by Barbara Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels
On a recent road trip I pulled into the little town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, conveniently located midway between Illinois and my North Carolina destination. In the center of Main Street, amidst scores of meticulously restored older buildings filled with cute shops, I discovered the Lowe Hotel, the only hotel in town.
I hauled my suitcase up the long marble staircase to the second floor, opened the door with an enormous skeleton key, and was delighted to discover a room decorated in antiques and outfitted with a queen-size poster bed. It didn’t take me long to climb beneath the fluffy quilt, prop myself up with two down pillows, and boot up my laptop. I was happily answering emails when the noises began. At first they were small creaking sounds and I paid them little mind – all old buildings make noises. Then just before turning off the light a very loud noise startled me. It sounded like a large, dry tree branch snapping in two and seemed to come from the television, which I hadn’t turned on. Puzzled, I dismissed it and went to sleep.
The next morning I was standing under a stream of hot water when an icy cold draft came over the top of the shower door and hit me in the face. ‘Where on earth is that coming from?’ I wondered. I looked up at the ceiling, searching for air vents but there were none to be found. Thinking that perhaps someone had come into my room while I was in the shower, creating a breeze by opening the door, I stepped out of the shower stall and glanced around the room. The door was still shut and chained from the inside. Suddenly I realized there were no air vents at all in my room. The heat was generated by steam radiator and the air conditioning was from a window unit, which was not turned on. ‘Very peculiar,’ I thought, but again I dismissed it and went back to showering.
Soon afterward I was downstairs in the lobby of the hotel. Waiting for a cup of coffee the owners were brewing for me, I began reading a Boston Globe newspaper clipping hanging on the wall next to the front desk. The article proclaimed the Lowe Hotel to be haunted and went on to discuss the famous sightings of a ten-foot tall humanoid figure with giant wings, claws, and burning red eyes that occurred in Point Pleasant in the late 1960’s – the infamous “Mothman” featured in the 2001 movie “The Mothman Prophecies,” starring Richard Gere. Most startling was a paragraph in the article describing the three most common paranormal experiences at the hotel: loud noises, icy cold drafts of air, and cigarette smoke appearing in the air when there are no smokers present. This was all news to me – I had never heard of Point Pleasant, the Lowe Hotel, or Mothman. Hmmmmm. More investigation was definitely needed; I decided to stay an extra night and set out to explore the town.
After a day of wandering around this delightful town, I headed back to the Lowe Hotel. Although not totally convinced that it was haunted, it was clear something was going on there. I considered the possibility that my experiences had been nothing more than imagination but the noises and cold draft happened BEFORE I knew about any history of haunting. And there was no mistaking the fact that the cold draft was SO icy that it made me step out of the shower to investigate – that wasn’t my imagination.
Once again I climbed into my high bed, propped open my laptop, and worked until 2 a.m., this time without incident. Convinced that the events of the previous night must have either been coincidence or my imagination, I snuggled beneath the covers and drifted off to sleep. How wrong I was! At 6:10 a.m. a short, shrill beep from the smoke detector in my room rudely woke me. It beeped every 60 seconds for the next 20 minutes. Finally, I climbed up on a chair and took the device off the wall, intending to remove its battery. To my surprise, it was hard wired, with no place for a backup battery. I went downstairs to the front desk but no one was around so I decided to just tolerate the noise and read for a while. Strangely, by the time I returned to the room the smoke detector had stopped beeping – almost as if it was mocking me: “So, you don’t believe? We’ll just see about that.”
To this day, I don’t know what to think. Is the Lowe Hotel haunted? Perhaps. I can’t think of any other explanation for the mysterious happenings during my stay. But despite the shenanigans of its purported ghosts, the Lowe is wonderfully historic hotel that is run by friendly folks and affordably priced. The ghosts are thrown in for free.
Photos courtesy of Barbara Weibel