Last night was my first night closing on my own. At the risk of showing what an overactive imagination I possess, and at the risk of showing how much of a weinie I am, can I just tell you how freaked out I was!?!
I mean it. Serious Wiggins. The whole place was empty, the only guests in the pub having left a half hour ago. Only 2 rooms in the hotel were occupied, and none in the main building where I was. The main building, I might add, that is the original from 1857. That has seen some strange stuff go down. You can't be in the hotel and bar business for almost 150 years and not have some shady occurances.
So yes, we have a ghost. His name is Ethan. I don't know too much about him myself, except that he is a tall, gaunt fellow, with long dark hair. He wanders the whole building, but seems to like the St. Augustine Room the best. Of course that is the room directly over the office.
I'm sitting in the office, trying like hell to get the damn safe open. I can't remember if it's clockwise, or counter, if it's 4 or 3 turns, and damn it, I am not going to look up. The roof is squeaking overhead. The one time I do look up and out the window, a pair of eyes meet mine, and a black cat goes streaking off into the night.
For some unknown reason, I decided to turn almost all the lights off around me before I did this last step, and there are shadows everywhere. I keep my head down, focused on my task, sure that I'll see Ethan sillhouetted in the open doorway to the parlour if I should dare to look up. Seconds away from giving up, I manage to open it, and in 3.2 minutes I am finished, doors locked, alarm set, and I'm practically running down the allyway, as the fog drips down the spanish moss on the trees.
Everything smells like decay. This whole island smells like the swamp when it rains. I think the land under our feet is just waiting for that little push of precipitation to turn it back into mush.
And that's all. No Ethan that night. Just my own damn mind. And that was enough to set my heart to pounding so hard, I had to sit in my car listening to the "Cool World" soundtrack blaring for about 5 minutes before I was calm enough to drive off.
I think everything built up while I was fiddling with the safe. My frustration was growing, I was stuck in one place, it was getting darker, and my head was down most of the time. Since I started thinking about the damn ghost, I couldn't think about anything else, and for half an hour, that was just allowed to grow. urrh, goosebumps just thinking about it.
Just looked at the schedule, and I'm closing again tomorrow night. Great.
One of our guests in the St. Augustine room was up late one night, unable to sleep, so she was reading in a chair by the fire. She felt a smack on her upper arm; not enough to really hurt, just enough to get her attention. She turned around, and there was Ethan. "What was that for?" she asked. Ballsy woman. I think I'da run. "I'm depressed," he said, and a friendship was born. Apparently she talked to him for 2 hours, helping him out of his afterlife doldrums.
That's all I know. I am going to gently pump the owner for some more information tomorrow, so maybe Ethan's story will be more fleshed out by the time the restaurant empties out and the sun goes out and I'm left alone with him.