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Hotel Horror Story



By Eduard Joseph

Published by Eduard Joseph

Shakespir edition

Copyright 2015 Eduard Joseph

This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are

not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. Any resemblance to any person or

persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All Rights Reserved

The right of the writer to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him under the South African Copyright Act of 1978 (as amended).

In September of 1985, the Odendale Hotel in the small town of Haysville was closed down for good by the authorities after numerous complaints from the town’s residents. The hotel, which was situated about a mile outside of town, was advertised per highway billboards as ‘your home away from home’, but residents and guests of the hotel had a different opinion.

Some of the residents of Haysville noticed strange happenings in town during the construction of the hotel and there were even rumours that the hotel was not built on ancient burial grounds like in horror movies, but that the hotel might have been some kind of doorway built by the developers – targeting Haysville specifically for the fact that they were a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Construction started in April 1980 and curious kids would go to the building site after school to watch builders build what they hoped would be the future of their little town.

Alex Jensen, aged 12, reported that he and his friends went to the building site after school on the day of April 25th, 1980 and noted that all the streetlamps leading to the hotel was on despite it being 3 in the afternoon. He didn’t think much of it, until each light started switching off after another – as if drawing his attention to the site of the new hotel. He reportedly head voices whisper, “come and see…”

None of Alex’s friends noticed the lights or heard the whispers, but Alex couldn’t help but feel that they were being watched by something other than the builders who occasionally glanced at the kids from afar.

On the night of April 29 while preparing herself a cup of tea, Mrs Martha Williams reported seeing at least fifteen cats running down the street in the same direction as they all growled and hissed. When another ten cats came running by, she went out onto her porch to see what the commotion was about and noticed that the cats all seemed to run down Main Road – the street that led out of town towards the Odendale Hotel.

On the morning of April 30th, 1980, construction was unable to continue due to the fact that the carcases of at least a hundred cats were found scattered across the Odendale Hotel building site – some of the cats were badly decomposed as if they had been lying there for months. It took a clean-up crew five hours to remove all the dead cats as some of them were compressed between building equipment and vehicle wheels.

The hotel opened its doors on May 29th, 1980 after a hurried construction to meet deadlines and its first guest, Peter Smith, checked in on June 4th, but never checked out. According to the front desk clerk, Mr Smith was last seen in the dinner hall on June 5th, having dinner with one of the other guests, but he was never seen returning to his room. When housekeeping entered his room on the morning of June 6th, they found a message on the bathroom mirror written in what seemed to be blood; “I was here. I used to exist.”

A missing persons report was filed at the Haysville Police, but it would be the first in a string of bizarre disappearances at the hotel, but with no signs of foul play, the case became known as a cold case and speculation suggested that Mr Smith snuck out during the night in a bid to avoid paying for his room.

On the evening of August 9th, 1980, Jeremy Clarkson called down to the front desk to enquire whether he was in possession of the only key card to his room that he checked into the night before. He claimed that he awoke during the night to find a woman with long white hair and a face as black as night standing at the foot of his bed, but when he switched on the bedside lamp, the woman was gone.

The front desk clerk assured Mr Clarkson that he had the only key card, but offered to have the room searched by security. Mr Clarkson declined the offer, but called the front desk again later that night at 23:05 sounding terrified.

“Front desk.” The clerk answered.

“She’s back.” Mr Clarkson whispered.

“I’m sorry?” The clerk asked confused.

“Room 142.” Mr Clarkson uttered, “The woman at the foot of my bed… she’s back. I woke up and saw here standing there in the dark, but this time when I switched on the light she was still there.”

“Is she still there now, sir?”


“What is she doing?”

“She’s just standing there.” Mr Clarkson whispered, “Standing in the corner of the room with her back to me… oh God…”


“She’s walking towards the bed… backwards.”

The call disconnected and that was the last anyone ever heard from Jeremy Clarkson. The front desk clerk sent two security guards up to room 142, but it was unoccupied and the bed was made – there was no trace of Jeremy Clarkson or the woman he reportedly saw. Despite finding no Jeremy Clarkson in the check-in register, hotel management filed a missing person’s report. The Haysville police completed their investigation, but with no record of Jeremy Clarkson ever checking in, they simply closed their file and shipped it off to the archives.

