Schwartz, Alvin. 1991. Scary Stories 3: More Tales to chill Your Bones. "Maybe You Will Remember." New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Ethnic Origin: English
Running Time: 8 minutes
Rosemary returns to the hotel only to discover her mother is gone and no one recognizes her.
I chose this as my power center because of the emotion it caused when I first read the story. It is totally disturbing to be unrecognized when you know you were just at the hotel. The overwhelming fear and terror in her is very moving.
Rosemary with her mother at the hotel.
Rosemary at the doctor’s house waiting.
Rosemary escaping from the taxi.
Rosemary at the hotel where no one knows her.
Visiting Paris, after a trip to Africa, Rosemary’s mother finally succumbs to the illness that has been plaguing her for a week. Rosemary calls the house doctor, he sends her on a fruitless errand to get some medicine. After waiting and travelling for hours through Paris, Rosemary returns to the hotel to discover no one recognizes her, her mother is gone and the room is not the room she had previously been in. What happened? Her mother had Ebola. The doctor diagnosed it and moved her out of the hospital to die. The room was completely redecorated and everything kept quiet so that no one would panic at the thought.
Rhymes/Special Phrases/"Flavor": None
Audience: 13-14 year olds
Boundary between childhood and adulthood. Earlier tasks are combined to produce a lasting sense of identity, who one is and one’s place in society. (Erickson)
Ability to understand and construct abstract theoretical thoughts and don’t rely on concrete evidence. (Piaget)
Developing sex drive, interest in older concerns, identity is important, peer pressure, egocentrism means one’s problems are unique, ability to manipulate symbolic language and make hypothetical judgements, relative values, sensitive to complexity in human relationships and feelings. (Huck)
This age group can put themselves in someone else’s moccasins and see the story from the eyes of the character. This is important when telling a tale such as this, where the audience should feel the terror of what Rosemary is going through. Their sensitivity in human relationships and feelings (Huck) give them the ability to really ‘feel’ the story rather than listen without care or concern. The audience can imagine what it would be like to have your mother disappear and no place to go.
Bibliographic information on other versions/variants:
Briggs, Katharine M. and Tongue Ruth L. 1965. Folktales of England. "The Foreign Hotel". Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Burnam, Tom. 1980. More Misinformation. "The Vanishing Hotel Room". New York: Lippincott & Crowell, Pub.
Each of these versions is considerably shorter and lacking in details. No names are given. All of the versions make Rosemary’s travel time excruciating and I will try to mimic that. Also the Burnam version contains an excellent detailed description of the hotel room, which I will use. Schwartz’ version is excellent for its depth of detail and description. He gives names and details. He makes a great explanation at the end. Schwartz and Burnam name the dread disease as plague, Briggs and Tongue as cholera. I will update this to Ebola for the audience’s sake. Also in all of the versions, the women were traveling by ship, I will update this to planes, if I bother to discuss that detail. All of the stories end in a what then style and then explain. I too will continue with that. The basic storyline in each is the same, mother is ill, doctor comes, daughter goes to fetch medicine, and returns to a missing mother and hotel room. As it is an urban legend, I’ll continue with the storyline, but make it my own.
Aimee D. Meuchel