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Mike Enslin
Mike Enslin
Mike Enslin
Notability: Main character
Type: Writer
Gender: Male
Location: New York City, New York
Known relatives: Lily Enslin [1]
Katie Enslin [2]
Status: Alive
1st appearance: 1408 (short story)
Actor: John Cusack

Mike Enslin is the primary character in the Stephen King short story 1408, which appeared in the Blood and Smoke audio book. In 2002, it was reprinted in written form as the twelfth story in the compilation Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales. In 2007, Dimension Films adapted the story into the film 1408 where the role of Mike Enslin was played by actor John Cusack.

Biography Edit

Mike Enslin was an author from Los Angeles who made his career investigating famous haunted locales and writing about his experiences there. His book series included titles such as, Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses, Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards and Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Castles, all of which proved to be best-sellers. Enslin internally expressed some guilt and regret at their success however, privately acknowledging that he was not a believer in either the paranormal or the supernatural elements he espoused in his works.

Mike was married to a woman named Lily and had a daughter named Katie. Katie died tragically from an incurable illness while she was still very young.

In preparation of his upcoming project, Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Hotels, Enslin visited the Hotel Dolphin in New York City, which boasted a grim history of strange occurrences and unnatural deaths, all of which originated from the haunted Room 1408. The hotel manager, Gerald Olin, deeply believed in the hotel's haunted history and pleaded with Enslin to give up his desire to stay in the room. Enslin would not be swayed however and Olin reluctantly relented, giving Mike a set of keys to Room 1408.

Once inside the room, Enslin used a mini cassette recorder and dictated on the un-remarkability of room 1408. As he examined the room, the radio suddenly began blaring The Carpenters song "We've Only Just Begun". Enslin suspected that it was just a gag cooked up by Olin. Later, Mike was startled again as the clock radio began to play the same song. When he turned the clock off, the display flickered and changed to read "60:00", then started counting down from sixty minutes. Suddenly, Enslin was unable to hear anything, apart from a tinnitus-like ringing in his ears. When he opened the window to check his hearing, the window slammed down, cutting a large gash in the top of his hand. He rushed to the bathroom to wash the wound in the sink, but the water suddenly became boiling hot, damaging his wound even further. His hearing quickly returned and he bandaged his hand using a bandana from his bag. Wishing to go to a hospital, Enslin attempted to leave the room; however his key broke off in the door. He still managed to unlock the door, but then the doorknob fell off, trapping him inside 1408.

Mike Enslin 002

Trapped in Room 1408.

Enslin began to see and hear things, including visions of his daughter's time in the hospital shortly before her death, but he initially dismissed them as hallucinations. Among one of these strange visions was a face-to-face encounter with his own father, who told him, "As I was, you are. As I am, you will be", a quote attributed to the Roman poet Horace regarding death. He made several attempts to free himself from the room such as crawling through the air vents, where he was seen being chased by a mummified body (one of 1408's earlier victims), or trying to crawl outside on the ledge to the next room, but all of his efforts inevitably ended in failure. He managed to contact his estranged wife Lily by video chat, but the conversation ended abruptly when the sprinkler system shorted out his laptop. All the while the room temperature began dropping, eventually to subzero temperatures. However, his laptop started working again and he heard Lily calling out to him by video chat, but a doppelgänger of Enslin hijacked the conversation, urging Lily to come to the hotel immediately and enter room 1408. As a panicked Enslin watched this conversation end, the doppelgänger looked at him directly and winked. The room began to shake violently and the walls cracked and explodes as water filled the room, pulling Enslin under the surface.

Enslin seemed to awaken on the beach, but this was in fact a flashback of a previous surfing accident, wherein he was admitted to the hospital soon after. He found Lily at his bedside in the hospital near his home in Los Angeles. She told him that he was hospitalized after sustaining a concussion. He immediately wrote a novel on his experience in 1408 and went to mail it.

This reprieve was short-lived however, when at the post office, a construction crew made up of hotel staff and guests of the Hotel Dolphin began to destroy the interior of the hotel, revealing the walls and floor of 1408 underneath, now fire gutted. Enslin was once again trapped in the room, having never truly left. There was a small inscription on the wall visible from the window which read "Burn Me Alive". Enslin then encountered his late daughter, alive, but dying again, and crumbling to dust as the clock radio's countdown approached zero; when it finally reached zero the room changed back to its original, undamaged appearance.

The clock radio reset for another sixty minutes and the telephone rang; when Enslin answered, he asked "Why don't you just kill me?". The friendly female voice of the hotel operator informed him that he could relive the hour "again and again" or choose to take advantage of their "express checkout system". A hangman's knot appeared in the bedroom and Enslin had a vision of him hanging himself. He told the operator that he would not be checking out that way. The phone rang again, and the operator reminded him that his wife would be arriving in five minutes and would be sent right up to his room. He responded he was through arguing and was going to end the experience.

Turning a bottle of cognac into a Molotov Cocktail, Enslin set the room on fire, causing the hotel to be evacuated. Lily, who had just arrived after being summoned by the fake Enslin, was stopped from entering the hotel, but told the firefighters that her husband was in 1408. Enslin threw an ashtray through the room's windows, intentionally causing a back draft to overtake the room just seconds before firefighters battered down the door. They got him out and, though burned, he was told that he would be all right. Enslin attempted to tell the firefighters not to enter the room, as it was "evil".

Enslin recovered in a New York hospital with Lily at his bedside. He swore that he saw Katie, but Lily refused to believe him. After his recovery Enslin moved back in with Lily, beginning work on a new novel about his stay in 1408. While sorting through a box of items from his night in 1408 that Lily wanted to discard, Enslin came across his mini cassette recorder. After some difficulty he managed to get the tape to play; it began with Enslin's dictation of 1408's appearance, but cut in with audio from his interaction with the apparition of his daughter. He held it closely to his chest, never truly able to recover from his experience at the Hotel Dolphin.

Notes & Trivia Edit

In the short story of 1408, Mike Enslin lit the room on fire with a pack of matches, not a bottle of cognac.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Wife, alive.
  2. Daughter, deceased.


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This article relates to the works of Stephen King.
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