One of the most bizarre experiences I've ever personally had was with my family while staying at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It happened around 1997, and I was lucky to have most of my family there to experience it with me.
Atlantic City is an interesting location for strange experiences. Its good-times environment and boardwalk guarantee a great time on every visit. The casinos draw many from the New York area and beyond, but along with this it brings the good and bad of social ills that come along with games of chance.
Not a few people have lost excessive amounts of money here, and the poorer areas away from the boardwalk tell of a story quite different from the tourist-friendly boardwalk area. Its common knowledge that some commit suicide when they lose large amounts of money. The reality of life is evident, in casinos, and tragedy happens here too.
The summer of 1997 was a typical one. Like we did many summers before, my family drove down the shore to spend a few days enjoying the beach and casinos at Atlantic City. As usual, my father arranged the trip and found a new hotel with a very reasonable price. The name of the hotel was called "The Flagship," and is still located at the northern end of the boardwalk, far from the other casinos.
After a long cold winter, my family was anxious to see the ocean and asked the front desk for an oceanfront view. We were told that the only room available wasn't facing the ocean, but with two queen size beds, the room was very comfortable, and that we could see the ocean from the side of the balcony. It was the perfect size for my parents, my sister and I and we agreed and the man at the front desk gave us two door cards.
Our room was on the tenth floor. Looking back, none of us recalled running into many guests in the hotel at all. However, we thought that since the hotel was new, it was just beginning to attract customers.
Once we found our room, we used the room card to open the door and went inside. Right away, things went wrong.
The room was very dark (the curtains for the sliding door to the balcony were pulled) and extremely cold. It was a typical hotel room except for a small kitchen-area right in front of two queen-size beds. At the foot of the second bed was a sofa-bed. Then beyond the second bed, there was a sliding glass door leading to a small balcony. Although we were facing the interior of Atlantic City, just as front desk mentioned, we could see the ocean on one side of the balcony.
Very soon, we found out why the room was so chilly. The air conditioner, which was located on the wall above the sofa-bed, was turned on full blast and wouldn't turn off. As I mentioned this to my father, I saw my mother fidgeting with the front door's electronic lock.
Like she often did, she checked to see if the door was locked when closed from the outside. It wasn't. Inside the door, there was a sticker that explicitly stated that the door was always locked on the outside. Not so.
We also realized that the stove in the small kitchen wasn't working. Then we saw that there was a small leak coming from the mini-fridge as well.
My father called downstairs and soon a repairman came up and fixed the AC, the Stove, the refridgerator leak, and even the front door. He mentioned that the lock should always be locked from the outside, and seemed puzzled by the device. We gave the man a big tip and then quickly made our way over to the casinos.
When we arrived back to our room, well after dinner, we immediately felt how cold it was in the room and turned off the AC. After washing up, we watched some television before turning in. I remember one of the programs was about ghosts, and we watched that one for a while, not realizing what was to come.
My mother and sister were the first to go to bed and turned off the lights. They slept in different beds, with my mother in the bed closer to the kitchen area, and my sister in the one near the balcony. My stayed up reading on the kitchen table with the dim light on. I had some trouble falling asleep that night, since the sofa-bed mattress was new and was still still covered in plastic. I must have felt lazy because I left it on, and suffered because it was very hot and not very conducive to a good night's rest.
At breakfast the next morning, my sister told us about something strange that happened during the night. All night long, she said she felt someone brushing past her bed as if trying to walk to the balcony door. At the foot of her bed, there was about a foot of space between her bed and the end of my sofa-bed. She said it felt exactly like someone was squeezing through the tight space and rubbing against her bed.
At first, she thought it was me trying to get outside to the balcony. Then when she looked up, she saw my father and I still sitting at the kitchen table reading. At the time, none of us really believed her, and we went out again for a day of walking on the boardwalk and then gambling at night.
That night, I stayed up later than everyone else. I talked to my sister about she experienced the night before. I also told her to let me know if she felt it again. As soon as she got in bed, I sat down by the kitchen table to read, glancing over towards her bed every once in a while to see if anything happened. After a while, I gave up and continued reading before getting up to wash up in the bathroom.
