Haunted Hotel

Can you reach the top floor of this challenge map alive?

Ah, there's nothing quite like staying in a hotel! Freshly made beds, chocolate on the pillows, maids cleaning up after me, concierges carrying my bags, lady at the front desk saying my card has been declined, lady at the front desk saying this card doesn't work either, lady at the front desk saying this card just says 'LET ME STAY FOR FREE PLS', the screams of the angry manager threatening to call the police, security throwing me painfully into the streets... ah, staying in a hotel! I love it.

So when Nephalem and Annemette offered me a free stay in their new Minecraft map, Haunted Hotel, I would've been stupid not to take it!

I told Marsh I was off on holiday. Marsh told me not to bother coming back. All right! Unlimited vacation!

I packed my bags and sprinted off to enjoy my free stay in this no-doubt luxurious five-star hotel. “This is going to be great!” I yelled merrily to myself. “And the best part is, my life will be in no danger whatsoever!”

How bitterly ironic those words turned out to be.

It Begins

I've arrived! Holiday, here I come! Although... I can't see the beach. Can't see the cinema. Can't see the arcades, the bowling alleys, the museums, or the shops. I can see no fun, nor see no joy. I can't see another living soul. I'm completely, utterly alone...

Oh well! So long as the hotel has a TV, snack bar and enough pillows for me to build my Holiday Fort, I'll be happy! Whistling merrily, I started walking down the street.

That's when this happened:

A mysterious plume of grey-black smoke, twisting and flowing ahead of me and into the hotel. OK...

So that was... odd. Probably nothing to worry about! I decided to worry anyway. I peered nervously at the silent buildings, looming over me. Where was I anyway? England? It was eerie, cold and I slightly wish I'd never come here. Yeah, probably England.

But I instantly cheered up when I found the hotel and glanced through its windows. A room full of delicious cakes! And a room full of delicious cameras! Well, cameras aren't delicious, but I was so excited, I ate five anyway. Yeah! Holiday back on track, baby! My stomach still hurts, and if you squeeze me, I sometimes take a photo of my lower intestine. Don't ask me how I develop it.

“I knew I was worrying about nothing!” I laughed to myself as I entered the hotel.

Hey, who turned out the lights?

The hotel! True, it looks a bit grim and ominous and STAY AWAY on the outside. But don't we all?

“Hello?” I called out into the darkness. Nothing. Where was the Front Desk Lady, to welcome me to the hotel and pretend to like me? Where was the Bag Boy, to take my bags to my five-star suite? And where was the Good Hair Lad, to lie that my hair looks lovely and that I'm not going bald? (FYI, if your hotel doesn't have a Good Hair Lad GET ONE. Or I'm giving you one star on TripAdvisor).

Instead of enjoying all those lovely hotel things, I flailed around in the pitch black lobby for hours, banging my shins on obstacles until my legs were basically stumps. I've had better holidays. Although I've also had worse.

But my pain was rewarded when I found the elevator. Success!

The elevator! Don't find this screenshot exciting? Sorry, pal, you're going to be seeing a lot of it.

I hit the button and the elevator started heading up. Music started playing. It was pleasant, soothing and upbeat! Unlike everything that was about to happen to me.

Floor One

The doors pinged open, and I started exploring. There didn't seem to be anyone there. Weird, but not as weird as the mysterious map that had suddenly appeared in my left hand. Huh. Guess I need to start washing my hands properly, intead of just spitting in them once a month.

Using the map, I found a library, a room full of iron bars (promising!) and a relaxing looking room with a bathtub.

Bliss! Heaven! I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a nice, hot bath! Or washed at all, actually.

While I chilled in the tub, I took a closer look at the map.

The little white symbol was presumably me, and the blue lines were the parts of the hotel I'd already explored. But what were the black lines in the top right corner?

GASP! It must've been another guest! I wasn't doomed to endure my relaxing holiday alone after all! “Towel Boy, fetch me my towel!” I roared, hopping out of the tub.

But no Towel Boy emerged, so I had to dry my body all by myself. Honestly what kind of hotel are they even running here I mean come on.

Freshly dry and freshly dressed, I ran to find the other guest! But irritatingly, my new BFF was trickier to track down than I expected. The hotel was full of twists and turns, dead ends, and doorways blocked by thick glass.

Soon, according to my map, I was just a few rooms away from the other guest. For the first time in my life, I was going to make a friend!

But that's when events took a nasty turn.

