A friend of mine and I were speaking tonight regarding hotels. He's on a business trip in the metropolis of Erie, Pennsylvania, and staying at a local 'comfort' inn of sorts..
But there's not much comforting about his home for the night. He said a walk down the halls seems to be an eerie reminder of the SHINING's Overlook hotel. Maybe Jack Torrance will pop out from behind a corner.. maybe those twin girls from Stanley Kubrick's version of the Stephen King classic will show up in the distance..
I told my friend to cue up some classic Art Bell Ghost to Ghost. He may, but he will also be reading a nonfiction account of serial killers. He's got a nightmare-wish if you ask me..
Yes, indeed, there is just something about the lonely hotel scene that can scare the wits out of someone..
What is it about those long and lonely hallways? Is it the carpeting? The wallpaper?
Numerous hotels and bed and breakfasts seem to have that creepy feeling. There is a feeling that a soul can leave an impression on the place where it rests. . often deaths occur within the walls of hotel rooms. And even more, there are ghost tours, ghost seances, and top ten lists littering the Internet of the scariest hotels to stay in.
It still doesn't answer the question, though, of what is it about hotels that scare us so much.
I pondered this issue this evening a bit.. I have a theory on why. I think it's because of the vacancy of the hotel, because of the fact that it's only temporary. In a sense, a hotel is equitable to life in general. In life, we inhabit a platform to work and play, we rent a body, or a container if you believe in the Grays creating theory, and then we check out. We leave the body and we leave the play.. We're only here for a short while. Sometimes our stay is fun, sometimes it's lonely.. sometimes we cry out in sadness night after night at local and global horrors.. And sometimes we sleep with pride and love with beauty overshadowing us..
In a hotel, it's no different.
Hundreds of people have stayed in the same room that you're guesting in when you sleep there. Some of them have fought, some of them have loved, some of them probably loved in a messy way (check the sheets with a black light) .. and some have died there.
That is right.
Some people have met their maker, if we have one, in a hotel room..
Imagine that! Renting a body and leaving it while you're renting a room.. no one to pay the bill except and empty soulless vessel.
Yes, hotels are strange places.
There is so often a lonely quality about them.. Even if you're sharing a room with someone else, you still get an overwhelming sense that you're all on your own, on the defensive, and constantly checking over your shoulder for dangers both hidden and overt.
No matter what kind of lobby a hotel has, no matter what kind of rooms service, and no matter how much you enjoy the pay per view movies, two things are clear: 1) There will be a bill to pay, just as there will be when we perish from this planet, and 2) There will be a part of a hotel, a room, or a hallway, that zaps a smile from your face and fills you with a foreboding sense that something bad will happen.
When I gave my overall thought to my friend in Erie, PA tonight, that hotels are a reminder of the impending end of the line, or 'check out,' we'll all make, he replied "LOL I'm more scared of the sheets in a hotel." Obviously he's keeping up a smile in the lonely hotel room, somewhere out there in the middle of somewhere.