Dear Ms. Winters,
Thank you for your letter. Hopefully I can help resolve some of the issues you experienced while staying at our hotel.
As you wrote, your troubles began at night, when you found that our ice machine was empty. Our apologies. We try to run a tight ship, but sometimes things fall through the cracks. I promise to be more vigilant about the ice machine in the future.
After you went back to your room, you began to hear incessant banging coming from the walls and ceiling. Our building is very old, and the walls are thin, so the noises made by other guests were heard clearly. Thank you for your concern; we’re currently in the process of soundproofing the room.
Then, objects began to rattle, seemingly of their own volition. At one point, the 36-inch flat screen TV that had been mounted on the wall detached itself from the mount and crashed to the floor. A vase hovered in the air for several seconds before launching itself across the room and hitting the wall just inches from your head. All the while, a low drone filled the room.
Our apologies. That noise is, in fact, the cry of a restless spirit that has haunted the room for nine decades. His name was Gerritt Richards, and he was a hospitality mogul poisoned by his wife when she discovered his infidelity. We call him Gerry.
You mention that no one at the front desk told you that your room was haunted. That is unacceptable, as our standard operating procedure is to inform all of our guests of any ghosts, goblins, or hellhounds that inhabit our rooms. However, the front desk representative you spoke with, Amanda, had recently gone through a very bad breakup and forgot to mention it. We will deal with that issue internally.
By the time you realized what was occurring, you tried to escape, but the door was locked from the inside. That’s kind of Gerry’s thing. And escape through the window was impossible, as it had been outfitted with bars. That’s not Gerry’s thing— it’s ours. The hotel is in a bad area of the city, and your safety is our top priority.
From there, you hid under the covers. Bad move. Amanda should have told you to draw a chalk circle on the carpet, and to stand inside of it while bringing your arms up to your face, yelling, “YOU SHALL BE NO PART OF ME,” but she was very distraught that night. And though it’s a big no-no for her to forget to tell you that vital information, her boyfriend broke up with her via a text message, and used an emoji of a stiletto heel to try to bring levity to the situation. You can see the issue here.
What you felt next was Gerry pushing you through a pan-dimensional portal, where the concept of time was irrelevant and you experienced every feasible dimension, where every choice you made branched off into infinite more dimensions, one by one. You mention in your letter that it felt like a literal eternity. Our apologies for any discomfort you may have experienced. Please accept the enclosed $10 Starbucks gift card as recompense.
After living through this “hellscape,” as you call it, you remained paralyzed with fear until the next morning, when you checked out. Unfortunately, all of the experiences you had that night are explicitly mentioned in the fine print of the contract you signed, and so I cannot refund your $89. However, because of Amanda’s poor customer service, you’ll find an enclosed voucher for a free night’s stay at the hotel. We hope that the voucher and gift card make up for any poor customer service you may have received, and we look forward to your continued business.
Good Nite Hotel
Jon Wolper is a writer and journalist living in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, GQ.com, and several dusty corners of the internet. He tweets here.
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