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Lest we get carried away by new hotels and fun in-room amenities, let's revisit the scary side of hotels for a hot minute. Because we all need a downer to start of the New Year, right? (Ugh.)
Barb Delollis at USA Today picked up on ESPN Columnist Bill Simmon's recent stay at the haunted Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. You know the hotel that last year's Knicks blamed for a poor performance when playing The OKC Thunder.
When Simmons was in town, he actually asked to stay on one of the hotel's haunted floors but didn't really expect to get spooked. Then the Skirvin Crying Baby made an appearance. He writes:
I decided to turn on the light. Stretching to my right for the switch, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of (what sure as hell sounded like) a baby crying urgently to my far left (right near the window). Wahhhhhhh. Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhhh. The urgency freaked me out just as much as the crying itself.
I fumbled for the switch, couldn't find it, fumbled, fumbled some more, then finally turned the light on. The crying sound stopped. I hopped out of bed and turned on every other light in the room. I turned on the television and jacked up the volume. Then I grabbed my BlackBerry and Googled "Skirvin crying baby. A slew of results came up."
We don't like to be the only ones talking hotels here on HotelChatter but thankfully, some of our readers have been dropping in some helpful comments as of late and we thought you should see some of 'em. Wanna join the discussion? Sign up and become a member. Or use your Facebook account to log-in. And don't forget to follow HotelChatter on Twitter.
· The CEO of the new auction site ItsyBid.com is offering 10 free bids for HotelChatter Readers! Get the code here.
· Expedia's new Unpublished Rates feature is a bust in London for this guest.
· Speaking of auction sites, Off & Away has given us an update on the real cost of the suites you can win.
· Regarding the ironing board at The W French Quarter, it may have just been a housekeeping issue. BUT the hotel does have ghosts! Oooooo, maybe the ghost doesn't like ironing boards?
· No surprise: Element Hotels has another fan, especially when it comes to their healthy food options. Now about those locations.
· Um we think someone may have overdosed on sex kits or something.
With Halloween coming up there was one place we had to go during our stay in Denver last week: the Stanley Hotel up in Estes Park.
The Stanley, of course, is where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining and is known as one of the most haunted hotels in America. Obviously, we took the ghost tour – they run on the hour and cost $15. You can add in a tour of the haunted Concert Hall for $5 but they only run on certain days.
You definitely get bang for your buck, even if you don’t see any spooks – our tour ran for two hours thanks to our guide, Kevin, who was one of the most sweetly enthusiastic tour guides we’ve had before. He was funny, interesting and even knew how to deal with some annoying brats who kept saying like a broken record “that’s not scary” until we were itching to show them what is scary.
What surprised us most was that it wasn’t a gratuitously spooky ghost tour – about half of it was taken up with genuine hotel history (FO Stanley and his brother, who built the hotel, also invented the first hybrid car, made violins and all sorts – clever gents).
Hotel Suites / Haunted Hotels / Hotel Ghosts / London Hotels / Guoman Hotels / Jimi Hendrix / Celebrity Scoop / → All Tags
Erm, maybe not, as our favorite mailout Popbitch pointed out this morning. Given that Hendrix died in a hotel (the Samarkand, not the Cumberland – he just used to live in the Cumberland) – it’s actually a little bit distasteful, no?
The Ghostbusters may not be afraid of no ghosts but the New York Knicks basketball team, definitely is. The team says they were haunted by a ghost at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City where they stayed before playing The Thunder.
Eddy Curry even ran for the safety of his teammate's room because he was convinced ghosts were in his room.
"They said it happened on the 10th floor and I'm the only one staying on the 10th floor," Curry said. "That's why I spent most of my time in (Nate Robinson's) room. I definitely believe there are ghosts in that hotel."
The "it" he's referring too is the legend of a woman who jumped to her death in the 1930s holding her baby in her hands. Eee. Remind us not to check in here while visiting Oklahoma. Oh and btw, yes, the Knicks lost to the Thunder.
· George Clooney Shacks Up at The Carlyle: Meanwhile George Clooney was taking it easy at The Carlyle, even signing autographs for a few fans. We wonder if the neighboring Surrey Hotel was jealous? [X17Online]
· The Power (and Messes) of Chocolate Chip Cookies: Everyone loves the Doubletree cookies, except maybe housekeepers when they have to clean up the chocolate stains. [NY Times]
· Definitely Not the Hotel Bel-Air: Last time we checked the Hotel Bel-Air didn't look like some corporate office park building. By the way, remember it's closed for the next two years. [Dimensions Guide]
· Comfort Inn Gets Comfy in Haiti: A 32-room hotel to open in May in Haiti. [BusinessWeek]
· What Do You Draw on Your Hotel Notepads?: What we would do if we were talented and stuck in a Best Western[Happy Fun Hour]
We always love a good hotel ghost story here at HotelChatter so on this cold day, kick back and get spooked.
Four ghosts have reportedly taken up residence at the historic Hotel Bethlehem but instead of conducting exorcisms or ghost evictions, the hotel has embraced these "guests" by offering up a special hotel room that's supposed to witness all the paranormal activity.
So who's haunting this place? The most well-known guest during the days of the Eagle Hotel, Hotel Bethlehem's predecessor, was May Yohe. The actress/singer was born in the hotel, which her grandpa owned, in April 1866. As a child, Yohe would sing and dance for guests in the lobby.
