That was what both Colin and I noticed. The waiters were all males and at least above the age of 50.
Just then, Aurora and Kye Li came to join us. Kye Li was not her usual self. She looked pale and tired.
“What happened to you? Didn’t have a good night sleep last night?” I asked her.
She shook her head. We were seated by the window and the sunshine shining through seemed to trouble her.
“I didn’t sleep much last night. I had a very bad nightmare.” Kye Li said.
“Very horrible. I think she’s still shaking.” Aurora chipped in.
“That bad? Tell us about it!” Colin said.
“I don’t know….” Kye Li struggled to explain. “I don’t know if it’s a dream. It was so real!”
We reached Penang just the day before and had booked into this hotel along Penang Road. I and Colin shared a room, while the girls stayed in another room which was directly opposite the room next to ours.
After a tiring day walking around Georgetown, we went for dinner and then came back to the hotel to retire for the night. I went over to the girls’ room and chit chat for a while before going back to my room to sleep. There was no indication to prepare me for what would happen the following day.
As we ate our breakfasts, Kye Li slowly described what happened last night.
“I was talking to Aurora. We were both in bed. I think it was about 12.30am. I could see that Aurora was tired and wanted to sleep. I knew I should stop chatting with her and let her sleep. But somehow, I was not that sleepy.
But as I continued to talk, I realized she was about to doze off. I was starting to feel drowsy myself. Then I awoke with a start. I didn’t know if I imagined it, but I heard it! The water running in the bathroom as if someone was taking a shower.
I quickly sat up and shook Aurora to wake her up. I told her what I heard, so we just sat still for a while to listen. We heard nothing then, but we decided to check out the bathroom anyway. We had left the bathroom lights on, so we just opened the door and went in slowly to look.
Nothing. Shower was not turned on, no water running from the taps. Aurora said either I imagined it or what I heard was from the room next door. I was thinking, maybe that’s it! Anyway, we went back to bed after that.
I was chatting with Aurora for some time before starting to feel drowsy again. I think Aurora already slept – I was not sure – I was drifting into sleep. And then I awoke with a start! I saw several men in suits surrounding my bed. They started to pull me up from bed. I screamed. I saw Aurora still asleep next to me. I called her but she did not wake up. The men held my hands and legs and pulled me out from my bed, but somehow I struggled and struggled, screaming out for Aurora to wake up and help me.
Then I woke up. Aurora was sitting beside me. She said I was screaming like a mad person. I looked around. There were no men in suits. But everything else in the room was exactly the same as in my dream – every single detail including the box of tissue on the table beside my bed. And the clothes I placed on the chair. The details were exactly the same. I could not believe it was a dream!”
“She thinks the room is haunted.” Aurora said.
“Really?” I said. “It could just be a nightmare.”
“But it’s so real! I can even remember some of the faces of the men. One was very hideous. I remember his face very well. Oh, it’s so scary!” Kye Li said, trembling.
“Maybe you all should move out of the room.” Colin suggested.
“No!” Aurora shouted.
We all looked at her. “Why not?” Colin asked.
“I like the room!” I could hardly believe she said that.
“Besides,” she continued, “I think she’s just having a nightmare.”
Later that day, we searched for a temple and brought Kye Li there. I don’t remember the location of this temple, but we got Kye Li a talisman or ‘fu’ in Chinese.
Kye Li had almost forgotten her ordeal by the time we went back to the hotel to sleep that night. I was thinking, maybe with the talisman she felt much safer and was not worried anymore.
Boy, was I wrong! Both Colin and I were fast asleep when someone banged on our door. I quickly got up to my feet and asked who’s there. It was Kye Li. I quickly opened the door. She was crying.
“What happened?” I asked. Colin was by now behind me.
“Aurora. She…..she….” Kye Li stammered.
“What happened to her?” Colin asked.
Without waiting for her response, Colin and I stormed into her room. What I saw gave me the chills. Aurora was not on her bed. Instead, she was on the ceiling. Somehow, she was clinging to the ceiling, with her head tilted backwards and her long hair flowing downwards as she faced us.
I froze. Never in my life have I felt such horror. Colin gasped.
Aurora gave a crackling laughter as she moved towards us, her head tilted sideways as she looked at us. I backed out of the door in complete shock. But my legs gave way. I fell.
Then I woke up.
I could feel my heart beating fast and I was sweating. Colin looked at me and said, “You looked as if you have seen a ghost!”
I squinted as the sunlight from the window entered my eyes. I looked around the room. The dream was so real!
I then looked at Colin and said, “You know what, Colin?”
“What?” Colin frowned.
“We are changing room!”
“You are kidding me!” Colin protested.
“We are changing room right now!” I woke up from the bed and started to take my belongings and placed them in my luggage.
“Please don’t tell me you are having the same nightmare as Kye Li.” Colin teased.
“No, not the same. We are not having nightmares.”
“You mean this room is haunted? Is that what you mean?”
“Look Colin, are you packing your things or not? I am getting out of this room!” I almost shouted.
Colin noticed I was serious and quickly packed his stuff. As we went out of the room, the girls overheard the commotion and came out of their room.
“What happened?” Kye Li asked.
“This guy say we are going to request for a change of room!” Colin said pointing to me.
“Oh my God!” Kye Li trembled. “You experienced it too, Foong?”
“Yes, my God, yes! I was scared as hell! We shouldn’t have switched room with you girls last night!”
Note: This is a true story, except that we did not switch rooms. My friends Kye Li and Aurora requested for a change of room the day after Kye Li had her nightmare. At one point, Colin did suggest we switch room but I was too 'scaredy-cat' to go along with that idea! We did go to the temple to get Kye Li a talisman. But she insisted on changing room even with the talisman protection.
I just made up the rest of the story to spice things up. As to whether the hotel room was really haunted, we had no way of knowing but until now, Kye Li still believe it is haunted.
I am not going to mention the name of this hotel, except that from my hotel room, I can see the sea and E&O Hotel. I have changed the names of my friends to protect their privacy.