Disclaimer: Obviously, I do not own the Suite Life of Zack and Cody or the PC Adventure game this story is adapted from.
Opening Notes: While this story may be an adaption of a point and click horror/mystery PC game, it is an extremely loose adaption. Only the very basic outline of the game's story has been adhered to. The story of this fanfiction is completely different from the original game by about 70%. The location and setting have been completely changed from rural England to the bustling city of Boston. The disappearances in this version are not few and subject to being considered urban myth like in the game; they are instead of a quite massive number and are a worldwide phenomenon in this version. There are many creepy scenes in this story that do not come from the game. A number of scenes are loosely based off notable moments from the game and are redone here. The plot twists toward the end of the story are not in the game, particularly the secret room that Cody finds and the revelations therein. The strange dreams that Cody has throughout the story are also not in the game. The final revelation/twist pertaining to Cody and Zack are not in the game either. That being said, if you like the story, I recommend checking out the original game. It's a simple bit of creepy fun to be had with the lights out on a nice evening. For now, enjoy the story.
Boston Herald – July 6, 1956
Authorities Baffled Over Mysterious Disappearances
Police are baffled by what could possibly be the most bizarre case in our nation's history to date. It was just over two days ago when more than 400 guests of the local Tipton Hotel, along with the entire staff and owner Mr. Tipton himself, vanished completely without a trace. This spectacular event first came to light when a guest arriving to check in on the morning of yesterday noticed upon arrival that the hotel was completely deserted. Sensing that something was extremely wrong, especially considering that the hotel didn't show any signs of abandonment, the man contacted authorities who immediately arrived on the scene. A thorough search of the hotel grounds confirmed that there was indeed not a sign of life in the building.
Yet it looked as if nobody ever left! Luggage, items and personal effects were all found. Rooms were just as if they were still occupied, sans the guests themselves. Although the guests were gone, their rooms did not reflect this, and there is no logical reason for close to 500 people to just up and leave everything behind.
The hotel had just the previous night celebrated the chain's 25th Anniversary at the Boston location with a magnificent ball. Anybody who considered themselves anybody attended. The wealthy, press, and local politicians, were all there that night, and all of them are currently missing as of today.
The City Council has set up a massive organized search party for the surrounding areas operating around the clock 24/7, but no traces have turned up. It's as if the missing people literally fell off the face of the planet!
But how do several hundred people completely disappear without a trace? Rumors are already flying, and none of them are pretty. Terrorism is the most popular one. Some people are citing UFOs. But many others are more rationally theorizing that maybe Mr. Tipton himself had something to do with it. There are witness accounts that Mr. Tipton had always been on the eccentric side, very secretive, and kept to himself.
Still, there's nothing to indicate that Mr. Tipton himself was dangerous, and everyone who knew him (who wasn't there that night and hasn't disappeared) will attest without hesitation that he was nothing but an eccentric yet kindly middle aged man. Certainly not at all the abducting and murdering type. And besides, that argument raises another interesting question:
How could he have pulled it off? Some of the wilder rumors theorize that he drugged everyone in the hotel and then murdered and disposed of the bodies the night before running on the lam or even perhaps killing himself. But the latter is quite preposterous considering that Mr. Tipton couldn't have accomplished this all by himself, not with that many people in one night, although those who buy this particular theory counter with the possibility that maybe Mr. Tipton had help, perhaps from staff members or even "guests" who were in on it. But even so, it still doesn't make much sense and is highly unlikely.
Mr. Tipton is currently survived by his ex-wife Meredith Tipton, and a son, Wilfred, both currently residing in New York. They were not present the night when the disappearances took place, nor could they be reached for comment.
Boston Herald – August 10, 1956
Tipton Hotel Claims More Victims; Mystery Deepens as Disappearances Remain Unsolved
The local Tipton Hotel's 25th Anniversary made front page news this July, but not out of celebration. As everyone in the nation now well knows, it was upon this site that 513 people vanished completely without a trace. Originally only close to approaching 500, the hotel seems to be continuing to claim even more victims in the aftermath.
Among them are several detectives and police officers assigned to the case who have been investigating the hotel and have gone missing in the last month. The last place they were seen is the hotel.
Operating on the possible horrifying new theory that maybe there was someone still in the hotel attacking and disposing of new victims, the city decided to step up to the plate and take some drastic measures. A SWAT counter-terrorism operative team made up of about 50 people was sent in to conduct a thorough search on July 20th, ordered to shoot anyone on the premises and not in uniform on sight. They didn't find anybody or anything out of the ordinary, but over half of the team disappeared! As you might expect, there has been no trace found whatsoever of them.
The hotel has since been quarantined and shut off to the general public. Talks of marking the building for demolition as a serious safety hazard have been made, but strong opposition has been met from the Tipton family…
American Speculator - June 14th, 1957
Tipton Hotel and Surrounding Area to Be Quarantined Off Permanently
Superstition is not a force that has as much of a hold in today's world with our modern day understanding of science and technological advancement. Sure, there are still many uneducated third world countries that have no grasp or knowledge of science and technology and still believe in such silly things as witch doctors, black magic, and voodoo. And there will always be the issue of religion to contend with, which is arguably synonymous with superstition. But even so, we ourselves have evolved relatively past taking stuff like ghosts, spirits, demons, aliens, and the like seriously and will continue to do so as science continues to expand. More and more of the unexplained will continue to become explainable by logic and reason as time goes on. Logic and reason must always ultimately prevail. Modern day Americans are, at least, not even a fraction as superstitious as the days of, say, the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe not so much as the people who believe one day Jesus is going to appear and whisk away a selected few of the most faithful in flying saucers, but here I digress.
Then again, have we really evolved beyond that point? One used to have more faith in humanity.
Enter the infamous incident of the Tipton Hotel last year. We finally have an incident that cannot be explained by scientific reason nor by any currently existing technology (that we know of). What did cause all those people to disappear on that fateful night last year? Where did they go? Will they ever be seen again? It wasn't just inside the hotel, either. More disappearances have continued to occur around the surrounding area. While it's true that people disappear all the time for a myriad of possible reasons, the fact that it's here near the site of the most famous missing person's case in the world to date seems to have sparked paranoia to a hysterical degree.
So much so that Boston, once one of the greatest cities in America, the very site of the Boston Tea Party and the start of the greatest war for independence in our nation's history, has started to become a mere shadow of her former self. The fact that many important politicians and influential people were present on the night of the disappearances has already turned the nation's economy on its head. Things are far worse for the city of Boston. People have become so frightened they are moving out in droves. The city's economy is starting to collapse. It has become such an issue that the President of the United States has been forced to intervene and come up with a possible solution.
In order to attempt to put people's minds at ease and abate some of the panic, he has proposed an experiment. To this end, an entire large chunk of the city, the part centered around the hotel for miles around, is going to be permanently blocked off, and all businesses and homes in the area are going to be completely abandoned. They are going to tentatively call this the "Ghost Zone." Though talks are still going on about how large the Ghost Zone is actually going to be, the official word will supposedly be given in about a week.
Thought must be given to this unusual extreme solution. Is it really necessary? Are people just letting their fears get the best of them? What if the "disappearances" don't stop? What if people's fear continues to get more and more out of control? What then? Are they going to block the whole city off? Have an entire city in the United States that is completely abandoned where nobody dares set foot inside? What's next after that? Blocking off entire states? The entire US itself? Where will it end? Are we justified in what we are doing if there is no conceivable way to prove that these disappearances actually had anything to do with that fateful night? Will the end of the world not be with fire and brimstone, as the religious fanatics so much like to believe, but with us simply destroying ourselves as a product of our own fears?
Boston Herald – October 21, 1986
Child Missing: Infamous Hotel to Blame?
While the events of exactly 30 years ago have not at all been forgotten by anyone in the world, a dark cloud of remembrance particularly lingers on the locals living in or around the Boston area. The long since closed Tipton Hotel and the specially christened "Ghost Zone" of Boston, allegedly responsible now for close to 600 unsolved disappearances, have been devoid of any newsworthy activity for several decades now. Until last week, that is.
As everyone well remembers, without any way to determine where the disappearances were coming from and with the disappearances continuing at an alarming rate, the entire section of Boston where the hotel resides was completely evacuated, closed down, and has been blocked off for decades. And even though it has been three decades since, superstition has remained a remarkably powerful force. Nobody will go near it with a ten foot pole. Not even vagrants, it seems. It has been dubbed the "second Bermuda Triangle" of the world. But despite all the negative stigma, it isn't uncommon to have kids trespassing into the Zone, and while police try to keep an eye out, they can't keep watch over the place 24/7, and it was unfortunately one of these times when local boy Timothy Pike vanished without a trace.
Timothy, age 9, had been trespassing with some friends who had dared him to venture inside the Ghost Zone, break into the hotel, and return with something as proof that he had gone fairly far in. (This is a very common dare amongst kids around the area) At around 6:15 PM, Timothy entered the Ghost Zone and was never seen again. When 7 o' clock hit, his friends were getting a bit nervous, but they brushed it off with the assumption that he was simply fooling around with them. By 9 o' clock they began to freak out and called the police.
The Ghost Zone area was given a sweep through by a team of officers (maybe not entirely wholeheartedly), some who even went in the hotel itself. Timothy was not found, but Sergeant J.C. Winters was never heard from again.
This latest mystery has prompted a new outbreak of panic and much discussion as to why the hotel even still stands at all. As you may remember, the City Council wanted to tear it down nearly immediately after the initial disappearances, citing it as a safety hazard, but they were met with strong opposition by the Tipton family. A demolition order could have been passed, of course, but rumors abound that certain judges and City Council members have been receiving heavy sums of money to keep it alive. Even now, apparently the Tiptons' stance still stands, as does the hotel. But the question remains, why? The building itself doesn't make any money anymore. Why does the family make such a big issue of continuing to pay the property taxes while it just sits there and rots?
There are a few theories about this, and as you can probably guess, none of them are very good. The Tiptons themselves are very well off, having recently launched in the last decade the beginning of a new very successful Tipton hotel chain, being helmed by Wilfred Tipton. But the real question that's being tossed around on everyone's lips these days is: what exactly does the Tipton family have to hide?
There is a recent horror film that opened in theatres last weekend called "Nightmare in the Tipton Tower of Terror." It is being directed by newcomer Wesley Graven, and it revolves around a group of teenagers who stay the night in the hotel on a dare. They end up uncovering a conspiracy that Mr. Tipton drugged and killed all the people in the hotel, absorbed their souls as part of some satanic ritual, and his spirit is still roaming the area, killing off the teenagers who take part in the dare. A bit out there and farfetched, but one has to ask; by how much? After all, it just doesn't make any sense. Why do we have to have a part of our city permanently blocked off while that monstrosity stands like a behemoth, glaring over the city day after day just because one family who has a gazillion dollars holds tightly onto it for no reason at all like they've got something to hide?
Unfortunately, no attempt to ever investigate the Tipton family and prove foul play has been successful. However...
Time Magazine – June 8, 2018
Infamous Hotel to Finally Be Torn Down; Ghost Zone to Be Opened Up
The infamous Boston Tipton Hotel made headlines 62 years ago when it became linked to the most bizarre phenomenon of the century. Close to 700 people as of present have vanished without a trace, the hotel being cited as the blame. But there haven't been any notable disappearances for more than 20 years now. For a while, there had been a fairly steady stream of anywhere from five to fifteen disappearances in Boston near or around the Ghost Zone area per decade, many of them teenagers, but most of them could be given plausible explanations that had nothing to do with the hotel, aliens, ghosts, or vampires. Several times there were petitions to enlarge the area of the Ghost Zone, but there wasn't ever enough conclusive evidence to prove that the hotel was truly to blame. But somewhere around 1997, the "disappearance rate" completely stopped.
Notably, this isn't the first time the hotel has gone through a "dry spell." The disappearances had been similarly consistent following the original fated night back in 1956 up until 1962 when there was a dry spell until 1986, when local boy Timothy Pike made headlines as the first "victim" in several decades followed by the disappearance of police sergeant J.C. Winters, who was heading up the search for him. It was then that the disappearances seemed to start up again in full force, until about 1997.
Most people have dismissed the post-disappearances as unrelated coincidences, which is likely possible. The event itself happened so long ago that there are many skeptics of the "Tipton Curse" nowadays.
