Last July I went and took photos of the infamous Towne House Motel on Knoxville Avenue during the day and then went back at night for more photos after dark. Some people thought it was kind of crazy to be taking photos there at night and I have to admit to being a little nerve-wracked while doing that. Since then one question keeps running through my mind: What’s even crazier than taking photos outside of the Towne House Motel? Well the answer to that would have to be: Taking photos inside of The Towne House Motel.
So to quote Prince: “Let’s go crazy, let’s get nuts”...at The Towne House Motel!
Even though I’ve been blogging for over eight years now, I still get nervous before I start every post, it’s kind of a jittery butterfly feeling and I’ve actually come to like that feeling, it’s kind of exciting. Today I have a different kind of feeling, it’s a nervous feeling, but this is the kind of nervous where you feel impending doom about to rear its ugly little head. But we must soldier on, so let’s go check in at the Towne House Motel.
We’ll go through this door to the day night lobby and see what that’s all about.
Wow, it’s super creepy in here. It’s about as big as a phone booth and I don’t see anyone so I took a couple of photos. Lots of information here and look, there’s even a gift shop with lighters for a dollar and two dollar maxipads! I think I’ll pass on both. I rang the bell and a big stocky guy with a beard asked me through the speaker thingy if it was cash or credit card. I told him cash for one room and he said it would be fifty bucks. While fifty bucks for a night at the Towne House Motel seems a little steep, I was so creeped out by being in this tiny “lobby”, I’d have given him a hundred bucks just to get out! The transaction went quickly, I had to sign a form that said among other things if you smoke in the room there’s a $250 fine. I signed it and he gave me an unusual room key for my room...
It looks like a Pizza Hut gift card! Let’s see if this thing works...
It works and here we are in room 203 at The Towne House Motel. The first thing you notice as you walk into the room is the unique scent of the room. It’s a buffet of odors that include decade old smoke, cheap perfume from the multitude of prostitutes that have frolicked in here with their drunken and drugged out tricks for the evening and just a trace of that stark, pungent crack cocaine smell. It’s a bit of sensory overload for your nasal passages and I’m trying to breathe through my nose as little as possible.
I went to go lock the door behind me and sadly the chain lock is missing. Luckily the dead bolt works, so I put that firmly in place. Even though it’s mid-afternoon, this place has a creepy vibe that at any minute some psycho is going to jump out and do something less than pleasant.
Another unpleasant aspect of this room is that it’s hotter than 17 humid days in hell in here so I turned on the Wallmaster air conditioning unit. It belched out a little cloud of smoke, but it is working. I’m still sweating, but that’s just from the creepy/nervous feeling being in this room induces.
There’s the view of The Towne House Motel from my window. It literally defines the word “bleak” and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more depressing view in my life.
I went and looked at the phone and made a strange discovery. The phone is from a LaQuinta Motel in Stockbridge, Georgia! I’m guessing they got it at some auction for bankrupt motels. Or maybe the owner stole it when he was passing through, either way I didn’t make any calls because I don’t know anyone in Stockbridge, Georgia.
In the drawer in the nightstand I found a Gideons Bible covered with some sort of strange white powder. In the late ‘70’s, early ‘80’s, I would’ve been tempted to snort it, but being more enlightened these days I’m fearful it’s either asbestos or anthrax so I just tried not to touch any of it as I opened up the bible and read this telling passage:
“Are you...alone, depressed, stressed, considering suicide?”
And the answer is...ding, ding, ding...all of the above because you’re reading this...in a room...at The Towne House Motel! It makes living in a van...down by the river, sound like paradise!
There’s a big screen TV on the wall and over to the left is a microwave oven and a mini-fridge.
Wow, it looks like the freezer hasn’t been defrosted since Bush was President. And I’m talking George H. W. Bush! Oh well, at least it saves us a trip to the ice machine!
I was frightened to go look at the bathroom, but actually the sink and toilet were fairly clean. It was a different story however...
When I got to the shower! Yikes, you’d leave this thing dirtier than when you went in. It’s like a bio-germ experiment gone horribly wrong!
It cracked me up that after signing the “no smoking” agreement, the room comes with a plastic ashtray. And this thing hasn’t been cleaned since the last time they defrosted that freezer!
Okay, I have to go to work now, but I will return for some night shots, even though I feel sick just thinking about that. I turned a light on, shut the curtains and it’s off to work I go! For once I’m excited about going there, it sure beats spending one more minute in this god-forsaken room!
I have to tell you, all through work I kept stressing and obsessing about coming back here. I didn’t tell anybody I was doing this and imagine if I get killed and my family has to find out that I was murdered at The Towne House Motel! Not a classy exit and they’d all wonder what the fuck I was doing here. Okay, let’s go and get this shit over with, sometimes I wonder why I do the things I do!
As I started to climb these stairs I swear to god I heard a gunshot go off. Not in the motel but off in the distance, maybe it was a car backfiring, but it’s making my nervous system jangle like a hyperactive tambourine player. This is one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been in. And I’ve been in some creepy places in my day!
I took a photo from the balcony and as I stood in front of the door I started wondering if someone had broken in here while I was at work and felt an anxiety attack coming on. I recently got some medicine for anxiety attacks, but it’s at home...
And that’s a good enough excuse to take one more photo from the ground level and get the fuck out of here!
Here’s my receipt from The Towne House Motel, I love how the guests are given a number like you’re in jail! Well, unlike the Hotel California, you can check out of here and leave and trust me, just like Lindsey Buckingham, I’m never going back again!
UPDATE: September 23, 2018—I’ve heard from the owner of The Towne House Motel and naturally he wasn’t too thrilled with this post. He did acknowledge that the motel needs some work and that they are in the process of refurbishing the place to make it a nice place for people to come and stay in Peoria. He’s invited me back at a later date to check it out, so stay tuned down the road for a Towne House Motel update. Who knows, maybe I will actually spend the night here!
1511-1519 N. Knoxville Avenue