Even though she ended up performing in Europe in her later life and subsequently married and left Lord Francis Clinton (the owner of the Hope Diamond), Yohe was supposedly most happiest in life at The Eagle. So she may have chose to return there in the afterlife as people say they hear her singing in the lobby.
And randomly, she's been seen chilling in the exercise room. Ghosts need to work on their fitness, who knew?
We were geeky enough to take a walking ghost tour of the Lower East Side last week, when our guide (who specializes in vampires!) had us stop to check out a hidden marble cemetery just behind the Bowery Hotel on Second Avenue (not to be confused with the more conspicuous marble cemetery around the corner on Second Street).
Our guide then proceeded to tell us about how just about every night at 1 a.m., the hotel's elevators go haywire--an occurrence that allegedly happens often enough it no longer fazes the staff.
We thought about hanging around the Bowery Hotel to check out this purported paranormal activity, but we were scared off when told about the wait for a table at Gemma.
Got a Ghostbuster-like Bowery Hotel story? Let us know.
[Photo: Casey Kelbaugh for the NY Times]
Do you like being totally creeped out when you stay somewhere? Yes? Then you have to check out Historic Hotels' list of totally scary, haunted hotels. Halloween is coming up--share a bed with a dead guy from 200 years ago!
From forlorn lovers trapped in time by their undying devotion to one another, to hoteliers and employees who just weren't ready to abandon their duties, many of Historic Hotels of America's members have a hauntingly good time in store for you.
We think the creepiest one is the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. Supposedly, a stone mason plunged to his death during the construction of the hotel in 1880. Stay in 218--the scene of the crime--and you too might experience reported cries of a falling man, slamming doors, and visions in the mirror. If you survive, please let us know if you agree that it's "America's Most Haunted Hotel."
With the Fall Back in Time promotion, your third night with the paranormal is only $18.86!
Check out the full list of America's haunted historic hotels. They've got everything from disappearing coffee to fair maiden ghosts. Stay at your own risk.
[Photo:America's Most Haunted Hotel]
VIP Hotel Reviews / VIP Hotel Reviewer Series / Deidre Woollard / Hotel Ghosts / Hilton Hotels / Louisville Hotel Reviews / → All Tags
We now present you with our VIP Hotel Reviewer Series in which we hand-pick experts in the travel and media worlds and beyond to tell us what are their favorite hotels and why. Once a week, we'll feature a hotel review from said VIPs about their favorite leisure or business hotels. Pay attention: These VIPs are experts at what they do and they don't mess around when it comes to their hotels.
The next VIP in the series is Deidre Woollard, the founder and head writer at popular luxury blog, Luxist.com. Despite writing about what's hot in the luxury world, Deidre has spent time in a Super 8 Motel. Of course, she would never stay there again. Instead the next time she visits Louisville, Kentucky, she'll probably hit up the Seelbach Hilton. Enjoy.
For a couple of years while getting my MFA through Spalding University's limited residency program I spent a lot of time in Louisville, Kentucky.
Each semester we spent 10 days in a hotel in Louisville. For the inaugural session of the program they put us in a Super 8 hotel. Not just any Super 8 Hotel, but one that happened to be located near what appeared to be a crackhouse.
It was noisy, loud and scary but both the visiting professors and students bonded as we chaperoned each other from elevator to room for security's sake. It was the last semester the program ever stayed there.
For the rest of my time in the program we stayed at the Seelbach Hilton, the grand old hotel downtown which was built in 1905. It was quite an improvement from the Super 8.
We've written numerous times about the haunted Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which prompted Stephen King to write his novel, "The Shining" after a stay here (which was then made into the movie with Jack Nicholson and the Red Rum twins.)
Now, thanks to YouTube we get to see the Sci-Fi Channel's in-depth look at what it's like staying in the most haunted room of them all, Room 401. We actually got a little scared but still think it is suspicious that all the paranormal activity is happening off-camera.
If you are looking for a good old fashioned creepy vacation, you might try checking into room 217 at the Stanley Hotel where Stephen King's "The Shining" was filmed.
Just don't order red-rum at the bar.
If you prefer a more urban setting for a fright filled visit, you could hunt for a spirit in Canada's venerable Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The "Hotel Van" is infamous in the local Vancouver community for being the supposed residence of a fashionable apparition named the "Lady in Red". This ghostly figure is said to glide along the 14th floor of the hotel, and has allegedly been seen by many a hotel guest and employee.
With digital camera in hand, I ventured to the hotel in search of the Lady in Red, and although I gave myself a good dose of the creeps, no Lady was to be found. A conversation with a room attendant confirmed a "common knowledge" that she does in fact exist, although this employee had not seen the Lady herself.
Ghosts aren't really our thing especially when staying at hotels. (Although we do think Patrick Swayze made a hot ghost.)
But if you are curious to know if the dead can talk to us from the other side, hit up the Huntington Hilton on Long Island on June 10.
The hotel is hosting "acclaimed medium" Robert Brown From 7 to 9:30pm, he will be conducting a demonstration of his skills much like the ones you used to see on the old episodes of Donahue and Maury.
However, talking to the dead ain't cheap. Tickets for non-members at the door are $60. And if you don't want to be around a bunch of ghost-whisperer wannabes we suggest you book another hotel.