… or, no one in at the inn !!!
About 15 or so years ago my husband and I decided to visit MV in the middle of March. Why? Because we’d tried in December, gotten as far as Woods Hole and a raging blizzard prevented us from getting any further. To quell my disappointment my husband said we’d try again in a couple of months. We knew the Island would be quiet in March but didn’t realize just how quiet it would be.
We chose to stay here at the Harborside Inn in Edgartown (this is a summer picture). The Harborside is a complex of several buildings, in the winter they would keep only one building open. The building we were in is the middle of the three pictured. We were in the middle room of the top floor.
Edgartown in the winter is quiet and solitary… ok, it’s pretty much deserted. A few restaurants are open, one or two B&B’s, a few stores and not much else. Some of the shops still have displays in their darkened windows, an unfair look at their tempting wares.
We checked in and were told that after 5pm no one would be at the desk. That we could make outgoing calls but incoming calls would go to their answering machine and those messages would be delivered in the morning. This was before cell phones… the dark ages, pre-personal electronic communication devices. And we were warned that if we lost our room keys we’d literally be out in the cold.
We settled in for our first night of quiet and solitude. It eventually occured to me that there was just a little too much quiet. There were no other human noises in the building, no lights on but ours… there was only the creaking of the floors and the eerie screams of the wind against the windows. Were we the only ones at the inn, the only ones in the entire complex? Yes we were, and suddenly the quiet was deafening and the solitude was ominous. Daylight couldn’t come soon enough.
Our first full day on MV we explored the beauty of the Island in winter.. or at least I did with my camera, my husband sought shelter in the car as often as possible. After a delicious dinner we headed back to the inn for the night. The weather forecast was for a winter storm with wind gusts over 60mph. I hoped that the power wouldn’t go out.
And then I heard voices… muffled at first and then clearer. A creak. A door being closed. Water running. A laugh. Could it be, were there other people in the building ! I felt relief. That night, despite the howling winds, I slept well knowing that we were not alone. I almost felt a bond to these other guests. But in the morning there was no sign of them… no noises from their room next to ours, no creaks or voices, no nothing. Did I dream them, were they real or perhaps visitors from across time and space that previously inhabited this former whaling captain’s home ! The mind runs wild sometimes on a blustery and stormy winter night especially on an Island with a history of hauntings… especially to a person with a vivid imagination.