A guest at a hotel or bed and breakfast accidently sees into an open door in another room. He sees a human turn into a monster and devour another guest. The monster turns back into a human and is unaware the guest saw it all.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Where did you read this? Was it in an anthology or a magazine? Do you recall any other stories you read at the same time?
    – DavidW
    Sep 27, 2022 at 17:50
  • 1
    This rings a faint bell, do you recall if it was it set in a hotel in the Swiss Alps?
    – Danny Mc G
    Sep 27, 2022 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


I believe that this could be T.H. White's The Troll that can be found in The Maharajah and other Stories (1981). The narrator is repeating a story his father had told him, about his fishing trip to Lapland, in the far north of Sweden.

Staying at a railroad hotel, he awoke from a nightmare wherein blood was seeping under the connecting door to the next room, and he felt compelled to look through the keyhole to ease his mind. Unfortunately what he saw was a troll eating a fellow guest.

His first thought was that he was going mad, especially when he sees that the resident in the next room is a mild-mannered professor; but the 'professor' gives him a brief glimpse of his real self, and informs the father that he will be next on the menu!

Father is so indoctrinated by the mundane world that he is literally incapable of dealing with this, and goes to bed as usual. Fortunately when the troll enters the room, he touches the fathers rosary, and is destroyed.

  • 2
    This may be it. Good job. If not it is awful close. I remember all the guest met for dinner and the monster, now human, was not aware he was seen. The advantage to the man who know all. Thanks Sep 27, 2022 at 23:25
  • 1
    @WilliamCasey T. H. White's collection The Maharajah and Other Stories can be borrowed (for free but registration required) from the Internet Archive: archive.org/search.php?query=the%20maharajah%20white Please have a look at it and let us know if it's the right story. If it is, you can "accept" Barnaby's answer by clicking on the gray check mark next to it, which will then turn green. (Yes, all the guests meet for dinner, including the monster in human guise.)
    – user14111
    Sep 28, 2022 at 1:12
  • Dammit! That's what I was trying to remember myself when I was asking about the Alps - I had a feeling it was either a troll or a yeti
    – Danny Mc G
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:28
  • 1
    I think your comment about the Alps gave my memory a nudge, so Thanks! It is not a collection I would recommend ... but the story Nostradamus always stuck in my mind.
    – Barnaby
    Sep 28, 2022 at 13:34
  • Thanks all for helping me find this story. Good work. Sep 28, 2022 at 19:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.