If you've had the chance to read our full case on the Franklin Hotel, you might have picked up that my overall non-investigation experience was a negative one. I've had some time to think about how that write up may have influenced your first impression of this place, and I realize now that months have gone by, that I owe it more then just my bias review. It's true that I felt there was an extreme disregard towards our presence here, which was more then just a little disappointing especially after having such an interesting investigation. And at the time I reviewed it I wasn't able to sit and reflect on it reasonably because I felt so put out by the staff. Honestly, we had expected a little more out of this town that seemed barely kept alive by its locals. But, as I look back I think they know and possibly understand this place way more then we ever could have in one evening. Now that I've had the chance to fully consider all of the events that transpired that night with a more objective mind, I feel that they might be trying to protect the hotel's secrets from the people they think are just out seeking a thrill...
Having said all of that, I need to point out that not everyone at this location treated us this way. Actually, of all the unlikely people to be friendly to us, Jennifer, the lady tending the bar that night was very open and welcoming. In fact, the group hanging out at her bar that evening was also excited to meet us. Before you ask, No, we were not drinking that night, though our earlier events led us to consider it! We stopped in, hoping to meet some reasonable people wanting to share their own personal experiences... Well we hit the jackpot! Seemed like all the towns "outcasts" believed in the spirit world, and just happened to be there ready to tell all as if we were reporters preparing to break open a huge case. What had started out as an uncomfortable evening was now beginning to turn around for us. When the guests finished telling their personal paranormal stories, the bar tender asked us if we would like a tour of the basement. Unfortunately the basement is kept under lock and key so we did not have full access to it throughout the evening. So, yes of course, we quickly accepted her invite, hoping that she wasn't taking us down there to lock us away for the evening.
The basement was amazing, if your into those creepy dark places... The exposed brick was dimly illuminated by the tiny windows leading to the street. We heard some of the bar's patrons exiting the building. As they stumbled down the dark empty road, their long shadows cast ghostly images across the brick walls and their muffled exchanges grew increasingly more faint with every footstep. Jennifer pulled down on the light bulb chain hanging from the ceiling, and finally the basement glowed. Though it didn't change the heaviness we expected to dissipate as the light filled the room. She led us around and explained how there was always a man down there watching her. She felt that it was a previous resident, the man famous for naming the spirit of the lingering prostitute Lily. Though she never felt any harm would come from him, she knew he was always there, even recalling the times and areas she had seen him. It was extremely eerie down there, I wont lie. I have my own basement and, you know, their no fun. Basements are cold, dark and there's cobwebs, but my basement is just a gross old basement. This one had a feeling, and it was the type that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Given the chance we would have stayed down there all night. At this point, if Jennifer had slammed and locked the door behind us, we would have welcomed it. The basement was looming with energy, something or someone was down there, and we wanted so badly to stay and investigate it. Having been led back up to the main floor and parting with our unexpected tour guide, we moved into the banquet room where we suddenly felt as though something was trying to get away from us. The moment we walked onto the platform both Wendy and I felt uneasy. Startled by a blast of cold air that pushed past us, I surprised myself by depressing the shutter on my camera in that exact moment. Most of the time I freeze and instead of snapping into action like I should, I tend to try to live in that moment as long as I can. Maybe it was the experience from the basement that did it, or the sudden emotional charge that both Wendy and I instantly recognized. Whatever the reason I'm happy for it, because I managed to capture something unexplainable. As I look at it again I'm immediately reminded of how it appears to be someone there, holding up an arm and waving at us. Was it just that? And if she was waving, was she saying hello or goodbye?
This was not the last of the strange occurrences that we encountered that evening though I have to stop here. The night became increasingly more interesting for us, and even though I was incredibly upset by our earlier encounters, I do owe a little credit to the registration clerk/waitress that we met upon our arrival. As we were being denied the room we reserved months in advance, she told us something that should have stood out more then it did at the time. She scoffed at us as we explained that we only booked that room because of the haunting we planned to investigate. Casting a cynical half smile on her cracked lips she dryly argued "Don't worry about that, every room here is haunted..." We departed this location realizing that this building was quite unique. Though unable to fully investigate it as we would have preferred, we still had many profound experiences that night. I'm left wondering why everything about this case was so different from every other location. Also what has drawn the man in the basement and Lily to remain inside the walls of this old hotel after all these years? Many questions remain unanswered. And based on just our experience with the hotel group, I don't think their very eager to give up the answers to these secrets any time soon.