Saturday, January 16, 2021

Horror story: The killer hotel room

There was a hotel by the name Hotel Safe Haven on the outskirts of Kolkata. Though the hotel was a decent stay, it was far from being a safe haven. Hotel Safe Haven had an ignominious reputation: Whoever stayed in a particular room on the second floor would be found hanging the next day. A traveller from Kanpur, Bimlesh Trivedi, had arrived at the hotel to stay there for a night. Upon hearing the rumour associated with the room, the fearless Bimlesh tried to unravel the mystery. So, did he live to tell his tale?

Bimlesh Trivedi, a leather merchant from Kanpur, had come to the City of Joy Kolkata for the first time on a business trip. He was to stay for a day in the city and leave for his hometown the next day.

Bimlesh, who was in his early forties, had gone to the outskirts of the city (near his place of business) in search of a hotel and called a friend, who suggested to him a decent and economical place nearby by the name Hotel Safe Haven.

 It was 5:30 pm when Bimlesh finished a business deal. He took a taxi from his place of business and reached the hotel in 10 minutes.

It looked very impressive from outside. Upon arrival, he went to the reception and was impressed by the interior design. Bimlesh was allotted a room on the third floor.

He was on his way in the lift along with a bearer carrying his luggage, when suddenly, the lift stopped on the second floor. The bearer tried to fix it but couldn’t. He told Bimlesh that sometimes the lift mysteriously stops on the second floor.

After Bimlesh got off the lift, he suddenly noticed a room 023 on the right as it had a unique and attractive door. It looked like a special deluxe room. Curious, he asked the bearer about it but the bearer pretended to not hear him. Angry, Bimlesh said, “I am asking you something. Why are you not answering?”

The bearer said, “Sir, this room is haunted, and whoever stayed here before, has committed suicide. So, the police have asked us to close the room.”

Bimlesh was an avid reader of ghost stories from his childhood and he feared nothing. During his college days, he even stayed at a few haunted houses but didn’t encounter anything significant that he could share with people.

After hearing about the mystery of room 023, he saw this as another opportunity to explore a so-called haunted place.

He told the bearer that he was going down and told him to come along. Clueless, the bearer followed.

Bimlesh went to the reception and insisted to the manager that he stay in room 023. The manager rejected the idea and said that the police will seal the hotel if that room was ever opened again.

Bimlesh was a wealthy businessman and offered the manager a bribe. “I will pay you Rs 10,000 extra for that room. Please give it to me.”

The manager thought for a while and made a call to the hotel owner. He then smilingly said, “Please make it Rs 15,000.” Bimlesh didn’t agree and the rate finally settled at Rs 12,000. The manager told Bimlesh that he will have to wait at the reception for two hours as the room would have to be cleaned. Bimlesh agreed. 

After an hour and half, the bearer came down and told Bimlesh that the room was ready. The bearer took his luggage and they arrived at room 023 soon after.

This room was indeed a deluxe room and Bimlesh was impressed by it as well as its wash room. But there was an eyesore. When he opened the window, he saw an abandoned and dilapidated house in front of him. There were no lights in that house and he asked the bearer about it. To this, the bearer replied, “I don’t know anything about the house sir.”  

The bearer seemed to be in a hurry to get out of the room. He dusted the furniture after putting down the luggage and left. 

Bimlesh was finally alone in the room and went to the window and opened it. He then ordered a cup of tea and snacks from the reception. A little later, when he sat down to drink his tea, he noticed something very unusual the dark and dilapidated house suddenly looked brightly lit and new.

Curious, he rushed to the window and saw a shadow in the second floor house. A little later he heard the noise of bangles and saw a young and beautiful woman in her twenties. She was sitting by the window.     

The woman looked at him and smiled and he smiled back. They were both looking at each other for quite some time and Bimlesh seemed to be going into a trance. Well, he was really not noticing what he was doing.

Suddenly, the woman got up and came back with a rope. Bimlesh, too, got up and opened his wooden cupboard. There was a rope lying inside. He took it and came back to the window. He had lost total control of himself.

The woman then threw the rope on the ceiling fan and Bimlesh did the same. Both the ropes were hanging from the fans. The woman took a stool and kept it below the fan. Bimlesh did the same again.

She got up and Bimlesh followed. They put the rope around their neck. The woman kicked the stool and suddenly the noose tightened around her neck. Bimesh also tried to kick the stool, but he fell along with the stool as the rope loosened from the ceiling fan. There was a thud and suddenly he found that he was lucky to be alive.

Bimlesh regained full consciousness and realised what he had done. He ran to the door and cried for help. There was no response. He called the reception from his room phone, and in a minute, the bearer, manager and other staff came running.

The manager shouted at Bimlesh, saying, “If you had died, our hotel would have been sealed permanently. I was so silly to allow you to stay in this room.”

The bearer was also surprised. He asked, “Where did the rope and stool come from? They were not there in the room before.”

Whatever be the reason for this, Bimlesh heaved a sigh of relief and vowed never to be so “stupidly adventurous” again.

They all looked at the house in front of the window. The woman had disappeared and it was back to its original shabby form again.

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