Thank you to everyone who joined the group on Saturday. I appreciate each and every one of you for bringing your energy, ideas and input – we truly had a fun day at the Driskill – even though I didn’t know at the time when I booked the event that we would be sharing the hotel with the Austin Film Festival. It was a busy and bustling time the minute I walked in. I was so excited from just being there for the event, I wasn’t expecting all these people everywhere! So there was tons of energy rolling around from that as well..
First of all the Driskill Hotel is gorgeous. Haunted or not, I could have walked around that place all day – and actually kind of did. However, we received a top notch tour from our wonderful Guide Harrison. The tour was informative about the history of the hotel, the Driskill Family and Austin, as well as the hauntings. We were able to go up into the hotel to the floors were a couple of suicides had taken place and explore the area. My digital recorder picked up two different sounds that I could not identify – One a series of clicks or pops that were not heard any other place on the tape while Harrison was discussing a bride that had committed suicide. The other, and I almost laughed when I heard this one – was also directly after Harrison was discussing another bride’s suicide on the 5th floor where her ghost is frequently seen. He was saying – this hotel, it does things, it’s haunted…and a noise happened – like a whistling sound like when air is rushing in the sides of a window, or the kind of sound someone makes when they are making “ghost” sounds. It also sounded like it was made directly into the microphone of the recorder, not from somewhere farther away.
Harrison mentioned that the elevators at the Driskill do crazy things like continuing to go up to the same floor over and over even when the down button has been pushed. This happened to us as well. We were done with the tour and had pushed the down button. The elevator arrived and a couple of people got on and said, wait, this is going up. I was halfway into the elevator so I popped my head out and looked up – the light was showing that the elevator was supposed to be going down. The down button was also lit up that you push to call the elevator. But we got inside and the arrow inside was showing up. Even though we were pushing the ground floor button and nothing else was lit up the elevator wanted to go up so it did. We went directly back down to 5 and a puzzled patron that had seen the whole thing happen decided to wait for the other elevator.
When I stepped out into the 4th floor landing I felt an overwhelming feeling of being pushed or pressed down on my chest. It also felt similar to vertigo. On that floor is where I had the strongest feeling of being pushed. But actually, I had that dizzy feeling a lot of times after getting off of the elevator. That feeling was the worst in the bar. When I stepped out of the elevator i felt very dizzy and off-balance. There were a ton of people in there too which made it crazy loud. We left that area pretty quickly, no one felt comfortable in there. A couple of other people in the group mentioned feeling very dizzy in the bar as well. It definitely wasn’t for me.
STRAIGHT RAZOR OR FAN?
While on the 4th floor this painting caught my eye – and shortly after I was drawn to it Harrison told the story of the bride that committed suicide – by cutting her wrists. Eerie…What stopped me about the painting is I thought she had a bloody straight razor in her hand. And if you look at the dress, it looks like a modern-day wedding gown. I also really like the look on her face, like, um, yes? She looks kind of sassy and confrontational to me. Coincidence?
Another thing that was noted by some guests – the eyes in many of the paintings are “off”, one looking directly at you, the other slightly away. We noticed at least 5 or 6 paintings that were this way.
Ok, time to take a break, next installment will be of the dinner itself. Thank you for reading, and if you have had any experiences yourself at the Driskill I invite you to share them!