Segment 11: Historical Record part 2 (2015)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Dick Move, Iris Explosion, Seedy Edie, Johnny Caligula, Viktor Devonne, Sarah Tops, and Noctua, with Jack Barrow
engineered and recorded by Dick Move

patreon

transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentNARRATOR: The Gilman Hotel is host to a number of unusual situations, both readily available on record and some left to rumor and imagination.

LESLIE DAVENPORT, investigative reporter: I think the first weird happening that was acknowledged by the hotel was how they handled Maitland.

NARRATOR: Calvin Maitland was a businessman from Denton, Ohio who came to the town as per to Tobias Gilman’s request in 1902.

CHARLY VILLAQUEZ, magazine editor: By now, Lionel’s dead.  His brother Tobias is running things but you have to remember, the hotel wasn’t the only thing going on for the Gilman family—they have a whole corporation and while Lionel left the major decision making to his brother so he could focus on this new hotel land he’s excited about, he suddenly dies.  So now Tobias has to deal with it.  And he’s not even living in the state.

LAURA GRIFFITH-KELLY, Gilman Legacy Foundation president: Tobias Gilman shuttled back and forth for the hotel and the headquarters of the masonry business, and their philanthropic work.  But when he realized he could not dedicate the time, he found Mr. Calvin Maitland.

NARRATOR: Maitland knew the hotel business, so he was an obvious choice.  He previously worked with both Gilman brothers during the construction of his previous properties.  Maitland, however, would not live up to the task.

FELIX SCOTT, contributing reporter: In theory, Maitland owned the Gilman starting in 1902, but if you actually look at the property records, he spent almost no money on it.  All of the funding still directly came from the Gilman foundation, which at this time is Tobias,  and his underlings.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Calvin Maitland owned the property. There are bank records that show that.

SCOTT: If anyone says there are bank records, they’re lying.  The banks on those deeds were not legitimate holding companies.  They were essentially DBAs for the Gilman company.

DAVENPORT: Yes, there is the belief that Tobias Gilman sold the hotel to Calvin Maitland but that Maitland used money that was provided to him from the Gilman.

VILLAQUEZ: The point is that Maitland wouldn’t have had that kind of money.  by now, the hotel was in massive reconstruction mode, and while the gilman company could expedite that process because they were providing their own workers, their own equipment, and their own materials, they would have had needed to have all that in motion by the time Calvin Maitland ever stepped in.   Maitland was just there to make sure the town had someone to check in on.

DAVID HANDLER, author: He was definitely in over his head.  he couldn’t have known that he was signing on to own, run, and manage this place and then get sick.  he had to leave the building several times to visit doctors because of a severe medical condition.

SCOTT: When Maitland bought the business, he had been evaluated two weeks before he moved to the Gilman to live on-site.  there was no record of any mental illness, any psycho  logical problems, or any family history of any such thing.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: It is my understanding Mr. Maitland had a degenerative disorder that prevented him from handling the affairs of the hotel.  that happens all the time. 

NARRATOR: Calvin Maitland left the hotel within 8 months of his arrival.  significant work had been done, and he believed he may have inhaled something toxic from the re-construction.  the Gilman company at that time jumped at the chance to keep that allegation quiet.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: The hotel was in perfectly fine working order when Mr. Maitland left.  there was a competent staff that handled the business while he was away.

NARRATOR: He was “away” getting major medical testing.  Maitland land complained of hallucinations, chronic pain, and vision instability as early at 6 months of his time as Gilman’s owner.

Reviewing his case, analyst Dr. Rebecca Mortinelli comments on his state of distress.

DR. REBECCA MORTINELLI, PSYCHOANALYST: Calvin Maitland was diagnosed in 1903 with dementia praecox, which made a lot of sense at the time, but what we now understand was an early term what we would call schizophrenia.  However, there are all kinds of mood disorders that Mr. Maitland may have in fact had.  Unfortunately, the psychology provided to him not only wasn’t very progressive in terms of the era, but also the facility he visited was very comfortable deciding that he was simply, in a word, crazy.

NARRATOR: Maitland’s agitation was noted by the hotel staff, who contacted Tobias Gilman with concerns.  Tobias provided Maitland with a facility that was eventually denounced for unethical practices in 1954. 

DR. REBECCA MORTINELLI, PSYCHOANALYST: Mr. Maitland would have been given a number of opiate-related treatments and was instructed to have baths on the grounds, where he would be restrained for hours at a time.

SCOTT: Calvin was viewed as a nuisance.  Since Tobias knew he was just there to keep an eye on things and then failed, the company had to somehow get rid of him.  They had already made up the idea that this guy owned the hotel, so how can they get it back if he’s still healthy but seeing things he shouldn’t be?  Easy- make him crazy.  Then suddenly he can’t run the place and you can swoop right in.

NARRATOR: A war between families begins.

HANDLER: What the Gilman company did not plan for was that while Calvin Maitland was relatively passive in his business practices, his family was not. They saw this as opportunity  to take over their son’s assets and one of those assets was the hotel.

NARRATOR: Legal arguments would persist, although quietly, for nearly a decade.

DAVENPORT: All the while, the hotel construction is back and forth—things stop, then a lot gets done, and then they have to stop again.  The hotel is beginning to lose business because the reputation is starting to depreciate.  This promised affordable luxury hotel is delayed.

NARRATOR: However, the hotel begins to become known as a spot for servicemen during World War I, and manages to keep the Gilman afloat.

SCOTT: The question then becomes where is the money going?  Why isn’t the Maitland family collecting if they’re the owners?  Why is the Gilman company, which y’know, doesn’t own it anymore at all able to claim that it is?

GRIFFITH-KELLY: I’m afraid i’m not able to provider an answer  to that.  Some documents from the foundation have been deemed eyes-only for the board members.

NARRATOR: With the hotel fully refurnished by 1916, Tobias Gilman settles with the Maitland family privately and once again acquires the hotel.  to prevent it from leaving the Gilman family in the instance of his death, the unmarried Tobias Gilman sets up the Gilman legacy foundation.

DAVENPORT: Tobias wanted to make sure the hotel was protected.  he’s getting on in years, and after the issues with the Maitland family, he figures the safest way to handle the Gilman properties, which you have to remember, are several – it’s not just the hotel – is to create this foundation which is really all about the legacy of his brother’s acquisitions.

NARRATOR: Tobias Gilman passes in 1923 at the age of 85, and all legal responsibilities for the business are shifted to the Gilman legacy foundation, which seeks out another property manager.

In 1924, a ballroom is renovated to become a local hotspot.  It is used for social occasions, including debutante balls, formal dinners, and tea dances.  However, two floors beneath it, the hotel is home to a manufacturing plant for illegal liquor, sold to the next door speakeasy. 

Clarence “Busby” Merklinley was liaison for the gangland activities that financed the alcohol, which was funneled secretly to Hester’s hat rack.  While charming with modern day perceptions, at the time, it was an incredibly dangerous association for the hotel to have.

VILLAQUEZ: The foundation maintains that the crime associations it has with that era are overplayed but there are definitely people who knew that the Gilman was playing house to this underground operation, and that definitely affected the type of clientele suddenly showing up.

NARRATOR: In 1933, the Maitland family attempted a lawsuit against the Gilman legacy foundation one more time, stating the foundation, and the deceased Tobias Gilman, were directly responsible for the poor health of Calvin, who died that year in seclusion.

