In the spring of last year, my fiance and I drove out with his mother from California to Illinois to watch her sister graduate. It was a very long drive and only a few days' stay in Illinois, so we decided to take our time on the return trip and stay in a few of the states we had blown through on the way out. A bad storm hit just as we were leaving and followed us through to Missouri. By the time we passed Joplin, we were all really tired, so we decided to spend the night at the USA Inn in Mount Vernon. I don't recall the exact room number we were in, but I remember that it faced a gas station and that we were parked literally right outside of our hotel room door. My fiance and I got our own room and his mom was in the room two doors down from us. The room in between us was unoccupied, and strangely, the door had been left unlocked and partially opened when we came up. I remember a heavy feeling of unease as I passed that room.
Things really went downhill the moment we stepped into our room. When we had first gotten to the hotel, we had been ravenously hungry. The lady at the front desk had given us flyers for a nearby pizza delivery service so we ordered pizza. By the time it came, we had all lost our appetites and we each only ate one or two pieces of the two full pizzas we had bought. When the pizza arrived we went into my fiance's mom's room to eat with her. She had all of the lights and the TV on. I made mention of it and she told us that she felt uncomfortable in the room. She couldn't explain why, but the room made her feel unsafe and uneasy.
I am a believer in spirits but my fiance is a skeptic, so the events of the night were a real shock to him.
We went back to our room and after glancing at the clock, I saw that it was about 9:00 pm. I have to note that my fiance and I are a very loving, affectionate couple and we get along very well. We fight like every other couple does, but it never lasts long and we maintain respectful attitudes toward each other so that our fights don't escalate. I don't remember what started it, but my fiance and I got into a really nasty argument. We had never fought like that before. We yelled at each other and said spiteful things, and at one point I even told him I really wanted to hit him. As soon as I said it I sort of took a mental step back and assessed the argument. Why were we fighting? Why had it escalated so bad? There seemed to be no good reason. That's when I noticed the heavy negative vibe of the room. We talked about the argument and he also admitted that he wasn't sure why it had gotten so bad. He didn't really know why he was angry, but it was like something was urging him to be upset at me, which was exactly how I felt. After the argument, we both felt horribly drained, as though something had gotten us fired up and sapped us dry afterward.
We decided to scope the room out a bit more. It looked to be in fairly good shape, overall. There was a TV sitting on a big dresser with a large mirror on the wall overlooking the bed. The bathroom in particular gave us both really bad feelings. I sensed a very negative presence there, particularly in the shower which was built into an alcove and had no curtain or door. I kept getting the sensation that something was in there, around the corner, just waiting for me to be alone.
Not too long after the bizarre argument we tried to get some sleep. We figured we were tired and that was what had caused it. My fiance immediately fell asleep after lying down, but I was having a hard time because I felt so nervous. I was awake for hours reading a book.
Around two in the morning, I heard my fiance gasping. I looked over at him and he was still asleep. He was breathing hard as if something was choking him. I shook him but he didn't wake up. I got really scared then and started calling his name and shaking him, hard. He finally woke up and looked up at me in surprise. I asked him if he was okay and he said that he had been having a weird dream and that he couldn't wake up. He didn't tell me what the dream was about right away, I think because he didn't want to scare me. I was worried about him, so I looked after him a while longer before trying to get some rest. I turned the light out and did my best to relax but I couldn't. I was terrified.
I first heard a light tapping noise. I closed my eyes and just kept telling myself "nothing is there, nothing is there." In response to this, I heard a loud bang on the wall that sounded like it had come from the unoccupied room next door. There was a long moment of silence, and then there was another bang followed by a dragging sound. I was too scared to move.
A few minutes later, I turned to look at my fiance but he wasn't there. I was alone in the room. The TV was on and it was the news, but it was really freaky because the newscaster kept talking but her mouth stopped moving. As if she was looking through the TV, she stared at me with this hateful expression. I suddenly felt drawn to the mirror that faced the bed. I stared at my reflection for a while, and then I moved to go to the bathroom, but my reflection didn't move. She just stood there staring at me like the newscaster had. I felt like I was going to die of fear.
Then I heard banging on the bathroom door. It sounded like something with clawed feet was flailing and crashing into the door, trying very hard to get out. I could hear the claws scraping on the ground as it tried desperately to get out. I just knew that if whatever it was got out, something terrible was going to happen. I blocked the door with a chair and ran for the door. I could see daylight coming in through the windows but when I opened the door, it was pitch black like there was nothing but abyss beyond. Then the door slammed shut and I was locked in the room. I walked back to the bed and laid down, as though accepting that I was trapped. I closed my eyes really tight and screamed "STOP!"
When I opened my eyes, I looked over and my fiance was asleep beside me. I was so confused and disoriented. I woke him up because I was all but having a panic attack. He assured me that he hadn't gone anywhere and looked really upset by what I had told him. He said that the nightmare I had woken him up from was almost exactly the same. The only difference was that he could see his mom and I through the windows, but it was like a one-way mirror. We couldn't see him, and he was trapped in the room too.
When we later talked to his mom, she said that she hadn't hardly slept at all and that she felt like something was in her room with her all night. I did some research a few weeks ago and came up with a very interesting article from the Joplin Globe about an incident that happened at that hotel the year before our stay.
A construction foreman was staying there with two of his colleagues. One of the men had been drinking and had gotten into a fight over the phone with his girlfriend. For seemingly no good reason, he suddenly attacked the foreman, and the foreman shot him to death. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the article, because the third construction worker who had witnessed the murder wouldn't talk about what had happened. The foreman also didn't seem to know how long the men had been staying there.
I believe that there was some kind of violent, evil spirit residing in that hotel. I also think that this spirit or force, whatever it was, caused the fight between my fiance and I and caused me to hallucinate or have some kind of waking nightmare. I am more sensitive and open to spiritual things than my fiance is, so I think I got it worse than he did. I also believe that this entity was feeding off of the men staying at the hotel and was keeping them there, and that through possession and/or influence, it also caused the shooting.
Here is the link to the article if anyone is interested: