Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 8 November 2018

The regulars were out in force this evening despite (or maybe even because) it was a chilly night. In addition to the usual activities and conversations, they made a serious dent in the leftover Halloween candy (I helped in this regard, of course). The 4 youngsters (children of various adult regulars) who frequently attend were all in evidence, adding energy (and extra lust for said candy) to the proceedings. There was also a good deal of conversation regarding the previous Saturday’s haunted hotel tours for local kids and their parents.

Blair’s so-called day job (delivering Red Cross blood products all over the state) again had him absent for much of the evening, so I was mostly in charge of the good-natured chaos that tends to reign in our beloved haunted hotel.

The night’s first movie was Dracula Untold (see image below). This one attempted blending a Dracula origin story with a very fictionalized account of the actual Vlad Tepes’s battle with those pesky Turks. It sure ain’t accurate history (or even particularly true to any actual vampire mythology I’ve ever encountered), but made for a entertaining, gory, medieval horror/adventure movie.


Just back from her Florida trip and operating on all of 1 hour’s sleep, Amber recounted her adventures for all who cared to listen. Later, she and a remote-control toy car playfully harassed all who came within range. Much laughter ensued.

Games of checkers were played. Nick was (unsuccessfully) in search of someone to play chess with before rejoining the inevitable pen-and-paper fantasy game in the dining room. He later helped yours truly overcome a minor glitch involving my laptop, though I never quite got around to checking in on the Steeler’s Thursday night thrashing of the Carolina Panthers. SIGH. Others made good use of the buildings free Wi-Fi through their smartphones.

The night’s 2nd film offering was another brutally bloody vampire flick, although set in modern times:


This one has a squad of VERY nasty bloodsuckers invading a small Alaska town far enough north that in the depths of winter the sun makes no appearance within the title time-frame. This makes it ideal for the vamps. Hence, they run rampant–totally unchecked until young hero cop Josh Hartnett sacrifices himself, saving a few survivors.

About midway through the evening, I sought to avoid candy-induced sugar overload and plunked down 75 cents for a pack of peanut butter and cheese crackers. They went well with a steaming mug of hot tea as I witnessed the cinematic mayhem.

Regulars kept coming.

Paul arrived with news of success in his search for back overtime pay from a former employer and shared plans for investment opportunities he’s considering once this long-delayed windfall materializes. Mark the bus driver (only one of our several Marks who made here it this evening) scooped up a share of the rapidly depleting free candy for his work-time passengers and bought a pair of black cat earrings (for one of his sisters, I think he said).

The final movie of the night was very different. In Birdman, Michael Keaton is a performer known for playing the cheesy movie franchise superhero of the title–only now he’s trying to put on a ‘serious’ stage play and running into all kinds problems.


Upon his arrival (around 10 o’clock), Blair noted that this one is a sort of eccentric variation on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I didn’t watch enough of it to form much of an opinion, one way or another–except that it was definitely something out of the ordinary.

Anyway, Syn (who is one of the hotel’s two permanent residents in addition to Blair, if I haven’t cleared that up previously) hadn’t been feeling well all day and stayed in her apartment most of the night. She did make a brief appearance late in the evening, chatting with the game players as they prepared to call it a night. And Julie, perhaps Blair’s most frequent repeat AirBNB customer, came to spend the evening in one of the themed rental rooms (the Werewolf Den, this time).

Random side note: Blair has yet to complete the alterations that will allow renters using the Vampire Suite to sleep in a real coffin. Stay tuned and I’ll report when this comes to pass. (Syn is already talking about the “I Slept in a Coffin at the Grand Midway” t-shirt she wants to design–as she did with the one celebrating the World’s Largest Ouija Board on the building’s roof.)


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