Spirit Garden: Explorations in the Spiritual

Author, shaman, and psychic medium Catt Foy shares experiences and knowledge on a wide range of spiritual topics.

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My Psychic Life: The Hotel Vendome

We laughed and poured another glass of wine.  The noises in the hall continued—the sounds of a muffled party, people laughing, glasses clinking, the soft murmur of conversation, once-removed.

“You hear that, too, don’t you?” I asked Debbie. Her eyes opened a little wider and she nodded with a closed-mouth smile.  The smile and the wine were to cover her anxiety over the noises we had been listening to for the past two hours.

It was the summer of 1987 and we were in Room 16 of the Hotel Vendome in Prescott, Arizona.  Debbie—an old friend from Houston—had called me in Scottsdale to tell me that she was staying there for a few days.  Her father was the caretaker of the hotel and when he told her it was haunted, she immediately thought of me. 

“Do you want to spend the night in a haunted hotel?” she had asked on the phone. 

Uh...yeah!

I felt fully prepared to experience a ghost first-hand.  After all, I had been studying the metaphysical and paranormal phenomena for years. Little did I realize how visceral my response would be the evening’s events. And how real it would all be.

I got up and opened the door to the hallway. 

Silence.

I closed the door and within seconds, the noises returned.  Clearly a party happening somewhere in the hotel.  I opened the door again.  Again, nothing.  Silence.

It was nearly 3 AM, and we were close to going to bed, when I heard a train whistle outside our window. 

“Listen!” I said, excited because I love trains. “A train!”

Debbie’s eyes got bigger still and she stopped smiling. She swallowed her wine as though it were a mouth full of gravel. 

“There are no more trains in Prescott,” she whispered, looking furtively about.

I didn’t believe her.  Surely there were still trains—after all, hadn’t I just heard one? The whistle, the chugging sounds…

Debbie laughed nervously.  “Maybe Abby wants to get out of town.  That’s her ride!” 

It may have been the tension, but this remark seemed very funny at the time.  We began laughing when the adjacent bathroom seemed to explode with sound, clanging and banging into a hellish crescendo. The temperature in the room dropped significantly.  By the time I realized I could see my breath, we were well on our out toward the door, suitcases and all.

As I reached into the closet for my suitcase, I notice a white dress hanging in the closet.

As we crossed the lobby to a backup room Debbie had reserved for us.  The night clerk looked up, smiling and shook her head.  For her we were just another incident in the history of the haunted Hotel Vendome.

We certainly weren’t the first to experience odd phenomena in Room 16.  We began our adventure by telling all the hotel staff not to reveal any previous reports.  As a psychic, I wanted to experience the place “cold” so that any information I received, or experiences we had were not created by our imagination or our expectations. When we checked into Room 16, the only thing we knew about the alleged ghost was that her name was Abby. 

Subsequent interviews with staff and others revealed a long history of phenomena, beginning in 1983 when the old hotel was renovated—a known trigger for paranormal phenomena.  Built in 1916 and opened in 1917, the hotel had served as a boarding house in the years prior to the renovation.

We also learned that train service to Prescott had ended several years earlier

Guests and staff reported a wide range of activity.  Light and the television being turned on and off when the room is vacant.  A third-shift attendant was making her rounds one hot August night when she went to investigate the lights going on and off in Room 16, only to discover the room was “cold as ice.” Curtains on one window moved as though a breeze was blowing, in the un-air-conditioned hotel with the window closed.  Much of the phenomena is associated with the small closet—the one where I had seen the dress hanging. The closet door opens and closes on its own.

Other reports tell of a crying cat—one guest suffered an allergic reaction while staying in Room 16.  His only allergy was to cats. Staff members report that they often have to replace the shower curtain because the bottom becomes shredded—as if a cat had clawed it.

Long distance phone calls appeared on the phone bill, on nights when the room was unoccupied. The number called was in Scottsdale, but the residents at that number had never received a call. The old call-bell system, no longer in use, often rings—from Room 16 when there are no guests.

The manager of the hotel in the 1980s reported that she has had numerous experiences in this room.  “I was cleaning the hallway one day outside Room 16, and I heard her cough.”  Abby allegedly died from consumption.  “It was a weak little cough, but I knew it was Abby.”

I knew it was Abbey, too.  I had heard that 3 AM train whistle.

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Catt Foy has been a professional psychic and astrologer since 1978 and a freelance writer and photographer since 1981.  She is the author of Psycards--A New Alternative to Tarot, and the novel Bartleby:  A Scrivener's Tale.  She holds an MA from Western Illinois University and an MFA in Fiction from Spalding University, and is currently CEO of Psycards USA.  Catt likes to garden, paint, and make jewelry, and is currently working on several other novels.  She lives with her husband and two feline companions in an RV in Eugene, Oregon.

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