One final story from British Folktales, as originally told in The Detroit Free Press in 1889.

A young woman and her mother checked into a foreign hotel late one night after an arduous journey, both tremendously exhausted.

When the young woman awoke late in the next day, she opened the adjoining door to discover her mother’s room empty; in fact, all the furniture and wallpaper were different to the night before, and her mother was nowhere to be found. Upon asking the staff, they insisted that whilst the daughter had booked two rooms, she had arrived alone, and the daughter began to think that she may have gone mad.

She related the tale to her friends when she returned to England; one of these enquired with the police and Consul, and the truth came out: the mother had taken violently ill with cholera. Although a doctor had been called, the mother died, and in a fit of panic, the hotel owners carried out the body, burnt the furniture, repapered the walls and ordered the staff never to speak of what had transpired, for nobody would stay there again if it became known that they’d had a case of cholera in the hotel.

It’s a wonder that they never made this into an episode of Fawlty Towers.

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