Gibson Girls Ghost Never Goes Alone
In 2007, after I closed my first boutique in Apalachicola, I took a temporary position at the Gibson Inn to make ends meet. My normal shift was 7 to 3 but Sherry or Tonya had other things they needed to do that night so I worked 3 to 11.
Around 10pm on a weeknight the place is pretty deserted. All of the guests were upstairs with the Captain. He's our Gibson Ghost. He's been seen by guests on numerous occasions and everyone loves their Gibson ghost stories. There's even a book of stories where guests can tell about waking up to the covers moving or hearing footsteps when no one's there. It wasn't unusual to hear a guest leaving early in my shift with a new tale to tell at parties.
Working the front desk has a rhythm. When you work a certain shift you get used to the rhythm. Make the coffee, just a pinch of salt in the grounds to keep it from being bitter, print receipts, give directions, smile, check your boss for boogers, etc. That last request was special to this job. She said we'd be fired if we knew she had a booger hanging out and didn't tell her.
When I started my 3-11 shift I checked in the 1 new guest for the night and they went upstairs to settle in. We had a couple of regulars that came in for drinks and left. Once it was dark, the hotel took on a different vibe. Not scary, just different. I chalked it up to being new to the evening shift. If only I had a TV for distraction.
I brought a book since I was warned how slow it gets. How could I say no to reading while getting paid $7.25 an hour to man the desk? At the time I had been watching ghost shows off and on for a few years so I was getting pretty good at de-bunking tales. It was eerily quiet that night.
Since we had free sodas from the bar, all the bar snacks you could stand, a dim lobby, a good book, what else could I possibly need?
The ladies room is just a distraction from the monotony of no one else to talk to so I go for a stroll. The restrooms are the first door down the hall so I pop in for a moment. I took my book just so my reading wasn't interrupted by a tinkle. I sat down and did my business but just then a guest came in and entered the stall next to me. I was reading and zipping up and such so I wasn't paying close attention but I heard someone next to me pull off paper from the roll. It's a distinct sound. Squeak, roll, etc. The toilet then flushed.
I was a little concerned for a few minutes because I had left the desk un-manned and I was worried a guest had needed help with something and I had abandoned my post. I flushed, zipped, and went to the sink area to wash. I looked in the mirror and I was stunned. Dumbfounded even. This can't be right.
No one was in there with me. Wait, what? I looked in the stall just to be sure. I KNOW someone was just there. I felt them walk in the room. I heard them rolling off paper. They flushed. I'm losing it.
That's just not possible. I keep playing it over and over in my head.
The only rational explanation isn't rational. Toilets weren't even in there 100 years ago. Is this a ghost of a more recently deceased lady that had such a great trip they decided to just stay for eternity? Are they just visiting old haunts? Maybe one day we'll know for sure but until then I'll never forget the experience of being visited by a Gibson Girl.