Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghostly Yapping

Happy Halloween! I actually have a lot of Halloween stories -- my fave being when I was in NYC, in a cab, with a cabbie who'd been in the U.S. exactly 2 try explaining what Halloween is to someone who barely speaks your native tongue and thinks it's the most bizarre religious practice he's ever seen -- but today's story will be a tad more recent.

However, before we get to that, there's other things to get to first! The yap is yapping in not one but TWO interviews, and one of those interviews is bi-lingual, so it's almost like three interviews, if two of them said the same thing but in different tongues. Which they do.

So, head over to Lazy Literature where you can catch the latest interview with moi. For those who read German you can enjoy the same and let me know if the jokes translate.

Then head over to ALPHA Reader where Kitty and Martini are offering their tips for a healthy relationship.

Didn't win an ARC of Alien vs. Alien? Not to despair -- ALPHA Reader has you covered, with a contest to win an ARC of, you guessed it, Alien vs. Alien. Short window, so get entered to win today! And if you missed it from yesterday, check out ALPHA Reader's review of Alien vs. Alien while you're there.

Last but not least, hit My 5 Monkeys to see another great shot of how to be Kitty for Halloween. (Is this THE most comfortable costume ever? My vote is yes.)

Speaking of voting, a reminder that Alien Proliferation is nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction and it needs all your votes to have a chance against the really impressive competition. Thanks to all of you whose reviews of the bookie wookie gave it this honor in the first place, and thanks to all of you who have or will vote.

And now, the ghost story I promised you.

As you know, I was in Douglas, AZ earlier this month at the Hotel Gadsden. The Gadsden has a rep as a haunted hotel. I've been to many haunted hotels. Never been haunted. Perhaps because I was never alone in a room at these hotels, perhaps because they're not all that haunted. Perhaps because they're not the freaking most haunted joint around.

The Hotel Gadsden is gorgeous -- marble columns, stained glass windows, very Old West and Roaring 20's feel. Elevator has to be operated or you take the stairs. I'm given Room 334. (This will be important later, so remember it.) I get onto the hall and it just feels creepy. The lobby did not feel creepy. But I'm on the 3rd floor waiting for a kid on a tricycle to come by saying "Redrum, redrum." I decide my active imagination is in overdrive and ignore.

Get into my room. As many (aka anyone who's ever stayed in a hotel room with me) can attest, even if I'm only there for 1 night, I hang stuff up and put it away. It's just my "thing". I'm here for 2 nights. I open the closet, decide it feels creepier than the hallway, shut the door and hang nothing up. I don't put things into the chest of drawers, either. Realize I need an extra pillow, check the creepy closet, there's one in there, grab it, and slam the closet door shut again.

The bathroom is directly across from the closet. I don't like being in this bathroom. I tell myself this is just because it's small and that imagination of mine is in hyperdrive. Of course, the creepy closet is across from the bathroom and you can see it in the mirror. I watch that closet in the mirror every time I'm in the bathroom.

It's a 4+ hour drive from Phoenix to Douglas and I was up late every night the week before. I decide I'm tired as hell and go to bed early. Not too much trouble falling asleep. Somewhere after midnight but before 4am, I wake up, feeling pressure and a tingling all over my body, but especially from the waist up and on my face. Come fully awake and realize the feeling is real.

I manage to say, "Shove off, this is my bed." Nothing changes. I then say, "NO. Get OFF. This is MY bed now." And the pressure stops. Yahoo. I roll over and go back to sleep.

I'm all jazzed about this the next day -- I've been haunted! Whoo! I figure it was someone lying down to go to bed; maybe two someone's because the pressure was REALLY strong. But whatever.

Now, Weston Ochse and Yvonne Navarro are also at this event. We have dinner together and are hanging out after in their suite on the 4th floor. The 4th floor is not creepy. At all. It's cozy. Wes and Yvonne have just gotten back from a Haunted Writer's Retreat in a confirmed as VERY haunted mansion. We're discussing this, and Wes shares that he's extremely affected physically by the paranormal.

As we go on, we realize Yvonne's seen what we're fairly sure is a full body apparition. On the 3rd floor. I mention my experiences. Yvonne says I can sleep on their pullout bed. Wes and I chuckle. I mean, nothing bad happened and it could still have been my imagination. But, to ease my mind, Wes offers to take a looksee.

Keep in mind that Wes has spent a career in Covert Ops. This is the man you want to be near whenever stuff gets real, because he's the most calm, in command, and unflappable person around. So, I figure, Wes will check out my floor and room, declare me a Silly Writer Girl, and we all go to bed.

We get onto the 3rd floor, and Wes agrees this place feels creepy, but we both think it's the tile on the floor and the lighting. And then Wes gets near my room. "WHOA!" He's covered with goose-pimples. "There's something here."

We get into my room, and Wes gets into the Closet of Creepiness. And turns white. And more goose-pimply. "There is something in here. And it's malevolent."

You do NOT need to tell me twice. When the guy who is the least likely person in ANY room and ANY situation to be scared is scared for you and suggesting you come right back up and ensure he and the wife cannot have sexy times because he'd rather you were alive the next day, you freaking back your bags and RUN.

I do just that -- run into the bathroom that's a lot less scary 'cause Wes is here, change into my nightclothes, grab my pillows and grab what I need for the night, while Wes grabs the blankets. I mention that I've taken the one pillow out of the closet. Wes grabs the pillow, tosses it back IN the closet, and says these words to live by, "When you open a closet and feel Satan inside, do NOT take a pillow out of it and put it on your bed!"

Up in the safety of the cozy 4th floor with Wes & Yvonne, it dawns on me that there's one other thing that could have been why I felt so much pressure -- if someone was on top of me, smothering me with a pillow. I'm an asthmatic. It doesn't take much to stop us from breathing.

Fully creeped out, the next day, Yvonne goes down with me. It's daylight, and she opens the curtains so sunlight's streaming in. She feels nothing. Could sleep in the closet it's so nothing. So, I have her trot off while I get dressed and pack. She's not gone 10 minutes when the creepy feeling comes back. "Aha," I say with false bravado. "You're afraid of Yvonne. She's a ray of light. Well, leave me alone or SHE'LL BE BACK!"

When I check out, I tell this story. They LOVE to hear how you've been haunted at the Hotel Gadsden because everyone gets haunted there. It turns out that the most haunted room in this place is Room 333. You know, RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my room. And all the closets in that area creep out everyone who stays there. "Could the closets be a portal?" the desk clerk asks me. "Maybe to Hell or another dimension?"

I was too busy running to my car to reply.

For those who indulge, have a happy, fun, and above all safe Halloween. And let's be readers of ghost stories and monster stories and things that go bump in the night stories out there!


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Anonymous Kent said...

Gave me a shiver to read. There are people that seem to effect such .. manifestations in a way that surpresses them like Yvonne or others like her.

November 1, 2012 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger W Mac said...

I would have slept in the car or the lobby. Sorry just not that brave.

November 2, 2012 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Gini Koch said...

Yeah, they're attracted to me, Kent. LOL and Mac, I'd have been in the brightly lit lobby but for the kindness and pullout couch of Wes and Yvonne's. :-D

November 2, 2012 at 7:45 PM  

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