Well, it’s been a harrowing few weeks and I know I’ve been saying for what feels like forever that I was going to get around to talking about my spooktacular adventures at the Historic Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem, NC but then a bunch of shit happened so this is me catching up.
I went to Winston-Salem for the Romance in the Carolinas author event and it was a bit of an adventure, let me tell you.
First thing, when I arrived, the guy at the front desk asked if I wanted the second or the fourth floor, me being me, I was like “Fourth floor, it’s the one that’s haunted.”
He told me that actually THE haunted room on the fourth floor was available if I wanted it and I was like hell yeah!
So off to room 401 I went knowing absolutely nothing about the resident ghost, the type of activity, or why the place was purportedly haunted, and let me tell you, it was a cool room. Just look at this!
Throughout the weekend I gathered some intelligence on what was up with this place, and it turns out – The Historic Brookstown Inn started off its life as a cotton mill in the 1800s. On the fourth floor, my room was part of the dormitory for the women.
Now I got some conflicting information at first, though the legend largely remained the same. The story goes that one of the women in the fourth-floor dormitory or whatever got into a fight with another woman. Things turned tragic when one of the catfighting women was thrown down the elevator shaft and died.
There’s only one thing wrong with that – there’s no elevator on the 4th floor of the hotel. It stops on floor 3 and then you have to take a flight of stairs up to the 4th.
This discrepancy was remedied when I checked out by a girl at the desk that said, no – Sally, the resident ghost, died when she was thrown out of one of the floor to ceiling windows of the room I was in which makes much more sense – if you look at that 3rd photo, there’s this weird little hallway thing to a floor to ceiling window in the back, those vertical slats? Yeah, those are bars on the inside of the window. Likely to prevent Sally’s fate and history from repeating itself.
My first clue that Sally might not be the friendliest of spirits occurred right as I arrived to my room only to find like 9 of these dead bastards scattered throughout the room from the bathroom, to the closet area to throughout the sleeping area:
For sure, not a good look – also not awesome and more than a little ominous that when I called down to the front desk the dude was super blase about it saying, “Oh yeah, when a room isn’t rented out for a long time, that sometimes happens. They just sort of wind up in there. Like they go there to die or something.”
I said I was going to lunch and to please come fix it like yesterday.
Side note: If you ever find yourself in Winston-Salem for any reason, go have a meal at the Willow Bistro. You won’t be disappointed.
I had their crabcake sandwich, white sangria, and truffle fries and all of it was so, so, good! Faye at the bar is sure to treat you right.
I returned from my lunch and while the majority of the bugs were handled, they left one behind and I had to call down again. I ended up having to post to Twitter about the whole thing to receive any sort of remedy and in the end, Wyndham pulled through and did make it right by comping my stay – but to say the least, I had the heebs – but I absolutely stuck it out because dammit – haunted room!
Let me tell you what I experienced:
One, the room’s atmosphere was oppressive and nothing short of terrifying – but there was no discernable reason for it. I didn’t hear any noises or anything like that. I didn’t see anything, but I didn’t sleep well at all either. I was woken up several times the first night and to nothing at all but a just generally bad vibe.
Night two was just as exhausting, only for a completely different reason.
I didn’t see or hear anything – but I sure felt the hand on my leg shaking me awake. Likewise, I saw the blankets over me shift of their own volition when the tension over my feet and legs changed when the weight of that spectral hand lifted.
I was staying in the room by myself. No one else with me to corroborate anything – so it could just have been my overactive imagination… but yeah.
That’s about all I really have to report. I’m going back next year and I’ve already booked my stay and requested that room – we’ll see if I get it again – and this time, I’m bringing backup in the form of my bestie and my PA. So yeah. Check back with me this time next year for that!
Anywho, that’s what happened. A bit anti-climactic, but dealing with the paranormal usually is.