If you haven’t already noticed, I have a pretty vivid imagination. I’m one of those people easily influenced by the power of suggestion. If you say I should get a mole checked out on my arm, I’ll immediately think, “OMG, I HAVE CANCER” and will spend the next thirty minutes of my life plotting out my will. (Matt gets everything.) My wild imagination isn’t always a curse, and in fact, it’s responsible for helping launch my career in creative copywriting. But sometimes… like this last weekend… I wish I could just turn that imagination off, and be ‘Betty Bland N’ Plain’, with no tall tales swirling around in my brain.
Matt and I spent the weekend in Big Bear Lake at a historic Mansion. We were staying in the Carriage House, an old building used for…. yep, you guessed it, housing carriages. This house was built in 1917, and the main lodge was built in 1879. Our room was pretty small and dusty, but there wasn’t anything particularly ooky-spooky about it. A little dated, a little country clutter, but it’s not like I found blood stains on the mattress – and the only dead body that I could see was the taxidermy trout perched above the bed. I even proclaimed that the room definitely wasn’t haunted – cuz you know, I’m like an expert on that stuff. We checked in, put our stuff down, and headed out pretty quickly to grab dinner since our tummies were rumbling.
We came back to a slightly eerie surprise – classical music was softly playing in the room. Our first guess was the radio – but nope, the alarm clock wasn’t on. We finally realized it was the phone that had some sort of hold button that played classical music. BUT WHO TURNED IT ON?! Matt and I were busy nomming on Cabin Cuisine, far away from the hotel room and creepy classical-music playing phone. Whatever – we moved on, a little spooked but just assuming it was on a timer or something (we talked to other guests who also experienced this – so maybe it was on a hotel wide timer?)
We ended up seeing Crazy Stupid Love that night (it was cute!), and when we came home at 11:30, the whole carriage house was dark, our neighbors all peacefully snoring in their tiny, creaky beds. We crept into bed, and with the light flicked off, I regressed to my five year old self and started to imagine cold fingers on my neck and monsters under the bed. I finally drifted off to sleep, but Matt and I were both startled awake around 3 AM from a large crash. You know when you’re woken up suddenly, and your heart pounds, and your eyes are frantically trying to catch up to the lack of light in the room? We both had that, and suddenly, my ‘spidey sense’ was tingling even more, crazed with anticipation of some axe-wielding, gold-panning demon ready to harvest my soul.
I managed to fall back asleep and awoke the next morning to find my makeup bag spilled inside of the sink with a few things on the floor. Big deal, right? Stuff falls all the time. However, look at the picture of Matt above. See the vanity counter? It’s tiny. And I made sure to push the bag all the way against the backsplash, purposely so it wouldn’t fall – cuz I use Lancome foundation, and that shiz is expensive, and I’ve broken the glass bottle before. So I kinda tried to make sure it couldn’t fall – no matter what. Weird – for sure. IT GETS WEIRDER!
The next day, Sunday, I was shopping at one of the local stores when I started talking with the shop owner. I mentioned where we were staying, and she asked how I liked it. I explained that it had been a little creepy at night, and she laughed and said “Oh yes! My daughter worked there in high school as a maid – she eventually quit because of the ghost of a little girl who died there. She just got too creeped out.. they never hurt her or anything, but it just got weird!”
Little girl? The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Little girls love playing with makeup. Suddenly and randomly, a name popped up in my mind – EMILY. Emily was playing with my makeup. I don’t what kind of koolaid I’d been drinking, but in my mind, it suddenly made sense – it was the little ghost girl, Emily, playing with my makeup. Needless to say, Sunday night was a rough night for sleep – I kept one eye open, convinced a transparent little girl would pop up in front of my eyes, giggling, asking me to play with her. She never did pop up, thankfully. That was the end of the spookiness, but I left Big Bear with a great story – and an appreciation for my seemingly un-haunted house, where the only spirits are stowed high up in the liquor cabinet.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly experience? Do you find your imagination prods you to believe in things that just might not be there?
**Note – A few yelp reviews pointed out a “weird feeling” in the room we were staying in – one person even said they felt a “demonic” presence. Luckily, nothing felt harmful – just a little creepy crawly!