Jenny Peters started as front desk clerk on September 10th after the previous clerk failed to report for duty and it was on her first night-shift on September 12th that a surge of darkness made all the lights in the foyer flicker in an echo of whispers telling her to ‘come and see.’ Everything returned to normal within three seconds, but it was enough to freak her out. According to the telephone records, Jenny called her mother’s home at 20:15 on September 12th.

A guest going up to his room reportedly heard Jenny tell someone on the phone that she heard voices whisper to her from behind despite being alone behind the front desk. According to the guest, Jenny Peters seem hysterical and mumbled incoherently until she abruptly stopped, looked down at the phone receiver and asked, “Hello?” The guest didn’t stick around for much longer, but stated in an affidavit which would later form part of an investigation, that when he went down to the foyer the next morning and asked the day clerk how she was, the clerk seemed confused.

“Jenny?” The day clerk asked.

“The girl that worked the front desk the day before.”

“There’s no girl, sir.” The day clerk said with a smile bordering on sinister, “I’ve been at front desk since last night six o’ clock.”

Convinced that the clerk was lying and confused by his bizarre demeanour, the guest decided to contact the police and tell them what he witnessed the night before. The police investigation led them to the home of Jenny Peters who claimed to work at the hardware store and stated that she had never been to the Odendale Hotel. The guest who reported her missing checked out that same day with no forwarding address.

Between October 1980 and April 1981, numerous guests reported to front desk that they saw Jenny Peters nervously talking into the telephone receiver of the front desk the night before and were told the same story by the front desk clerk – that he was the only clerk on duty. At first the Haysville police didn’t pay much attention to the complaints, but when they received a seventh complaint of a similar nature to the first complaint, they decided to do a follow-up interview with Jenny Peters. The investigating officer was told by her mother that Jenny had died on October 1st, 1980 – almost 6 months earlier.

Stephen Jackson started as the front desk clerk on May 12th, 1982 and was oblivious to the mysterious happenings of the Odendale Hotel as he was new in town. On the morning of his first shift he grabbed a cup of coffee at a coffee shop and started flirting with Samantha, the cashier, who was quickly drawn into a conversation by his deep, green eyes. When he told her he was starting at the Odendale Hotel that day, her face drained of colour and she begged him to stay away from the hotel.

“Please.” Samantha pleaded, “You have to stay away from that place. It’s not safe.”

“What do you mean?”

Samantha glanced around her as if checking whether they were alone and asked, “You haven’t been in town for long, have you?”

Stephen shook his head and then she leaned in closer; “Town folks steer clear of that place. There is something strange about that hotel and you should steer clear of it as well.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“I’m not exactly sure what goes on there,” Samantha said, “but I can tell you what I’ve heard – guests have a habit of disappearing without a trace.”

“Surely that’s just rumours?” Stephen was unconvinced, “People don’t just disappear into thin air.”

“They do at Odendale Hotel.” Samantha insisted, “Please, don’t go there.”

“I have to.” Stephen said, “I need the money.”

Samantha could see that it was fruitless to try and convince him to stay; he had to learn the hard way that there were places on earth worse than death – and Odendale Hotel was one of them. She watched as he left the coffee shop and prayed to God that he wouldn’t become just another one of the people who disappeared never to be seen again.

Stephen’s shift started at 10AM and things went smoothly despite the creepy, dark, oil painting of agonising saints and avenging angels behind him that made his skin crawl. Out-of-towner guests checked in and out throughout the day giving him enough work to keep him busy, and despite working for what only felt like two hours, Stephen stated in an affidavit that would later form part of a police investigation, that night fell frighteningly fast. His digital wristwatch indicated that it was just after noon, but the digital clock on the wall opposite the front desk indicated that it was just after 22:00.

