As you might imagine, we come across quite a few ghost stories on our Nerd Trips, but this is a story of my own “ghostly” encounter.
In the previous post, I wrote about our trip to the Driskill Hotel, a Texas landmark with connections to the Old West and President Lyndon Johnson. The Driskill is also said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the United States.
While we were having a drink at the bar (which featured a cool copper ceiling and pistol light sconces), our server shared stories of the hotel’s notable ghosts, particularly a four-year-old girl who tumbled to her death while chasing a ball down a staircase. Our server said this particular ghost was known to haunt the ladies lounge just around the corner from where we were sitting.
I was thinking I should probably use the bathroom before we walked to dinner, however, talk of a child ghost haunting the bathroom had me questioning if I really had to go right then.
“Just go,” goaded my family, even though they would be staying together in the ghost-free bar.
Like many parts of this gilded hotel, the bathroom is quite nice, with lovely details and fine old fixtures. So it’s kind-of worth a trip.
As I entered, the only other ladies in the bathroom were leaving, leaving me alone – all alone in the haunted bathroom with the little girl ghost.
“Don’t think about the ghost, don’t think about the ghost,” I repeated in my head as I approached the stall that had a door that stretched from the floor to the transom without an opening (as in, you will be confined in a small space with no means of escape).
Take a look, once you are in, you are in.
After going to the bathroom and reminding myself again not to think about the ghost, I got my purse and prepared to leave the stall.
What I am about to describe to you probably lasted under two seconds, but it felt much longer. I unlocked the door and pulled it toward me. It wouldn’t open – it was stuck tight. Was there something wrong with the lock? I tried again. Primed for a ghostly encounter, my heart started to race. Was I trapped in a haunted bathroom? I then realized that I actually needed to PUSH the door open.
Even though I felt silly, thinking for a split second that I had been “trapped by a ghost,” I was still all alone in the haunted bathroom, so I didn’t waste any time washing my hands and getting out of there! (No need to tempt the ghosts). My family and I had a good laugh about my “ghost story.”
Two years later, I returned to the hotel with my friend Rebecca. While we were there, we decided to take a few pictures to document the ghostly tale.
If you are in Austin, I definitely recommend a visit to the Driskill, it’s a grand old hotel with a storied history. You may just want to consider using a different bathroom. Happy Halloween!