Guest Post – Alex Morris (Traveling Spooks)
I’m very pleased to welcome my second guest blogger for October Fest. Alex Morris was good enough to share with us an amusing story of travel gone a little wrong and a lot spooky. This is why I don’t travel; my home town is scary enough! Please welcome Alex.
Horror on the Hills of Geulhem!
It wasn’t pitch black quite yet, but it was dark enough to have us all worried. We couldn’t find our hotel anywhere and now we were stuck up a hill, in a forest, in a foreign country. With trees surrounding us we stopped to get out of the car to have a look around; a house on the top of the hill ahead had its lights beaming away. The trees around us remained silent. There was no wind, no rain, no lightening – just silence. I was already thinking of a number horror films with a scenario like this. A series of calamities had led to us to this position; a Sat Nav failure misreading, four lost young travellers in a car, rising tempers, exhaustion creeping in. Just where was this hotel; was it really the threatening looking house 500 yards up the road?
Our four day trip from England, up until then, had taken us through France, Belgium, Holland, and to the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim. We followed this with a 250 mile sprint back into Holland. This particular part of the journey ended in confusion; we found the idyllic little village of Geulhem before making a wrong turn, leading us to be stuck up a hill in a forest. Geulhem (part of the Valkenburg aan de Geul municipality in south eastern Netherlands) actually has some hills! Unusual in itself for Holland, and our Sat Nav had sent us up a steep dirt track surrounded by devious looking trees. The further our driver went up this hill the more certain we were that our hotel was not going to be there. We envisioned monsters the size of trees and braying wolves out to get us. They seemed to be watching us – waiting for their moment. Our driver, tensing up, ordered us back into the car and performed a frightening three point turn with a large drop off the hill to the rear of us.
We were still stuck up a very eerie hill in the middle of a forest in the dark. There were no signposts and only the distant house, along with the many trees, loomed down on us. Were we in Transylvania? Were we terrified? No, we were in Holland. And we weren’t scared. At least not outwardly. Inwardly Edvard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King was blasting through my skull!
Nestled on the adjacent hill to ours was the Hotel Lammerichs. Its owner was patiently waiting for us as we attempted to end our ordeal. It was past 10:30pm and they had officially shut for the day, but they were allowing us additional time. Little did they know what four 20-somethings were going through a mere few hundred years to the East.
Our salvation came on a whim; jamming the car into gear we trundled on down the dirt path back to a main road. Ignoring the GPS system our driver gunned the engine and tore up a hill (pictured above) to find our quirky hotel perched by the side of the road. This was a hotel of many quirks; carpets up the side of the elevators and eerie silence. Luckily no one on the premises turned out to be a vampire, but if you want to visit a quirky and peaceful little village then Guelhem is for you. Just don’t head up any roads surrounded by a forest.
I have since worked out, thanks to the brilliance of Google maps, that had we continued up that hill we wouldn’t have been devoured by zombies. We would have ended up in Berg en Terblijt, and the road we were on was probably called Mussenput. As in Mustn’t Put Brits in a car in the Dutch countryside.
Author Bio: Alex Morris is a writer and researcher for an office supplies and stationery business in Manchester, England. He enjoys travelling, getting lost whilst travelling, and pretending to be in a horror movie. Check out his post on 10,000 Year of Office Supplies.
Thank you so much for joining us!