DAVENPORT: The Maitlands come forward with documentation that explicitly states that Tobias thought something was wrong with the hotel.  there is speculation that either mold, or asbestos, or something highly toxic was used in the building materials that made Calvin Maitland sick.  The hotel of course, while it has the initial structure on the first two floors, has been completely gutted and added to for the final setup.  Tests are done, and they can’t find anything in the walls, the water, the floors.  The Maitlands contend that the materials that the Gilman foundation used were covered up or destroyed during that reconstruction.

SCOTT: The Maitlands lose their case.  and disappear.  Like legit, disappear.  They close up shop, families go missing, they’re just gone.  Notorious crime leader busby Merkinley’s still a friend of the hotel though.  Just saying.

NARRATOR: Shortly after the lawsuit is dismissed, the Gilman legacy foundation put john D. Cleveland in charge.  due to his political affiliations, Cleveland sets up a series of political fundraisers, which the Persephone ballroom becomes known for.

VILLAQUEZ: Cleveland lasts five years.  on the record, it’s bad investments.  He dies in ’39 when he shoots himself in the hotel.  Upon inspection, he has no money, no prospects, and basically was living off the hotel’s kitchen.  There’s no explanation.  It takes five years for anyone to even find out he shot himself in the hotel.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Oh, I don’t know if all that’s necessary to get into.

SCOTT: Why are all these single men buying a stake in this place only to die and have no one in their family be able to follow up?

NARRATOR: Officially, Cleveland is pronounced dead at the hospital, but the foundation denies initially that he shot himself, or that he died at the hotel.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Officially, as I understand it, and you have to understand, this was almost 100 years ago, Mr. Cleveland did in fact decide to end his life while living at the Gilman.  He was declared by the foundation as am embezzler.  He spent all of his own money on womanizing, gambling, and other behavior that they denounced. 

NARRATOR: The foundation managed to keep Cleveland’s death out of the papers for nearly a week and then, when reported, the media and the public were told that Cleveland’s death was not on-site, and was due to his own bad habits.

DAVENPORT: By the time anyone even admitted he died at the hotel, who cared, we are in the middle of World War II.  Whoever needed to get paid off, kept their word.  I think the only reason they admitted it is because someone decided to investigate on their own.  no one in the police was checking up.

NARRATOR: So began the first findings of an anti-Gilman sentiment that would very quietly grow over the years.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: People are afraid of successful people.

NARRATOR: What is now known as the #gilmantruth movement, which maintains that the foundation has engaged in immoral behavior, it was through the investigation of Margaret Henniford that Cleveland’s on-site death was confirmed, if overlooked by the general public.

VILLAQUEZ: The hotel’s in full swing, and in 1943, the Abrams brothers take it on.  they actually buy the hotel.

NARRATOR: Members of the Gilman Legacy Foundation, Ethan and Joshua Abrams purchase a stake in the hotel with permission to make improvements, and potentially find another outside seller.

SCOTT: Once again… Two brothers.  No kids, no wives.  No other kin but each other.  So if they end up chopped up in the basement, no one’s missing them.

NARRATOR: The brothers indeed ended their time with the hotel due to tragedy in 1954, but not their own.  Coming up on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons…

DAVENPORT: People are bloody, scrambling down the stairs screaming, running out on the streets, expecting to the see the end of the world–

NARRATOR: And later,

HESPERWOLF, spiritualist: I was brought in to connect with the spirits of the hotel. 

HANDLER: I wouldn’t exactly call her famous.

VILLAQUEZ: They sold their soul.  They were a vampire. 

SCOTT: Another one gone.  No one investigates the hotel.

NARRATOR: … on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons.

Segment 10: Historical Record (2015)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Dick Move, Iris Explosion, Seedy Edie, Johnny Caligula, Viktor Devonne, and Noctua, with Jack Barrow
engineered and recorded by Dick Move

patreon

transcription:

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

NARRATOR: On November 30th, 1901 at the Gilman Hotel, the man who would reinvent the affordable luxury hotel model succumbed to age and illness, dying in his own room.

LESLIE DAVENPORT, investigative reporterLionel Gilman was a visionary.  He saw a way to both make money and invite the working class.

NARRATOR: Spending his final years dedicated to one building would eventually lead to rumors about unethical behavior, deceit, and even murder.

FELIX SCOTT, contributing reporter: There is no record of these people leaving the country unharmed.

DAVID HANDLER, author: He knew what he wanted, and he had the influence and money to get it.

NARRATOR: Over the years, his name is now synonymous with accidents, death, and destruction—but also hope.

CHARLY VILLAQUEZ, magazine editor: He was a great man.  the people he worked with, maybe not so much.

LAURA GRIFFITH-KELLY, Gilman Legacy Foundation president: Some documents from the foundation have been deemed eyes-only for the board members.

NARRATOR: Tonight, we discuss the marvel and the mayhem of the Gilman.

HESPERWOLF, spiritualist: I know for a fact that it is haunted.

SCOTT: If he wasn’t the devil yet, he became one that day.

NARRATOR: This is Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons.

Dr. Calvin Bernard Gilman, age 26, fell in love with his nurse aide Virginia, age 17, at regional hospital in 1818.  They were married and Virginia gave birth to a son that was noted as being more than 2 months premature (pause) however this is due to modified birth records. In fact, Lionel was conceived before their hasty marriage and was born almost exactly on his perceived due date.  Dr. Gilman kept this information secret for more than 50 years.  When Lionel was 19, after losing a sister to sudden death as an infant, the Gilman family brought to Tobias Gilman into the world in 1838.

DAVENPORT: Lionel Gilman’s family life is mostly shrouded in secrecy as while it is well known that he kept a diary, scant passages have been released by his estate.

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman was well educated in New England, and began his fascination with building construction and masonry in his 20s.

HANDLER: Lionel spent most of his early years making deals that would advance his name and cache, and he had to get the influence and money to get it.  While his family was not known to be rich, somehow he manages to start buying real estate.

SCOTT: Where is this money coming from?  What deal with the devil did he sign, because he certainly didn’t sign any partnership papers.

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman spent most of life a solitary businessman.   In addition to never marrying, or raising an heir to his industry, he insisted on being the only figurehead.

HANDLER: He didn’t want to be an employee.  He spent about 4 years working under people, to the point of presumed exhaustion until he was able to start his own business.        

NARRATOR: Gilman’s company specialized in concrete and other building materials.  He stays in distant contact with his family, even after his mother becomes ill.  Danielle Gilman would succumb to complications of influenza at the age of 40.  Dr. Gilman would marry the daughter of a family friend, housekeeper Dorothy Meyer, age 25.  They would have a son, Dewey, in 1845.

DAVENPORT: Lionel’s decision to leave the company he started with was viewed as an unnatural risk for his age.  He’s 23, single, and has more or less removed himself from his family now that his father has remarried.

NARRATOR: Dr. Gilman would live for several more decades until a stroke in 1860 rendered him bedridden, and finally died in 1864 after an unspecified infection.  He was 74.  During his later years, however, he would see his eldest son make capable decision after capable decision, and providing for them all.

