Just for kicks, Marie asked the fellow who was supposed to haunt our room. He told us that it was a ghost called "The Lady in Red". She was a prostitute who was strangled by a jealous boyfriend and her tormented spirit still lingered in the hotel. She was said to follow guests around, and to play with the gaming equipment in the casino.
"A gambling ghost?" I asked laughingly. The boy glared at me, and I was sorry for making a joke about something he obviously believed in. We said a hasty good-night and went up to the sixth floor.
As we neared our room, Marie gasped and grabbed my arm. I stopped and looked at her. She pointed, wide-eyed, toward the far end of the hallway. Before our eyes, the glowing figure of a woman came hurrying toward us. I shivered superstitiously, my skin prickling in the sudden cold as she rushed passed us and walked right through the wall next to our room.
"Good lord, there really is a ghost in our room!" I gasped.
"I am not going in there," Marie said firmly. Her face was pale and her black eyes were wide with fear. "No way."
I didn't much feel like going in there either, but we had gotten a special deal for two nights, paid in advance and non-refundable. I didn't want to waste our money. In the end, I wrenched open the door, turned on the light, and investigated every corner, looking for the Lady in Red. She was gone.
Marie absolutely refused to set foot in the haunted room. In the end, I had to go down to the desk and request a room on another floor. The boy didn't say much when I told him we had seen the Lady in Red, but he gave me a know-it-all smirk that made me want to smack him, and assigned us to a room on another floor. Marie barely got a wink of sleep that night. She kept waking up, afraid that the Lady in Red would come walking through the wall and do terrible things to us. We were up at dawn and had checked out of the Mizpah by breakfast time the next day.
From that day on, Marie always booked our hotels, and she always made sure that there were no ghosts anywhere on the premises before she made a reservation.