The TV Ghost Of Berks County

This post is part of our ‘REAL SCARES’ submissions series — a collaboration between Thought Catalog & American Horror Story: Hotel on FX.


Traveling for three months at a time was part of my job and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got to book hotels that I have always wanted to stay at and eat at places that I could not afford. But on one night, I got more than I had anticipated when I booked a room at a newly built hotel in Berks County, PA.

As I entered the building, I was impressed by the cleanliness and décor and was soon greeted by the woman behind the front desk. I did the normal check in procedures and she handed me a key card to Room 212 and I was off to the elevator with my bags. As I got to the door, I swiped my card and nothing happened; the little light didn’t turn green or red, so I tried again. Still nothing. So, I opted to try one more time before I ventured back down to the front desk. This time, both lights started blinking. I didn’t think anything of it. I tried the door and it opened. I sat my luggage inside, checked the bed for bed bugs (my normal procedure) and then went back to the front desk to let them know that my card was not working properly.

Upon walking to the front desk, the woman that was so nice previously now looked a bit anxious as she saw me and disappeared to a back room. This time, the manager emerged and asked me if there was a problem. I handed him my card and said that something was either wrong with my card or the door. With a smile, he said, “Oh, that’s all? Great. We can get you a new card,” and with that, I was back on my way to my room, new key card in hand.

This time, the green light came on immediately after swiping. Great. Crisis averted. As I entered the door, my suitcase was no longer standing upward, but was now lying on the ground. I locked my door behind me and then picked up my suitcase, placing it on the suitcase holder in the bedroom, blaming the event on the uneven weight within the bag.

The room was a spacious suite. It had a small kitchenette, bathroom, and a door separating the living area from the bedroom. I decided to turn on the TV in the living area. It was getting late and I needed some background noise to keep me awake. As I was getting situated in the bedroom, the sound of the television disappeared. I went to see if something had happened to the station, but it turned out that the TV was no longer on. I checked the plug and proceeded to turn the TV back on.

I figured that someone in the room next to me must have been using their remote and it went through the wall. That can happen, right? I decided it was a sign and shut the television off for the evening and called my boyfriend to let him know I was safe and heading to bed. As we were on the phone, I was sitting in the bedroom when a screeching sound came from my living room accompanied by white noise, increasing in volume. I went to the living area and the TV was on, with static on the screen. The volume was also visible on the screen, like someone was pushing the “Up” volume button on the remote, even though it was already as high as it would go.

I grabbed the remote, turned the television off, and removed batteries from the remote. Something must have been wrong with it. At this moment I unplugged the television. I didn’t need the people next door to turn my TV on during the night.

I told my boyfriend what was going on, and he jokingly said, “Ohhh, it must be haunted.” But the hotel was new and the walls were probably thin. I said goodnight to my boyfriend around 11pm and fell asleep relatively quickly after my head hit the pillow. There is something about hotel beds that make me so comfortable.

All of the sudden, I woke up. It took me a moment to figure out where I was and what was happening. I looked at the clock next to the bed, reading 2:12am. But there it was again, the white noise, coming from the living area. This time, I didn’t dismiss it as easily as before. I knew I had unplugged the television. I knew that there was no way what I was hearing could be the TV… unless someone… or something had plugged it back in. I grabbed my cell phone off of the nightstand and forced myself out of my bed. The closest light to me was the bathroom light, so I shuffled my way to the switch. As the light turned on, fear drenched my entire body, but I knew I needed to open the bedroom door.

I took a few steps forward, placed my hand on the cold, brass door handle, and turned the knob. I threw open the door and all I could see was the glowing of the television. I ran to the light switch in the kitchen and flipped it. No one was there. But the television was on. I checked the door. It was locked with every lock enclosure that was provided. There was no way that anyone was in my room. I grabbed the plug to the television and pulled it out of the wall… again. As I stood there, staring at the TV, I didn’t know what to do. I thought about going to the front desk and asking for a new room. I thought about packing up my things and going home. I even considered sleeping in my car.

I decided that I was being ridiculous. I must not have unplugged the television fully, or something. So, I tuned off the lights and went back into the bedroom, locking the door behind me this time. In the morning, I woke up, got ready to leave. I walked out of the bedroom, noticing all the lights were on and then I turned to look at the TV, which was now plugged in. Not only was it plugged in, but it was on a channel of static, and muted. I ran straight out the door with my belongings, threw my key card on the front desk, and checked out.

Looking back, I know I was not alone in that room. But what was there, I will never know. I am happy that whatever it was stayed there. Also, when I think about it, maybe the spirit or a ghost or whatever it was, was friendly. I mean, it did mute the television, after all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Brought To You By American Horror Story: Hotel – Premieres Wednesday, October 7 at 10pm E/P on FX.

About the author

Jamie Kensinger

A millennial with a Framed Higher Ed degree, not working in Higher Ed.