A number of people have recently volunteered in the last few years to "test" it, and last year alone, the hotel has had several various groups of such people staying for extended periods of time with no disappearances or unusual phenomenon.
The Tipton Hotel chain has even grown tired of holding onto it, it seems. The Tiptons, who were once so adamant for unknown reasons about holding onto it, now apparently view it as more of a liability, especially in light of the recent stock market crash which currently has much of the business world turned on its head. The Ghost Zone is presently slated to be opened in three months, the hotel demolished, and, get this, a new nightclub is to be put in its place.
Zachary Martin, an entrepreneur who runs a very successful nationwide chain of themed nightclubs, seized upon the opportunity to buy the "ghost town of Boston" property dirt cheap.
It is there that he plans to unveil his latest and hottest nightclub yet, inspired by the hotel and the legends surrounding it. Zack has made a very successful living based off his unusual "themed" nightclubs. While a club decked out very realistically like a "pirate ship," for example, might seem rather an odd look for a nightclub and more like something one would find geared towards kids, it's anything but. Each location has its own unique theme and look, and even the staff goes as far as to dress and act accordingly with the theme, even going as far as to adopt accents.
Says Zack: "I think there is a part of all of us deep down inside that remembers the imagination and wonder of what it was like to be a kid, even though we are not anymore, and I wanted to sort of capture that feeling of imagination in my clubs. People come to dance, hook up, get drunk, party, mosh... you name it. And I go out of my way to make it a little bit more fun."
Not that all his themes are innocent. Many will remember the very controversial club he opened in Houston, Texas, based off the theme of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas".
"It was all meant as a joke." Zack says. "We decked the place out like a brothel and dressed everyone up like hookers. Then I showed up dressed like Marvin Zindler on our opening night and pretended to try to chase everyone out; then the whole place broke out into a musical number. Looking back, I think I was drunk when I came up with the concept, but it ended up becoming one of our most successful clubs."
To say that he is an ambitious man is an understatement. But it is his current theme that really takes the cake.
"I think a haunted hotel idea would be cool. I have always thought about opening a Tipton Hotel themed club, since it is such an integral part of our nation's history and pop culture. But nowhere else just felt right."
He thinks the best way to do it would be to open it right on top of the current Tipton Hotel itself.
"When the land went on the market, I jumped for it. I got it dirt cheap. Nobody else wanted to touch it with a ten foot pole. What I really wanted to do was open it right inside the hotel, but it was specifically outlined in the contract that it had to be torn down and demolished. It's disappointing, because it's such a remarkable piece of history, but despite the fact that there has been no weird activity around the area for years, I guess the superstition of the place still has a strong hold on people's memories."
He's right. In fact, it's iffy on if he will get much business at all. Even if there hasn't been any unusual activity for a long time, one must remember that there has also been no one living in the ghost town for a very long time. And despite a higher degree of skepticism in this day and age, it's easy to say one doesn't believe, but even so, with such a strong negative stigma, are most people really going to be ready to put their money where their mouths are? Many cite him as insane for even considering such a risky business venture. When questioned about his reasoning for the project, he responded:
"Well, first of all, the disappearances: Did something really horrible happen here? Yes. Do I think the people all just vanished into thin air? No, I don't. I think there is a perfectly logical explanation for what occurred that night. A bizarre one, no doubt, but logical. I do not believe it was ghosts or malevolent spirits or aliens or demons anything like that. Do I have my own theories? I do, but I think I'll keep them to myself. The point is, however it may have happened, it's past history now. And I think a lot more of the disappearances over the years could be easily explained as unrelated instances. For example, the Timothy Pike case that made headlines a few decades ago: They looked for him, but how hard? Did they really go all out and search for him, with all the proper procedures? I don't think they did. I think they were too chicken-shit to do anything remotely resembling a totally thorough by-the-book search. Who's to say we won't find Timothy's corpse ourselves when we start renovating the area? Or any of the other missing people? There are a lot of things that can occur in an area that has been abandoned for as long as it has. Maybe he was even kidnapped? Who's to say that there haven't been homeless people, criminals, or vagrants squatting in the area throughout the last several decades? If I were a criminal or someone on the run from the law, it would be the perfect hiding spot!"
