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A Very Rude Awakening


I work for a large contracting company, and I travel all over the US and Canada for work. I spend more than 9 months a year on the road, staying in various hotels.

Since I pay all of my lodging costs out of my own pocket, I try and find places that offer a weekly or monthly rate, which is usually about half as much as you would pay if you were to rent the room on a nightly basis. It is worth noting that places that offer these long-term rates aren't generally five-star chain hotels, but instead are generally older, independently owned places that range from nice on down to "roach motel" dives.

Last month, I was assigned to a project in northern Wisconsin. I got to town, searched the web, and found an older motel that offered a good monthly rate. Instead of calling ahead, I just drove to the hotel and asked the manager if they had any rooms available for a month. The manager seemed hesitant, but said that they had one room with no bookings for the upcoming month, and explained that he had been planning on remodeling the room in question before renting it out. He said that they had been updating all the rooms, and hadn't got to that one yet, but he would discount it an additional $50 below the usual monthly rate since the furniture, bed, and carpet were older and a bit shabby. This seemed like an awesome deal to me, so I booked the room and paid the whole month in advance.

The manager explained that I had to pay in advance in order to receive the monthly rate and the additional $50 discount, and pointed out that there were no refunds available if I decided to leave early. The fact that he was adamant about "no refunds" made me a little suspicious, so I got the key from him and looked at the room before handing my credit card over, and the room appeared to be decent enough, so I went ahead with the deal.

This was the first week of July, and it was very hot and muggy. The first thing I did after hauling in my luggage was to crank up the old air conditioner, which looked like it probably dates from the mid 1980's. It rattled and vibrated quite a bit, but it pushed out plenty of cold air, so I didn't give it much thought.

I went to bed, and when I got up the next morning and stumbled towards the bathroom, my feet encountered a huge puddle of water on the floor. The air conditioning had been running all night, and the condensation from the highly humid air had dripped down the power cord and soaked the floor. I grabbed the little garbage can out of the bathroom, pulled the trash bag out of it, and put the empty can under the air conditioner to catch the constant drip of water. I mopped up the water and headed off to work. When I got back that afternoon, the trash can was about half full of water, so I dumped it down the shower and put the trash can back.

This became my routine for the next week, emptying the trash can every day either before or after work. I work long days, and generally would come home, take a shower, and immediately go to bed. I would occasionally hear what I assumed was the tenant in the next room banging around at night, but after a long day at work, I can sleep through anything, so I didn't pay much attention to that.

About halfway through my second week in the room, my work boots came up missing! I always put them in the same spot by the door, and I woke up to head to work and couldn't find them anywhere. I was pretty mad, and was just about late for work. I remembered that I always kept an extra pair of boots in the truck, so I jerked the door to the room open, and my boots were sitting right outside my door! The only conclusion I could come up with was that housekeeping might have moved my boots, although I couldn't imagine why they would have been in my room while I was asleep, since they usually came in the middle of the day while I was working.

When I got back from work that day, I went to the motel office and demanded to know why housekeeping had been in my room at night. The manager assured me that such a thing was impossible, and that he and his wife cleaned all the rooms themselves. He repeatedly assured me that they hadn't touched my boots, but from his manner and body language, he seemed to be hiding something.

I decided that I didn't trust the manager, so when I left for work the next morning, I stuffed all my gear back in my suitcase and took it with me. I had already paid for the whole month, so I figured that I would just not leave anything in my room while I was away at work.

When I was sleeping at night, I started making sure to lock the chain lock on the door, figuring that there was no way for anyone to get in and mess with my stuff that way. After a few nights of this, my rude awakening happened.

I was sound asleep when I was hit in the side of the face with a deluge of frigid water! I came out of bed absolutely furious. I was cursing loudly, swinging my fists at empty air. Enough light came through the curtains and from the lights on the digital clock, microwave, and coffee pot that I could see that I was completely alone in the room. I turned on the bedside lamp, still snarling profanities and dripping water, and immediately looked at the chain lock. It was still locked! I rushed into the bathroom, figuring that it was the only place for someone to hide, but it was empty. I was completely baffled by this point, but knew that I wasn't imagining things, because my hair and face were soaked, as though I'd just got out of the shower.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that a pipe for the rooms above me must have ruptured. I walked back out to look at the ceiling, and saw no trace of water damage or a burst pipe. What I did see was the empty garbage can I had placed to catch the dripping water from the air conditioner. It was sitting upright on top of the television, a good 15 feet from the air conditioner. When I saw it, I suddenly realized that it must have just been moved, because I hadn't stepped in a puddle of water when I stormed into the bathroom!

