The Brookdale Lodge (recently known as the Brookdale Spa and Lodge) was once a booming inn for weary travelers. Boasting a river that ran through its main restaurant ,and the Mermaid Room ,where guests could lounge while peering into windows which provided a unique under water look into the deep end of the swimming pool, the Brookdale Lodge was also a popular spot during the Prohibition. In the 1950s, it was even one of the hangouts of stars like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Rumor has it that the living weren’t the only ones who frequented the lodge. According to visitors and staff, the Brookdale Lodge is also the home of several ghosts.
Perhaps the most frequently seen spirit in the place was that of Sarah Logan. When Sarah was six, she had fallen into the river and drowned. Sarah could be spotted wearing a blue and white dress ,walking in the lounge or through the hallways. Several people have spotted her playing on the balcony. Employees noted that when she was seen she always looked.like a “real” person, until she either disappeared or walked through a wall. Other guests have reported that they have walked up to her crying figure. When guests asked her what was wrong she would reply that she is looking for her mother before disappearing.
Unfortunately, Sarah was not the only person to meet their untimely death at the Lodge. In 1972, a thirteen year old girl drowned in the pool of the Mermaid room. It is also rumored that during the time of the Prohibition, gangsters who frequented the place hid numerous bodies in secret tunnels below the building. Visiting psychics have said that their spirits, as well as that of up to 49 more, still reside here. And they are all very active.
People would often hear voices, soft music, and the clinking of glasses in the Mermaid a Room when no one was present. A jukebox located in the room would also turn itself on and off by itself. Late at night when the building was empty, the sounds of a busy dining room, including loud ghostly conversations, could be heard. The spirit of a woman could also be seen roaming around the river in the Brookroom. This spirit is believed to be the mother of Sarah, still searching for her long lost daughter. Strange smells, such as flowers and cigar smoke would often appear out of no where, doors would slam, footsteps could be heard echoing throughout the building. In the a Fireside room, the haunting sounds of a long gone big band could be hear still playing to an invisible audience. People in the pool room have also provided accounts of cold spots, feelings of an unseen presence, and being touched.
Finally room 46, or recently 2009, was thought to be the most haunted room in all the Lodge. It’s previous tenant, a woman who worked in exchange for lodging at the Brookdale Lodge, states that mysterious occurrences happened all the time. At night, objects and strange shapes would fly around the room, and spirits would materialize before her bed. The woman said that some of the more frequent visitors were the ghosts of a teenage boy, a man with a knife wound across his face, and a man with an eye hanging loose around his cheek. She could also sometimes feel someone sitting at the edge of her bed while she slept, although she never could see who it was.
Although it was a popular destination, the Brookdale Lodge eventually fell into disrepair and, finally, abandonment. After several fires, its doors were permanently closed in 2009.
(This piece is a collaboration between myself and the lovely and exceptionally talented @wednesdayshambles. I am so thrilled she asked me to do this with her. It was an honor and a privilege to work with her. Thank you Sarah!)
my spine is full of pebbles i swallowed them when i was nine
they clung to the soft
spots what was weak they made wide
years stretched the marrow exhaled on breaths of stone
the surface cracking
between each beat
down in the depths a concussion of high tide and a shallow soul
I become nothing, still breathing, alone
with each inhale,
the pebbles rattle now
I wonder if my back will break
I spit them out on the river bed so weary I’ve become
tremors disperse my vertebrae they slither downstream until dusk safeguards their substance
I pause, closing my
ears to the sound of their merciless