Heavy superstition and possible hazards involved with the project don't deter him, though.
"I'm doing this project for myself. The reason I do the things that I do all boils down to one simple thing: I want to make my mark on the world. It isn't just about big money, fancy cars, or women, even though all those things are nice touches. I want to do things that nobody has ever done or dreamed of doing. This is going to be my crowning achievement. I'm taking something very controversial and taboo, giving it the biggest middle finger I can, and creating a business off it. I don't know if it will really make any money off it, or get any customers, or if I'll even be able to find much of a staff for that matter, but I really don't care. This is something I'm doing just for me, just to prove that I can, and if you want to come on down and join the party, then I say come on! I think that after we renovate the area and some time passes, though, and people see that nothing strange or weird is happening, we will finally be able to break the superstition that has held the city of Boston in such a tight grasp for so long."
Perhaps, but only time will tell if his ambition comes to bear any fruit. But it turns out he isn't the only one with big ambitions. Two paranormal researchers, Maddie Fitzpatrick and Trevor Bates, under funding from NYU, plan to conduct one final exploration of the premises before the legendary hotel is finally demolished.
Said Maddie: "This is the experience of a lifetime. While previous investigations surrounding the hotel and the disappearances have been conducted only by the police, FBI, SWAT, and a few small groups of people staying for short periods of time, nobody has yet tried to conduct a legitimate, well-funded, thorough investigation of the area from a paranormal perspective."
Using the latest in paranormal research high tech equipment, they are taking a previously untried approach to figuring out what happened.
"The supernatural is one of the most common theories thrown around since the disappearances started. But I think nobody has tried to do a legitimate investigation from the supernatural perspective because no matter how much people might suspect on the inside there might be truth to a supernatural explanation, they just don't want to admit it. That's where we come in. It's something we've wanted to do for a very long time. We've just never been able to get proper funding for it until now. A project like this deserves the very best we have to offer, and all of our equipment is state of the art. But in light of recent events and the upcoming destruction of the hotel, we were finally able to get some decent backing through NYU and Hadden Industries."
Hadden Industries, for those not in the know, is a fairly young technology company that has recently opened an experimental branch dedicated entirely toward developing experimental equipment for in-depth paranormal research.
Not all of their equipment Maddie and Trevor will be using will be state of the art, though.
"We're also going to be making use of the Ouija board. We believe that if anything supernatural did happen at the hotel, or there are still spirits lingering around this place, we may be able to get a more direct perspective from sources beyond this world who may have witnessed what happened."
While paranormal research has only recently started coming to be considered anything even remotely resembling an actual science, any remaining large quantities of skepticism seem to be a moot point. Even the City Council seems to be curious enough about the outcome that they've ordered the demolition of the hotel to be set back a bit in order to give the would-be ghost hunters more time.
Only time will tell if anything fruitful will come out of it, though, or if the remodeling will go as planned and the bizarre events surrounding the area simply fade into history with nary a whimper.
Let's just pray that the disappearances truly are over for good.
New York – June 9, 2018
Cell Phone of Dr. Cody Martin: Voicemail
"If you're there, please pick up!
Damn it, don't you ever turn this thing on?
Yeah, I know what you're thinking!
'That Zack. Only ever calls when he needs a favor or if something is wrong.'
Well, something is wrong. Very wrong.
Look, I know this sounds really strange, but I need you to drop everything and come here right away! I don't think we've got much time left!
There were two others with me… Maddie Fitzpatrick and Trevor Bates. Ghost hunters! You've seen them on the news, right? I think they are already gone. I've locked myself in my trailer, but I don't think I have much time left either, so I have to talk quickly.
We thought that there might be a way to stop it, but it's too late for me now. I need you to pick up where we left off. You were always the scientifically minded one, maybe you could do a better job than we did. That's why I'm calling you. I think we just made things far worse. But listen, you have to be really caref…
*almost faint unidentifiable noise*
Oh, God... It's here...
I can hear it...
It's right outside my door...
I can hear it whispering my name... it knows my name!
But I don't think it can...
OH NO… I FORGOT TH…
*sound of a door opening; a very strange noise fills the room which sounds like thousands of (?whispering voices?) right before a loud (?scratching?) noise and the line going dead*