Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Skirvin Hotel

One of the first places I took J. on his site seeing tour (I use that term loosely) of Oklahoma City was to the Skirvin Hotel. I did a little digging for purposes of this blog and got some specific information on the history of the hotel:

The Skirvin Hotel was build by a man named William Balser "Bill" Skirvin, a Land Run participant and wealthy oilman who moved his family to Oklahoma City in 1906. In 1910 he began building the hotel on one of his properties at 1st and Park Avenue. The original 10 story hotel opened on September 26th, 1911. Over the years the building changed hands between various investors where is was remodeled many times, upgraded to 14 floors, and eventually closed in 1989. In 2002, the city of Oklahoma City acquired the property where it was renovated and restored to it's currently glory and reopened on Feburary 26th, 2007.

This specific information I did not know. All I could tell J. about the structure was that it was old, had been renovated, and that there was supposedly a ghost that haunted the hotel. A bartender at the Red Piano Lounge inside the hotel filled us in on the details of the ghost.

According to legend, Bill Skirvin had an affair with a maid named Effie. She became pregnant, and to avoid a scandal, Skirvin locked her in one of the 10th floor rooms, the top floor at the time. Here she remained lonely and desolate even after childbirth. It is said to avoid her prison, she jumped to her death from her window with her infant in her arms! Supposedly today people claim to hear a crying infant throughout the night in their hotel rooms or other strange happenings such as sightings of Effie, items moving about on their own, and strange noises. Even the New York Knicks blamed a haunted night at the Skirvin Hotel for a loss in Oklahoma City to the Thunder.

Who knows if any of this is true since the apparent suicide wasn't reported in the papers at the time. It does make a fascinating story to think about when visiting the Skirvin Hotel. For more accounts of Skirvin hauntings click here.

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