So, I had several adventures on my journey to the west. This is probably one of the creepier ones:

I’d been driving my cube van filled with all my worldly possessions all day long. The sun had set and I was starting to make dumb decisions. I had planned to go further that day, but I realized I needed to sleep for the night. Being lost in the dark in a semi-urban area I was unfamiliar with, I decided to just check into the first hotel/motel I came across. A roadside motel emerged from the gloom – my refuge from the road.

The check-in desk was a tiny 4×3 foot box with a safety glass window. I got my room key and went to my room. It was dirty and beat up and had something slimy congealing between the carpet fibers. It stunk of cigarettes and every piece of furniture had burn holes and stains. Still, I figured since I was just going to sleep there, I could put up with it and be gone the next day.

So I was lying on top of the covers (no way I was going to sleep under them) and checking my cellphone when out of the corner of my eye I spotted something above the door.

From a distance it looked like a circle. Odd spot for it, I thought. Maybe it was a holding bracket left behind by a fire alarm or clock? I had a closer look.

Yes, gentle readers, I was staying in the motel room that had been engaged by the Prince of Darkness himself. Now I’m not really that superstitious, but when you see a pentagram inscribed above your motel room doorway, it does give you pause for thought. I felt a heart-to-heart with the motel owner was in order so I stepped outside my motel door…

…and into the tail end of a tornado weather system. One of the heaviest downpours I’d ever seen. Thunder and lightning too.

Anyhow, I made it out alive. Mark: one; horror movie cliches: zero. Unless it’s more like a Rocky Horror movie. No singing transvestites so far. I left most of those behind in Toronto.