Ghost of the Blues

After a few pretty hopeless busts in a row, and still on edge from the end of the Tamarack, we gave up before dark and started looking for a campsite. Sure enough, right off exit 98 was a little resort we MISSED entirely! Of course we’d give it a chance when it’s just sitting here. As is typical in these parts, the front door was wide open, inviting us in.

The perfection of this place was astounding. It looked like it could have just closed last week, in places!

After seeing a few rooms like these, we decided not to even try the campsite, this would be where we’d stay (for free!) for the night.

But the farther we got from the front desk, the more unkempt, and generally weirder, the place got. In the grassy field where the lobby and restaurant should have been, we started hearing ghost music, a phantom jazz band playing out into the falling gloom. The other side of the hotel was little more than a mouldering wreck. Case in point: this door. Pretty sure this shouldn’t be a rhomboid…

Hey! More piano!

In the pool, things got seriously weird. For one thing, it really was just as blue as it looks in this photo. Nate went off into the pool bar to take a few shots… then we both heard and felt it. This is the closest I’ve ever come to the presence of a ghost! He just says to me, “we’ve gotta get the FUCK out of this place! NOW!” and we leave.

No amount of out was enough for him… we kept going, all the way to Rochester. I wanted to stay in the Catskills, just a few towns away from this place, but Nate wouldn’t have it, we had to get home. On the way back I researched the place, and found out the cause of its demise. Closed for the first time after a devastating fire in 1999, the Paramount tried twice to return to business, failing miserably both times. The second attempt saw the Paramount crash just hours short of opening, going bankrupt and falling into repossession the morning the first guests arrived. The Gasthalter family (name apropos, as it translates from the German as “Innkeeper”!) held onto the Paramount for 105 years through boom and bust, and finally lost it in the Great Recession… while economics were part of the problem, so was a generation of Jewish youth groups who stayed there as the budget alternative to the better known resorts of the Borscht belt, and had their own memories of a haunting in Parksville. This is a place I would love to go back to… but only in daylight, and with a few more people. Just in case the only abandonment I’ve ever feared really does have a dark secret.

Leave a Reply