When I came out of the bathroom, my sister was sitting up in bed. She said that she again thought I had squeezed past the bed to go the balcony, but then she opened her eyes and saw me come out of the bathroom at the other end of the room.
I was positioned on the sofa-bed so that my head was right next to the little space at end of my sister's bed. If someone walked past, I would have surely felt something, but that night I didn't notice anything at all. As usual, it took a little bit of time for me to sleep. I listening intently and tried to feel any wind or changes in the room, but eventually gave up and slept.I had by then taken off the troublesome plastic cover and finally had a good nights rest.
The next day, my father woke me up early to rent bikes for an early morning boardwalk ride. Then he went to my sister and woke her up as well. As soon as he did this, my mother, who planned to sleep in, suddenly sat up in bed and turned on the lights and the TV.
We asked her why she didn't want to sleep, since it was still only about 5:30AM. She told us that she wasn't tired and that she felt like waking up, which is unusual since she usually likes to sleep past 11.
We all thought this was pretty odd. My mother loves to sleep late. She kept giving us vague reasons about why she wouldn't go back to sleep and even turned on the television! Later on, she told us the reason why. At breakfast, my mother told us about the strange incident that happened that night.
She had woken up in the middle of the night. It was late and she could hear all of us either snoring or breathing the natural rhythms of a very good night's rest. She was sleeping on the right-hand side of the first bed and was lying on her side facing inwards. But gradually, she realized that she felt the sensation of someone's back lying against her own! At first, she was convinced that it was my sister. But she was pretty alarmed to realize that my sister was in the other bed, 4 feet away!
Slowly, without opening her eyes, she moved closer to my father. The feeling was very real but very slowly, the other "person's" back gradually went away. My mother said that in the morning, she hadn't expected my sister to go riding bikes with us, leaving her all alone in the room! After we left, she tried her best to stay awake. She turned on all the lights and turned on the television, but eventually, she fell asleep anyway.
As my mother told us this story, my sister chimed in saying that the "person" walked past her bed all of last night as well. This time, though, she also felt her sheets being gently pulled away to the corner of the bed towards the balcony. For some reason, whenever she turned to face the balcony, it would stop. When she turned back around, she would feel the bed budge a little, as if a person were rubbing past it. Also, she felt "energy waves" from the foot of her bed.
After we came back to the room from breakfast, all of us were not so sure about our room anymore. Despite this, we still had a day of vacationing and fun to look forward to. After we got what we needed, my father went downstairs early to get some brochures. Then my sister and I walked to the elevator while my mother got some last minute things. We were both standing there by the elevator doors when we heard my mother anxiously calling us back to the room.
When we got there, she looked a little shaken and said that the front door wouldn't lock from the outside again. She said that all the while, as she was rifling through her suitcase looking for something, she had a bad feeling and couldn't wait to get out of the room. Once safely outside, as an afterthought, she turned the handle to see if the door was locked from the outside. Once again, it wasn't locked.
This time, we went downstairs instead of calling for a repairman. The front desk seemed puzzled about the lock. They said that the lock should always be locked from the outside. They were at a loss as to how to fix it, and finally recommended that we get another room.
Everyone felt very relieved and we quickly gathered our things to get out of the room immediately. We got another room upstairs, and this time, our new room was perfect in every way. Not surprisingly, the rest of our trip was pretty relaxed, but we sometimes joked about would have happened to us if we stayed another night in that room.
All of us agreed that there was something in that room that wanted to be left alone. It didn't want to scare us, but instead just gently showed us that we had to go. For some reason, my mother and sister feel that it was a child or a little boy.
If this is true, perhaps something happened to the boy in the room. Everything seems to point to the balcony where things seemed to emenate from. Perhaps the boy fell off the balcony. Or maybe someone died in the room. Maybe the spirit felt an affinity to the women as opposed to my father and I who didn't experience anything.
The Flagship is now a luxury time-share condo. I'm not sure if its still partly a hotel. While we were there, the hotel operators aggressively tried to sell us a time-share, but of course we turned them down every time.
I wonder who bought the time-share for that room on the tenth floor, and if anything similar happened to them?