My work flew me back to Seattle for a few days so I could present my report and analysis on this latest project I’ve been working on the past few months. Lots of meetings and training and helping out with some of the post seminar work: a full plate, in other words.
They put me up in the Marqueen Hotel in Queen Anne, mere blocks from the office. It’s an older building, I think their bio says it was built in 1918, originally an engineering school dedicated to training blacksmiths to work at the Ford assembly plant. The sort of old-world charm of the decor makes you wonder how much of the original interior is still there. The goth girl in me appreciates the exposed dark wood fixtures, the patterned wallpaper, the dim lighting, the somewhat desolate feel.
I get checked in about 9:30pm, drop off my bags in my room, and quickly make a trip to Safeway for a microwave dinner. With all the unseasonably warm California weather, I neglected to pack a coat. Seattle is definitely sliding into its cold and dreary winter season. The sidewalks are wet, and the air is damp with the promise of more rain.
Back at the hotel, my room is pretty spacious. There is a brief little hallway when you first enter the room with the bathroom on the right and a giant walk-in closet on the left.
Then the hall opens up into the main room with the bed at one end, and a loveseat and TV cabinet at the other.
Further down and on the right is the kitchen, complete with a little sitting area. The cabinets are stocked with a few plates, bowls, mugs; the drawers have some basic silverware. There’s a coffee maker and a microwave.
The room decor is kind of cute and fairly comfortable. The paint job, carpentry style, floor tiling, etc. actually remind me a lot of my old Seattle apartment. It’s a little disconcerting, but overall it’s pretty nice temporary digs.
I text T in Abu Dhabi to let him know I’m settled in for the night, eat my microwave dinner, take a Melatonin, watch a little TV, then pack it in. I’ve got an early morning tomorrow.
I turn out the light, and that’s where the fun stuff starts. I roll onto my side, with my back to the door, because open doorways make me uneasy in the dark. The windowpane rattles in an unsettling way, like fingers tapping.
I get a feeling like someone’s in the room with me, try to suppress the feeling because suppression and forced calm is usually the best way to handle those feelings. I’ve been afraid of the dark as long as I can remember, so that makes me something of an expert, right?
Then there’s a curious shuffling sound, like footsteps, only kind of muffled and dragging, seeming to come from inside the room. I fumble for the light and sit up. No one’s there.
The night progresses from there as you can imagine. I give the dark another try, more odd shuffling sounds, so I try to sleep with the light on. I doze fitfully in a too-bright room, then turn off the light. Throughout the night it’s various taps and pops and bangs, the sound of a cascade of water moving slowly past the window, more shuffling footsteps as if pacing, and I wake up literally every 10-15 minutes all night long. This is highly irregular for me. I may be a total scairdy, but I’m also a heavy sleeper if I can just get to sleep.
5:30am rolls around, and I give up the fight. No time to think about haunted hotel rooms, it’s time for work, time to go see the office!