The following is from an email I sent to the Knickerbocker Inn; Linesville Pennsylvania U.S.A. – located in the Northwest area of the state; after an experience I had there. The date of the email is shown, my email address has been removed and marked as “X”.
The floor notations are in the U.S. format. 1st floor is considered the “ground floor” in the U.K., the 2nd floor U.S. is the 1st floor in the U.K., and so on.
Linesville was cold that night, as expected. We visited several of the stores in Linesville that had stayed open late and were participating in a Christmas event. Though the mood was Christmasy (pardon the neologism) the Inn has a reputation of being haunted. When we arrived, if memory serves correctly, they were just opening (the place is used for special events, the rooms are not rented for sleeping) for the Christmas event, and we were anxious to get in due to the cold. But there was a film crew just finishing up an interview and we had to wait a short period of time.
Once in we were instructed that the Christmas tour was self guided. Each sleeping room was decorated in a recognizable Christmas Theme. The sleeping rooms at the Inn were tiny, apparently many years ago, when in use, common bathrooms were used, likely one per floor. So, any apprehension I had about being there, since we were first time visitors, disappeared as more and more rooms were visited. One room that stands out was decorated like the Christmas Story, the one with Ralphie that desperately wanted a Red Ryder BB gun but everyone kept telling him “you’ll shoot your eye out”. Another room was decorated like Candyland.
We were on the 3rd floor and near the end of the tour when I entered a room behind my wife, when suddenly (copied from the email below):
“……upon entering the room, I instantly experienced the following: felt very odd, had very large goosebumps basically all over, was slightly short of breath, my eyes had teared up yet I did not feel sad, and was having a little difficulty in gaining my wife’s attention, as she had passed through the same doorway as I, yet felt nothing. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. It lasted in diminishing degrees for one to two minutes.
…..Before leaving the 3rd floor, I returned to the room a second time without event.”
It’s actually a little more complicated than this, I experienced aphasia, losing the ability to speak, that’s why I could not gain my wife’s attention as she was several feet in front of me.
After we came down from the 3rd floor, we sought out the owner to discuss our experience. The place is/was owned by husband and wife, and we only found the husband. Needless to say he wasn’t surprised, but we did complete, apparently, (from the email below, I forgot all about it) a form about what we experienced.
Here’s a T.V. segment on the Knickerbocker Inn, it’s from 2008. There’s quite a few other links about the place as well, but I just wanted to use a genetic one.
The Christmas Walk 2011 advertisement with the previous years photos. I guess the page wasn’t kept up, but if I understand this page correctly, the photos shown are from 2010, the year we were there. See the Knickerbocker Photos for an example of how the rooms were decorated.
My email to them after the experience:
On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 9:06 AM – X wrote:
My wife and I had visited the Knickerbocker last Saturday when we visited Linesville for the Christmas event.
We were very impressed by the various stores decorated or participating in the event, learned that there is a Deli locally (our weekend locally) that eliminates the need to drive to an Amish store that had similar items some miles away, and fell in love with the store offering candles and various decorative items. We already knew about the book store, something that we visit regularly.
Since the Knickerbocker was participating in the event, we decided to visit it as well. We knew that it is purportedly haunted, perhaps part of the motivation to see it, but were not prepared for the Christmas flair it had been given. We very much enjoyed the displays in the various rooms at all levels of the Hotel.
My wife and I visited the 2nd floor first, then the 3rd, and it was on that floor that I had an unexpected experience. I spoke with you and your husband that night, and detailed my experience on a paper provided by your husband. We did not seek out your husband to relate the experience to, though I had briefly entertained the thought, but were fortunate enough to see him on the 1st floor, where the Boy Scouts were handing out cookies and drinks (my wife and I are grateful to the Boy Scouts volunteering as well).
Since arriving home, I spent some time on the internet viewing the results of paranormal investigators that had been at the Knickerbocker. Though they attempt to quantify the experience using electronic equipment, I did not see anyone that discussed feeling anything extraordinary. Everything was done from the perspective of EVP or nondescript shadows or aberrations in the video, and had seen a video on Youtube that was, from the poster’s perspective, simply a flashlight shown on the wall.
Yet no one spoke about a feeling. As I described on the sheet provided to your husband, upon entering the room, I instantly experienced the following: felt very odd, had very large goosebumps basically all over, was slightly short of breath, my eyes had teared up yet I did not feel sad, and was having a little difficulty in gaining my wife’s attention, as she had passed through the same doorway as I, yet felt nothing. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. It lasted in diminishing degrees for one to two minutes. (please note that the underlined sections above may not have been listed on the sheet I provided to your husband, an omission on my part that night). Before leaving the 3rd floor, I returned to the room a second time without event.
Despite the assertions of investigators about temperature changes, I did not feel cold or hot during the event. Lastly, I have never, ever, had anything that was even slightly similar, and have not had anything similar since. (Theoretically, in the world of bizarre neurological events, anything could be possible due to temporary or permanent neurological changes, please search the internet for Dr. Oliver Sacks to see what I mean.
Could you tell me if anyone else experienced anything that night, and if, in general, people visiting the Knickerbocker have ever reported feelings that cannot be attributed to the 5 senses?
In summary, I feel it was a genuine experience. I have to admit, I have a seizure disorder that progressed over the years to the point of causing intermittent aphasia (mentioned earlier) but none of the other symptoms, before or since, that I experienced at the Knickerbocker Inn. In addition, any aphasia I had was when my seizure disorder was undiagnosed, something I had for 15+ years before the doctors realized what was occurring (I never had Grand Mal seizures), and I have not had aphasia since being medicated, some 20 years ago.
Words can’t really convey what I experienced, with the instantaneous nature of its onset, and profundity of the fleeting nondescript feeling, tears, and aphasia. Being inquisitive by nature, after discussing what happened with my wife and steadying my nerve, we entered the room a second time wihout incident.