HANDLER: Lionel Gilman was famously generous to his family.  He would send money to them, make sure they had all they needed.  But he would do all of this at a distance; he rarely visited, he didn’t write these long letters that we can look at to see what kind of man he was, or how he felt about his stepmother or younger brothers.  It wasn’t until the 1850s where he even really seemed to establish a relationship with his brother Tobias—and that of course was all business.

NARRATOR: Beginning as a project manager, Tobias Calvin Gilman was soon given the job of head of accountants of Lionel’s second company, due to his inclination for mathematics.  The brothers would soon live together in a joint mansion, which was conceived as two buildings, joined together with a central common area.

DAVENPORT: Lionel was known for his privacy, but also it can be assumed that as a potentially lonely man, he needed someone nearby that he could rely on.  And since he wasn’t making a whole lot of friends, he had his brother.

NARRATOR: Lionel began to make enemies, as he was known for swooping in on the business deals of other companies, making a counter-offer, and landing the account.  Soon after however, additional fees and costs would rise during the construction and those companies would end up paying far more than they would have if they had stayed with their earlier company.

HANDLER: he was able to do this five or six times and no one would see it coming.  Eventually other companies would come to him, saying hey you stole our client, and he would say well i’ll give you a cut if you do the work for me.  He would hustle them out of the lion’s share of the proceeds but they wouldn’t have a choice.  If he wanted to, he would flat out buy the customer records of his competitors or for some reason the C.E.O. or main project manager of that company would quit… so he would have an easy in.

NARRATOR: Lionel created a rolodex of companies that would supply him with materials at reduced rates, for unknown reasons.

VILLAQUEZ: He knew something.  There’s no other explanation.  He had something on them.  Lionel Gilman was known as a great man.  The people he worked with, maybe not so much.

HANDLER: All of that was industry talk.  Lionel Gilman did not have a bad reputation in the world.  He was making hospitals and schools, and working with foundations with progressive social issues.  He was, essentially, a robin hood for the industry.  He was taking away these bad practices these other companies were doing, these would-be robber barons and he was actually providing something good in the world.

NARRATOR: Not everyone sees it that way.  

SCOTT: Lionel Gilman stole from the wealthy to feed himself.  While along the way, he managed to dupe an entire generation into thinking he was a Vanderbilt or an Andrew Carnegie, but instead he should be known as a thief who muscled in on smaller businesses to be the only game in town.

NARRATOR: Gilman would buy entire blocks of land, and inherit the small business contracts from multiple small businesses along the way.  One such location was the spot of the original hotel, known as the Haus Schonheit, known as the pretty hotel to locals, which lasted 2 years before Gilman took it over, first as their landlord.  

Conroy Schonheit married Adele Beauchamp in April of 1884 in Frankfurt, Germany.  Mr. Schonheit’s family were innkeepers of a small business in Holland until their death, and Conroy’s move to Frankfurt.  Mr. Schoneheit, born in Holland but of German descent, moved to Frankfurt for his studies and became an educated man of law and decided to move to the united states to build a hotel.  He had already been back and forth to the u.s. As liaison between law offices to make this a reality.

Adele Beauchamp, daughter of a widower tailor in Montfermeil, France met Conroy in Isernhagen, Germany where they quickly married.  Details of their courtship are not known, but Adele moved to the united states with Conroy where she supplemented their income as a seamstress as Conroy worked at a law firm.   Coincidentally, the law firm that Conroy worked at, Harrtmann and squire were used by Lionel Gilman in multiple business acquisitions in the 1870s and 1880s.

Haus Schonheit was the dream project of immigrants Conroy Schonheit and his wife Adele Beauchamp Schonheit.  Original plans for the hotel, registered with the town by Conroy Schonheit in 1890, indicate the hotel was initially three floors, however later reports state the original hotel was only 2 floors, not including the basement.  It is not clear why this error was reported multiple times after the building stood at seven floors; it was potentially because the third floor was heavily gutted and that the original structure of the third floor was all but unrecognizable.

On the first floor, the office and concierge desk were straight ahead from the entrance.  Only four additional, rather small, rooms were on the first floor.  They were typically given to single party guests, although there are rumors they were also provided to the women who worked the street and their clients for short-term use.  A dining room with a capacity of 42 people, two water closets, a modest parlor-type lobby setup, and 2 marked storage closets summed up the rest of the floor. 

On the second floor, there were four additional smaller rooms, and three additional larger rooms, or suites. A laundry chute led to the basement.  Each room was fit with a bathtub, sink, and toilet, cordoned off from the bedroom. 

Despite contrary reports, the third floor would have had a similar arrangement as the second floor, with seven rooms, each of them expected to be comfortable size.  This would have brought the number of rooms to 17.

The hotel was originally set up with gas lamps, and indoor plumbing was installed upon construction.  The hotel was open for business by spring of 1895, with Adele handling primary maid services until they hired friend Angela Porthos, and expanded to a larger staff by summer.  Hotel rooms were between $1.50 and $3 a night.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: In 1899, the Schonheits were approached by masonry magnate Lionel Gilman to renovate and reconstruct the hotel.  Mr. Gilman had stayed there multiple times in 1888, despite the fairly modest setting of the hotel.  Mr. Gilman owned property on much of the surrounding area of the hotel.

NARRATOR: Stories diverge at this point.  Some argue Mr. Gilman did not offer the schonheits to buy the hotel so much as demand it.  Town records show Lionel Gilman was the landlord to the building; however those records are in dispute for their legitimacy as they may have postdated.  Further dispute is brought to this as there is no lease that has been discovered that he may have had with the Schonheits.

Mr. Gilman filed a certificate of delinquency, purported to be on may 9, 1901, and filed by the county treasurer; prior to the publication of summons in proceedings to subject the land taxed to the payment thereof.  The certificate was returned to the clerk’s office by the treasurer on june 10, 1901, when it was erroneously marked and entered as filed as of that date, the court after judgment of foreclosure was authorized by a nunc pro tunc order to correct the entry of the date of filing such certificate, so as to show that it was in fact filed on the earlier date as against subsequent purchasers from the defendants in the foreclosure proceedings.

DAVENPORT: The property as thereby foreclosed upon by Mr. Gilman, who rebranded the hotel immediately, fired nearly all of the staff, and authorized it to be remodeled and built upon, increasing its floors to ten floors total, and to have all but one section, of the third floor completely removed and redone.

NARRATOR: Conroy and Adele Schonheit returned to Germany, however it is not clear what happened to their daughter, Denise, who would have been between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time of their leaving the united states.  Critics of Mr. Gilman’s legacy are skeptical of the legality of the Schonheit’s departure, stating it as deportation or false extradition. Further speculation is left on the then-whereabouts of Denise Schonheit and her connection to Lionel Gilman, which range from lascivious to criminal and even potentially deadly.

viktor sketches 4 color
Artists Rendering of Denise Schonheit, based on lithograph found on the premises — by Fishy Business

SCOTT: There is of these people leaving the country unharmed.  This is a man who just decided to get rid of people because he wanted their building for some reason.  He didn’t have to provide any amenities to them.  He didn’t have to buy them out.  He just needed them to go away.