This hotel room didn't offer any hiding spots for anyone. There was no closet, no cabinets, nothing that could hide even a small child. I grabbed a towel, dried my head off, stuffed my gear back in my suitcase, got in my truck, drove up the road a ways, and slept in my truck the rest of the night.

The next morning, I was waiting for the manager when he arrived. I demanded a refund for my unused nights. He reminded me that I had agreed that no refunds would be given, and I could see from the half-smirk look on his face that he knew that room was haunted. I'm a pretty big guy, and I leaned across the counter and snarled, "Well, since you rented me a room that wasn't vacant, I figure that agreement doesn't mean a whole lot, does it? Does the fact that you're scared of that room have anything to do with why it hasn't been renovated yet?"

He wordlessly reached over, popped open the cash register, and handed me $200, which was actually more than he owed me. I grabbed the cash and left.

After I'd had a few days to cool down, I wished that I would have tried to make contact with whatever was in the room. It had only hid my boots and dumped water on me, after all. In retrospect, it seems more playful than malicious. By the time I came to this realization, though, I was several states away, working on a new project.

If I ever get back to that part of the country, I might go back and see if they have a room that just happens to be vacant because they just haven't got around to remodeling it...

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, TommySnow59, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

TommySnow59 (1 stories) (4 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-01)
Hello, everyone. I haven't been on this site in a long time, but a few people had asked me to update them if I ever went back to the motel that I had this experience in. I drove past the old place yesterday, and it looks like it burned to the ground at least a couple of years ago. The main office was a detached building away from the other two wings of the motel, and it is still standing, and looked like someone might be living in it, but there was nobody around when I stopped by. The wing of the motel I had stayed in was completely leveled, and the other wing is still standing but looked like it had significant fire damage and appeared to be totally vacant and uninhabitable. I guess the story ends here; I was kind of hoping to try to rent that same room again, but was also a little bit relieved when I came around the bend of the highway and saw the building was gone. Life is funny sometimes...
Mhannerism (2 stories) (82 posts)
9 years ago (2015-10-24)
God! I can imagine that your "ghost alarm" was giggling silently while you punch the air! 😆 😆
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-09-03)
Well all that sounds pretty normal to me Tommy! Being less than honest with yourself sometimes, is just part of the 'human' condition and we're all lumbered with it! Maybe that's a good thing though... Like a self preservation mechanism of some sort to stop us blowing our own minds! Perhaps the small experiences we have... The ones we deny to ourselves, are a kind of 'softening up' process, so that when the big 'in your face' one comes along, the one you 'can't' deny, it won't come as too big a shock! Not every one will have a 'biggie' and that makes me think perhaps that's why some spirits hang around... Because 'they don't know they're dead'! I'm glad to hear you're re-evaluating your pragmatistic image though, because I've found that not many things in this world are 'as they appear to be'! Now you have a chance to see this world with fresh eyes and see what else is 'really going on'! I'm off on holiday for a week tomorrow morning and won't have internet access, but if you reply to this, I'll respond when I get back! Take care!
TommySnow59 (1 stories) (4 posts)
9 years ago (2015-09-02)
I always believed that there was more to existence than met the eye, so it's not really the fact that there is something beyond this life that bothers me. It's kind of tough to put a finger on it, really. I guess that a big part of it is just the fact that something that I really have no frame of reference for makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in the sense of feeling like I'm in danger or scared, but uncomfortable in the sense that I don't have any answers for all the new questions that this experience has brought up in my mind.
As far as if I am worried about having more experiences, not really, but the more I have thought about this, the more I have to admit that I have had some experiences in the past that I wilfully ignored or explained away, and it is irritating to me to realize that I really hadn't been honest with myself about that up until now. I have always prided myself on taking things as they are, so the biggest reason, I think, that I'm bothered by this is the fact that it has really made me reevaluate my own self-imagine as a hard-headed pragmatist!
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-09-02)
Sounds interesting Darkangel. I think it's very common for hauntings in motels and hotels... In fact anywhere lots of people pass through...theatres, cinemas even cruise ships ect. You should write it up!
Darkangel73 (4 stories) (127 posts)
9 years ago (2015-09-01)
This story reminds me of an experience I had living in an old motel, before I got my first apartment... I know it scared me out of my mind, looking back at it now I think I know what happened to the lady who appeared to me that night. Nice to know that I am not the only one who had something happen while staying in a motel.
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-31)
...or is it that maybe you're concerned you might have other experiences?
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-31)
Tommy...I can understand you being 'knocked for a loop'! After all, it's no small thing to suddenly realise that this life is just one episode and there's 'more to us' than we could possibly know! Is that what you're not entirely happy about?
