You Can Check Out Any Time You Like

In March of 1995, my husband and I visited Key West, Florida, on a whim. Since it was Spring Break, accommodations were hard to come by, and the only vacancy we could find was in an expensive brand-new resort right on the beach/promenade (whatever the Key Westians call that big public walkway where you can walk along the shore and watch the sunset). When we checked in, we were surprised to discover that the room, actually a suite, was quite affordable. In fact, it was only a few dollars more expensive than some of the small bed-and-breakfasts that we'd inquired about so unsuccessfully. This third-floor suite was a corner room, lovely, but oddly-shaped, having windows looking out to sea, and then a set of French doors leading onto a balcony above the street. The decor was relentlessly modern (mauve, cream, and charcoal, with track lighting and smoked glass and chrome tables). We enjoyed the spacious, comfortable room, the jacuzzi tub, the large bed, and the street-side balcony, but we noticed that whenever we returned to the room after an absence, the lighting was never the way we'd left it; we would turn all the lights off, leave for the beach, and when we returned, we'd find half of the lights and the TV on. Or we'd leave the lights on while we went to dinner, and return to find the suite totally dark. We assumed that this was the work of the housekeeping staff, although we thought it strange that they would apparently come into the room to play with the lights and watch the TV, but then forget to bring us clean towels or make the bed! In fact, the only less-than-world-class feature of this resort was the housekeeping staff's continuing reluctance to freshen our room! We had to make several extra calls to the desk each day, just to receive towels and fresh bed linens. On our last night, we returned from exploring and went to bed early. We planned on sleeping late, so I carefully closed the blinds and the drapes on both the windows and the French Doors. I was awakened around 4 a.m. to hear someone walking around in our room and scrabbling through our things on the low dresser behind us. Having read all the horror stories about robberies of tourists in Florida, I concluded that someone was going through our cash, jewelry, and airline tickets, and that's just how it sounded. I decided to make a little bit of "Gee, I'm about to wake up now" noise to see if I could scare the person into leaving our room without hurting us, but when I tried to moan, no sound came out. When I tried to thrash around, I couldn't move. I couldn't even turn my head or wiggle my toes. I was lying on my stomach, with my head turned to the left, resting on my right cheek. I could see the bedside stand and the clock on it, and I could just see the rightmost four inches of the French doors leading to the street-side balcony, just enough to confirm that the drapes were closed. I tried again to struggle, to move my head, to cry out, but still nothing. I was completely paralyzed. The "visitor" stopped scrabbling around on the dresser, and began to walk around the side of the bed, toward the French doors, stopping just outside my limited field of leftward peripheral vision. I am convinced this was a deliberate tease. I tried again to struggle and yell, without result. At this point, the "visitor" must have grabbed the curtain pull to the left of the French doors, since he/she/it pulled the curtains open, and then opened the blinds. From where I lay, I could see the curtain bunching up as it was pulled open. I could see the streetlight shining into the room now through the open curtains and blinds. The "visitor" must have stood there awhile, looking down at the street. I didn't hear breathing, but finally I heard a heavy sigh. It was the saddest sound I had ever heard. Then the visitor walked to the foot of the bed and sat down, right next to my feet! I felt the mattress depress, and heard the creak of the springs, exactly as if someone had sat down. When I felt a hand grab my ankle, I tried to scream, but passed out from fear. I awoke several hours later, to the sound of my husband bitching about the morning sunlight coming through the open curtains and blinds on the French doors! He hadn't heard a thing, and, actually, I hadn't *seen* a thing, except for the curtains and blinds opening. This was the first such thing ever to happen to me. I know Key West has a long and interesting history, but this hotel was brand-spanking new! I would give a lot to find out what happened in that hotel room. I'd rather not include my real name and address, but if anyone finds out anything about this hotel, please post it here on this Spooky Page. I seem to have a mental blank about its name, although I'm sure we have it in our records somewhere.

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