It’s cool how something so simple can bring back such a flood of memories. The humble matchbook, pretty much extinct now, was the perfect keepsake from a restaurant, bar, hotel, shop. They’re small and colorful and creative. Some of them were quite beautifully designed. Little works of art. And I’ve got three big cigar boxes full of them. Not that I’ve been a collector. I just wanted to set them aside and be able to look back at them one day and remember the places, the people, the fun. Today seems like as good a day as any for that.
Good thing we learned the place was haunted after we returned home. “I knew something was creepy about that hotel,” my son says.
True, the kids had expressed mild concern over a closet door opening by itself in our room on the afternoon of our arrival at the Colony Hotel. “And I heard a sound in the middle of the night like somebody stepping really hard in the hallway,” my daughter remembers.
“Come on, that was just somebody walking back to their room,” her brother says, looking slightly less than convinced.
Built in 1926, the historic Colony Hotel in downtown Delray Beach, Florida, is a wonderful place to spend a long Labor Day weekend. Creaky hardwood floors and antique light fixtures and old photographs of the property and of long-gone guests lining the walls. Never once did it cross my mind that it might be haunted, nor have I ever believed in things being haunted in the first place. That’s ridiculous.
But now that we’ve read some online chatter about apparitions and unexplained sounds and sightings at the Colony, I’m not so sure. Maybe I just want to believe. Pondering the possibility quickens the pulse and seems to heighten the senses. It’s a strangely appealing buzz.
Not so for my daughter. “That’s the last time you make me stay in some scary old hotel,” she says.
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