During the 1990s the townspeople of Llano, Texas realized those traveling on the railroad were in need of a place to rest between destinations. Thus, in 1907 the Dabb’s Railroad Hotel was opened a short distance from the train station. During the days of the iconic wild west, prospectors, miners and outlaws would frequently seek shelter at the hotel.
The Wild West Days of Llano, Texas
Some of its clientele have even gone down in history books, such as the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. In more modern times, the hotel is now an ideal spot for tourists wishing to see the heart of Texas. One such tourist, Lane, claims the Dabb’s Railroad Hotel is the craziest place she has ever stayed, though most would never guess why.
“My parents and I took a family vacation to Llano when I was ten or so,” she began. “We had just moved to Austin, and my family wanted to explore our new state as much as possible before I had to go back to school. I didn’t know anybody in the state, and spending the summer in Llano meant I couldn’t make any friends with the neighborhood kids before school began,” Lane explained.
“So, thought I was a bit too old for it, I created an imaginary friend that summer. We got a room at the Dabb’s Railroad, and started to get cleaned up for dinner. Cleo, my imaginary friend, and I explored the room while my parents were getting ready in the bathroom.
“I remember looking under the bed and finding a doll laying there. She had the most beautiful long, blonde hair, and a pretty striped green dress,” Lane gestured. “I told Cleo that I was tired of her being invisible to everyone else, and that from then on, I would talk to the doll as if it were Cleo.
“A couple of days passed, and our days were spent doing things typical of tourists in Texas,” she smiled. "That’s when I started to notice a change in Cleo’s appearance.
“The doll’s skin took on an almost greyish hue, as if she were covered in dust. Her hair started to grow tangled and messy, no matter how many times I seemed to brush it out. It’s hard to explain…it just seemed like, somehow my doll’s expression was changing with each passing day too,” Lane said, seeming flustered.
Is Lane’s Imaginary Friend Real?
“By the fifth day that we were there, I started becoming a little scared of Cleo. Her eyes were so dark and so gloomy, as if they were sinking back into her face. I begged my parents to take the doll in the middle of the night and put her in the garbage.
“But when I woke up the following morning, the doll was laying right next to me in the bed,” she said. “Each time my parents would take the doll and throw her in the trash farther and farther from our hotel room, and each morning Cleo would be back at the hotel, always nearby when I woke up.
“We burned the doll, tore its limbs off…no matter what, it would show up the next day. After a week of being terrified, I remember grabbing at the doll and screaming at it to tell me what it wanted.
“’I want to be your greatest friend,’ the doll said through frozen lips.
“And that’s exactly what I would pretend my imaginary friend would say to me all the time,” Lane shivered. “I shoved the doll back under the bed the morning our vacation was over. I hope another little girl visiting Llano doesn’t find it."