NARRATOR: Other theories wager that Denise, a young woman at the time of Lionel’s acquisition, may have chosen to stay behind either with or without her parents permission, as she was born an united states citizen.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: I understand it’s not  a very exciting or interesting notion that an immigrant family sold their business to a u.s. Businessman and then went home, but frankly, not all stories are that interesting.  Now, there is a lot that is interesting beyond that–

SCOTT: There’s no good explanation.  You can say whatever you want for what he did as a humanitarian or a businessman but you cannot tell me that he got that hotel legally or ethically.  If he wasn’t the   yet, he became one that day.

NARRATOR: Biographer David Handler suggests instead that Lionel Gilman paid the proprietors of Haus Schonheit and enabled their return to Germany, but this is an assumption made based on letters from Lionel Gilman’s caretaker Mildred “Millie” Jackson to Lionel Gilman’s brother Tobias C. Gilman in 1902.  It is also considered that since Mr. Schonheit was a man who studied in law that he would have avoided any error in business.

VILLAQUEZ: To automatically suggest that Lionel Gilman would start making unlawful decisions after a career of the utmost respect for due process, is ludicrous and unfounded.  It is a narrative pushed by individuals who want to demonize a man who saw an opportunity to provide a stable business to a community. 

NARRATOR: Lionel Gilman did not see the renovation project to completion, dying on November 29, 1901.  By then, it was decided the hotel would be limited to seven floors, and the whereabouts of the Schonheit family was relegated to rumor.

In the 2000s, an internet campaign known as “where is Denise” was begun by the #gilmantruth organization, to further shed light on one of the presumed victims of Lionel Gilman’s final years.

HANDLER: Oh, it got wild.  They said he married her, they said he locked her up, she got walled up in one of the rooms, he kept her as a slave.  It was disgusting.  There’s no reason to think any of that if you are a person of proper mental capacity.

NARRATOR: At the rumor’s zenith, a small community theatre production purported that Denise Schonheit was a ghost haunting the rooms of the hotel, surveying the infidelities, secret meetings, and rock and roll parties that would follow in the decades.  Despite the involvement of the Gilman legacy foundation to halt such innuendo as spurious or even damaging to their business, Denise has become an unofficial mascot of the hotel, and ghost tours and docuseries on her and other people who passed in the hotel, persist.

HANDLER: The reason it persists is because it’s lurid.  It’s the first possible terrible thing to happen at a hotel where lots of terrible things have happened.  And it involves a pretty young girl, an old rich man, and the parents being shipped away.  It’s basically got a Sondheim score happening beneath it, folks.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: The story of Lionel Gilman is that of a man who loved his country, his town, and his business.

NARRATOR: The hotel would see a parade of visitors over the years, largely due to the quintessential gothic feel of the hotel, its proximity to town and public transportation, and its longstanding affordability.

DAVENPORT: Lionel Gilman was a visionary.  He saw a way to both make money and invite the working class.  As soon as the hotel was rebranded, it was a host to everyone: men on business, women who worked the street, newlyweds, traveling salesmen, wealthy older people who loved the style of the place… until the accidents started happening, it enjoyed solid bookings.  Then when it got spooky, suddenly a whole new wave of guests come, and it becomes camp.

NARRATOR: When the hotel got spooky is up for debate.

Coming up on Historical Record: Secrets and Skeletons…

VILLAQUEZ: Serial killers.  Rock star overdoses.  Arsonists.  A republican fundraiser.  The Gilman saw it all.

GRIFFITH-KELLY: Oh, I don’t know if all that’s necessary to get into.

HANDLERIt is weird.  I’ll give you that.

Blood (1928)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Sarah Storm
engineered and recorded by Matt Storm

patreon

transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentBlood.

Yet again, the master had cut himself shaving.  Streaks of his blood needed to be mopped away from the counter.  Marla was careful to not use the hotel towels, as she had her own.  She didn’t need the fussy staff to ask questions they needn’t answers for.

At this rate, Marla had given up on the so-called safety razors of today.  Clearly they weren’t foolproof as her own employer managed to nearly behead himself twice a week.  She looked patronizingly at the set of razors, far from the familiarity of those long handled straight razors she recalled in her childhood household.

Twenty years his attendee, Marla had kept the nature of his condition private for the last seven.  She was the sixth person told, but thanks to swinging doors in his home in Hartford, she was the second person to know.  It had a German name; his illness coupled with his bullish attitude, he had been given fewer than ten years to live, and much of the last several were to dedicate finalizing his affairs.

This scene, not unlike some sordid alley during the Eastern Rising, was as usual as tea served at 2.

She picked up her skirts, and ducked down, peering under the countertop and basin, and found the remaining ruddy droplets.  Folding the now gruesome linen, to be washed upon their return, Marla came back to the main room, and tucked them into her accumulating laundry.

While she rummaged, she spoke to the shadow of a figure in the bed behind her,”Mister Grantson, are you interested in going out this afternoon?”

A slight wheeze followed, with a long enough pause to send for a doctor, but then a cough and a murmur, “Eloise?”

“Mister Grantson, it’s Marla Macwell,” she said, now facing him, a wearied but concerned look on her face, and an accusatory hand on her hip. “You know it’s me, don’t let’s make pretending that you’ve lost your marbles.”

“You know, Marla, I would’ve married you after Eloise died if you hadn’t been such a mule.”  Mr Grantson shifted in his bed, gently lifting what he could of his body with the strength of one shoulder.

“I know, Mr. Grantson,” Marla smiled, getting closer to fluff his pillow, “but I couldn’t have afforded the reduction in pay.”  Now next to him, she could smell a waft of antiseptic, a post-bath face routine for her employer.

“The doctor?” Mr. Grantson trailed off.

“Dr. Sparrman will be at 3,” Marla said, sitting in the chair by the bed.  “He will give your examination and let us know if you’re well enough to travel tomorrow morning.”

Mr. Grantson snorted.  He had long favored his previous doctor, but he was dismayed to have outlived yet another.  In seventy-eight years, he had seen them all go.

“Now, Mr Grantson, would you be liking your tea now?”

“Is it as weak as yesterday’s?” Mr. Grantson muttered.

Marla was undeterred.  “Mr. Grantson, you know you cannot be taking your tea with as much sugar as you once did.  You’re not a young man any more.  We have to save your caloric intake.”

“What’s worth saving?  Give me the damn tea.”

Marla sighed.  The ox was stubborn as usual, but it was superior to the weeks of delusion and fits of unrest he suffered during his last treatment.

Marla fixed the tea as Mr. Grantson desired, and served it to his hand, steadying it by holding his wrist, and tucking a tray beneath it.  She set the kettle aside, prepared for a second cup should he desire it, or if she had the opportunity to nip some while he rested.

“There was the noise again,” Mr. Grantson said between sickly sips.

“The noise,” muttered Marla, “Sir, it’s a busy street, we’re going to have noise.  You want the racket of chickens like at home?”

“Not chickens… banging.  Banging on the wall.”

“That was me, ” smiled Marla, “I was trying to make sure you didn’t have too good a night sleep so you’d nap early this evening.”

Mr. Grantson stared ahead.  Marla checked her tone, as it was a familiar one but was concerned it was too sarcastic for the circumstances.  She and Mr. Grantson had enjoyed several years of playful back and forth in their conversation; indeed, something of a teasing daughter of only eight or nine to her youthful, funny father.

“Mr. Grantson, perhaps we should tell the doctor what you’ve been hearing?  Perhaps your body giving yourself a knocking and you’re mistaking it for out of doors.”

