Since Halloween is around the corner this is a fitting time to put this one out there. Bossman and I traveled across the state for work a few weeks ago. There was no hotel availability in the town of Elizabethton in northeast TN, so we ended up in Greeneville. The hotel was the General Morgan Inn (https://www.generalmorganinn.com/). It’s absolutely lovely, an old hotel built in the 1800s with a long and storied past. And, most importantly, rumors of ghosts.
I love ghost stories. I was always terrified of the dark when I was a kid because I read ghost stories and spooky tales religiously and scared myself silly. I also have a vivid imagination and crappy eyesight, so I can turn nothing into something and it’s usually a terrifying spooky drooly something.
Then I lived in some places that were…if not haunted then very odd….and I lived alone for a really long time. You can’t constantly be spooked if you live alone. You’d die of a heart attack. So I outgrew it. Mostly.
I learned a very important factoid about Bossman while on our recent adventures. Bossman does not appreciate the idea of ghosts. Which amused me. So I looked up the history of the hauntings and chatted about ghosts as we got ready to go on our adventure. He was not pleased about the ghost talk but was excited about the historical markers in front of almost every building downtown. The entrance to the hotel is amazing and the ambiance is southern class and charm.
I went to my room which was directly across the hall from his. I explored a bit and was surprised to find a phone just above and to the right of the toilet. For….toilet emergencies? I wasn’t sure, but it amused me. A phone started ringing in the bedroom. I expected it to be the phone by the bed, but to my surprise, there was another phone on the desk between the bed and the short hall to the bathroom. I answered to hear Bossman excitedly tell me he was calling from the bathroom. We discussed how weird that was, then hung up. I walked over to the bed and sat down just in time for the desk phone to ring again. I answered to hear Bossman exclaiming about the phone by the bed. I agreed. He hung up and I went to sit down. As soon as I sat down the phone rang. I answered to chorus along with him that there was a phone on the desk. I told him if he found any more phones he was not allowed to call me. I hung up.
We drove around the little town exploring and found the most beautiful scenic route around the town. Big hills, picturesque farming land, forested areas, lovely old graveyards, it was just delightful. I was enchanted. He, however, was busy telling his wife what to do and getting himself yelled at. But I was enchanted.
He started asking about food options. We’d driven around aimlessly and hadn’t seen any particularly interesting restaurants. I pulled over to google our options. I listed out options, pros and cons, reviews, explained which photos looked good and which looked staged, details about local specialties, etc. I realized I’d been talking for a long time. He’d been quiet a long time. That’s never a good sign. I look over to see him playing with his phone. He eventually felt my glare and looked up, startled, like he’d forgotten I was there.
After a brief, intense spat I announced we were going back to the hotel. We looked in a couple cute shops around the little downtown area and between being irritated with him and tired from walking an entire 20 feet, I was ready for food.
When we went to dinner in the restaurant attached to the hotel I asked the waitress about the ghosts in the building. She happily explained that a waitresses’ spirit haunted the dining room we ate in. Bossman got pale. Then she explained people on the third floor of the hotel often called to complain about loud noises throughout the night in neighboring rooms that were empty. Little kids could be heard running up and down the hallway giggling. Bossman started fidgeting. People complained of someone knocking on doors and then disappearing. All around 3am. Bossman was not having it. He was jumpy and wide-eyed and threatening to sleep in the car.
Up to our rooms we waddled, Bossman quietly insisting to Gracie the Green Room Ghost that she stay her ass downstairs as we left the restaurant. I was so tickled at him for being so freaked out. I wanted so badly to knock on his door but the hallway was just wide enough I didn’t think I’d be able to get back into my room in time without being caught. I didn’t want to annoy him, I wanted to scare him. I snorted in ladylike and classy amusement as I brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. I turned the Predators game on, sprawled out in a giant bed just for me, and relaxed. The ceilings were insanely high and the ac had to work really hard to keep the temperature somewhat stable. The walls were also paper thin. I could hear my neighbors’ conversations, TV, and their AC unit was right behind my head. I started to regret not bringing earplugs. Being a light sleeper is the worst in hotels.
Eventually, the game was over and I was ready to try and pass out. I turned off the TV, made sure the alarm was set and turned off the bedside light.
I listened to the neighbors’ conversation about the medication they may or may not have forgotten to bring. I listened to the air turn on and off. I listened to the neighbors’ air turn on and off. I flopped around. And then, finally, I started to drift. And the most ominous feeling crept up my neck. Like someone was leaning over me.
I flipped on the light, peered around with my weak little hamster eyes, and realized what I’d done. In creeping out Bossman I must have creeped myself out. I laughed at myself, figured it served me right, turned off the light and laid back down. The same strong, ominous feeling crept up my back, up to my neck, and made all my hair stand on end. I ignored it, telling myself to stop being an idiot. I had lived in places I was pretty sure were haunted and had experienced all sorts of creepy stuff. This felt worse than that. Which made zero sense, there was nothing making any sort of noise. I laid there barely able to breathe until I finally turned the light back on. I decided to just turn lights on and feel stupid. I turned back in with lights blazing around me and still felt uncomfortable. Not even scared, just really on edge. However, I couldn’t even be irritated at anyone but myself. I did it.
The temperature of the room fluctuated wildly and every time either of the AC units turned on, I woke up. I had bizarre dreams and woke repeatedly to fall asleep back in the same dream. It was disorienting. I finally surfaced right before my alarm went off. I was laying on my stomach and turned the alarm on my phone off so it wouldn’t startle me as I had no interest in trying to sleep anymore anyway. As I set the phone back down on the nightstand what felt like a hand grabbed the back of my leg right above my knee and slid up my leg. I instinctively smacked my hand down on my leg above the sensation and whipped around.
There was nothing there. The sensation disappeared as soon as I turned. There was no odd sound. There was natural light coming in and all the lights around my bed were on. But the ominous sensation was gone too.
I don’t know what the heck happened. I am not saying it was a ghost. I am just saying I don’t know what it was. And as much as I mocked him (and will likely continue to mock him) Bossman might have been right about getting better sleep in the car. And I won’t be arguing with him about not staying in that hotel again.
However, if you’re the brave sort, go stay. Be sure to get a room on the third floor. I was in 315 if you want to try and see if something touches you.
Also, while there, get the creme brulee. It’s amazing.