Confused at what had happened, Stephen stepped out from behind the front desk and only then realised how cold and deadly quiet the foyer had become. He stepped out onto the front steps of the hotel, stared up at the full moon and then inspected his watched that seemed to be in working order.

When Stephen stepped inside again he noted that his wristwatch was now synchronized with the watch against the wall and indicated that the time was 22:09, but he couldn’t help but feel that it was much earlier than his watch would want him to believe it was.

He stepped back behind the front desk and as he reached for the telephone receiver, he heard the elevator doors open. Despite it being out of sight, he could see shadows emerge from the elevator and after a moment of waiting for the guests, he stepped out from behind the front desk to investigate.

The elevator doors closed as they came within his line of site – the elevator was empty and there were no signs of the guests who cast the shadows. No matter where the guests would’ve gone – whether they would go to the main door, dining hall or stairway – they had to walk past the front desk.

“What the hell?” Stephen glanced around him at the empty foyer.

It was about that time that the night guard entered from the stairwell to Stephen’s relief.

“Did you see any guests just now?”

“Nope.” The guard said.

“The strangest thing just happened and I don’t know how to explain it.”

“Try me.” The guard chuckled with his own history of strange occurrences within the hotel.

“Well,” Stephen said, “It was lunch time just a few moments ago and now it’s the middle of the night. I’ve tried, but I can’t think of how I lost track of nearly eight hours.”

“That happens from time to time.” The guard said bluntly, “You’ll get used to it.”

“What do you mean?”

“I myself have found myself swamped in work that I don’t even notice how long I’ve been working.”

“This isn’t like that.” Stephen insisted, “And then there’s the elevator.”

“What about it?”

“I could’ve sworn I saw someone step out of it.” Stephen said, “But when I stepped closer for a better look, there was nothing.”

“Oh… that.” The guard said nodding, “I’ve seen that as well; shadows getting off the elevator – shadows without bodies to cast them. You’ll find the person who cast the shadows in the dining hall.”

Stephen glanced in the direction the guard pointed at and a cold shudder ran down his spine at the site of the dark and ominous-looking doors of the dining hall. When he turned to face the guard again, he was alone in the foyer.

He stumbled back a few feet rattled at the sudden isolation and glanced at the dining hall doors that now stood open with an uninvitingly dark dining hall behind it. The lights of the foyer flickered and an echoing whisper said, ‘come and see’.

Stephen stepped closer to the dining hall as if being drawn in like a moth to a flame. Though the dining room was empty and the chairs all stacked upside down on the tables, he had the undeniable feeling that he was being watched from inside the dining hall.

He stopped at the doorway despite the feeling of being pulled towards the darkness and that was when he noticed it; there was a shadow figure standing in the middle of the dining hall. Though he couldn’t see the figure’s face, Stephen could feel its eyes on him.

Come and see…” the whispers appeared to come from the shadow figure and the feeling that he was being pulled towards the darkness intensified. He tried to resist the urge to disappear into the darkness, but the more he resisted, the stronger the darkness pulled at his soul until he could feel his soul being plucked from his body. Stephen kept fighting back until he snapped free from the unseen force and stumbled back as the dining hall doors slammed shut with a bang.

Still on the floor, Stephen scampered back and stumbled to his feet as he rushed over to the front desk in a desperate attempt to call the police. When he dialled 911, the operator stated, ‘the number you have dialled does not exist’ and the line went dead.

Stephen grabbed his bag and ran out of the hotel. He made a statement at the police station the following day before moving back home to his mother’s house; telling the police officer that he was too spooked to even stay in Haysville in fear that the ‘overwhelming darkness’ of the hotel might get to him.

Edmond Harry, the jazz singer, was the just the popularity booster the hotel needed, but also the person to shed some light on the eerie going-ons within the hotel.

In an interview with Jazz Magazine, Edmond Harry said that he checked into the Odendale Hotel on March 4th, 1982 after a shot carburettor stranded him and immediately upon entering the hotel uncontrollable feelings of despair and hopelessness besieged him for no apparent reason. Sensations of oppression and whispering cold breezes tugged at his ears as he approached the front desk and its angels and saints painting with its endless, ominous, palpable aura of gloom that caused an asphyxiating, disconsolate and uncomfortable sensation that seemed to intensify the closer he got to the front desk.

