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Sunday, July 30, 2017

The "The Flanders Hotel: Part II - A Ghostly Adventure" Story

Post card showing The Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, NJ.
It was an ordinary day.  Standing outside the main entrance to The Flanders Hotel at 719 11th Street in Ocean City, New Jersey trying to find a place to leave my grandson's bicycle which I had borrowed for my trip to the hotel.  At the main entrance was a young woman who was greeting people as they entered and left the hotel so I asked if she could watch my bicycle while I took a few photographs inside the hotel.  
Main entrance.
With a big smile, she said, "Certainly."  The reason for my visit today was to take some photos for a story, but also to see if I could find evidence of a young woman named Emily who was said to haunt The Flanders Hotel.  Emily, known also as "The Lady in White", is perhaps the hotel's most famous visitor since she is a ghost.  She is described as being in her early twenties with long brown hair and has been seen around the hotel with the main lobby, second floor, fourth floor and lower catacombs as her favorite places to haunt.  She is said to be a happy soul who dances, laughs and sings as she roams the hotel.  At times she disappears through walls as well as unscrews light bulbs and plays with door knobs.  A portraiture of Emily can be seen on the hotel's second floor inside one of the rooms along what is known as the hall of mirrors.  Well, after entering into the main lobby I began my search for Emily.  Walked through the lobby and found myself in a hallway leading to, of all places, "Emily's Cafe."  She seems to be a legend in this place.  
These door handles have probably seen
people from all over the world; people
of every race and nationality; people of
wealth as well as the homeless.  I will
now be one of those people as I enter.
Found the stairs and headed to the hall of mirrors on the second floor where she has been sighted several times in the past few years.  I found an employee in the hall and asked where I might find the painting of Emily that I have read about.  He ushered me into a large dining area and pointed to the full length painting of a young girl in flowing white gown with long brown hair and bare feet.  Must be her, I reasoned.  I stood in front of the painting and drew my camera to my eye.  For some reason it wouldn't focus.  Placed it on manual focus and still couldn't get it to focus.  Weird!  Really weird!!  Never happened before!  Put the camera back on autofocus and snapped a photo just in case it might have been my eyes that were blurred.  I was mesmerized as I stared at the painting.  She was looking at me!  I just know she was.  Felt as if her eyes were looking right through me.  After about 30 seconds of that, I had to turn and leave the room.  
As you see, Emily has her own eating place.
Asked the employee a few questions about the painting and he said he hears voices at times in the large room and there's nobody there.  Also, at times the lights in the room would flicker and he had no idea why they did.  We talked more about Emily and I asked if I could visit the basement catacombs where Emily has been sighted many times before.  
He told me to hop on the elevator with him, since he was headed down anyway.  One floor down the door opened and he stepped off.  
Gown that Emily has worn?
Told me to hit "B" and when the door opened to get off.  He didn't seem to want any part of visiting the catacombs with me.  The door opened one more time and I stepped off in a dimly lit area.  Looked around for something I could take a photo of when another worker asked what I was doing in the basement.  Told him I was looking for Emily.  He asked if I was a guest in the hotel and after telling him I wasn't, he told me to get back on the elevator and head to the main lobby.  I snapped a few photos in the lobby area and headed back for my grandson's bicycle.  
Lobby area in The Flanders Hotel.
As I stood in front of the hotel, I wondered what I had just exper- ienced.  Not sure!  Grabbed my camera and began to look at the photographs I had taken when I notice the photo I had taken of the painting of Emily.  It was blurred, just as it was in my viewfinder.  No other photos I had taken were blurred.  It was then that I realized I had encountered something really weird!  Dare I go back inside for another look?  Nah!  There's always next year ... when I bring someone along with me.  Not quite as scary that way.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

Hallway where the public can shop.
Partial view of the exterior of the hotel.
The Flanders Hotel sign.  Above it can see the metal scrollwork that is visible on all exterior walls.

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