It was the summer of ‘99. My family and I had finally decided to take our long deserved vacation. At this time I was 16 and was starting to really explore a lot. Getting into trouble, picking up smoking, just being a nuisance in general.
We were taking a road trip to Colorado at the time. We stopped at a shady hotel, desperate for sleep. My mother and father were both sleep deprived, and I didn’t know how to drive at the time, so we decided to stay against better judgment.
As we took our luggage in, the check-in counter was cluttered with papers, pens, and a very grubby looking man stood behind the counter. He grunted as he looked at us, shoving papers aside as he slammed the check-in book down and opened it. My parents simply quickly signed, paid and took the key to the room.
As we went up he grunted once more and I could feel his eyes following me the whole time. It made me scared, that was for sure. I didn’t feel safe. I would never admit that to my parents though. They were far too tired and didn’t want to hear complaining and wanted to simply sleep.
The stress started to build on me from the building and the stuffy room started to make me sweat. I decided now would be a good time to sneak out and take a smoke, even if it meant having to pass that creepy man again.
I took my pack of smokes, hiding them in my pocket as I checked to make extra sure my parents were asleep and then took the key and stepped out. I had decided that the elevator would make the least amount of noise. The staircase had a very loud door that squeaked like the nine hells.
I pressed the elevator button and sighed softly, rubbing my temples. The sleep deprivation was starting to hit me too, but I needed to leave and get fresh air and de-stress. The elevator came up, but the doors seemed to jam a bit.
I growled under my breath and pushed the door open and it gave its soft ding as usual. Thinking nothing more of it, I stepped in and jabbed the 1st floor button, watching the doors slowly and jitteringly close shut.
As the elevator started to lower, I could feel how old the building might have been. The elevator seemed very weak and slow and it kept squeaking very loudly. My heart started to pound unnaturally fast from fear of it breaking.
Almost as if on cue, it felt like I was free falling. I was terrified. I felt like I was going to die in this elevator.
All of a sudden, however, the elevator halted very quickly and sent me to the ground, panting and holding a hand to my breast as I tried to catch my breath. I looked at the display to see where the elevator had stopped, but the numbers were not there. Only two red dashes.
Finally finding my feet, I stumbled up against back wall of the elevator and gently put a hand to my neck as my head tilted back, trying to regain my breath. At this point, the lights flickered and dimmed. I started to pull at the doors but they didn’t work. Nothing would budge.
I sighed, my body starting to shake a bit from nerves and fear. I didn’t want to be stuck here. I quickly felt around my pockets. The only thing I could find was my lighter and cigs. No phone.
I cursed loudly under my breath and slumped up against the back wall, wrapping my arms around my legs as I slid down. After what was maybe a few more minutes of silence and darkness, the lights flicked back on and the number on the elevator showed 6. “What…? Six..? How..?” I asked myself quietly.
The hotel we were staying at didn’t have 6 floors. It didn’t even have 5 floors. We were staying on the 4th, but the elevator seemed to fall for at least 10. I tried to pry the doors open once more, trying anything I could to open the doors, simply wanting to be out of the elevator and out of this building hopefully.
After prying with what seemed like five more minutes, I gave up and slumped over once more. Then the lights flickered once more, and the doors cracked open just enough to let me through if I squeezed with all my might. Wanting to get out more than anything, I squeezed through into a very dark hallway.
I pulled my lighter out and flicked it on to see what the hall would show. It was dark and disgusting. Dust everywhere and cobwebs decked the walls and ceilings, caking it in disgusting mess. Shuddering slightly, I start to take steps forward, the light only barely going from me the walls from the weak light of my lighter.
I continued to step forward until I heard a door creak at the far end of the hall. My whole body stopped and I felt a cold filling me from the top of my head to my toes very quickly. I couldn’t move from fear. Finally, however, the fear started to melt and my voice cracked as I squeaked out a, “W-Who.. Is there..? H-Hello..?”
No answer. I lifted my lighter in front of my face and started to very slowly walk toward where I heard the door creak. I felt as if I saw shadows skitter from the light as I walked, but I tried to ignore them, assuming the fear in my mind was crafting these shadows.
