The problem with arriving late at night was you never really got a good feel for the place you were in.
Take for example the village of Katazan in the remote country of Terranova just a little north of the Tropic of Cancer.
We arrived late into the night to be greeted by a hotel with spires under a full moon with strange noises coming from within it.
The doorman had what appeared to be a hump on one shoulder but by morning he appeared to have grown a second matching one on his other shoulder.
He had the creepy habit of appearing at your shoulder just as you thought to ask for assistance and his voice left you with chills down your spine.
The owner of the hotel, Count Flata, though he soon became known as Count Flatulence, for obvious reasons, was a jovial host in an odd and uncomfortable way. There was an air of complete insincerity about him. At any moment you suspected he might turn on you and have you carried off to the dungeons we felt sure filled the spaces below us.
But despite the look and feel of the place we told ourselves enjoyed our visit.
If you took away the ever-present feeling of dread, it was bearable in an almost unbearable way.
I asked the doorman if his humps made life difficult and he looked at me in amazement before uttering in his deep, deep voice that buying suitable coats was a problem. He was also surprised I had noticed. People didn’t normally draw attention to his affliction. After that exchange he treated me with an air of distain and on one occasion spilled Cabbage and Cream soup into my lap.
We left the next day excitedly looking forward to our next stop, Craggy Castle, home of Igor the Werewolf.