Confession by Rachel
Rehashing old topics which were covered, but been meaning to share this one about haunted hotels. In this case, it wasn't a hotel, but rather, an apartment booked off a popular BnB website. My bffs, our partners and myself traveled as a group for the first time - 7 of us.
We wanted to stay in the same room, which wasn't possible in a typical hotel so we decided to book a BnB. This was in Taipei. Our booking was made close to 4 months ahead. One day before we were due to arrive, the host messaged and said the original apartment we booked had some issues, and she had to put us up at another one - which was fancier and more spacious. She sent us photos, and while we were a little creeped out by the two giant teddy bears in one of the bedrooms, the too-short notice meant that we were unable to find another accommodation so quickly - so we had no choice but to accept it. Looking back, it was definitely her tactic not to lose the money from the booking, but it was damn unscrupulous what she did.
On arriving in Taipei, and the specific MRT station exit she told us to wait at, the host acted a little weird. We were unable to find her and had to make our way through heavy rains and wheeling our luggage to the BnB. She met with us there, but was a little weird and standoffish, saying like, she saw us from opposite the road at the MRT station (but god knows why she didn't approach us to lead us to the apartment)! We realised the apartment was situated in a building conjoint with an old hospital - which resembled those old hospitals in HK horror movies. Extremely dark lobby and corridors, water seepage marks on the walls, algae, etc.
She told us we had to be really quiet as renting out this apartment was illegal - so no talking, wheeling of luggage etc. To her credit though, she did not lie about the apartment's location. It was pretty good and situated near a popular shopping district. The moment she opened the door of the apartment, there was a strong moldy smell. I am particular to smells, and it really felt like the apartment hasn't seen human life in a while. There was a long hallway before the living room. The moment myself and my friend, R, stepped into the living room, we both turned and looked at each other knowingly. The white walls facing us looked like they had long scratch marks on the plaster. (To note, my friend R is rather, or in fact more sensitive to supernatural than I am and has a long lineage of family members being able to sense/see them).
Ok, that's weird but it could have been a cat before, or was a design feature, I guess. As our other friend's terrified of even the mention of supernatural stuff, we both kept mum. The host seemed nervous, and looked like she wanted to leave asap. She also told us to keep our voices down to a whisper in the apartment, and not to disturb the neighbours. We agreed, she left.
The apartment was huge - had a dedicated back laundry room, and back door. It was ornately decorated too - with glass cabinets with what looks like antiques and ceramics within - like those stereotypical rich East Asians homes you see in movies. But they were rather dusty, and looked like they haven't been cleaned in ages. First thought was - why the hell would you furnish the apartment this way if you were going to rent it out? We got on to picking "our" rooms.
First room on the end of the living room nearer to the kitchen - my partner and I went inside. It was huge, with two double beds and an armchair at the side. Behind the beds was a semi-frosted wall, and behind the wall was the long laundry room. I instantly felt the creeps - goosebumps on my skin and it felt like the oxygen supply went out in the room. My husband''s not sensitive, but he straight away said "Er, can we not pick this room? A bit too big for us."
Again, I didn't say anything. But this image of an old lady came to my mind almost immediately. Not wanting to scare my friends, we told them we prefer a smaller cosier room (there were 4 bedrooms) and chose the smallest room on the same side as their rooms. I think R suspected something was up, but our consideration for our other friend stopped us from discussing it.
Because the other 4 were sharing the bathroom nearest to their rooms, we decided to be considerate and to use the other bathroom nearer the living room and that creepy room to shower. Again, it was another ornate decorated one. Full black marble, with full length mirrors and glass, and full length cabinets - which ironically added to the creepy vibes even more. While looking for the hair dryer, I opened the cabinets and saw that they were packed full of adult diapers in old packaging...which kind of justified my old lady mirage. The same night, my husband ran a high fever. It didn't go away the entire time we were there. He was the sickest I've ever seen him in all 14 years I've known him. We didn't link two and two together - just thought he ate something wrong as Taipei's food were mainly fried or fermented, haha.
n the second night, my friends and I stayed up for "girl talk" while our partners slept. We took quite care to whisper and not even laugh. Halfway through, around 2am, the door of the room I felt creepy about opened on its own. R and I were facing the room and we both saw the door move. We exchanged looks but did not say anything - again, out of consideration for the other friend.
The next day, the host texts us. She was pretty angry, saying that the neighbours complained that we were noisy, slamming the back door and shouting and talking the whole night, and that if we continued to do that, we could be evicted. That was pretty shocking because as mature adults...we really did adhere strictly to her house rules. It was all very strange, and after the 5th day, both R and I couldn't be any happier to finally check out, and leave.
Just a warning to any one using that popular BnB website - I've heard the same 'trick' used by hosts to get guests to accept subpar (or in our case, haunted) BnBs by cancelling or amending bookings at the last minute. Don't be fooled, and if you can, force BnB to find or refund the $ instead of accepting something you are uncomfortable with
Eugene Tay is a retired paranormal investigator and the author of the book Supernatural Confessions.