We’ve just made our reservations at the Maplewood Hotel in Lily Dale, New York. Thankfully, we were able to secure lodgings in Room 6, our favourite room. Judy, the hotel manager, noted that lots of people have been requesting that room, and I had to smile. I wrote about the ghostly happenings in Room 6 in my book Compassionate Messenger: True Stories From A Psychic Medium, and I guess readers are eager to experience a haunted hotel room for themselves. Well, if you’re one of the unlucky people who couldn’t get a reservation for Room 6, don’t fret: Room 42 is just as haunted.
For those of you who have never heard of Lily Dale (www.lilydaleassembly.com), it’s the largest Spiritualist community in North America. Spiritualism is the belief that death is just a transition, and the soul not only continues on, but that loved ones, friends and even long-lost acquaintances who have passed into spirit are available to help and support us through life – if we welcome it. More than three dozen registered mediums live on the grounds and give readings during the summer months, when the gated Victorian community opens its doors and offers intriguing workshops on topics including mediumship, reiki and how to meet your angels. Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra often lecture here. And I’ll be teaching a course on July 11 entitled “Mediumship in the Digital Age.”
If you choose to visit Lily Dale, one of the places to stay is The Maplewood Hotel, a rebuilt horse barn, which hasn’t changed much since it opened a century ago (bring a fan in the summer). People swear the place is haunted; stories abound of horse whinnies in the middle of the night, and a lady in Victorian clothes that floats up the second-floor stairway. When booking accommodations, people often request a haunted room, but Judy politely tells the uninitiated that the rooms are as clear as the sky on a summer day.
Though Room 6 occasionally wakes us with spirit noise, we deal with it because 6 is one of the few rooms at the Maplewood with cross ventilation. A slight drawback is the bench beneath one window, for when smokers sit there and begin to puff away, our thoughts run to wishing we had moved the bench during the night!
Lily Dale can get quite crowded on the weekends, and it’s almost impossible to get spur-of-the-moment accommodations at the Maplewood, or any of the other guest houses on the grounds. But luck was on our side last year, when circumstances dictated that we needed to get to the Dale a day earlier than our scheduled arrival. We’d been on the road for several hours and every motel we stopped at was either all booked up, or only smoking rooms were available. At 10 pm that night, we crossed our fingers and Benjamin telephoned to see if there was possibly an opening at the Maplewood. “We’ll even take a broom closet!” he begged the night manager.
Our guides came through. There was a last-minute vacancy.
“We’ll be there in 15 minutes!” he cried, and we made the 25-minute drive in record time. I don’t know how fast we were going because I kept my eyes closed most of the trip.
When the night manager saw us arrive with our luggage, he smiled sheepishly. “The room only has a double bed,” he said, and led us to the top floor. Room 42 was a small, square space with a hardwood floor, a bed, a wooden chair, and a two-drawer dresser.
Exhausted from our drive, we collapsed into bed and fell asleep.
Sometime during the night, we woke to the sounds of a creaking rocking chair, and then thudding footsteps walking around the bed. What was my husband doing out of bed, rummaging around the room? Maybe he was having a hard time snoozing, and was rocking himself to sleep. In my dog-tired state, I was too bushed to talk to him. The rhythmic sound of the rocking chair was like a metronome that quickly lulled me back to sleep.
When I woke the next morning, I saw Benjamin looking at the chair that definitely had four wooden feet on the floor. When he saw me, he said, “I could’ve sworn I heard a rocking chair in this corner last night.”
“Me, too,” I agreed.
Later that morning, we were able to move into the room we’d originally booked: number 6. A few days later, Benjamin and I happened to overhear a conversation on the Maplewood’s front porch between two women. One said she’d had a very interesting experience in her room last night involving a rocking chair and tramping footsteps around the bed.
“Were you by any chance in Room 42?” I asked.
The woman nodded. “I understand that happens to a lot of people,” she said. “On a person’s first night in Room 42, they’ll get a kind-of visitation, as if someone’s checking them out and making sure they’re ok.”
I smiled, happy to know that we’d evidently passed the Room 42 test and we’d been approved by spirit.
If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at mail @ carolynmolnar.com . And please visit me again!