In September of 2004, I was on an epic road trip back east with my (good) college roommates. Three of us were bridesmaids in a fourth roommate’s wedding. After a week doing wedding activities, after our newlywed friend absconded on her honeymoon, the three of us toured the east. We saw a lot of things and had a lot of fun. We each picked a main place to visit and planned a trip around that place. One of us REALLY wanted to go to Cape Cod, so we did.
Earlier that day– Wednesday, September 21, 2005– we’d been in Salem, and then we’d eaten dinner at the Outback Steakhouse near Salem. By the time we got out to the cape, it was really dark. We randomly selected a place to stay from a AAA book. The place we chose was really nice. We really loved our stay there. It’s a charming, well-priced, friendly location on the cape. As we pulled up to the motel, we drove by a cemetery. As we were checking into the room, I jokingly said, “I’ll bet the neighbors are quiet.” The owner gave a chuckle and handed us the keys.
We divided up the beds and set about getting ready for sleep. I was exhausted, and after a little reading, I fell asleep quickly. At some point around 3:30 am, I woke up needing to use the restroom. I was too scared to get out of bed because the ceiling tiles looked like they were casting a shadow that looked like a person-shaped shadow above my bed. After making the jokes about the cemetery earlier, I had a creepy feeling I was being watched. So I lay in bed with my eyes closed trying to build up the courage to get out of bed.
One of my roommates beat me to it.
M had food poisoning so her need to use the restroom was a little more urgent. As soon as she got up and went into the bathroom, I turned on the light above my bed. My roommate was glad I was awake too. When we both were ready to finish off the night in more restful repose, we both agreed to leave the bathroom light on all night, with the bathroom door cracked to let the light inside our room. With the bathroom light on, the shadow over my bed began to fade. Eventually, it was gone.
The morning was slightly dramatic because the hurricane about to hit near M’s family in Texas. My other roommate, had completely slept through the night and thought the two of us were silly for leaving the light on in the bathroom “all night”. Once M contacted all her family, and we’d packed up our things, we continued our grand adventures.
At some point, we got on the topic of leaving the light on. I mentioned that I felt like I was being watched, and that’s why I turned the light on when M got out of bed. It sent shivers down my spine when M mentioned something about being watched and seeing a shadow near my bed– but since she was going away from the shadow, and because she had more pressing issues, she was able to get up the courage to get out of bed.
Part of me wonders if it was a coincidence or a shared experience that took on a collaborative life of its own. But, as with most of my stories, there’s a bite of truth in them. Turns out Sandwich has a whole slew of ghost stories– and why wouldn’t it? It’s on Cape Cod, where some of the first European settlers came to the states in the 1600’s. The history doesn’t say “ghosts”, but it does lend itself to, at the very least, a good yarn.
I’m still not sure if my mind was playing tricks or if I was paid a visit from the quiet neighbors in the cemetery next door… but I did enjoy my stay, and I’d recommend a visit out to Sandwich, MA anytime.