Raj (Room 235)
Third report: Strange Odor from the past (Room 235)
The 2nd Floor North D Hallway had it's share of past guests and its share of passed guests. Three deaths in that hallway to my memory. One, "Raj," was an employee here before it was renovated into the new establishment. He worked in the front desk in the evening hours and graveyard shift. He lived here as well in Room 235. As a boy, I remember him being very polite and treated me and my siblings with a high respect that only a family member would show to us. My mother admired his hard work to pay his daughter's tuition given the handicaps he must endure as an immigrant from his side of the world after "9/11". He had a very strong Indian accent and a very strong sense of morality.
Sadly Mr. Raj died in his room in July of 2003. My mom discovered his body face down on his bathroom floor. He had died due to a massive heart attack. Coroners came to collect him that afternoon and I still remember the thumping of the stretcher's wheels as it thundered down the hotel steps.
Taj was a Hindi man and, as ignorant children, we would always ponder about the unusual scent he gave off. (To my research, Indians consume a lot of ginger and curry in their diet. The spice "baseelah" actually gives off the smell through sweat from their pores. Yahoo.com) Because of his kindness I wouldn't crack jokes like the other kids did freely. I always hugged him when I saw him. The short and chubby gentleman would always tilt his head and flick his wrists in happiness when he saw us everyday. Perhaps a reminder of his daughter at the university and his 3 other children back in his homeland, the sight of us were the closest joy he could feel to his own family. My mom would always remind us of how fortunate we were in our situation and that every small thing must be appreciated. In our case, a family.
Today one of our main complaints from guests are those of a "musty stench" that fills the 2nd Floor North D Hallway. It sometimes follows you into your room but as soon as you leave the hallway the scent vanishes. The only other area on our property that one can trace said stench is in the housekeeping room. In the daytime, the smell of laundry detergent dominates as the cleaning crew operate the washing machines during their shifts. Although at night the room fills with a foreign odor that sometimes can be overbearing. The smell to me seemed not so foreign. I know curry when I smell it and that particular smell is curry. Perhaps I may be wrong and the combination of cleaning materials and stocks of blankets miraculously result into a similar odor, but I believe that theory may be too far fetched.
July 2005, two years after Raj's death, a local man stayed in room 235 before we renovated the old place. His name was "Walt". I remembered him from the local park playing basketball with my brother and friends. Then, he seemed like a very cool guy to us. Older now, Walt wasn't looking so well and didn't remember us kids. You can tell that he was under the influence of drugs. On a Saturday morning that summer, we were racing our bikes around the hotel when we stopped to a large crash of shattering glass. We kids raced around the corner to find a shirtless Walt in the parking lot rolling around the broken shards of what was his sliding balcony door. Walt had fallen from the second floor and his discovery caused our shock as we just peered at him. I didn't know what to expect from him besides a moaning and groaning in pain. But instead he started screaming at us to start running. "Get him away! Get that man away! He's trying to kill me!" (exact words) My dad told us not to touch him because of all the blood dripping from his arms. And that we could get a disease from him. So instead dad called the paramedics. They took him away from the hotel as he was still rambling on about the fat man who wants to kill him.
The local authorities then checked the room to find it completely destroyed. As if a struggle had taken place or a lunatic used it as a bounce house. The television had been smashed and blood was on the wall. The Police excused it as hallucinations from the drugs he took yet no traces of drugs were found in the room besides cigarettes. Mom didn't allow Walt back, afraid of what more damage he may cause to our property. The rest of our occupants believed it also to be a drug-related incident. But we regulars knew, due to room 235's history, that it could possibly be Raj. Previously mentioned, while people pass the 2nd Floor North D Hallway, a feeling of immense pressure invades their temples and causes a numbing feeling in the back of their head and pushes guests forward. Most guests wave the feeling off as a migraine. But the coincidences count up to another possibility.
July 2010, seven years after Raj's death, a couple from Chicago stayed in room 235. They stayed with us for one week and enjoyed our property very much. On their last night I watched them leave the lobby after directing them to the nearest Taco Bell down the road. During their absence, I entered the housekeeping room to gather some fresh towels at another guest's request. While closing the towel closet, I heard footsteps in the room above (Room 235). I thought perhaps the guests had more people than they registered or have visitors so I continued out to deliver the fresh towels. Ten minutes later, I found the young couple at the front desk. The couple did not seem happy. Instead they were very angry that I would check someone else into their room. And that it was very unprofessional that I had made that mistake. Confused, I asked the couple to clarify their claim and if there was anything else that I could do for them. They reported as they passed through the back gate, they could see a man standing at the window in their room.
The man that the guests could see was short and when the couple stopped and stared at him, the figure in the window turned around and walked further out of view. I then locked the lobby and escorted the two unhappy guests back to room 235. When I opened the door, I walked in to find no one there. Nothing was out of place and the television was still on the program that they left it on. The gentleman assured me that there was someone here before and that maybe one of our crew had come to scope out what he can steal. I confirmed to the gentleman that I was the only person on duty that night and that I personally will check our cameras. The gentleman viewed the tape with me and we found no trace of anyone in the hallway after their departure. The gentleman was still unhappy at what he believes to have seen but after proving him wrong he could only settle.
Previously mentioned: Our current maintenance worker, "Richard", has had experiences in the upstairs storage room (next door to room 235). He keeps all of the older television models there in the long narrow room. One day, as he was collecting some power tools, Richard started to leave the North D storage when one of the old television sets had turned on. Irritated at the broken set, he climbed over the pile of machines to switch the power off. When he reached the knob, the static screen and white noises discontinued. Confused, Richard followed it's wire to the wall's outlet and found that the television set was not receiving electricity from the wall nor was it plugged in. When he straightened his posture, a man's face was seen hovering in the far corner of the storage room behind the other TVs. Richard blinked and the man disappeared. Since then, Richard dreads entering the room to get supplies.
Fact: Most of Raj's graveyard shifts, I remember, were spent in the housekeeping room. Usually when the hotel had full occupancy, Raj would fall asleep on the couch for a few hours until he had to perform the audit reports manually. During his employment the hotel business was vastly different from how businesses run today. So it was okay for him to be so lean. In those days, the independent hotel properties followed their own rules and regulations on the issue of service. But perhaps from this fact we can conclude the source of the "odor" in the housekeeper's room at night.
As for the alleged attack on Walt, one cannot explain the natural sense of anything in his bizarre case. So perhaps the nonsensical reasons could prove most accurate. The state of the room and Walt's testimony proved unbelievable although I had seen it with my own eyes as my brother Deisel and I assisted "Sanchez" (Maintenance worker at the time) with safely disposing of broken shards and garbage (such were our chores living there as teens). I often wonder if the phantom attacker could be jolly old Mr. Raj but it doesn't fit him in any way. Maybe provoked or upset I cannot fathom an angry Raj. If Raj is not angry, then why is he still here?