No one ever believed me when I told them this story, but that never stopped me telling it. I don’t mean to blow my own horn, but I’ve always been considered a big, burly man who never backed down from a challenge. Privately, I don’t mind telling you I’m terrified when it comes to ghost stories, especially when they’re real – like mine.
This happened many years ago, as they say, when I was a spring chicken – jet-setting around the world for a great business, trying to drum up sales. My favorite country to visit was and still is Germany. I loved the liquid bread – a thick beer the consistency of honey – and their awesome food, as well as the old towns and country estates.
One of the estates I stayed at was an old homestead that used to belong to a doctor. The owners at the time advised me that this doctor was a Nazi who apparently conducted gruesome experiments. He was also known to be addicted to surgery himself. I was shown a photo of him, which chilled me to the bone, because he had a terrifying smile.
This smile was permanent, as he’d suffered a freak accident where he had tripped and fallen on a wire, which sliced his mouth and went through to his cheeks – all the way to his jawline. As much as I was creeped out, the present owners assured me that I was safe and that they’d even had a local priest perform a cleansing when they’d moved in.
Nonetheless, I could still see his creepy smile in my mind’s eye
When I prepared for bed, I did my best to think about the next day, which was going to be a trade expo with lots of glorious European food and alcohol. I tried to ignore the feeling of my prickling hairs and the occasional blasts of cold air on my face. I reasoned with myself that it was an old house with drafts and ancient plumbing.
I read over my notes in bed and soon fell asleep. I don’t remember turning the bedside lamp off, but when I woke up a couple of hours later, the room was dark. I could still see most of the room because the light of the moon was flooding through the stained glass windows. Then I saw my breath coming out in white clouds. The chill was intense.
It baffled me because we were in the middle of a pleasant summer. My blood started to freeze when I smelled the distinct stench of formaldehyde. I could’ve sworn I heard several sinister whispers in German. Just as I decided to sit up and turn the lamp on, a hideous face appeared – hovering over me. It was the vicious Nazi doctor!
Keep in mind that I hadn’t had a drink before bed – which was usually something I liked to do. The face had a strange blue hue and I don’t mind saying that I screamed like a little girl. With his terrifyingly wide smile, he leered at me as his wild eyes stared right through into my soul. I slid under the sheets and then fell out of bed.
When I jumped up, I saw that the face had disappeared, but I could still smell the formaldehyde, the room was still ice-cold and I could faintly hear the constant whispering in German. I could barely speak the language but three words stuck in my mind: “Hallo kleine Schweinchen” – which translates as “Hello little piggy.”
I leapt over to the bedside table and flicked the switch of the lamp. When the room lit up, the stench and chill disappeared, much to my relief. I knew that the room across the corridor was empty so I didn’t wait to relocate, not bothering to ask permission from the owners. It took ages to fall asleep, but I left the light on, just in case.
When I woke up several hours later, I saw that once again, the light was off. I wondered if the lamps operated on a timing device, but I reached my hand out to turn it back on. That’s when I felt a pocket of icy cold air, which made me withdraw my hand in terror. That familiar smell of formaldehyde crept into my nostrils. I shuddered and sat up.
The room was a lot darker than the other one and it seemed like the moon was blocked from illuminating the room. When I looked over at the window, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw a shadow bobbing up and down, like a man floating in front of the window. When I heard the whispering again, I screamed and raced over to the door.
I screamed again when I felt a strong blast of cold air on my neck. When I spun around, the shadow man was gone, but the smell was intense while the whispering became maniacal. Then the door swung open. I fell back and saw the owner staring wide-eyed at me. I pointed to the window and yelled, “The doctor – he’s here.”
He laughed and asked what I was doing in that room. When I told him what had happened he laughed again and said that maybe they shouldn’t have showed me the picture of the doctor – that I had an overactive imagination. I didn’t stay in that house for fear of seeing that face again. Worst luck, he’s appeared in my nightmares ever since.
When I think back on the face of the owner of the hotel, and the photograph I saw of the doctor, I get chills. There's an odd similarity, dampened by the fact that the owner of the building didn't seem to have had any plastic surgery done.