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School Trip

Aurora, PA, USA
February 2004

In the eighth grade my class took a trip to the historical Civil War battle site: Gettysburg. I was only thirteen at the time and staying in a hotel room with three girls of the same age, and we had a group of two teachers rooming next to us with a connecting door.

The first day that we were there, I was unpacking in my room with my friend Julie. The two other girls, Laine and Beth were checking out the hotel and waiting until later to pack up their stuff. Julie and I were unpacking our hair and teeth care items by the sink in the small bathroom when we heard a dripping noise coming from the bathtub behind us. When we turned around to check it out the water came bursting out of the shower head at full blast. As soon as it had started it stopped. We were incredibly scared at this and when the two other girls came back we told them about the weird happening and vowed that we wouldn't use the bathroom unless someone else was sitting outside of the door.

Later that day we were on a bus tour of the town and one of the teachers from the room next door was telling a parent about a haunting in the hotel. She said that the last year when they stayed in the same hotel a girl from room 261 (my room) had been brushing her hair and looking in the mirror on the wall when she saw someone else's reflection standing behind her. The girl said that it was an old woman with a shawl covering her head and crying. When the girl turned around the old woman wasn't there and she never saw the reflection again. However, it was enough for the girl to move out of the room, scared out of her mind. I didn't know if this story was true, but based on the day's earlier occurrences, I didn't doubt it too much.

That night, for fun the teachers had scheduled a ghost tour of the city where we split up into groups and a young woman walked us around the town, pointing out well known haunted houses and telling us famous and personal haunt stories. She said something that I will never forget. She said that sometimes when a spirit was near one could smell a faint skunky smell in the air.

Later, at around midnight, we were laying in our beds watching TV in the room and suddenly I smelled it. The smell of skunk was coming from the corner of the room. The other girls began to smell it, but as soon as I said I was scared the smell disappeared. We all decided that it was probably just a part of our imaginations based on what we had heard earlier in the night.

The next day we were out most of the day and didn't get back to the hotel until late at night, when we collapsed on our beds and fell asleep in no time. Nothing noteworthy happened that day.

However, the next day when we were packing up our belongings to leave we decided to take pictures so that we would remember our decidedly haunted room forever. Beth had a Polaroid camera and we decided to use hers for faster development. We all gathered on my bed, near the corner and got a group shot. When the film developed we saw a white figure in the upper corner of the photo. To be sure that no one had just touched the film, making the figure, we took a few more pictures, all which turned out the same way. Then, we got a few other girls in our room, all of which took pictures that developed with the figure in the corner. Because of these figures I refused to go over to the side of the bed where the figure was floating and made someone else pack up my belongings.

I never got a copy of the picture of the spirit, in an attempt to forget the experience. However, I don't think I ever will forget my ghostly experience in one of the most haunted towns in the US.

Aurora, PA, USA
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