Purgatory — Echoing a current real-world phenomenon, a study completed last week by Purgatory’s Department of Supernatural Studies (DoSS) reveals that nine out of ten ghosts prefer independent hotels to chain hotels.
The findings, which specter experts from the DoSS collected via on-premise observations and seance interviews at hundreds of independent and chain hotels from West Virginia to San Francisco, confirm ghost guests feel more “at home” at independent hotels.
“The world has changed a lot,” said Hezekiah Corbett, former tanner and father of ten, now permanent resident of the Murdock Inn in Temperance, Ohio, “but the character and charm of this old place hasn’t changed a bit. On the other hand, my friend Amos haunts at the chain hotel up the road, the one by that new highway. In life, I was always envious of Amos’s big farm and acres of land, but in death, Amos got a bad deal. Developers razed his old place and ripped up the land to put in that boxy hotel and an unsightly waffle restaurant.”
Although Amos wasn’t available for comment, Head of Research Ray Venkman communed with a few other long-term residents who had a lot to say about the noise coming from the interstate.
“There’s nothing you can do about it,” one of Venkman’s subjects said. “If you’re a light sleeper, I recommend you stay elsewhere. Unfortunately, I can never leave. And I’ve forgotten what it’s like to dream.”
Another occupant lamented over guests turning up the air conditioning to drowned out the highway noise.
“The rooms get so cold that the guests can’t feel my presence at all. I resorted to knocking over lamps and slamming doors, but with the blare of the highway and the air conditioning, it gets so damn loud not even that gets their attention. Now I just sit in the chair by the window, silently counting headlights, alone, questioning my purpose and the meaning of death.”
“Based on several testimonials,” Venkman said, “we found a positive correlation between supernatural presence and independent operation. By and large, the dead conveyed a desire to express their individuality; and at independent hotels especially, we found this desire not only to be fulfilled but also celebrated.”
Proud Texas hotelier Russ Burdick told the DoSS he keeps a line item in the advertising budget to promote his longstanding tenants. His promos imitate 1980s horror film posters, with taglines like The Alamo Inn: A Night to Remember.
“We’re in the business of creating an experience, and our spooks [sic] are part of that,” Burdick said, adding that the majority of his guests comment on the “personality” of his hotel, and that all of his guests, “the living and the dead,” always feel welcome.
Research also found that a number of chain hotels have begun to embrace the haunted hotel model by aligning themselves with area tours. “For whatever reason, we’ve got ghosts here,” said Brittney Costello, Manager at the Crown Royal Hotel in Phoenix. “And we’d be stupid not to take advantage.”
But not all of their incorporeal guests are on board. Andrew Kessel and Constance Rogers spoke out in protest of the Crown Royal Hotel’s efforts.
“It’s just not right,” said Kessel, who is currently on strike from haunting at the Crown Royal. “They don’t have a right to use us the way they do,” he said. “I got so fired up after they told me the new haunting policy included daily hours that start at 6 AM and end at 11 PM, I threw a chair across the lobby, and that really pissed me off because that’s exactly the kind of stuff they want us to do.”
Rogers, also on strike, claimed to receive a 173 page manual detailing acceptable haunting protocol. “A loutish youth in a remote corporate office had the nerve to tell me how and when I can and can not haunt these halls,” Rogers said. “I have been on this plot for over 300 years, and I do not consider their rules with much regard. What is the worst they can do, kill me?”