I was strolling into the library, when I heard a single foreboding note ring out, as if someone had accidentily stepped on the worlds creepiest piano. With the sinister sound came a green exclamation mark, suddenly popping up in front of me.

I took another shaking step forward. The ! turned orange. Was this a warning? A threat? Was I not allowed in this room? Hey! You're not the boss of me, you poncy floating piece of punctuation! I'm the HONOURED GUEST of this hotel! I can go in any room I please! I stormed into the room to prove my excellent point.

This turned out to not be such a good idea.

Now I could hear a deathly groan, along with the electric crackle of static. Both these nasty noises were getting louder. The ! turned blood red. “A-actually,” I said. “I d-don't like this stupid r-r-room anyway! I'll just leave now.”

But it was too late for that. I realised, with a scream, that it had already found me.

WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECCCCCK!?!!?!??1!!

...And when I woke up, I was back outside the hotel.

What. The. Heck.

Floor One (Er, again)

Escape was impossible. The streets led nowhere. My cries for help were answered with silence. None of the buildings accessible, except the dreaded hotel. Where else could I go? I had no choice but to go back inside. Maybe I'd find something that could help me escape? Maybe I'd be attacked by mysterious entities again? Sadly, the latter seemed far more likely.

Emerging from the lift, I was back on the first floor. Except... it had all changed, and now all the doorways were blocked. Oh terrific. What now? Curl up into a ball and whimper about the futility and unfairness of life? Say, that's not a bad idea!

But then I noticed something. The map wasn't the only mysterious gift the hotel had given me. I was also now carrying two potions, one called 'LIVING WALLS' and another called 'TELEPORTATION'. Hmmm, what could they possibly do?

“Well, there's never any harm in trying something new!” I thought, as I drank a mystery potion I'd found in a hotel full of deadly ghosts.

It tasted like a delicious glass of fresh orange juice! That had been poured a 100 years ago and spat in by a man who'd never heard of a 'toothbrush' but had heard of 'eating garbage'. Not great.

But what was great was what happened next. There was a puff of smoke and then I teleported to another part of the hotel!

Teleportation feels kinda like being kicked in the head by the opening credits of Doctor Who. Fun!

This was incredible. I now had access to teleportation technology! Just imagine what I could do. I could rob every bank in the city! Or, er, something less incriminating! Things like:

  • At a restaurant that takes half an hour to cook pizza? No problem! I'll just TELEPORT to Speedy Joe's, the restaurant that cooks your pizza in 15 seconds!
  • Waiting in a looooooong line for the movies? No problem! I'll just TELEPORT home and go some other time.
  • Been throwing up all day? No problem! I'll just TELEPORT to the hospital. Don't eat at a restaurant that only cooks your pizza for 15 seconds, folks. Trust me on this.

Suddenly I didn't feel so trapped in this deadly hotel. Not now I could teleport anywhere I wanted! Well, not quite. Drinking the potion teleported me to a completely random room on this floor. So it could teleport me into the loving arms of the exit! But it could also teleport me into the loving arms of the monsters. Oh.

Potentially less risky was the other potion, 'LIVING WALLS'. Drinking this made the structure of the building shift and change, the walls rumbling and shaking into new positions. Could this be the crucial concoction that helped me escape?

Oh no! This doorway is blocked by a wall of mighty glass! What can I do? Give up? Cry loads? Both?

Aha, I'll glug down some LIVING WALLS potion. And suddenly, the wall has completely changed...

...into another dead end! Oh. Wait. That's not useful at all. Looks like crying/giving up it is!

Had I found a way to cheat my way out? Just keep glugging down LIVING WALLS potion until the wall in front of you changes into an entrance, then walk on through!

But walk on to where? Seemed the goal of each floor of the hotel was to find another elevator, one that would take me even higher up the hotel. Could the top floor be my only hope? I'd have to find out the hard way, creeping through the maze-like corridors, avoiding monstrous ghosts. Here's an artists rendering of these terrifying scenes:

Nevertheless, I was able to drink my way to success, opening up a route with Living Walls that took me to the next elevator. But how long could this trick keep me alive?

Floor Two

Drank the teleportation potion. Spawned outside the exit elevator. Hey, this is easy!

Floor Three

Smugly drank the teleportation potion. Spawned in front of a ghost. Ran screaming through every room of the floor, until I smacked head-first into the exit elevator. This is the worst holiday ever.

Floor Four

Wait, what?

Yes, as if killer spirits weren't scary enough (they were), the hotel sometimes triggers a Floor Event. Zombies attack, poison infects you, or, in this case, rats scurry around the hotel floor, licking their ratty lips at the thought of a bite of me.

