I would like to start this by describing myself first. I think it is important to have some sense of the person relating a story so that the reader may know some point of reference from which it is being told. I am an engineer, and I am told that I have a very logic driven mind. Although I imagine myself to have some of the left-brained tendencies, it is true that I seek (and usually find) a logical reason to most things. Previous to this encounter, I have never experienced anything that I would put into the category of supernatural or ghostly in origin.
I have always been curious about the topic of the supernatural, often reading stories and occasionally watching some of those TV programs about encounters. An ex-girlfriend of mine (who was from Japan and described herself as someone able to interact with spirits) said she saw a black aura around me which acted like some form of ghost repellant. It was her (expert?) opinion that I was the kind of person that ghosts would avoid. Perhaps I should later describe the experiences of that ex-girlfriend, as she certainly told me more ghost encounters than anyone I have ever met (although I also had the impression she didn't tell me nearly all she had to tell...). I honestly think she was a little bit crazy, but not necessarily about the ghosts. I had broken up with this ex-girlfriend years before, so she was not even remotely in my mind when I had the following encounter. I mention her only to relate the part about me being somehow repellant to ghosts. In any case, you now know something about me as I relate this occurrence: I am an engineer, I am logical, I have bad luck with relationships, and I seemingly repel ghosts even though I am interested in the topic.
My previous job in sales involved much traveling around southeast Asia. I would travel almost every week. One week to Thailand, one week to Japan, one week to Singapore, and so on. The consequence of this continual travel was that I would spend many, many nights in various hotels. To me, a hotel was simply a place to sleep, and more often than not, to write those late night emails back to the company I worked for in the States that would be waking up just as I should be laying down to sleep. Hotels, I have come to learn, are prime locations for spirits as well as travelers.
On this particular occasion, I was in Vietnam in the small coastal town of Vung Tau. I had just completed my usual week long business meetings. Nothing at all notable had occurred during my week's stay. Check out of the hotel was at noon, and I had packed my bags in preparation of being able to grab them and leave after I finished eating lunch. I ate lunch at a local restaurant with my colleagues and upon return to the hotel, I went up to retrieve my bags for the long drive to Saigon. Upon exiting the elevator, I had to turn right and then right again to enter the long hallway of rooms of which my room (room 816) was at the very end on the left. I relate this particular fact because I think it is important to note that in the 15-30 seconds it took me to walk down the hallway to my room, I could see clearly that no one was in the hallway. No one had entered or exited my room. If they had, I would have clearly seen them, so I am quite certain that no person (maid or otherwise) was responsible for what I next witnessed.
Coming to my room, I inserted the electronic key, heard the lock open and then pushed the door open. Immediately upon opening, I heard the unmistakable sound of the toilet flushing. The bathroom entrance was very near to the entry door, in fact it was immediately next to the entry door (allowing only for the distance of the door swing). Because I heard the toilet flushing, I thought the maid may have been in the room commencing her cleaning before I had checked out (that would have been unlikely, but certainly possible). I called out something like "Hello?" because I didn't want to startle her if it was the maid. In two steps I had closed the distance from the entry door to the bathroom door.
While I was taking those two steps to the bathroom door, I noticed that the flushing toilet sounded different from normal. It sounded as if a lot of water was flushing, not the normal amount of water. This struck me as an odd sound even before I reached the bathroom entrance. Upon reaching the bathroom entrance, I was immediately struck by two notable things. First, I could now see the toilet, and I was very surprised to see the quantity of water sloshing around in the toilet. Of course, I have watched a toilet being flushed, but the quantity of the water that I saw in the toilet this time was much, much greater than a normally flushing toilet. I am talking about perhaps triple the amount of a regular flush. Now, the strangest thing yet was that as soon as I set eyes upon the toilet, I heard the flushing sound stop. Somehow, as soon as I looked at it, the water suddenly ceased to flow. I actually saw the residual water continue to slosh around rather violently for a few seconds before it finally settled down. At the same time my mind was processing the visual display, I was also struck simultaneously by the second notable thing. This was the horrendous, nauseating smell that permeated the bathroom. It was a ghastly smell, and something that I had to process in my mind at the same time that the water was sloshing around.
As my (logical) mind was trying to process the sight (and smell) before me, I got that unmistakable tingly feeling at the back of my neck that has been described by many others with better skill to describe it than me. Something was not right, and I could immediately sense the "not-rightness" of it. And although I fancy myself as being brave, I did not entertain any notion of sticking around to investigate what the cause of the violent flushing may have been. I took two backwards steps away from the bathroom door (not wanting to turn my back on it), reached blindly over to my suitcase which luckily had been pre-packed, and fumbled my way out the door. Hurrying down the elevator, I stumbled out and managed to check out. Sheepishly, I asked the front desk staff if any one had mentioned previously about room 816 being haunted. Their eyes were wide with surprise and a bit of fright. The Vietnamese have a healthy respect for ghosts, and I am quite satisfied to know that they at least believed me, even if my coworkers did nothing but mock my story during the 2-hour ride to Saigon.
As I said, I have a logical mind. Of course, I have thought of the possibility that a maid was in the room cleaning, and I startled her upon which she somehow hid out of site. I can not settle on that for explanation because I did not see anyone when I entered the room, nor did I see anyone enter or leave the room as I walked down the corridor. My engineering mind is always seeking reasonable explanations. I have thought of the possibility that the toilet valve was stuck open (perhaps I had flushed it prior to going to lunch), and the stuck valve was responsible for the running water. I can not settle on that for explanation either, because the amount of water flowing was greatly more than normal, to the point of splashing out of the bowl. And how then to explain that the valve stopped flushing the moment I looked into the bathroom? I could find no certain logical explanation, and I have thought it over many times.
Because I return to hotel very frequently for business, I have come to know the front desk staff, and they have come to know me. They know by now not to offer me the key for room 816 anymore. I refuse to enter that room, and nothing will entice me even though it is said to be one of the best in the hotel.