Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ghost Busters We're Not

“You put us in a hotel that is HAUNTED?”
Thirty minutes after booking the room for our overnighter in Sedalia, I discovered that the hotel of my choice, the glorious Hotel Bothwell in downtown Sedalia, had been featured on one of those hauntedhotel shows. Kelly and I decided not to tell the girls, but I wondered if maybe that’s why a small suite at the Bothwell cost no more than a standard room at the Best Western.
They found out when their cheerleader friends at the fairgrounds asked where they were sleeping that night. “We can’t stay there, we can’t stay there, we're hungry, we can't stay there” they shouted all the way across town. “Look,” I said in my best now-girls-let’s-be-reasonable voice, “all the so-called paranormal activity only happens on the third floor. There are seven floors, so the chances of us getting a room on the third floor are slim.”


Kelly and the girls checked in while I got the rest of our luggage, and I heard familiar screams and nervous laughter as I walked in. Kelly held up our room key, clearly marked 320. “We’re doomed,” one of the girls moaned.
It was a tense ride up the elevator. The girls didn’t notice the fabulous lobby, with the crystal chandelier, the brilliant polished wood and the gleaming brass, the lovely fabrics on the chairs and walls. It was stunning.

They jumped at every step, every shadowy doorway, every corner. They balked entering the room, holding each other and screeching. They went to the bathroom with the door open.
It took hours for them to settle down as their imaginations took hold of them. Of course, Kelly and I didn’t help, scratching on their door, turning out lights, making sudden “what’s that” sounds and “buwawhahaaaa” laughs.

It was actually a lot of fun, for at least two of us. Apparently the ghosts are accused of stealing small trinkets during the night, so Kelly and I tempted them with her cheer pin. It was still there when we awoke, so perhaps the spirits had the weekend off.

Haunted or not, I love these old grand hotels with their aging luxury. They are like scenes from movies, romantic old movies. They are packed with history, and the Bothwell, built in 1927, is no exception. Like all these old places, famous people visited often, including Harry Truman and Scott Joplin. And now, our girls.

We are going back again, but next time, sans children. The ghosts will have to decide for themselves. The girls won't be there to scare them off....

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