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Presence at the Comfort Inn of DeFuniak Springs, FL

by Chris
(DeFuniak Springs, Florida)

As a long-time hospitality employee, I am used to odd things happening at hotels. Strange noises, unexplained feelings of being watched, etcetera are par for the course if you're in the business for very long. Most can be explained very easily: wind, water in the pipes, settling of the building, and so on.

At the Comfort Inn and Suites of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, however, I am left unable to explain the occurrences fellow staff members and I have experienced.

On the third (and upper-most) floor is a maintenance room at the end of the hall near room 302. It houses breakers, some water pipes, and the roof access hatch. A couple of months ago, I received a call from a guest staying in room 302 around 2:00 in the morning. The guest was asking me if I could call the room just up from hers and ask them to stop "the banging sounds" that they were making. There is no guest room just up from 302 ... it is the maintenance room. So, I told the guest I would check into it, and went up to the third floor.

When I exited the elevator, I had to go all the way to the end of the hall to reach room 302. I wanted to see if I could hear what the guest had heard to see if I could figure out what the noise was. The closer I got to the end of the hall, I heard a loud "bang", "bang", "bang" that was obviously coming from the maintenance room. I got concerned, as I thought maybe someone had unlocked the door and was tampering with the water pipes. I inserted my key into the maintenance room door, turned the handle, and cracked the door open slightly. The banging stopped. The light inside the room was turned on as well.

I went inside, looked around thoroughly, checked the roof access hatch (it was securely locked), then flipped off the light switch and closed the door. As I turned my key to lock the room, the banging began again. Very quickly, I threw the door back open. The light was back on and the banging again stopped. I went back inside the room, and checked every square inch. The water pipes were solid metal, so I assumed they were the source of the noise. Perhaps air pressure drops, I thought. I listened closely to the pipes for about two minutes, heard nothing, then went back to the door, flipped off the light again, and left the room. Just like before, the instant I turned my key, the banging began again, this time VERY loudly.

I flung the door open yet again. The light was turned on and, just like before, the banging stopped when the door opened. In a cardboard box in the corner of the room were a few maintenance supplies: some PVC fittings, a few light bulbs, and some duct tape. I grabbed the tape, tore off a piece, and placed it over the light switch after I flipped it off again. This time I was able to lock the door and make about ten steps away from the room before the banging began again.

I rushed back to the room, worried that the guest in 302 would hear the noise and come out to investigate. I unlocked the door, opened it, and the light was on. The duct tape was right where I left it, but the switch was flipped up underneath it. That was enough for me. I locked the door, made a few steps, and the banging began again. I went to the elevator, took it back down to the first floor, and called the guest in 302. I told them that it sounded like "plumbing issues", and asked if they wanted to be moved to another room. Oddly enough, they said they had not heard the banging sound at all since they phoned the desk the first time, and were content to stay in the room. It seemed as though they had not heard any of the noise being made while I was upstairs opening and closing the maintenance room door, not to mention the banging sounds.

That was the first instance of the sound being reported by someone. Every few nights after that, though, whenever someone would stay in room 302, the banging would start around 2:00 AM. If no one went to investigate, it would keep doing it until about 6:00 AM, then just stop on its own. This has been going on for a couple of months now, and every employee that has worked the night shift has reported either hearing the noise themselves, or have had guests that stayed in room 302 phone the desk and report it.

I am truly at a loss as to what is happening on the third floor, but it is quite pesky, annoying, and incessant in its noise-making.

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