I have previously commented that I’ve only had a small handful of experiences during my 10 years of
investigating.  Consider it amusing, annoying, or coincidence, but those experiences never seem to be caught
on tape.  Such was the case at a New York area hotel. All night I had been filming with my camcorder and when
I needed to complete one simple task for the group I left it behind, thinking I would only be gone for a few
minutes … and what could possibly happen.

As a disclaimer, I will say that this hotel was actively being used. However, it was very lightly occupied and
being that it was somewhere around midnight, the majority of the staff had gone home. A small contingent of
front desk staff had remained on call. We had the run of the majority of the main floor, the dining room, the
lobby, an upstairs “ballroom”, the basement, and two of the more haunted hotel rooms.  I don’t recall ever
seeing a hotel guest, but did come across a few staff members (who were not really aware of where we would
be at any given time, but did know that we would be conducting an investigation throughout the hotel and
were considerate of that).

My experience here came in the main kitchens. We had been in that area early in the night and I hadn’t
necessarily felt ‘alone’ but no audio or video was caught. At some point later on we had proceeded to the
basement to conduct an EVP session at the base of the service elevator shaft where the story persisted that a
person had died there (murder? suicide? true/false?).  Our group had hoped to get the elevator to the first
floor and be able to open the doors in the basement (obviously there are safeguards to prevent that).  I had
the idea of going upstairs and calling up the elevator, then trying to hold it there while the group downstairs
pried open the doors.  

The mistake I made here was leaving my camcorder behind. I didn’t even take a tape recorder (and really for
safety reasons I should have taken a second person). In hindsight, and going forward, I try to never go
anywhere empty handed. You never know when something will happen and it always seems to be just when
you aren’t expecting it or ready for it.

To get to the service elevator I had to go back upstairs, through the dining room and into the kitchen. The
kitchen had two double swinging doors that open directly to the kitchen area. To the immediate left was a door
with a small window and to the right, down a short hallway, was the elevator on the left and another door with
small window. No one was around as I entered the dining room. Upon entering the kitchen I didn’t see anyone
either. I turned to my right to head down towards the elevator and had taken only a few steps before a shadow
passed by the window at the end of the hall.  I hesitated. My first thought was “uhhhmmm …” If I’d had my
camcorder I would have been recording. After hesitating for about ten seconds I got my wits about me and
went down towards that door, as I reached it I found it was locked and I couldn’t see anyone in the angles I
had to work with.  

Without any evidence to back up what I thought I saw, I decided to brush it off and set to doing the task I’d
come to the kitchen for. That ended up being futile, as you no doubted expected, and the five-ten minutes
spent netted nothing. Calling it quits I decided to just head back downstairs.  Just before I was about to go
back towards entrance of the kitchen I heard a noise over in that area, a swishing of sorts, and turned to find
the double doors to the kitchen swinging slightly, as though someone had slipped through them. Before I
could even take a step towards the doors another shadow darted behind the window of the door next to the
ones currently swinging. It brought me up short and for a second I had to process what I was seeing. This time
I was positive. It was definitely someone or something. I rushed down there and again found the door locked
but saw nothing/no one behind it.

It was frustrating. I had nothing to prove what I saw. I spent a few minutes at those kitchen doors trying to see
what might have caused the movement. There was airflow moving between them and it’s entirely possible that
a draft had snuck through and caused it. It’s also possible that I was the shadow I saw in both windows
(though they moved quite quickly).  It’s easy for me to come up with excuses for what I saw.  I think a good
investigator will try to do that though, find explanations for supposed paranormal events. It’s good to want to
believe, but by taking everything at face value you risk diminishing your credibility.  As it was, because of my
lack of foresight, at the end of the investigation I had nothing but a personal experience to add to my books.
M.C.P.I.
Monroe COUNTY PARANORMAL investigations
if you believe in the hereafter you know what we're here after
A Night At A New York Hotel
By: Jen Edmiston
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