From September of 2007 until April of 2011, I studied history and English online through Lakehead University, located in the small town of Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario. During the first week of December in 2007, I finally finished my midterm exams. After a painstaking weekend of travelling back and forth between the cities of Cobourg and Oshawa to complete the exams, we decided to celebrate by spending some time with my great aunt at the Oshawa Shopping Center and getting an early start on Christmas shopping. By the time the mall was about to close, we left for home.
Before driving our great aunt back home, my brother decided to stop for gas. He stepped out of the car to pump the gas, leaving me alone in the car with my great aunt. In order to bring up conversation, I informed her of our summer trip to Gettysburg in August of the same year. She listened to every word interestedly, particularly the instance in which we heard the mysterious sounds of rifles firing during a tour. In response to this, she mentioned one particular incident she experienced many years prior to our conversation. One in which I was never made aware of until that moment.
She mentioned that the incident occurred during a trip to Toronto she took with my great uncle just before Christmas in 1989. They decided to spend the weekend at a luxury hotel and reserved a room on the seventh floor. My great uncle, exhausted from the trip, decided to go to sleep early. Not wanting to disturb him, my great aunt decided to leave the room and take a short walk throughout the hotel. After spending roughly an hour wandering the hotel absorbing her surroundings and admiring the interior design of the building, she soon lost track of the time and decided to head back to their room.
The elevator stopped on the seventh floor and my great aunt walked nonchalantly back towards her room. She approached her room and began quietly unlocking the door to avoid any possibility of waking my great uncle. She abruptly stopped about halfway, as she suddenly felt the most uncomfortable sensation that someone was watching her. She turned apprehensively to her right and immediately realized that her suspicions were correct. Standing in the middle of the corridor was a young boy she assumed to be around the age of nine. She mentioned vividly remembering the boy standing motionless with a completely blank expression on his face.
Feeling awkward, she asked him if he was all right or if he was in need of some help. Her question went completely unacknowledged and the boy just continued to stand in the same spot, staring off into the void as of his full attention was permanently fixated on some mysterious psychological entity. My great aunt proceeded to turn back to unlock the door. She decided to ask the uncanny juvenile one last time if he needed something, only to discover he was no longer present. She found herself completely alone in the hallway. Despite feeling extremely uneasy, she decided not to wake my great uncle to inform him of the encounter and promptly went to sleep.
The following day, she decided to head to the hotel bar for a glass of wine. She struck up a conversation with the bartender and informed him of the bizarre incident. She was reluctant at first to share the information with him, concerned that he would not believe her. The bartender had no issues believing her. He merely smiled and said:
"Yeah, he's been here for years".
My great aunt never uncovered any explanation behind the experience or what may have possibly been going through the boy's mind. Unfortunately, I have long since forgotten the name of the hotel they stayed at and may never discover the truth for myself.