Last weekend I went to a reunion for my old hotel job where I worked for 7 years, but quit over 6 years ago. Actually, I helped organize the damn thing and totally expected only 3 people to show up, but more like 30 people attended the picnic in the park. That is pretty amazing considering most jobs you quit you just want to put out of your mind forever. There was something special about that hotel, the owners made us feel like a family. I worked in reservations and then became the HR Manager, but I was friends with the front desk staff, the housekeepers, the construction crew, the maintenance staff and everyone on the admin floor. So many people came and went, but there was a certain kind of personality that tended to stay there for years. Sadly, the owners lost the hotel to some bad business dealings and some rich, soulless fellow turned it into a fancy schmancy modern bore and all the old staff got laid off.

During its reign, however, a lot of weird shit went down over the years.

When I first started working there, I knew immediately that it was haunted. The hotel was undergoing constant renovations, which is the surest way to stir any ghost. It was built in 1926 and was first an apartment hotel used to house people traveling to and from Alaska and later turned into a co-op, before becoming a real, full service hotel. When I was there, some of the people that had bought apartments there still lived there and they were getting quite old. Many people died in that building over the years, including one tenant named Kay. The EMT’s brought down her body via the elevator and they took her out through the lobby. My friend Chris who worked the front desk said when he got in that elevator a bit later, it was cold as an icebox. Back in the 60’s, the housekeeping staff doubled as prostitutes. One of them either jumped out or was thrown out of the 9th floor window onto a vent on the 3rd floor roof. You can still see a dent there to this day. Another decade later, a female guest dove out of her 10th floor hotel room into the 4th Avenue traffic below.

When I was there, the old owners of the hotel still lived there, Dick and Velva; those were their actual names, I swear to god. I would sort their mail and Dick had a subscription to Playboy magazine that arrived in a brown paper cover. Dick ended up getting terminal cancer and soon became despondent. There was worry that he would jump off the roof, but instead he took an overdose of Morphine, which ended his suffering. Some say he still haunts the building.

There have always been complaints of strange, unexplained noises, especially from room 904 in the summer of 1998. Almost nightly people complained of not being able to sleep due to the rattling and goings on in the room above them. Thing is, that room was closed for renovation and uninhabited by anyone of this earth.

Anyway, the next reunion will be a pool party

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  1. Prolifique Says:

    That is so cool. I love haunted places, and hotels are notorious. I guess it’s because of the sheer number of souls who pass through at one point or another.

  2. aimee Says:

    have you ever written about that whole valet fiasco? that makes quite a story!

  3. Becky Says:

    just reading about this gave me the creeps, but kind of deliciously. I LOVE Dick and Velma, such perfect characters for a novel.

  4. LJ Says:

    I love hotel ghost stories. Tell us more!!

  5. crystal Says:

    i worked at a haunted movie theater in high school. it’s not there anymore or i would love to go see what it’s like now.

    thanks for the comment on my sleevefaces and flyer!

  6. Kim Says:

    That is such a cool story!! I remember jobs like that (not as exciting I am sure!) but where we became like family, like at a restaurant I once worked, for example… That is so cool you organized that party; seems like it really meant a lot to everyone.

    (Ugh! I can read, but cannot post to you from my office computer for some reason… don’t know why.)

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