“I’m not giving myself a knocking,” Mr. Grantson said more loudly than he had been in days.  “There’s something here.  There’s always something here.”

“I have told the staff and they assure us there aren’t rats.”

“Every hotel has rats,” Mr. Grantson sighed.  “But that’s not what I’m hearing.  You’d hear it too if you ever stopped talking long enough.”

Marla steadied her tongue and the room was momentarily silent.  She reached for the cloth around Mr. Grantson’s neck.  He shuddered, but relented.

“I’m sorry, Marla.” He said quietly.

“Oh, Mr. Grantson, you haven’t said the worst I could take in these twenty years.”  Marla studied the bloodstains on the cloth.  It seemed to be taking longer to stop every time.  She went to tuck the fabric into her laundry items.

“The noise has been going for the full week we’ve been here.” Mr. Grantson, not to be ignored, continued.  “I hear it at night.  I hear the quiet of the out doors when you leave the window open, and I hear the bustle of morning when the staff turns down the rooms.  I hear the guests leave their rooms for dinner.  And I know what I hear at night is different.  I hear a banging in this hotel, the ghosts of who’ve gone, saying it’s time for me.”

“Oh, Mr. Grantson,” Marla sighed.

“Doctor Sparrman… he says I’m dying.”  Mr. Grantson said directly.

“Doctor Whalen was your last physician, Mr. Grantson.  You haven’t met Doctor Sparrman yet, and he hasn’t told you any such thing.”  Marla began folding his handkerchiefs, as she had always done for her parents when she was little.

“He says I’m dying,” Mr. Grantson continued, “and he’ll say it today.  Dr. Whalen knew me better than to leave me off with some thumper who won’t tell me what I need to know.”

Marla, for once in a long while, attempted to keep her mouth shut.  Her willpower lasted nearly whole seconds.

“Mr. Grantson, the doctor will tell you what he will tell you and we will prepare for it as always.”  She allowed herself a softer tone than even was necessary.

“Is Stephen coming?” Mr. Grantson coughed.

“Your son is at the house, Mr. Grantson.  He is meeting us there when you’re well enough to return.”

Marla closed her eyes, begging her god for no follow-up questions.  Stephen had long not been her favorite of Mr. Grantson’s sons.  His piggish behavior had increased once his father’s illness was made public.  She half expected to see him with a measuring tape in each room, determining what the ad would say upon the estate sale date of Mr. Grantson’s death.

“Damn,” muttered Mr. Grantson, and Marla peered over her shoulder to see he had spilled the rest of his tea cup over his chest.  Immediately registering the steps to improve the situation, Marla had a new shirt in her hand to redress him.  She assured him there were no burns, and that the tea was in fact quite cold after all.

His energy had all but given out upon her cleanup; then he settled his head against the pillow and headboard, and nodded in a quiet succumbence of rest.

As the clock ticks grew further and further away in sound, Mr. Grantson was asleep, as Marla stood there, bringing the soiled shirt to the basin.

The room was quiet as she stood there, barring that of the cool water pouring from the faucet.  As it approached a warmer touch, Marla ran her weathered fingers under the tap.  She had seen her own father go, years earlier, and was doing all she could to not allow the memories to subject her to foregone conclusions of her employer.

The steam rose from the basin, and Marla dunked the shirt under.  Her eyes trailed away, awash with concern and predisposed loss for Thomas James Grantson.  As she looked on, a spot came in focus.  The resulting splatter of Mr. Grantson’s emboldened attempts to shave himself in the morning, continued to carry into the afternoon, it seemed.

Leaving the shirt immersed in the water, Marla stared down at the spot.  The color suggested it was older but it looked otherwise fresh.  The spot, marring the otherwise lovely daffodil-colored tiles, just to the left of the dish of bar soap dimmed in the light.  Marla shook her head, somewhat dizzy, and looked again.  Seeing nothing but the subtle wash of yellow color on the wall, she stepped back uneasily, confused.  She glanced at the sink and let out a yelp.  Her master’s white collared shirt was now drenched in a deep, thick scarlet bath.   She puffed and stumbled back towards the wall of the bathroom, nearly falling into the tub, causing her view to catch the floor to steady herself.

She looked back at the sink.  The shirt bobbed slightly in the clear water.  She gasped but did not want to wake her employer up, so she stifled her sound with her fingers, nearly biting into them with fear.  A drubbing  against the wall shook her into place, as she stood, far enough from the sound to ensure she had not been the one to make it.

The yellow wall tile shone in the light of the room, gently reflecting just the closest of objects.  Marla studied the tile, seeing how each was separated by a thin strip of hardened white goo.  She let her gaze follow several pieces until she stopped dead.

Marla slowly moved closer to the splotch of crimson that marred the otherwise cheerful hue.  This mark was larger, unmistakable, and slowly, purposefully dripped in thin lines to the floor.

“No…”  Marla held her head.  She rushed her palm to the mark, praying it would vanish upon contact, but instead leaving an ugly smear.  She gagged at the sight.

Her eyes filling with wells of tears, she sank her hand into the still water of the basin, the water immediately a deepening, wretched pink.  With her other hand, she turned the faucet, cupping handfuls of water and bringing them to her face.

Convinced she was suddenly going mad, she squeezed her eyes tight and commanded her senses to return.  When she opened them, a wash of blood across the basin, counter, and floor pushed her deeper into a state of shock and fear.  Her shoes, as she pulled them backwards, left a sickening residue on the floor.  Her head pounded, and she slammed her fists on the sink, cracking it.  The faucet continued to pour clean water on to the fresh stains of blood, and trickled through the crack and onto the floor.  She let out a hearty bellow, her mind flooding with as many terrible visions as she could scarcely breathe during.

Crashing her fists against the walls, she screamed as each blow left a splattered bloodstain not her own.  “Stop it!  Stop it!” she howled, “I’ll never get it clean.  I’ll never… ” she slumped on the floor, feeling the ooze beneath her knees and thighs.  “I’ll never…”

She continued to dwindle; her body further slinking into the horrific slush, never ending and smelling of wounded, severed flesh, and revolting rusted metal.  Her strength at a near end, she pounded against the sticky floor, banging and sobbing.

“Marla?” a cough came from the other room.

For entire minutes, it felt like all the air went out, the silence of a ear gone numb, the sting of nonvolume, a near hum of agony.  She opened her eyes again.

Blood.

Yet again, the master had cut himself shaving.  Streaks of his blood needed to be mopped away from the counter.  Emma was careful to not use the hotel towels, as she had her own.  She didn’t need the fussy staff to ask questions they needn’t answers for.

The scene, not unlike some sordid alley in Herzegovina she heard of growing up, was as usual as tea served at 2.

Emma returned to the main room, and tucked them into her accumulating laundry.

While she rummaged, she spoke to the shadow of a figure in the bed behind her,”Mister Grantson, will you be going out this afternoon?”

They sat in the dim light; “Marla?”

“Mister Grantson,” she said firmly but warmly, “It’s Emma Kovacs.  You know it’s me, don’t let’s make pretending that you’ve lost your marbles.”

Segment 8: Natalie May Dashett Screen Test (1936)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
performed by Gretchen Violetta

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transcription:

viktor sketches 2 color
Natalie May Dashett sketch by Fishy Business

director: Screen test: Natalie May Dashett, Villeroy Studios, March 18, 1936.  Name.

Natalie: Natalie.  Natalie May Dashett.

director: Spell that.

Natalie: N-a-t-a-l-i-e.

director: Your last name.

Natalie: Oh (laugh) D-a-s-h-e-t-t

director: Where are you from?

Natalie: Duanesberg, New York.  Upstate New York.  Near—

director: Age?

Natalie: 20.

director: Says here you do Shakespeare?

Natalie: I can do a lot of things.  I just did Oscar Wilde this year.

director: Hm.  Lewin do that?

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director: He’s a piece of work.

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director: You get along with him?  No keep the hair up, it looks good.

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director: Did you?

Natalie: I’m sorry, sir?

director: Sal, can you get her a glass of water?  Girl looks like she’ll faint dead away.  Did you like working with Albert Lewin, I asked.

Natalie: He was very good to work with, but he didn’t—thank you—he didn’t have a lot of very nice things to say to almost anyone.

director: But good to work with?

Natalie: I learned a lot.

director: Shell-shocked, I bet.  Well.  You have the blue dress on; Lottie said you also had a red with you?

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director:  Let’s see it.

Natalie: Right here, sir?

director: There’s a screen.  What’s the most lines you had in a single show?

Natalie: Bianca was probably about 25.

director: Shrew?

Natalie: Yes, sir. 

director: Supporting girl.  You know we’re taking a chance hiring a girl with no experience.

Natalie: I have experience, sir.  I just haven’t done a picture yet.

director: You’re on the radio?

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director: Who’s your coach?

Natalie: I worked with Madeline Fisher.

director:  Old girl?  Hump on her shoulder?

Natalie: Yes, sir.

director: Let’s see it.  The red looks good on you.  I like the collar.  You have a monologue prepared?  Let’s hear.

Natalie: Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong,
To strive for that which resteth in my choice:
I am no breeching scholar in the schools;
I’ll not be tied to hours nor ‘pointed times,
But learn my lessons as I please myself.
And, to cut off all strife, here sit we down:
Take you your instrument, play you the whiles;
His lecture will be done ere you have tuned.

Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong yourself,
To make a bondmaid and a slave of me;
That I disdain: but for these other gawds,
Unbind my hands, I’ll pull them off myself,
Yea, all my raiment, to my petticoat;
Or what you will command me will I do,
So well I know my duty to my elders.

director: Do you know what any of that means?

Natalie: Some of it, sir.

director: Turn left and right for the camera.  OK, thank you.  We’ll let you know.

Segment 7: The Murder Mavens Podcast (2) (2017)

performed by Mary Cyn and Maggie McMuffin
based on material written by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
directed and produced by Viktor Devonne
recorded by Matt Storm

viktor sketches 3 color
Lionel Gilman sketch by Fishy Business

True crime podcasters Cynthia Bierderman and Veronica Fitzwilliam are back to discuss The Gilman and some strange occasions that have occurred there.

(SSDGM, with love.)

LISTEN ON ITUNES
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY
LISTEN ON LIBSYN

 

 

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Segment 6: Murder Mavens Podcast (2017)

performed by Mary Cyn and Maggie McMuffin
based on material written by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
directed and produced by Viktor Devonne
recorded by Matt Storm

viktor sketches 2 color
Natalie May Dashett sketch by Fishy Business

True crime podcasters Cynthia Biederman and Veronica Fitzwilliam discuss the career and disappearance of Natalie May Dashett of the 30s-40s radio series Dark Pier.

(SSDGM, with love.)

LISTEN ON ITUNES
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY
LISTEN ON LIBSYN

 

 

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Segment 5: The Jefferson Account (1998)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Essence Revealed

 

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transcription:

gilman-logo-new-transparentIt was unreasonably warm in the room.  She could not tell the last time the bed had been turned down, but the musk in the air would have given the impression of someone having done aerobics while smoking cigars and then bathing a cat.

The windows looked bolted shut but with minimal amount of fuss, she was able to shake one open.  Her view of the courtyard and laxly cultivated garden was idyllic in comparisons to the rest of her surroundings.

The hotel had fallen into neglect, but certainly not recently.  She chose to stay there for the rate, and the proximity to the convention.

She had long been the only mind of money matters at her firm.  She knew where the clients liked to throw their dollar bills, and where the administrators vacationed on the company card.  Years ago, she’d proven her worth to several partners when she 1099’d the mistresses as something more palatable for the IRS.

She herself was three years married.  Margaret Mumford-Sachs.  Margie, please, but it was her decision to hyphenate.  She was tough in the board room, but without those hushed “what a bitch” whispers that her feminine colleagues seemed to always get.  She knew her job, frankly better than anyone else, but knew to file away, mentally, where the bodies were buried rather than act on it now.

Four years with Hopkins Vernon Skipp, the trials she was deposed for, the schmoozing cocktail parties, and the creative tax deductions did not prepare her for marriage to a would-be perfect man.

He was insistently perfect.  Underfoot.  Inquisitive.  Dying to please.  She has decided at six years old that she was not a dog person.  She still wasn’t.

It was almost 4pm.  The room was already airing out and her rose-scented body splash managed to overpower whatever Dutch Master  failed to die in there weeks ago.

Margie took off her lanyard and hung it on the lamp.  Glancing at the mirror, she was relieved her hair had stayed mostly intact from the morning’s styling.  Her manicured nails—violet—traced her neck to clavicle, over her jacket buttons.  The suit was a good choice.  She looked amazing in navy.  She stripped off the blazer somewhat reluctantly, exposing her white blouse.  Both were soon draped over the only chair in the room.

It was a matter-of-fact undressing for a woman who failed to find herself erotic for these many years.  Within moments, she was already in the shower, letting the heat provide much-needed permission for her mind to drift to the hours ahead.

She was an efficient shower-taker at home, but here, she allowed herself to linger.  It was time to switch gears and prepare herself to be something for someone else. Those unchecked emails would wait for Tuesday.  The steam filled her mind, as she caressed her unloved body.

She shuddered at that thought.  Jesus Christ, yes, she was loved.  She had a family she grew up with and supported her.  The collie of a convenience at home in the shape of a college sweetheart.  The single mothers who knew she had their back, and almost foreclosed that got the extra week to pay.  People are complicated, she thought.  It was as good an excuse as any to allow herself to sink into a momentary feeling of abandonment.

The flip phone in the other room made its familiar midi chime.  She caught herself postponing again, even when it served her.  Especially when it served her.

The towels were surprisingly luxurious all things considered; large enough to wrap herself once and a half, and to effectively soak up her skin.  No bathmat; her foot prints betrayed the otherwise naked floor.

Patting her chest and thighs, Margie stumbled into the now dim bedroom area, and to her second carry-on bag.  Her Chicago address tag came loose off the handle and dropped to the floor, as she slipped her hand to the bottom of the bag, past the nasal spray and tissues.  Removing the silk camisole and panty set, she dropped the towel and immediately slid the loose fabric over her still moistened skin.

She wondered if it was still too conservative for the weekend.  She thought black lace would be severe, and hard to explain at home, so she opted for the light silver.  She was afraid of looking like a mom on the Friday night lineup, so she had left her usual nightwear at home.

The phone—there’s a phone?—quietly rang, predictably distorted, on the end table, predictably stained with glass marks.

“Ms., uh, Williams?” the voice said, clearly suspicious of the last name.  They had seen her credit card after all.  “Your guest is here.  I’m sending them up as you requested.”

She nodded sheepishly, and it was quiet for just a few seconds too long; “Ms. Williams?”

“Oh!” she stuttered, “Yes, thank you.”  What the hell was this, 8th grade formal?  Wake up, Margie.  She put the down the receiver, and went to sit on the bed.  She should’ve checked the sheets when she came in.  Relieved to see that while the hideous Anne Geddes reject comforter looked crunchy, the sheets and pillows were bleach white, and seemed at least somewhat new.

Margie sat down on the open bed, and attempted a few poses.  No, “I don’t have to do all that,” she reminded herself.

The quiet of the room, and the distance from the lobby to the elevator to the fifth floor, made her nervous.  She flipped on the TV to yet another news analyst discussing that fucking blue dress.  Switching to Weather, unlicensed muzak put her in the mood of a court lobby, and was oddly soothing.

The door’s lock deactivated from the outside, and Margie saw her new guest for the first time.  “It’s okay to use the key, right?  The desk said—”

Margie smiled, “Yes.  Hi.”

Her guest put the keycard down on the small table  by the door.  “I’m Erica.”

“Hi.  I—” Margie thought for a second.  Fuck it.   “I’m Margie.”

“Hi Margie,” Erica smiled warmly.  She walked toward her slowly, her faux leather jack catching the dim light from the lamp.  “We can do whatever you’d like tonight.  I’m here til about 8.  Is that alright?”

Margie exhaled.  “Yes, that’s totally fine.”

Erica put down her knock-off bag, which hit the carpet with a minor thump.  “Good,” said Erica.  She was soft, but comforting, as she tussled her messy-style bob and pursed her bubblegum pink lips in a knowing “so what you wanna do” stance.  She put her hands on her waist, her jacket rising and the bottom revealing a dress about four inches shorter than Margie would ever feel comfortable wearing at the office.

“You look nice, Margie,” Erica said, not moving.  She smelled like vanilla sugar.  “Really sexy.”

Margie’s eyes stung for half a second, as she lay back.  “Lie down with me?”

Erica pulled off her jacket and kicked off the clunky boots.  “Do you want me to leave this on?”  Erica pointed to her satin minidress.  She looked amazing in navy.

Margie smiled, “I’ll do it.”

Erica would end up leaving promptly at 8:05.  Margie was a little sad to see her go, although she knew she would fall asleep by 8:30 at this rate.  She plugged Erica’s number into her phone, as “Jefferson Account,” and kissed her goodbye at the door, without touching her own stomach to hide it with her hand, or reaching for a robe.

The door closed, and Margie stood there naked for a few moments, before returning her wallet to her purse, and seeking a return to the comfort of the now slightly damp, tumbled sheets.

Segment 4: Voicemail/Music Video News Demo (1989)

written and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded and performed by Matt Storm

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transcription:

viktor sketches 1 color
Requiem sketch by Fishy Business

Hi, this is Ramona Malone from the Gilman Legacy Foundation.  I’m calling in reference to the advance copy I received regarding the passing of Requiem that is set to air tomorrow evening. 

I’m afraid I’m going to need Mr. Ludding and the producers of Music Video News Break to give me a call back.  Nothing serious, but there are a few items that I’m going to need to address.  I believe we sent Mr. Benson the original release that I authorized, and Mr. Ludding certainly took a few liberties.  I would hate to bring anyone from our legal department have to get involved. 

Specifically we’re going to need you adjust the quotes from the band members to reflect their latest statement that I have already faxed over.  And I need you to remove any insinuation the hotel has anything to do with his passing.  Oh and if you’re able to remove that comment about the band recording their demo here that would be great.   Finally, I see no reason to include Mr. Cobin in this story and we at the foundation don’t appreciate that implication.

I’m afraid I have about a dozen or so other notes and I suggest you give me a call back by 6 tonight.  Thank you so much.  The number you can reach me at 555-9424 and my extension is 7.  You have a wonderful evening, now.

Ken Ludding with a Music Video News Break.

Requiem, lead vocalist for the Last Boys, was found dead by authorities at abandoned hotel The Gilman on Monday. While details were not made immediately available to the press, Requiem (born Henry Jane Fullton, 10/2/1960) age 27, was discovered by unidentified witnesses early in the morning of February 15th.

Fullton, who legally changed his name to Requiem in 1985 after a meteoric rise to fame with his industrial-synth rock band, made headlines this past Christmas when the fall tour Tear the Flesh ’89 was cancelled and the singer went into what was described as “hiding,” by his bandmates, who released a separate statement indicating the cancellation came as a surprise to them. This seclusion brought Fullton to multiple cities, ending at the famed and notorious hotel The Gilman, which closed doors due to health code violations in 1986.

Requiem was discovered in an abandoned, unfurnished room on the third floor, with what can be described as stripped bed quarters and unsanitary conditions. It is unclear when Requiem entered the establishment, or precisely how he entered, however documents indicate he may have been there at least a week before his death, and that indeed he was found within hours of his actual death, despite his seclusion for up to that time. It would be the last of several visitations Requiem would make to the once bustling hotel, having been one of his frequent haunts when the Last Boys became successful in 1984. Indeed, it is legend that at least half the album, Rage In Favor, was written there and the demo sent to the label BioLumina was indeed postmarked from Gilman Street. Requiem would later joke that he made a pact with the devil for the album to be a hit while in a hotel room, which would later be revealed as the Gilman.

Alas, in summer of 1986, after a rash of complaints, the hotel was shut down while the Last Boys were on tour in Scandinavia. The hotel, recently famous for it being the final inhabitance of serial murderer Edgar Corbin n 1982, and something of a tourist attraction therefore, shut its doors by autumn 1986.

Requiem’s final years have seem to have culminated in a frenzy of usual-for-him behavior, from proclamations of vampirism in Rolling Stone in 1987, and forward and frank discussions of the occult during what was intended as a relatively light-hearted evening chat show in the UK, leading the host to sit motionless for several minutes while Requiem discussed Satan.

A fan vigil was organized Monday night outside the Gilman Hotel, which shut its doors to the public and provided private entrances and exits to its existing patrons and longterm stays. Fan club president Melora Debbenski organized the event through word of mouth, appearing in a near identical wine-red leather suit and cape ensemble that Requiem wore in the “Virgin Sacrifice” music video, which premiered on music video networks only this past Halloween. Requiem appeared in the same attire for promotional photos declaring the Tear Your Flesh ’89 world tour, which was scheduled to start in Helsinki in May.

Requiem and the Last Boys were riding a wave of six hit 12” singles and their latest, “Drown Your Face,” was set to premiere Tuesday, the 23rd of this month It is anticipated the single will move as expected, although radio stations have been playing on near loop, the now classic first single of the Last Boys, “Die Die Die (Darling)” and its award-winning follow-up, “Spit Dust.”