TommySnow59 (1 stories) (4 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-31)
Caz, I know what you mean there. I'm 56 years old, and I certainly wouldn't have predicted that I would be reevaluating my views on the supernatural at my age. Like I said, I always considered myself at least somewhat open to the paranormal, and have had a few experiences in the past that I have either explained away or just largely ignored, but this has really kind of knocked me for a loop. I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure that I'm happy about the situation, either.
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-31)
Tommy...Thanks for coming back and answering my questions! Your situation is kind of similar to my own! Though I wanted to believe, I tended to shrug things off too! It wasn't until I was in my 50s that I had my first undeniable 'in my face' experience and though it scared me at the time, I felt elated afterwards, knowing I finally knew the truth! I've had other experiences since and I think it's because the first one made me more aware and somehow more susceptible! Please do let us know if that happens to you and thank you for taking the time to share your story with us! 😊
TommySnow59 (1 stories) (4 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-30)
Thank you all for your responses. I really had mixed feelings about sharing this experience, because I honestly thought that it would be greeted with skepticism and ridicule. I haven't discussed this with anyone in "real life" yet, and I don't know if I will, but it felt good to be able to get it off my chest here.
Tweed, that is a very interesting idea about the shoe-polishing service. I had tried to figure out why my boots would have been left outside my door, and the hotel definitely looked like it could pre-date the 1950's.
Caz, in answer to your questions, I had always kind of believed in the paranormal in a rather abstract way, but this experience really yanked me out of that abstract territory! I have experienced a few things over the course of the years that were definitely unusual, but I had always managed to convince myself that they were something other than supernatural, or merely shrugged them off and continued on with my life. This experience was one that I just couldn't explain away or find an alternative explanation for, and honestly it has made me reflect on a few other experiences that I had previously dismissed as weird coincidences, practical jokes or whatever. In retrospect, I can admit that I really was looking for a way to explain away more than one experience that I've had, so apparently I wasn't quite as open-minded as I had always imagined myself to be.
To everyone else, thank you for taking the time to read my account, and if I ever get back up there, I will update you on what, if anything, I discover.
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-29)
You didn't like your roomate,eh? Maybe you slept through your alarm is why you got that rude awakening. This is so funny. Sounds like something a college kid would do or someone around that age. I'm just glad that you got out of there before it escalated. You might have waken up to your hair in pigtails or braided. 😆
H2olily (5 stories) (158 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-27)
Ah ah... Forgot to say your prayers and leave a Gideon's Bible open to Lord's Prayer in your room!?!
MaybeADreamer (4 stories) (58 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-27)
Tommysnow - whilst I can't offer any words of wisdom on this - its a great story and I do hope you manage to go back one day and check out any changes (or not as the case may be), lol.
Thanks for sharing, gone in my favs 😊
Wardo (8 stories) (171 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-26)
LOVED this account! I am adding to my favorites. Thank you so much for sharing!
liza25 (1 stories) (21 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-26)
Great story, I enjoyed reading it. I think it was a mischievous spirit and the way you handled the refunding of cash part, it really gave me a good laugh:D that's true that you've been given a preoccupied room... Great one! 😁
Caz (342 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-26)
"Well, since you rented me a room that wasn't vacant..." Hahaha... Love it! Great story Tommy! May I ask if that was your first paranormal experience and did you believe in the paranormal before then?
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-26)
Hi Tommy bravo for getting your refund in the best way possible!

I wonder who the heck it was. Back around the 1950's hotel establishments used to offer a shoe polishing service. People would leave their shoes outside their door to be cleaned overnight. Some jokers would swap pairs of shoes, moving them to other doorways, to lead people on a wild goose chase, finding their shoes the next morning. I don't know if this has anything to do with the ghost in that motel, but your boots turning up outside reminded me of this!

Thanks for sharing, like Miracles I would love an update if you ever go back there!
Mimi81 (203 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-25)
This just went on my list of favorites. Something in that room certainly has a sense of humor.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-08-25)
TommySnow - occasionally I run across a story that just reeks of truth and honesty. I'm going to be so upset if this one isn't true 😉

Seriously, though, this was a great story and I'm glad you shared it with us. And like you, I'd love to know if that room is still vacant. There are so many what ifs in this situation that it has my mind just swimming with possible scenarios LOL

Many times I've found myself wishing I'd reacted differently in a situation and wondering what the outcome would have been so I understand how you feel. I also agree with you that this doesn't appear to have been a threatening entity. It does seem more mischievous than harmful.

Welcome to YGS and if you ever make your way back to that motel, you have got to give us an update 😆

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