Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ghost and the Necktie

The Gentleman Ghost wearing a suit and necktie
The Gentleman Ghost wearing a suit and necktie
by Jeffrey Hunter 

A gentleman ghost who wears a suit and tie for Halloween

The legend of the gentleman ghost wearing a tie at the State Inn on Oak Hollow Lane was a most haunting tale as any other ghost story.  It was quite an attraction for the small town of Grants New Mexico to say the least.

"A most gentlemanly ghost wearing neckties" the tag line pitch on the highway bill boards. However this was a haunted house that wasn't of great notoriety, not because it was unworthy.  It was a sensational haunting, however the town of Grants New Mexico was hardly a spot on the map.  Before the Interstate went through New Mexico, Grants was at least a gasoline, bathroom, food pit stop and if the timing was right, a nights rest on the trek going east to west from Chicago to Los Angeles, or visa verse on Old Route 66.  The town's main attraction had to compete with other towns promoting their tourist traps such as the famous Arizona "thing" an alien supposedly found near Area 51 and the Billy The Kid in Fort Sumner New Mexico.  The competition was especially a great challenge after Interstate 40 was completed and Grants New Mexico could easily be missed in the blink of eye.
The Old State Inn Haunting

The haunting of the Old State Inn on Oak Hollow Lane was practically forgotten save for the few ghost enthusiasts who had knowledge of its past reputation or the modern travelers that just happened to arrive in Grants when the long day on the road had taken toll on the weary.

The main attraction of this tourist trap was very polite tie wearing ghost who had charmed his way into the hearts of all who stayed at the State Inn. He never made an appearance until late at night and he was not easy to count on. It was as if he had other matters to tend to besides his entertaining of tourists.  Most of the time he was not alone for his appearances. The ghostly gentlemen wearing a suit and necktie was usually accompanied by his likewise ghost wife who had been by his side helping manage the State Inn in its hey day in the late 20s and 30s when Route 66 was the most significant road to travel across the USA.

The staircase to the haunted loft of the Old State Inn 
After dinner the guests would climb the stairs to the loft where the ghostly gentlemen would sometimes appear.  At the very top of the stairs the every gust would trip and fall on landing of the loft.  The Gentleman ghost would show himself with a very amusing smile startling the curious patron of the Inn.  It was not everyone who would see the ghost however everyone did not fail to stumble on that last step.  As would be expected an eerie feeling would overwhelm the guests when appearing in the usual transparent haze that is becoming of ghosts would be a gentlemanly ghost in a suit and necktie.

Sometimes the Gentleman Ghost would be accompanied by a lady who was said to be his wife. He was never threatening nor was his wife although they always became very amused at the manner in which the guest would try to shrug off the clumsy fall.  And them as quick as the ghost would appear he would gone in an instant.  The staff of the Old State Inn would always get a kick out of and sure they would receive a nice tip too for being a guide of sort.

The haunting of the Old State Inn in Grants New Mexico had been the pride of Grants for as long as anyone could remember. Certainly the guests were astonished by this phenomenon however there was one young man who was not so impressed indeed.  To say he was a  non-believer would be an understatement as he had decided to prove that the ghost story was a big hoax.

Only he ventured to the second floor to where the staircase to the loft was.  It was not so hard to figure out the cause of the stumbling at the top of the stairs. The very last rise of the stair case was 11/2 inches taller then the rest. This certainly was the cause of the miss-stepping and the stumbling.  As for the appearance of the Ghost he gad a very simple theory to explain nit away.  The guest that had claimed to see the ghost were merely faking the sighting so they could feel special among the other guests.

The clever guest was so proud of himself after his discovery of the difference in the stair rise that he immediately set out to prove his theory of the mysterious appearance of the gentleman ghost in a suit and tie as not actually ever occurring.  Ever so confident of himself he raced up the stairs and no he did not trip on the very last rise as he skipped that last step and hopped on to the landing of the loft

He did however become quite startled when just before him was the gentleman ghost so carefully groomed in handsome attire and his wife each with smirk on the faces.  As if to say you think you are so smart to prove me false and my loving wife no less.  Then he heard with in his head the soft voices of the ghostly pair, "We would never cause any harm to the guests of the Old State Inn.  That would not be a polite manner in which to treat them. It was never are intention to cause them to fall either."   They looked upon him with a bit of disdain and then in an instant they were gone. The man was spellbound , taken aback with a bit of solitude as he had failed to proved that the gentleman ghost wearing a suit and
tie was a fake.  He returned the lobby a bit disheveled and explained that he had a perfectly sound explanation to why the guest of the Old State Inn would fall at the top of the stairs.  "You see it is a matter of measurement, the top rise in about 1 1/2 inches taller than the rest of the rises."

As for the ghosts that you have here I am at a loss to explain that.  And with that the entire staff of the Old State Inn on Oak Hollow Lane in Grants New Mexico became quite happy as did most of the town folk. Tombstone had the OK Corral, Albuquerque had the Hot Air Balloon Festivals, Sante Fe had Georgia O'Keeffe, and someplace without even a name had an alien corpse.  Grants had a haunted hotel, the Old State Inn with its very own gentleman ghost who wore a suit a necktie!   Why not, after all Shakespeare did say the apparel oft proclaim the man - er ghost.

I was inspired to write this make believe story after remembering Jimmy Stewart tell a story of a bed and breakfast in Connecticut that was said to be haunted.  He had figured the mystery out by measuring the steps of the stair case to the loft that everyone seemed to trip on by the miss-deeds of a ghost.

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