“Though it was daytime,” Edmond Harry said in the interview, “It felt as if it was nearly midnight as I stood in front of the front desk while the clerk – whose demeanour suggested that he wanted me to feel intimidated – filled in the paperwork and handed me the key card to room 85. Taking the elevator to the third floor, I couldn’t help but get the sensation that the elevator was going down instead of up and when I reached my floor, the elevator stalled. When the doors finally opened, the sign up against the wall had an 8 on it while the elevator indicator was stopped on 3. A woman got into the elevator with me and pressed all the buttons from ground floor to 20… which I found very peculiar as the hotel only had four floors detectable by the windows one could see from the outside.

“The woman whose hair was ruffled and dirty turned to me with a jerk and said, ‘We can’t get out. There’s no way out.’ And just as the doors closed she ran out of the elevator again.

“The doors closed, but the elevator didn’t move again and when I stepped closer to investigate the doors opened to reveal a wall with a 3 on it.”

Edmond Harry further claimed that the elevator wasn’t the only surreal experience he had in the hotel and that he struggled to finally get out of the hotel with fears that he might never get home. According to his interview things only got more bizarre once he retired for the night and the odd happenings started with the room door that refused to stay shut – he finally had to put the chair up against the menacing door to keep it shut.

“Tired from a long day, I decided to take a long bath.” Edmond said in his interview, “About six minutes into my bath, I heard the chair falling over and the door creaking open again, so I got out, wrapped a towel around my waste and went back into the bedroom only to discover that the bedroom door had disappeared. The chair lay on its side and an entirely new wall was erected where the door used to be. I called the front desk to alert them to what was happening and when I told the clerk in what room I was trapped, he said that they had no room 85.”

Edmond Harry claims that if it weren’t for his faith in God that he might’ve died trapped in that room from which there seemed to be no escape.

“Concerned about the situation I was in,” Edmond said, “I tried to call 911, but the operator said that the number was no longer in use… so I called the only person I could think of – my father who is a pastor back home. I told him what was happening and we both said a prayer over the phone. When I opened my eyes I found myself standing next to the road about sixty yards from the hotel.”

Edmond Harry decided to go public with what he experienced in hopes of warning people to stay away from Odendale Hotel, but his plan backfired as more people than ever were interested in visiting the haunted hotel of Haysville.

During March and November 1982, the hotel saw an influx of guests thanks to the free publicity it got from Edmond Harry’s interview, but novelty quickly wore off when people dismissed the claims as mere shadows, cold spots and an elaborate publicity hoax as none of the guests reported seeing or experiencing anything out of the ordinary.

The Odendale Hotel only had twenty guests during December 1982; including Mr and Mrs Swanson and their ten year old son, Thomas – they were the first to experience supernatural occurrences as the hotel finally woke up and got back to its old tricks.

Mrs Swanson stated in a statement, which would later form part of a police investigation, that walking down the hallway with her family she could hear a fourth pair of footsteps behind them, despite her husband saying that he couldn’t. While her husband was taking an afternoon nap, she decided to take Thomas outside to play in the snow and spotted a figure in the elevator as the doors opened, but once fully opened, she noted that the elevator was in fact empty. Dismissing it as her imagination, they went down to the ground floor and stepped out into the cool December air.

Mrs Swanson sat down on one of the wicker chairs on the front porch as Thomas ran out in the snow towards the play area. The waiter came over to take her order and that was when she heard the sound that made any mother shiver with dread – her son screamed in agony. She turned to face the play area, but Thomas was nowhere in sight.

“Thomas!” She called out as she jumped to her feet.

She could still hear him screaming, “It’s got me!”

She rushed down the front steps and followed his footprints towards the play area, but the footprints stopped halfway across the snowy lawn and she could hear his terror-filled screams for help somewhere in the air above her.

“It’s got me!” Thomas screamed from somewhere unseen above her, “It wants to feed me to the hotel!”

“Thomas!” She cried out, “Where are you?”

As her eyes searched the sky above her, a thud against the hotel roof sent snow tumbling down to the covered bushes below and Thomas’s screams were gone. With the help of the security guards, Mr and Mrs Swanson searched the entire property, but couldn’t find Thomas anywhere and so the police were called out.

The new police chief had some concerns about what allegedly happened and remembered reading an old police report about similar happenings in the neighbouring town of Ashley back in the 1950s and asked the mayor of Haysville to close the hotel, but Mayor Green dismissed the request of the police chief without any reason, but Chief Davids decided to keep a close eye on the hotel.

Chief Davids had the Swansons put up in a small bed-and-breakfast in Haysville and decided to do some further investigation into the disappearance of their son… nobody ever heard from him again. The only piece of evidence in the disappearance of Chief Davids was the note he left his wife; ‘Going to the hotel to look for the boy.’

Mayor Green quickly appointed a new chief of police and did his best to cover up the disappearance of the old one and it wasn’t long before rumours started circulating that Mayor Green somehow had an interest in the ominous hotel and would do what he had to in order to protect it – but as with all rumours, it was impossible to prove it.

Less and less guests started checking into Odendale Hotel and in January 1983 it was completely vacant. Haysville residents said that they could hear hollering during the night coming from the direction of the hotel as if the building itself was calling out to victims to come and stay in its rooms of doom.

With no more rumours of people disappearing in the now deserted hotel, life returned to normal in Haysville until Chris Conner checked into the hotel on April 9th, 1983. He was on his way to a conference and decided to stop for the night after spotting an old billboard along the highway advertising the Odendale Hotel as his home away from home.

While checking in, the front desk clerk received a telephone call from a distraught woman claiming to be Chris Conner’s mother and that she had to speak to him as a matter of urgency. When she spoke to her son, she begged him to come home. She had a horrible vision of him burning to death in the hotel he was staying at – so upsetting was the vision that she called around until she could track down the hotel from her vision.

Chris tried to calm her down and reassure her that he would be alright and that he’d only stay the night, but she was persistent that he get out of the hotel immediately. To put her at ease, he told her that he’d simply rest for a moment and then leave as she wanted. The front desk clerk took the phone receiver from Chris and handed him the key card to his room.

When housekeeping came to his room the next morning, they found Chris burnt to a crisp where he sat in the chair with his hands upright as if clawing at something. His clothes were completely singed away and his corpse emitted black smoke as if he’d just been extinguished… everything else in the room was untouched.

A message was written against the wall above the bed in what seemed to be soot; ‘Mom was right.’

An inquest was opened into the death of Chris Conner and his death was declared accidental, but the incident sparked just enough controversy to draw in more curious guests, including Tom and Anthea Black – a couple who travelled the country as part of their 40th anniversary. They’d heard about the strange occurrences at the Odendale Hotel and decided to make it their final stop on their roadtrip.

The Blacks thought they’d merely experience the same shadowy figures they read about, but being as open minded as they were, they awakened something in the hotel they weren’t prepared for – something so unbelievable that both shocked and confused them so much that it caused them to be arrested for disorderly conduct at the Haysville train station. On their day in court, they told the judge of the occurrences in the hotel that led them to be arrested. Their testimony formed part of the transcribed record;


State your name.



Tom Black.



Do you swear to tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help you God? Raise your right and say “I do”



I do.



Thank you, your honour. Mr Black, could you please tell us what happened on the day you were arrested? June 20th, 1983?



My wife, Anthea and I, were on a roadtrip to celebrate our anniversary and decided to stop for the night at Odendale Hotel just outside of Haysville.



Right? And what happened?




We retired to our room at about nine that evening and while my wife was preparing for bed, we both heard scratching noises coming from inside or outside the room.



Scratching noises? Could you please specify whether it was inside or outside?



It was hard to tell. It might’ve been coming from beneath the floorboards. I called the front desk and told them what we heard, but the clerk simply said that it was the hotel floors settling in for the night.



Where are you going with this?



Your honour, I’m trying to ascertain in what state of mind the Blacks were when they were found and arrested. (A moment of silence). You may continue, Mr Black.



We awoke at three AM the next morning and heard the same scratching sounds coming from beneath the floorboards, but this time it was louder than before and we both had the overwhelming sensation that the floor was giving way beneath us.



What do you mean?



It felt almost like the feeling you get when you dream of falling – only, we were both awake.

My wife turned on the bedside lamp and the floor of our room seemed blurry and seemingly spinning. That’s when I called the front desk and told the clerk what was happening. I told him that we needed help in room 53 and he said that he had nobody checked into room 53 – but I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was lying and quite enjoyed hearing my distress.



And what happened next?



The line went dead and the receiver fell out of my hand as something jerked the phone underneath the bed. We heard footsteps out in the hallway and started calling out for help, but… (stutters) our calls for help sounded weird.



What do you mean?



Our calls for help had a strange echo and was being repeated by voices from unseen beings as if they were mocking us. It sounded as if the voices came from all around us, but we were alone in the room… all the while the falling sensation we were both feeling increased.



And what happened next?



The lights went out the same time that the door flung open. We could see shadows being cast by the hallway light, but the shadows entered without any bodies casting them. The shapeless shadows surrounded the bed and that’s when the floor opened up and tried to swallow me. (starts crying) Anthea grabbed me by the arms and pulled with all her might while something the hole was pulling my legs down into the darkness below. She finally managed to pull me free and we made a run for the door. It felt like my 70 year-old heart was about to explode, but we didn’t look back. We just kept running to get as far away from that evil place.



And then you ended up at the train station?



Yes. It was just after seven AM. Somehow we lost four hours. We tried to get people to help us, but nobody wanted to… and the worst part of it all was that they all looked like they knew exactly what we were talking about – they simply chose to ignore us.



I have no further questions.

The front desk clerk of Odendale Hotel was called to testify to the events of the night in question and informed the court that they had no record of the Blacks ever checking into the hotel. The judge ruled that the Blacks had suffered a collective hallucination and discharged them.

About a week after the trial an anonymous source approached the court with all the police reports about complaints about the Odendale Hotel spanning nearly five years as well as speculation that the mayor had something to do with the disappearances.

After reading through the reports as well as the only two remaining reports about similar events that happened in the town of Ashley in the 1950’s, the judge ordered that the hotel be shut down for good in fear that more disappearances might occur and that it could even spread to the town of Haysville.

A demolition team arrived on November 1st, 1985 to tear down the abandoned hotel that seemed just as eerie as when it was first built and on November 10th, the last of the rubble was removed from the site.

During March of 1990, after five years of vacancy, a billboard was erected on the lot advertising that a new shopping mall would be built there soon. Construction of the shopping mall started during May of 1990 and during the first week of June, residents of Haysville reported seeing all of the town’s cats running down Main Road in the direction of the construction site.

The End

If you liked this eerie tale, why not try another equally eerie tale by Eduard Joseph?

The disappearance of Ashley

In August of 1952, the entire town of Ashley disappeared along with its residents. There were no witnesses, no clues and no evidence… until now.


I’ve always loved a good ghost story and after positive feedback about Disappearance of Ashley, I decided to try and create the ultimate haunted abode; Odendale Hotel. I did some research into real-life supernatural experiences people had while in hotels and the one about the shadows getting off an elevator really got to me as I myself have seen these “Shadow People” who have no bodies to cast the shadows.

The sounds under the floorboards was inspired by the sounds I hear coming from my neighbour’s apartment – when they do something in their bathroom, it sounds almost as if scratching noises are coming from within our walls.

Though some of the incidents in this story was inspired by true incidents, this story is completely fictional.

Hotel Horror Story

  • ISBN: 9781311645173
  • Author: Eduard Joseph
  • Published: 2015-11-28 21:20:09
  • Words: 5456
Hotel Horror Story Hotel Horror Story