By: Charlie DeJonge
It was easy to find our hotel, called Manresa Castle, because it sat a few miles outside the town of Port Townsend and we drove past it on the way in. When we saw it from the bottom of the hill the building sat on, it was magnificent. A Victorian style house, complete with perfectly trimmed hedges and a long winding road up to the front door. I was excited to step inside. But once I did, I was oddly uncomfortable. The lobby was dark and musty and filled with 1980s red and black velvet chairs that when you sat in them, could feel the springs compress and press irritatingly against you. It seemed as though only my sister and I noticed the strange atmosphere of the place. My parents were in awe at the colorings and façade and excited to see the style of room.
My brother and I trudged up three flights to our room carrying the suitcases while my mom and sister followed and my dad stayed behind to look at brochures. In front of the door, we easily opened it and saw that it was nothing compared to the “beauty” of the lobby. Two queen beds, an armoire and a window over looking the hill and the town. As per usual in a new room, my brother went looking around and flung open the armoire doors only to stumble backwards on seeing a man’s blazer hung up.
We all gathered around and saw that, in fact, a navy blazer was facing us hung and perfectly creased. No matter though, people forget clothes. That was when my dad rushed up the stairs and exclaimed the hotel had experienced two deaths. That in 302 a man had hung himself and in 306 a woman had jumped from the window. I ran into the hall, and was not surprised to see 306 above our door.
We got back to the hotel after a day exploring and around 10:30, began figuring out sleeping arrangements. Since there are five in my family and only two queen beds, we always have one person sleep on the floor between the beds. It was my brother’s turn. But neither my sister nor I wanted to sleep next to the weird armoire so my parents took the side closest to it while my sister and I went next to the window. With the beds set, we tried to sleep.
Around 12:45 a.m., my mom and dad had to switch their side of the bed. She later said that there was a constant creaking coming from where the blazer was but didn’t bother to look at it. Only an hour later, my brother woke and forced my dad to switch with him saying he felt a constant tugging on his blankets, as if there were hands coming from under both beds and grabbing his blanket. At about 4 a.m., we were all woken by the sounds of footsteps outside our room. It was the sound much like that of a woman in heels. Moments later the bathroom door was cracked open and the toilet began flushing then ceased. Everything was silent until my dad sat up, startled and told us that something was pulling his blanket from under the bed. At 9:15 a.m. my parents woke us up and said that it was a fun night and now we could at least leave Washington. But as those final words came from their mouths, a muffled sobbing began in the bathroom. On hearing it, my dad opened the door to find nothing but the sobs drew nearer to the beds and then farther as they fell to the far side of the room by the window. And then, nothing.