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Michael Jackson Loch Lomond Ghost Story

December 23, 2011

From the book “My Friend Michael” by Frank Cascio:

On that trip, the journey was more important than the destination. But eventually our big bus rolled up a gravel road to a castlelike hotel on Loch Lomond.

It was already dark when we arrived.

We were met by a receptionist with round glasses. I think his name was Herron. He seemed calm and businesslike, but as he walked us to our room he said, “By the way, there is a ghost in your room.”

Michael and I looked at each other.

“Great, a ghost. What’s its name?” Michael asked.

“Her name is Katherine,” Herron responded Michael’s mother’s name. Spooky.

We got to our room and settled in. It was after midnight. The security guys went to bed, but Michael and I were night owls. And it felt like we’d been cooped up in that bus forever. And there was a ghost in our room. No way were we about to go to sleep. Without missing a beat, Michael said, “Let’s go explore.”

We walked through the empty halls: it was a big hotel. Where were all the other guests? we wondered. Were they all sleeping? We headed out to the lake to see if we could summon the Loch Ness Monster. So what if this was the wrong loch. Nessie was a monster of a mystery. Who knew where she might appear? Besides, it was very pretty out by the lake. The air was fresh and chilly, though there was no sign of Nessie. Michael said, “This place is weird. Why aren’t there any cars in the parking lot?”

All of a sudden Herron, dressed in black, appeared right there next to us. A reflection of the moon glimmered in his round glasses. He scared the shit out of us.

“Can I help you?” he asked in an eerie monotone. “I don’t want you to go too far and get lost.”

The haunted castle, the lake, the creepy receptionist. It was straight out of a Scooby Doo episode. I was sure that if we ever saw the ghost Katherine, I’d be able to pull her mask off to reveal that she was none other than Herron, dressing up as part of some evil scheme he had concocted in order to get rich.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Michael said, trying to disguise how strange everything seemed to us. “I just wanted to see the property. It’s so beautiful,” Michael loved to go overboard with people, being effusive and flattering them, so he started laying it on about how enchanted we were with the hotel, how unique it was, and how Herron was doing such a wonderful job taking care of it. I joined in. Then we asked him about the Loch Ness Monster and if he’d ever seen her.

“I’ve never seen her,” Herron said, probably restraining himself from saying, “You dumb tourists. This is Loch Lomond.”

There was an awkward silence. Then Michael said, “It’s cold out here. We’re going to go get some rest.” Our host walked us back to the hotel. The place was quiet as a tomb, and by now we had realized that we were definitely the only guests. After Herron escorted us back to the room, we thanked him, bade him good night, and closed the door behind us. But we still weren’t remotely tired. There was nothing to do besides continue our investigation of this big, empty hotel.

We stepped out into the hall. There, walking down the corridor, was a young woman in a beautiful white wedding dress. Her hair was puffed up on top and cascaded over her shoulders in long curls. She glanced at us without slowing down. Then she was gone. Michael and I stood in stunned silence. If that wasn’t our ghost, Katherine, then who the hell was it?

That vision should have scared us off, but instead we continued in the opposite direction from the spook, of course, peeking around corners and testing locked doors. Then we saw a sign for an indoor pool. We opened the door, and there he was again: Herron. It was after midnight, but there he was, in his little round glasses, cleaning the pool. This guy was everywhere. We apologized again, saying we just wanted to see the beautiful hotel, and headed back to our room for real.

We sat down, talking about this strange place. Why would they tell us here was a ghost in our room? How were we supposed to sleep? All of a sudden the curtains moved. I started to leap to my feet, but Michael stayed me with his hand. “Wait a second,” he said. “You don’t ever have to be scared of a ghost. If you don’t challenge them, they won’t do anything to you. Just say a little prayer and they’ll go away.”

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