Seriously, what kind of health inspector allowed this hotel to open?!?

But maybe this plague of long-tailed vermin was good news. After all, are rats really scarier than ghosts? They're 100% more real, I suppose, and I've never seen a hit children's movie called Casper the Friendly Rat (get on it, Hollywood!).

A shrill squeak from very nearby reminded me that I was terrified of both rat and rat ghost. I started running.

Floor Five

I'd managed to avoid the rats (though their sinister squeaking is a sound I shan't soon forget) and reached the next floor. But this triggered another Floor Event. Look, Hotel, these events are awful. Here's the kind of Floor Event I enjoy:

  • Dancing!
  • All you can eat buffet table!
  • Dancing on the all you can eat buffet table!
  • You can't throw me out of this buffet, I'm (potentially) a paying customer!

But instead of those fun events, I had to avoid a horde of zombies chowing down on my brain.

This was particularly bad for me. According to my doctor, my brain was born with 1000% more 'deliciousness' than 'intelligence', so I was already starting to sweat. I also have a weird affliction that makes me sweat gravy. I threw some salt over my shoulder for luck, but just got it all over my increasingly-tasty body. Drat!

What a lovely sentiment! I mean, I lost all hope about three floor ago, but still, what a nice idea!

Floor Six

Poison! Poison pouring into my delicate lungs! My health chipping away, heart by no-longer-beating heart! Luckily, I always carry a spare bottle of ANTIDOTE for special occasions. I took a sip. Yuck! I spat out the foul tasting medicine and threw the bottle away.

In hindsight, not my smartest move.

I ran for the next elevator, my body shaking, my vision blurring, as the poison stretched out into every crevice of my corrupted body. I barged through the elevator doors and punched the button with my face. Amazingly, the poison left my body, as if it had never been there at all! My face hurt a lot now though. Ow.

Floor Seven

This was the most challenging Floor Event yet. My map had been ripped away, leaving me blind to find the exit.

Mapless and hapless, I nervously tiptoed from room to room. I considered drinking the potions, but really, they were just as evil as the hotel. Designed to trick me into drinking myself to death. Teleporting me into the belly of the beasts, or shifting and sliding the walls to create new traps.

Getting by without a map was like trying to find a needle in a needle factory – impossible (they wouldn't let me inside. Jerks). So I darted from bedroom to kitchen, from bathroom to gallery, from hopeless situation to even more hopeless situation.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a lone tear. Then a few hundred more tears. Then thousands more, while punching my little fists against the floor and bawling “I want my blanky and a hug!”

OK, so maybe I'm a little ashamed.

Floor Eight

Lucky for me, good things happen to bad people. Just as I was verging on giving up, I found the next elevator. I ran inside, weeping tears of purest joy!

But like all happiness, this was fleeting. I arrived on Floor Eight to find my map restored, and showing me more spirits than ever. They were increasing with each floor, and so was my cowardice. But then something caught my eye – a mysterious green light in one of the rooms. I approached it and found a new potion. I picked up Dimensional Vision.

Desperate, I glugged it down.

It felt like I'd dunked my eyes into the fires of a thousand burning kaleidoscopes. The potion filled my eyes with a mighty new peeper power. I could now see the outlines of the spirits through the walls themselves! Using this ocular upper-hand, I was able to slip by undetected. I got into the next elevator, laughing about how easy this was going to be now I had such an unfair advantage!

Which is when the potion disappeared from my inventory. Never to return.

“Hey, look on the bright side!” I said to myself. “At least you're nearly at the top floor.” Then I walked out of the elevator, and straight into one of the spirits.

Perhaps you're wondering how I escaped the hotel. Well, funny story! I didn't. I'm starting to suspect I never will.

But it's not so bad! Getting killed by spirits and waking up outside the hotel all the time is annoying, but it's better at getting me up in the morning than any alarm clock. Never seeing another human again will be sad, but I never have to queue for the bathroom or share any of the food in the kitchens. Who else can brag they have an entire hotel all to themselves! For all eternity because there is no escape! Hooray! Sorta!

So quiet! So peaceful! So isolated! So relaxing! So lacking in people mocking my stupid haircut!

But don't take my word for it. If you want to try a surprisingly effective piece of Minecraft survival horror, go here and visit the hotel yourself. Tell 'em Tom sent you to get a discount! Or to be charged treble if they make you pay my tab. Don't say I didn't warn you, and best of luck surviving...