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  • Writer's pictureKelly Romo

Behind My Writing: Working in Haunted Hotels

Writing, ghosts, bubble baths, and soaking pools.


Whenever I need to get my head wrapped back around my story or I need to do a final edit, I head out for a DIY writer's retreat. Two of my favorite places just so happen to be haunted. They are both in Oregon and part of McMenamins' hotels and restaurants. One is Edgefield and the other is The Grand Lodge.

McMenamins refurbishes and converts old buildings into hotels and restaurants. Edgefield used to be a poor farm along the Columbia River. It is now a large hotel with a golf course, movie theater, eleven different restaurants and bars, a spa and soaking pool, and a concert venue. The Grand Lodge used to be a Masonic and Eastern Star Lodge. It is now a hotel with two restaurants, three bars, and a movie theater.

I usually work on my writing until my head feels like it's about to cave in, then I enjoy some of the amenities.


Many of the rooms in McMenamins' hotels do not have their own bathrooms. There are shared baths for hotel guests, complete with showers and bathtubs. I love taking bubble baths when it is cold and stormy outside. The creepiest time I took a bubble bath was during a weekday when the hotel was practically empty. The picture of me above with my hair wrapped in a towel was taken that evening. I half expected to see a ghost in the photo behind me.

If you are interested in reading about some of the paranormal experiences of McMenamins' guests, here is a link to the McMenamins Blog.


Both hotels have soaking pools. The photo below is of the Edgefield soaking pool next to the spa. It is warm and steamy, and I usually get a cocktail at the Tea House bar while I soak.


The only damage I have done in one of the McMenamins' hotels is to set fire in one of the hotel rooms. I was given a room in the basement with the older wiring. I plugged my MacBook into the wall socket, and flames started shooting out and up the wall. I pulled the cord out and the electricity popped off, making the flames go away. I called the front desk to tell them what happened since I was afraid the fire could still be burning inside the wall or in the next room. I packed up my belongings and my melted cord and moved to another room, right next to an exit--just in case.

If you are ever in Oregon or in need of a great DIY retreat, I highly recommend one of McMenamins' hotels.


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