Last Boys lead guitarist Kurtis Mock called the news of Requiem’s passing, “on time,” and drummer Harvey Goode said “Req never should have gone back there.” Bassist Malcolm Binge commented “He’s not dead; he can’t die.” While the band’s manager, Jervis Capshaw, did not elaborate on any of these statements, he requested privacy for the band and their families at this time. It is not known if Requeim had any living family at the time of his death, considered one of the great loners of his field, and not connected to any romantic relationships during the band’s success.

Requiem, called the atomic accident mutation lovechild of Wendy O. Williams and Alice Cooper, was last noted to declare “I’m going home, ya bleeders.” on the now legendary Height of Hits countdown in December. It would be his last public appearance, as the band struggled three times to get through a fourteen minute version of their hit single “Voice Inside the Wall.”

Requiem

Catch some backstory on one of the characters of 2 Night Stay:

viktor sketches 1 color
Requiem sketch by Fishy Business

Requiem, lead singer of the Lost Boys, cancels world tour (Tear the Flesh ’89) at the height of their fame to go into self-determined seclusion and found at the abandoned Gilman Hotel in 1989, from uncertain causes and most unhygienic circumstances.

Requiem, a self-professed vampire, was noted by fans as having come back from the dead and more internet rumors persist about resurrection. Which, of course, is nuts.

The Lost Boys’ albums spawned legendary metal/darkwave/rock fusions “Die Die Die Darling,” “Drown Your Face,” “Rage Against,” “Virgin Sacrifice,” and the award-winning single “Spit Dust.”

Holly Ween played Requiem in The Dead Sexy Hotel in 2012.

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Segment 3: First Date (1982)

written, edited, and produced by Viktor Devonne for 2 Night Stay
recorded by Matt Storm
performed by Faux Pas le Fae

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transcription:

viktor sketches 5 colorsketch by Fishy Business

“You’re going to drive me to drink,” she laughs. they clink glasses.

They’ve actually been sitting in this bar for about 2 1/2 hours. Between them, they’ve lost count on cocktails they may have ordered; but she knows she started with wine and somehow she’s moved onto whiskey.

He’s a traveler. Salesman? She’s not entirely sure what he does for a living; somehow they just skirted the issue entirely this whole time, but she knows she’s told him an awful lot about her.

She said everything about her trip to San Diego, how her mother found that uranium in the backyard, and brought up her great uncle and how he used to raise cocker spaniels in Wilmington.

She’s not used to flirting anymore. She was an expert once; it was all she knew how to do for a while. But she thought after weeks of quiet loneliness that she would give it a try tonight and, boy, did she luck out.

He’s got dark brown hair. It reminds her of fur; it’s dense and like a deer’s hide. His face reminds of her of that actor she can never remember the name of because he’s never listed in the first six credits. But she’s seen his smile, a little crooked on the left; knowing too much. He’s been taking bets all night, and she’s let him win every time. But he’s a gentleman; she knows he’s letting her think she’s ahead.

The nose. Yeah, it doesn’t quite match the rest of the face. But it’s a good nose on someone else, so why not on him. He’s got strong shoulders; if he didn’t play sports in college, mores the pity. His eyes look through her and back again. She has to restart her sentences sometimes because she gets lost. He assures her it’s fine.

Her dress is too tight, she knows her mother would suggest, and she was regretting all the lavender sequins until he complimented her on it. She chose it over the poofy one. She didn’t want to look like Atlantic City had let her out for conjugal visit. The fishnets however, well, old habits die hard. Those were part of the uniform for fifteen years, and she had no intention to letting them go now, especially if she was going on her own now.

So far she’s avoided talking about her marriage. Somehow she managed to keep her wits among her to avoid that topic. She doesn’t want to seem eager, new to the game. Well, new again; back in play. But even having this verbal dance for hours now, she stopped wondering about 45 minutes ago what he sees in her.

He laughs when she needs him too; he has a follow up question every single time she thinks that they’ve gone silent too long.

The cigarette smoke wisps as it envelopes the breath between them. They started off further apart, but the chair swiveled, and she found herself even closer on those terrible bar stools with the back that just missed your flesh, with the slightest implication of support.

She hasn’t dare look at her watch where the clock over the bar; she just wants this Friday night to last as long as it possibly can. Well, at least this part of the night in this bar. She doesn’t know if he’s going to invite her up to his room or if she will invite him to hers. They haven’t made it that far yet. But she knows it’s coming; that awkward “when I see you again sometime,” or “you have a good night, unless you wanna come up for coffee.” They’re at a hotel. She doesn’t have coffee. But maybe in the morning, they can get some. There’s that cafe next to the lobby. They call it cafe but they only have coffee and doughnuts til 11am.

He’s laughed again at something she said; she has been comforted by the absence of self-consciousness this whole time. What is it about this man that puts her at ease. She swore years ago that she would ever let her guard down like this. But he’s nice. Attractive, but not intimidating. Those eyes; hazel or maybe green. no, she’s been looking long enough at them; she knows they’re hazel.

It looks like the dance is ending. she goes for her purse, and he puts his hand on her shoulder. She’s not sure why she didn’t wear a sweater tonight, but her bare shoulder shivers at the touch. He murmurs something about an early morning. She figures she’s going to bed alone again. Him, to sleep six hours before a conference or a convention or, wherever he’s in town for.

Wrong. He extends his arm towards her, ready to take her hand into his. An escort to the elevator? No, they take the stairs. Slowly. Drunkenly. She doesn’t know how much she’s had. Her eyes glance to the door she knows is hers for the next three days; but he hasn’t slowed down. They go up one more flight.

Must be after midnight. She doesn’t want to be shy. She wants to go for it; she wants to finally do what she promised on her 42nd birthday she would finally fucking do when she felt like it. And he seems so nice. Attractive, but not intimidating. And those eyes. What was that actor’s name?

As the door clicks open, she becomes a silhouette slowly wandering aimlessly into this darkened room, the corridor light providing only reference points, so she knows where not to stumble. The bedroom of the hotel is very similar to hers; she can figure out where the desk is, where the extra chair might be, and where the mattress is.

The window is open and the curtains allow for just enough moonlight to make her feel so beautiful. He closes the door behind him. She sits quietly, waiting for him to make his move. Her breath tightens. His hands tighten. She feels dizzy; something is wrong. He’s doing this wrong. Something is wrong. She wants to tell him but he has his hand over her mouth. He has to know this isn’t right.

The moonlight is dim. She can’t get up. It’s over so quickly, it must have taken hours. Birds are already gathering themselves into discordant snippets of sounds.

She is over them now. She looks at their figures. He’s crying over her, apologizing. He’s saying some girl’s name, but not hers. He’s apologizing to someone else over her body. She makes a note to remark on that failure in courtesy, but there are no more words to say.

For someone who made her feel so beautiful, he has reduced her to a monstrous shell. Sloppy. Maybe his first time. No, second or third. She observes the signs of ritual. That was her gold bracelet, and an earring that made it into that wooden box he had kept under the bed. They joined other trinkets. That necklace was pretty; it looked more expensive than hers. How many of them were once owned by someone 43 and divorced, on their first try out again. How many of those women looked at him and just couldn’t quite place that film almost-star. You kept imagining him talking to Kathleen Turner like that was a hint.

She’s alone again. Another man, her limp body in his arms, has left her alone again. He looks, skyward, either for judgement or for peace. His eyes look through her.

Those eyes. Maybe they aren’t as remarkable as she let herself believe. Dull, almost.