The Overlook Motel: Secret History Edit
The Overlook Motel is an abandoned building just south of Kingsmouth. It's a derelict and overgrown structure, vandalised by graffiti and surrounded by ominous warnings and arcane wards, all testaments to its bad history. Due to many incidents and accidents at the motel over the years, the locals shun the place, thinking it cursed. Even the police stay away, having left the place to rot long ago.
The motel was built by local businessman Henry Moss in 1960 to accommodate tourists looking for peace and quiet along the picturesque Maine coast. When he passed away, his wife Shirley took over the popular establishment, but she found it difficult to run the place alone. By the late sixties bankruptcy loomed.
Shirley remarried in 1969. Her new husband, Eddie Stone, invested in her business and spent a large sum renovating and upgrading the motel. It had immediate impact as the motel quickly regained much of its previous popularity. Between the motel and Eddie's other businesses - a scrapyard and a car dealership - they were doing well. They had a son together, Edgar, who was born with slight mental disabilities. Despite a few challenges, life was agreeable for the small family.
Their luck changed in the seventies, however, when Eddie lost all their savings on a hare-brained scheme to invest in the reopening of the Blue Ridge Mine. Only two years later, he passed away, having lost his battle with cancer. Shirley Stone, widowed a second time, was once again left with the motel. But this time she was determined to handle it herself.
She sold the car dealership, hired someone to run the scrapyard and managed the motel successfully on her own, all the while raising her son as a single parent. For a while it seemed like the streak of bad luck was over. Until one day in November 1987.
The fate of the Overlook Motel changed drastically when five guests disappeared one cold autumn day. Their luggage had been left behind, and the police investigation could come up with no answers as to their whereabouts or their fate. At first, Shirley had been suspected of foul play, but the police found no evidence against her and she was released.
After the incident, the motel rooms were left empty. No one wanted to sleep in what may have been the scene of a violent crime. Having outlived both her husbands, mothered a son with mental disabilities, lost what little success she had, and been traumatized by the events at the Overlook Motel, Shirley Stone moved away from Kingsmouth in 1988. No new owners have shown interest in it since and, although it's been more than two decades, the Solomon County police still consider it a crime scene.
Today the motel is a sad sight, but under the surface there lies more than meets the eye. A casual glimpse reveals a broken-down and abandoned building, but for those initiated into the magic world, the motel houses much more than melancholy.
In the early 18th century, a tavern called the All-Seeing Eye stood where the Overlook is today. It was a gathering spot for powerful cabalists of the Illuminati, a place for occult rituals and meetings. Here, the walls between worlds were thin with creatures passing through to serve those who knew how to call and control them. The tavern burnt to the ground in 1785 and was never rebuilt, but the area's strong supernatural current continued to flow. In modern times, the Overlook Motel's peculiar history has attracted many curious guests of the magic world.
One of the motel's missing guests, Theodore Wicker, was a magus from London. He had long studied the occult history of Solomon County, and stayed at the motel to look into the rumours of great powers and cross-dimensional portals at this particular site. On November 13th 1987, he was in his room at the Overlook Motel when he succeeded in opening a small portal between this world and another, darker one. No one has seen Mr Wicker since.
The belongings of the missing guests were stored at the local sheriff's office. These were returned to relatives when the investigation was closed. In cases where there were no relatives, the items were auctioned off or donated to charity. Although Mr Wicker had no relatives or next of kin, some of his things were withheld by the sheriff's office as possible evidence and items of interest to the case. Some of these have found their way to Innsmouth Academy due to their magical nature.
Those who dig deeper into the incident of 1987 will find that there is yet more to the story. The instant the portal was opened, all the guests in the rooms next to Mr Wicker's were dragged through by creatures from another realm. Although no one saw everything that happened, Shirley Stone was nearby and was certainly exposed to things she shouldn't have been. She never told the police what she saw because she couldn't remember. All she was left with were bad dreams and paranoia.
Police reports from the investigation reveal that she had difficulty remembering any details about the day her guests disappeared. She was unable to recall if she had used her car that day, what she ate, what she wore, or what the weather in Kingsmouth was like. The fuzzy memory was attributed to post-traumatic stress, and with no evidence to go on, the police didn't dwell on her incoherence. In the weeks after the incident, friends of Shirley Stone claimed she was not entirely herself. There was something strange in the way she acted and there were things she babbled that didn't make sense. Someone had tampered with her memory - someone from the secret world.
Because the incident was brought on by magic and the portal could open again at any time, powerful magi from the Innsmouth Academy scrambled to cover up what happened. They made Shirley Stone forget what she saw that day, replacing her memories with those clouded reveries she would later offer the police.
Despite their well-intended attempt to help, she suffered from nightmares and panic attacks for the rest of her life. Efforts to keep the eldritch things in the darkness from coming through succeeded - or so they thought. While they were able to close the hole between the worlds, they were unable to seal it. Despite the spells that conceal the true nature of the Overlook Motel and mark it as unsafe, despite their efforts to seal the site and hold its power at bay, the fluctuation is coming to life again - and anyone venturing close risks the fate of those hapless guests who came face to face with the unknown on the other side.