I pressed on, my curiosity starting to eat at my mind. I started to slow my steps as I approached the end of the hall and held my lighter forward to try and illuminate the door. It was ajar and creaked a bit as I approached. I assumed it had to be a draft.
As I looked into the room, the windows were completely boarded and the room looked like a massacre had happened, but there was no blood present. The sheets and wallpaper were all shredded and strewn about.
Walking in slowly, I inspected the sheets. There were obvious claw marks. Had an animal got in and just ripped the place apart? If so, how would it have reached so high up the walls? Unless it was something like a bear. Or perhaps… Was it something unnatural? This sent even more shivers down my spine and made me look in all corners of the room. I didn’t want to be here anymore. Everything seemed bad.
I cautiously stepped back out of the room, not wanting to show my back to the room just in case. Once my body had left the room, I started to walk down the hall slowly, keeping my eyes on the room. I wanted to leave. I just wanted out of here. I wanted to be away from this hotel as fast as I could.
I started to turn, but that’s when I saw a true shadow move. I quickly snapped back and saw this slender but hulking shadowy figure. The thing lifted its head, a giant bovine looking skull made of pure black shadows. Its eyes flashed open and its eyes were a bright red.
My voice caught in my head as my whole body started to shake in fear once more. It lifted it’s large and willowy hands, it’s fingers very long and slender. It flexed its fingers outward and glared at me as black ooze started to coat the walls and move rather quickly toward me. Black oozing tentacles starting to lash out and grab at the walls as it came toward me.
I finally and quickly turned, sprinting down the hall toward the elevator. The shadow creature gave a guttural sound as it slowly started slink down the hall, following the ooze. I slammed my finger against the button quickly over and over, my heart starting to slam in my chest, my whole body shaking harder than ever.
The shadow and the oozing black tendrils quickly making their way toward me. I slammed my fist against the doors over and over, trying to wrench my fingers between the doors and pull them open. As the creature loomed over me and started to hiss and growl, his maw opening and showing horrible shadowy teeth as well as a large blood red stain in his mouth.
Screaming as loud as I could, I pounded against the door with all my might. The door finally opened enough to let me in like before and as I entered the elevator, I turned to look at the beast, its arm reaching in with tendrils trying to grasp me.
The elevator door shut quickly, slamming on his arm making it puff into non-existence, the tendrils seeming to disappear in the same way.
Panting very hard as I slammed my back against elevator wall, starting to sob heavily. After a few seconds, I lunged forward, slamming my finger against the button for the 1st floor. The elevator seemed to fall again, seeming to fall down five stories before it finally came to a stop, the number on the display showing a 1.
Once the door opened up, I saw the grubby clerk and the messy desk. Feeling more than relieved, I ran from the elevator as fast as I could, crying very hard. I ran outside and kept running until I felt I was far enough away from this horrid hotel.
I finally pulled my cigs from my back pocket with trembling fingers and lit it, taking a very long and slow drag. After exhaling the smoke, I wiped my eyes, staring at this horrid and scary building. I walked back in after finishing my cig and sighed heavily as I sat in one of the chairs in the lobby, refusing to go back upstairs.
Later the next morning, my parents came screaming down the stairs looking for me. They scolded me very hard for scaring them. I simply gave them my pack of cigs and lighter and apologized to them over and over, promising them I’d never do it again.
After glaring at me a bit longer, they gave up their assault and continued to glare at me the rest of the day. We left shortly after thankfully.
After returning home from the vacation, I looked up the hotel, to see if there were any reviews, trying to see if anyone else had experienced anything else like I had. When I searched the hotel, however, nothing showed up. The hotel, apparently never existed.
When I asked my parents about it, they shrugged and looked at me oddly. “We never stopped in that area. We just kept driving, hon.”
Nodding slowly I let out a soft sigh, not wanting to have them think me crazy. They advised me to sleep it off, and I did.
I never mentioned it to them from there or anyone else really. I never went into another elevator ever since and will never do so ever again.
credit – Brandon Totten
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