(continued, from below)
… needless to say, that didn’t go well. We weren’t really drunk on anything other than our godawful sense of self-amusement and the spirits (HEE-HAW) we’d cribbed from the QFC across the street:
… but regardless, the thirty-something minutes we spent trying to channel our inner JOE CHIN(S) only yielded a series of audio recordings so embarrassingly awful that they’ve practically become an apocryphal footnote within the framework of the Hauser family lore.
A few choice examples of the greatness that took place in the still darkness of room 202, for the sake of virtual posterity:
Mel: Is there anybody in here with us?
(pregnant pause, bridged by Jynx’s snoring)
Mel: Anybody aside from my stupid sister, and her big, greasy face?
Exene: Anybody at all?
Mel: Anybody who isn’t Jynx? We’d like to apologize for her OBNOXIOUS SNORING, since it might be keeping Kathrine…
Mel: “Kate” is SHORT for “Katherine.”
Exene: Is it?
Mel: I think. Right?
Exene: It depends on the spelling…
Yes. “It depends on the spelling.” This transcripted tagnut makes up less than twelve seconds of the entire series of recordings, but even with the long blocks of nothing but helpless, gurgle-sot laughter, this probably constitutes the worst effort at a shotgun séance in the history of paranormal hobbyism. To effectively beat this horse-carcass point further, the final four minutes consist of a continuous apology to a ghost that probably bugged the fuck on out of the room the moment she saw us come pratfalling through the door, as our efforts to “get serious” causes things to degenerate to a whole new level of helpless, rib-ripping giggles.
Mel: How do you feel about having so many people in your home, tonight?
Exene: It has to be strange, though… though we’re really enjoying being here. It’s quite nice.
Mel: The overall aesthetic of the rooms is amazing. I’ve been here twice before, and I always find something new when I’m walking around the grounds. You must be very proud.
(Cue a long, awkward stretch of silence; throat-clearing and then–spontaneously–a lost-fight bout of hapless, wheezing laughter.)
Mel: REALLY? “I’M ENJOYING BEING HERE…”
Exene: AS OPPOSED TO “THE OVERALL AESTHETIC?” SHE’S A GHOST FROM THE 1800’s, NOT PAUL FUCKING LYNDE-
Anyway. Going back to a point previously touched on—and in trying to right this son of a bitch into something resembling a coherent account my experiences—there’s actually something to be said about the hapless slapstickery outlined above. It speaks to the fact that room 202 has absolutely none of the electric thrum or subtle menace found in many legitimate—and yes, I do use that term within the maximum objectivity allowed by the subject matter—haunts. Anybody who’s ever happened into an environment which might quantifiably fit this description will know exactly what I’m talking about; the heightened sensory pitch, the unsettling and unwavering sensation that there is someone else within that space. It’s got absolutely zilch-all to do with rattling chains and flying phonebooks, and instead hits you in the same primal cubbyhole of your consciousness that houses the heat of lust and the numbing cold of loss. You can’t qualify it within the realm of logic, but it’s the same kind of instinctual flint-strike of a feeling that one gets when visiting a place of great tragedy; I’ve been humbled by it while wandering around the decommissioned treatment wings at Steilacoom and had it crawl under my skin at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
But at Manresa?
No. It’s got a salve for my inner creep, a fixed designation as the go-to spot for our future Halloween happenings and the kind of charm that melts over a weekender like warm butter, but not much to stroke the curious nerves of the ghost-chasing stalwart.
EDITOR’S ADDENDUM: The gallery-style photos in the post below were taken at Seattle’s own Klondike Penny’s, which is really the only goddamned place you should be thinking of going to for those awesome old-timey photos of you and your wife and cat dressed as Old West brigands that you’ve been wanting so badly.
KP’s is a sweet little skip-jump from Pioneer Square, and occasionally accepts walk-in appointments. Tell them that Mel and Jynx sent you, for the “I have no earthly clue as to who the hell those assholes are” discount.