It’s a famous movie scene, one turned into a comedy routine by Eddie Murphy during his early career performing stand-up. In The Amityville Horror, the entity haunting the house directly speaks to a priest, telling him to leave. It seems prudent to listen.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been in a haunted location, but I do know that I’ve encountered that feeling of dread before.
There was the time in Baltimore, where a friend and I were intending to book a room at a reasonably-priced hotel. That was the plan, at least, until we walked inside and realized the odd sounds we’d heard from outside was the mass of a few dozen chickens which were milling about on the carpet in the lobby.
There was also the hotel in Pennsylvania where I shared a room with a different friend during a refueling at a nearby power plant. The room itself was moderately clean, but the hallway was somewhat run-down. When we investigated we discovered that the new owners were saving money by cannibalizing the place… the top three floors had already been abandoned, and whenever the hotel needed replacement light bulbs, towels, sheets or anything else they were scavenged from the abandoned rooms rather than purchased new. Staff told us that the third floor had only recently been “removed” prior to our arrival. The elevator doors opened into darkness if one ventured up without a flashlight.
I’ve been in some questionable hotels. Apparently, there can always be worse.
Tripadvisor provides a yearly summary of the worst-reviewed hotels in the world and the worst-reviewed in America. Typically, landing on the list encourages the hotel owners to perform renovations, so it’s common for “winners” of prior years to drift upward to a poor-to-average rating by the time the next year’s list is released. The ready availability of cameras and the desire for blogging fame have led many amateur documentary directors to post videos from some truly terrible locations in America and Western Europe.
There aren’t too many from Eastern Europe, though. That’s where Peter Popluhar stepped in. The Slovakian comedian gained popularity posting videos about his travels through Africa, and has since been spending time posting about the best restaurants and hotels in former Soviet-bloc countries… and the worst of them.
It’s easy to come down hard on a local establishment when word breaks about a sex ring at a motel or a bedbug outbreak, but it’s worth remembering… just as we’re not alone in having some great places to bed down for the night, we’re far from the only ones who have horror stories, either.
Question of the night: What’s your worst experience during an overnight stay?