Real Haunted Places with Valerie Storm - The Shanley Hotel in New York

So a year back or so, my brother and I went to New York to visit the Shanley Hotel, a quaint little (haunted) hotel in Napanoch. They feature haunted tours with tons of different “ghost adventure” type tools, and even let you use an ipad and a speaker at the end for your own exploring!

The Shanley Hotel is small, old, and so, so creepy just on the offset. The owners had many stories to share with us and took us to each room, giving us stories on the ghostly residents. I had some minor interactions (having a cat ball light up on the bed next to me; they’re motion activated!) but my most vivid memory, which will stick with me forever, is when my brother and I went upstairs for our own adventuring.

The Shanley Hotel’s upstairs is under renovation, I believe, and so some of the rooms aren’t great for visitors. Aside from that, though, are the ghosts, particularly Adam and Joe. Adam was, as the stories go, a murderer of women. He terrorizes women guests and workers, though we were unable to get anything out of his room when we went up there. Joe, on the other hand, was some sort of mafia boss. He has a nice, big chair in his room…which you have to ask permission to sit in!

The first time my brother and I went up there, I asked permission and received it via the speaker we were given. The rest of our tour together was pretty uneventful, with some answers to our questions but otherwise random noises.

When my brother had enough, I went back upstairs by myself. I was partially intent on messing with Adam, to see if I could get a “rise” out of this murderous ghost man. As it so happens, Joe’s room is one of the first down that hallway, while Adam’s is at the end. I should also explain that there are no lights upstairs, so with a single flashlight to guide my way, I stood at the entrance of the hallway and hesitated. Something in my gut said, “No, I don’t want to go down there.”

So I went into Joe’s room first. I didn’t get permission to sit in his chair, so I took one of the others instead. Mostly the answers I received were nonsense, but eventually one came through—it said “Happy birthday!”

Normally inconsequential, except that we had gone to Shanley Hotel specifically to celebrate my birthday. I thanked Joe, or whoever was talking to me, and after a few more unanswered questions, the speaker said, very clearly, “Adam.”

I wondered if this meant Adam told me happy birthday. With no clear answer either way, I went back downstairs and went to sleep…I never did get the courage to go to Adam’s room by myself.

The next morning, I found one of the owners and told her what had happened. She told me her thoughts: that Joe, or someone else in his room, had wished me happy birthday…and probably warned me to stay away from Adam that night!

I’ve included a photo of me in Joe’s chair. It’s not a great one (that lighting!) but alas.

Storm and Shadow
Demon Storm 
Book Two
Valerie Storm

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
Date of Publication: 11/13/2022
ISBN: 978-1-956883-06-0 
Number of pages: 317
Word Count: 88352
Cover Artist: Ginka Jack

Tagline: The shadows call.  Will the lightning answer? 

Book Description:

Kari was dead—and then, she wasn't.

But for the wolf-demon with lightning in her fists, resurrection is no reprieve from exile. After old witch Zina revives her, Kari must conceal her true nature better than ever before, lest her slayers find her breathing and put her down for good. And since she can no longer return to what she once knew, Kari finds herself adrift—in search of purpose.

She gets it when Zina entrusts her with the Lapis Anima, a gem imprisoning the soul of wicked woman, Raven. This brings Kari into conflict with Raven herself, who's still very much a threat without her soul…and has devious plans in mind for Kari's destructive abilities.

Will the wolf-demon succumb to Raven's cruel temptations?

Or will Kari turn to an unlikely ally for help—the very man who killed her, one year ago?


Before she could answer, Raven’s words filled her mind. Such needless fear and
indecision. There is nothing wrong with wanting to survive, Kari. The only ones who will blame
you are the ones who deserve to die.

Kari staggered to a stop and ripped the necklace off. She held the gem in a hand, fingers
wrapped so tight the jagged edges cut her palm.

Kari’s vision swam. She recalled the redheaded woman leaning closer, her eyes glowing embers, her smile long and large. I’ve thought of the most wonderful plan.

“You!” Kari shouted.

“Oh,” the Fire Witch said. “And I thought my day would be dull and dreary.”

“You!” Kari yelled again. Her legs were numbly locked in place, but her chest was
aflame. Lightning crackled to life at her fingertips. She mouthed exclamations, insults, but her
voice failed. The woman was here, the one who had ruined everything!

She extended a shaking hand. Zina dropped the gem into her palm, where it flashed as it
touched her skin.

“Since you have taken it of your own will, you and the gem are now Bound.” As she said
the word, the air around Kari stiffened. Magic. “Should you die an unnatural death, the gem will
shatter, destroying the soul within.”

The palm-sized crystal tumbled to the ground and began to bounce. Kari watched, her eyes widening. Dark smoke issued from the gem, curling over the ground, swirling until it took the form of a kneeling woman. Her features coalesced: long, dark hair to match her wintry robes and contrast her ivory skin. The woman lifted her head, looking about with eyes cut from obsidian.

Her pale-pink lips were uplifted in a sneer, betraying little surprise.

The woman spared Kari no attention as she stood to her full height and looked around. She faced the nearest patch of darkness and raised a hand, curling her fingers into a fist. The shadows stretched away from the trees, bending toward the woman in lazy snake-like wisps.
They lifted off the ground and twisted around her fingers.

About the Author:

Valerie Storm was raised in Tucson, Arizona. Growing up, she fell in love with everything fantasy. When she wasn’t playing video games, she was writing. By age ten, she began to write her own stories as a way to escape reality. When these stories became a full-length series, she considered the path to sharing with other children and children-at/heart looking for a place to call home.

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