Short Story: The Hotel Cassadaga

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN CLNC, Contributing Editor

How I ended up just north of Orlando, Florida in a place called Cassadaga remains a question to me.  I had traveled from New York to the South to escape the cold. This town. Cassadaga, is known as a Psychic Capital filled with tarot card readers, psychics, seances and a haunted hotel known as the Hotel Cassadaga. I guessed I was curious. It was a typical warm sunny day in Florida, one that I welcomed, coming from a northern city where this winter has been a seesaw of weather, with freezing temps and icy cold nights.  The warmth felt so good on my skin, and I enjoyed the freedom of being scantily dressed. I wore a simple short sundress that allowed the warmth to enter my nakedness beneath. I was now on a mission, and I decided to explore this hotel, one that was hauntingly familiar, but as I stepped indoors, I found it to be appealing.  I enjoyed the display of historic imagery and wondered out loud if I should stay. The lobby was adorned with antiques and vintage artifacts.  There was a small group of people waiting to see and visit with on-site mediums, and others exploring the hotel’s eatery called Sinatra’s Restaurant (no, it was not Frank Sinatra’s), while still others wandered in the gift shop decorated with crystals and some interesting new age literature. The marketing of magic is ancient. I watched magicians adorned in costume pass me by.

I decided to grab some lunch at Sinatra’s and was quickly seated. I ordered a coffee latte and some shrimp and grits, my favorite southern dish that can only be enjoyed in the South, from the young man who took my order. I had found a quiet corner to relax and take in my surroundings. 

My surroundings were quite engaging with some amusing touches.  People of many different flavors seemed to be present, waiting to witness something happening whether it be a ritual or a spell.  One could feel the magic in the air. 

Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable. I noticed something or maybe it was someone.  There was definitely a spirit holding space, I could feel a touch on my shoulder, and so I turned.

There you stood, you had arrived somehow, I don’t know how, but you were there.  A charisma surrounded you and I was taken in by your aura with energy seeming to surround you like around you. A work of art with an enigmatic presence. You extended your hand, reaching out to me, taking my hand. Hesitant but found that I was unable to resist. 

Who are you? I asked.

I am Genaro…from your past, and for now, I am in your presence.

You pulled me into your energy source….my entire body tingled as if I was having an orgasm, without the sex. I felt deeply connected and intertwined with you, wanting to embrace this experience, or you.  I wasn’t sure.

 With a blend of energies, you touched my face, my lip quivered as you explored my being.  We were no longer on this earth, and I tried to understand this dream-like state that continued, to embrace the feeling.  I wanted this to last.  I had never felt so connected to anyone like this before, but were you real, I asked myself?   Yes, you were real, I could feel you, I could touch you, I could see you.  I took hold of your hand and held it close to my heart as you began to guide my hand. 

We were no longer among those in the restaurant I had entered, we were alone, in a room dimly lit by candles.  I asked you where we were……you did not respond.  My hands continued to explore your body, your hardness, I so wanted you to be real.  I remembered your scent somewhere from my distant past. This escape from the everyday, this was exceptional and unforgettable. It all felt so perfect, and I had no idea who you were or what you were, yet I was willing to surrender to a force of that over-whelmed my sense – kind of legendary fate mixed with a lavish power of intrigue.  I felt a thirst for you, a stranger, as my body continued to follow your lead, you stroked me in those places until I asked you to take me, I wanted to feel you inside me, and just as I felt that same sensation as before, orgasmic, sultry, and pulsating like when you first appeared…and then you were no longer there, and I returned before you appeared, sitting in the restaurant in the Hotel Cassadaga stirring my coffee, wet from the heat.