Wednesday, 15 October 2008


We arrived at a Hostelling International hostel in Reykjanes (smoky peninsula). As we were driving up to the building, J exclaimed, "The place we're staying at used to be a school." and I thought, "Oh, cool." We stopped in the parking lot of an imposing building and went inside. No one was there to greet us so we wandered around the foyer until X rang the doorbell. A man came out and said rates were bla and bla and such. L, I think it was L, asked, "Who else is staying here?" and the man answered, "You." I thought, "Cool, we have the whole place to ourselves. It's such a huge building." We got shown our rooms and the kitchen downstairs. I went by myself to put away the food and as I was coming up I took an extra flight of stairs and came onto this hallway full of pictures of graduating classes of students. That was the first sign of something being odd and spooky. I quickly went back down and dismissed it from my head. I had dinner, then as I was going back upstairs again something reminded me of The Shining, but also The Simpsons where Mr. Burns said, "That's odd. The blood usually stops on the second floor," so instead of being freaked out I laughed to myself. Then I went upstairs (my room was on the first floor) into a game room/living room where Lj and O were. All the books and games were old. Then O said to Lj, pointing at a photograph or painting of a priest on the wall in the middle of the room, "Doesn't this priest look strange? His hand is missing." I swallowed my fears and went back down. We went to the swimming pool for the night and as I was walking with L to the pool he said, "This place is haunted." Oh, great. A then also informed me that this place was haunted, her having been informed by O. She said, "If I see a ghost I'm going to go to the manager and complain." The story was getting more elaborate, like how people who had stayed would commit suicide, even though the ghosts were purportedly 'friendly'. And that in Icelandic culture, ghosts are solid and that Icelanders wrestle with them. And the fact that the next day would be a full moon. I'm writing this now, on the 13 of October, but how I wish we had gone on the Friday of a year where it lands on the 13th. That would've creeped me out.

Anyway, YF started to swim (he had never swam before he came to Iceland) and A was like, "Don't drown!" someone else was like, "The first victim is usually in the pool."

There was a completely dark steam bath, sort of like a shed, and the door creaked when you opened it. I didn't go in because it looked like you would never be able to come out again. J later said that with the drops of water continuously falling on you, it seemed to be a spooky place.
And the showers were scary too...
When we got out of the pool, we met in the foyer. By this time A was getting more and more freaked out (and of course other people had fun at making her more and more creeped out) and I was also creeped out too but my rationalities kicked in, and I was making jokes to steady my mind. We lounged in the foyer and devised plans to escape. People mentioned movies like The Shining, Hostel, Saw. We looked in the guestbook. One of the entries said, "Peculiar place. Reminds me of The Shining. Unique." Umm, no. Spooky.

In my mind, I knew it was irrational. But then it was the perfect setting for a horror story. A group of tourists. The middle of nowhere. No other guests. A huge, abandoned school. A creepy caretaker. Let the games begin.

I joined the others in a walk to the beach. The goal was to see the Northern Lights but they weren't that strong that night. Semi-tripping over rocks and grass and sheep, I managed to get to the sea. There was plenty of white coral and we labelled it popcorn-rocks. We took some pictures and headed back. By this time I had forgotten almost all about the spookiness.
Then we went upstairs and turned on the TV in the living room. Then time for bed.

Here are some pictures. I almost don't want to post these. I don't even know why I took them.

The kitchen/former classroom.

The scary living room.

A view of the outside.

The hallway with all the portraits.

Just for you to get a sense of where we the middle of nowhere.

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