, I was a little frustrated because all reports seem to occur on the third floor. It's nice to know things have happened to others on the lobby level. It really is wonderful to have confirmation that others have reported activity there and my incident wasn't isolated and the result of a medical condition. Thanks, Marietta! Maybe--like you--the ghosties were annoyed with the clerk being nonchalant about their presence. 😉
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-28)
Annie, thanks for reading. I am pleased you enjoyed it. You are right: the moment of realization was striking. It reminded me of those times when the awesome power of nature has humbled me and left me feeling insignificant and vulnerable. At that moment it really felt as though I shrank and the size of the room doubled around me.
Annie (202 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-27)
I just happened to find this story surfing through this site. What a wonderful experience! Thank you for recounting it here! I can just imagine how you felt when it registered with you that... It was a ghost! Ha! Thanks for the wonderful tale, Kecoughtan.
Marietta (3 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-23)
The meeting at the Lafayette Hotel was uneventful. Of course, it was daytime and there was a roomful of people. I haven't been able to bring myself to stay overnight at the hotel since my experience in May. I did peak inside the bar, but it was empty at the time and I didn't have the time to linger. I asked the desk clerk about experiences and told her about mine. She was very nonchalant. She said she had been pushed once in the front lobby by someone she couldn't see, but that was all. I'll keep checking for the page to come up so that I can post my story.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-08-20)
Marietta, how was your visit to the Lafayette in July? Did you experience anything? I hope to see the account of your earlier visit soon.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-07-06)
Thanks for the update, Marietta. I can't wait to read your story. Hang in there and I'm sure Martin will have submissions open again soon. I will continue to frequently check for it. Please let me know what happens during your visit. If you have time to sit in the lounge where I had my experience, I've love to hear about your impressions there, also. Cheers! 😁
Marietta (3 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-07-03)
I've tried several times to post my story, but unfortunately, the page is temporarily closed. I'll keep trying. I'll be at the hotel on July 22 for a meeting. I reserved a meeting room as I've done many times, but I made my overnight accomodations at the Hampton Inn. I may check with the front desk to see if I can pay a visit to the room where I had the experience, just to see how it "feels".
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-06-29)
Marietta, thank you for mentioning your encounter. I absolutely can not wait to read about your experience. I am very excited to hear another first-hand account from the Lafayette Hotel. Thanks!
Marietta (3 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-06-29)
I had an encounter with a lady in white at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta, OH. It happened on May 12, 2008 in room #241. This is in the Hoag Addition, but, from what I've read, most occurrences are on the 3rd floor. This apparition was all in white with a white cap and a pinafore. I had the impression she was a servant, so maybe not the same as you saw. I am posting my story on this site now. I'd love to hear your comments.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-04)
AllieRN, thank you for reading. I am pleased you enjoyed the story. Marietta is a charming, little river town in SE Ohio. The commmunity has lots of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century history, prehistoric mounds, historic structures, and a charming downtown. And, of course, the Lafayette Hotel is beautiful. If you do go, check other purportedly haunted locations in town: http://www.hauntedmarietta.com/index.php
AllieRN (1 stories) (26 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-04)
Kecoughtan,
That was an awesome and very believable story! I don't live far from Ohio. Maybe I can get my husband to take me there sometime. That would be an awesome trip.

AllieRN
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
Oh, please, don't get me wrong. I don't need to vicariously experience anything since kindergarten! Not after telling my teacher that her stories were boring me to death and that I was going to be an archaeologist right away, skipping the part about university. The poor woman had a very hard time explaning to my very protective daddy cool why she had to call the fire brigate to help me out of a 15 meter hole deep in the ground!

But then again, I just love Indie 😆
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
FRAWIN, thanks for reading, but most of all for believing me. I wish I could have watched that documentary. I have heard that our brains--and ears--fill in the gaps when we can not process all the data. Skeptics usually argue that those of us who "see spooks" are either temporarily hay-wired or introducing culturally relevant images from our database (but that are not phyiscally present). If I read you right, you are turning the argument around by suggesting that because we are processing a higher percentage of physical images then we are seeing those things that everyone one is glossing over. Very clever, FRAWIN!
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
KimSouthO, thank you for taking time to read the story and share your thoughts--I appreciate it. Everytime I reflect on that night, I am frustrated by the fact that other 5 people in the lounge were facing away this lady in the white and her purposeful journey across the room. Both couples were wholly engaged in their conversations and one another. To lend credance to your point, I think my state of relaxation may have contributed. Whenever I have experienced the inexplicable, I am always completely relexed or entirely consumed doing something I love. When I get time, I will post some of my other experiences, but relaxation always seems to play a role. Thanks.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
Rhodes68, an English lit teacher would certainly raise the bar on our typical discussions in the field! It is never too late... And this spring the fourth Indiana Jones movie should be released, so we all can live vicariously, once again, through Harrison Ford.
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
Thank you for the kind words, Sandy. I've not visited Alabama yet, but a friend of mine did and stayed at the charming and historic St. James Hotel in Selma. I think it was constructed before the Civil War and Jesse James purportedly visited at some point. If I could visit only one place in the state; however, I'd pick Moundsville where you can visit the remains of the immense earthen mounds constructed by the Mississippian peoples.
Sandy (3 stories) (48 posts)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
I thought your story was very interesting. I would love to go to historic sights; I think you saw a imprint of one of the people that were possibly killed in the fire. Also with a building that old it has to have a lot of history behind it. Thank you for sharing your story. Also if you know anywhere around the state of Alabama let me know. 😁
whitebuffalo (guest)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
Pardon the added interuption, Kecoughtan.

Dang, FRAWIN, I thought I may have had one more arrow I could have added to my almost empty quiver. Thanks a lot. 😭
FRAWIN (guest)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
Hey WB{excuse me Kecoughtan}, don't get too excited,it's just one of my "theories" I'm thinking on, which will probably get shot full of holes.You(and me) may have short-circuits after all 😆.

FRAWIN ❤ 😊
whitebuffalo (guest)
 
10 years ago (2008-03-03)
OOOh, so it is NOT a misfiring circuit breaker in the brain like my parents used to tell me, but the use of MORE of the brain. Interesting, FRAWIN, thank you.

Read previous comments

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: