Maybe it was the fact that I took a Ghost Tour of Chattanooga a few years back, maybe it's the fact that I am typically alone and have an over heightened sense of what's around me, or maybe, just maybe, I spook easily.
In the 20's there was a lady by the name of Annalisa Netherly who stayed at the Read House for an extended period of time, common in her era. So the story goes she was caught with another man by her husband who did not hesitate to practically decapitate her in the bathtub. She now haunts the hotel with a particular dislike for men that smoke. The room was originally 311, although through renovations and such, it could be the present day 313. Regardless, here I sit on my rather comfortable bed in the smallish room of 307. The story really started last week where I lucked out and had a decent size king suite on the sixth floor. Here are the ten things that have spooked me so in this classic antebellum hotel in down-town Chattanooga.
1. Last week, I thought it to be a good idea to take pictures of room 311. This took pounds, well, tons of courage. Camera in hand, I jumped on the rickety elevator and nervously pressed 3. Each floor, as you step out of the elevator has a wall mirror mounted that must be 18 feet long and 10 feet high. Seeing my pale white skin in this mammoth reflective glass was just the start. I edged around the corner, camera on and ready to shoot for I did not know if or how fast I would need to run. Just two doors down, I stopped frozen in front of room 311. My knees trembled and my arm would not raise the camera at first, but after what seemed like days, the camera finally came up to eye level and focus on the door. I snapped exactly two pictures and then turned around to walk away, but paused and turned back to look down the hallway for one last shot. The click of the camera told me I had a hallway shot and I steadily spun around to leave this floor. As my turn was almost complete, I heard a large crashing sound and took flight for the elevator, heart pounding, blood racing. I live to tell, so I must have been able to focus enough motor skills to get back on the elevator and press 6.
2. As I was checking in this week, I glanced down at the paper with my room number and all important WIFI access code listed and noticed room 307 written in blue ink with the most perfect penmanship. I casually asked the desk clerk if there was any need to be concerned sleeping on the third floor. She responded "You should be OK, but if you run into any issues, just come back down and we can move you."
3. The walls are very thin and my room backs up to the elevators. Every second I'm in here resonates with clicks, clacks and grindings of steel cables on pulleys as the elevator whisks guests between floors.
4. I ordered room service last night as I was in the need for nourishment after happy hour down the street. My favourite dish from Porters consists of coconut batter deep fried shrimp, crab cakes smother with this corn relish tartar saucy concoction and seared ahi tuna sliced not too thin and topped with salsa fresca. After a 20 minute wait, a knock on the door; I'll admit I jumped. She delivered to my room, exactly as I asked. She was quite beautiful at 5' 8" with pale skin and light blonde hair and probably mid 20's. What did not fit was her voice; she spoke to me in the voice of a five year old, spooky. I devoured my food, felt much better and decided to step out for some fresh air. As if the evening could foster any more fascination, I stepped into the elevator which was preoccupied by an early teenage boy with a voice as deep as Cash as he said good evening and how do you do. Later...
There she was, the same pale figure appeared as I stepped out of my room to take a stroll at 10:09. She was walking towards me from the opposite end of the hall, closely approaching room 311, and me, walking towards her, closely approaching the elevator. Expecting company in the elevator, I held the door open for a minute, until I heard a door slam. I'm checking out tomorrow and wondering what my next week will bring. She will be the only human I see on this floor.
5. I perched in my comfy queen bed, laptop in lap trying to get some work completed before retiring. Background noise is brought to you by the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain. After a few back to back episodes, I decided a break and a brisk walk around the building was needed. I arose from my perch, slipped on some boots and a jacket and grabbed my room card. Reaching for the door, a sort of heat, subtle, but detectable, emanated from the door just as the Travel Channel slipped to DIY Network sporting a section on bathroom remodelling. Done, get me out of here.
6. The channel changed four more times.
7. I have yet, in four nights here, not seen a single person walking on the third floor. The closest was the guy who stepped out as I was stepping in, thinking he was in the lobby.
8. Taking a shower this morning, I had taken a towel off of the shelf and set it on the toilet (which was closed) and upon exit of the shower, my towel was on the floor.
9. See #7, I heard a dog barking right outside my door earlier this evening.
10. When I returned from a day at work, my bed was made, my trash removed, my toiletries replenished, pillows fluffed and coffee stocked, this by far, the spookiest of them all.
I contemplated not running the full 10 things as I will continue to grace the hotel with my presence over the next few weeks, in the haunted confines of down-town Chattanooga, but I figure there could always be a part deuce.
This weeks brews:
- Southsidenstein Stout from The Terminal Brewhouse
- Housebrand IPA from Big River Brewing
This weeks tunage:
- Nelly - 5.0 Deluxe Version