By Selena Williams and Danica Brackett - Collab
The Skirvin Hotel is one of the finest historical places to stay in Oklahoma, but the presence that lurks within its walls is what this establishment is most known for.
The Skirvin Hotel was built in 1910 by oilman William Balser Skirvin. He was determined to have the most superb hotel in all of the southwest. The Skirvin's doors opened in 1911. It also happened to be one of the first places with air conditioning in Oklahoma.
At the time, the hotel consisted of two 10-story towers that contained 224 rooms. In the 1930s, they enhanced the Skirvin by adding a third wing. They also leveled out the structure at 14-stories tall. This increased the room count to 525 rooms.
The Skirvin also contained a ballroom that seated 500 and many Austrian chandeliers that cost more than $100,000 each.
The Oklahoma showplace became a popular speakeasy during Prohibition. The 10th floor was reserved for gambling, “loose women” and illegal beverages.
It was during this time that W.B. Skirvin was said to have had an affair with one of the hotel maids, who was later referred to as Effie by former employees in the early 1980s.
While W.B. Skirvin was partaking in the affair, the mistress became pregnant. In fear of his wife finding out, he locked Effie in a room on the 10th floor.
Effie soon grew depressed and even after the birth of her child; she was still not let out of the room. Half out of her mind, she finally grabbed the infant child and threw herself, along with the baby, out of the window.
There is no proof that this actually happened. It is not recorded anywhere. Simply, it is just a commonly known legend that is told a few different ways.
The Skirvin Hotel closed its doors and was abandoned in 1988.
The hotel was supposedly the site of numerous séances and a meeting place for devil-worshippers, and at least four people (besides Effie and her baby) have perished there.
A reporter for The Oklahoman, Steve Lackmeyer, wrote that he does not believe in ghosts but has seen some weird things.
“The power box to the hotel was pulled in the early 1990s after the building was virtually abandoned by an out-of-state owner,” he wrote. “Yet for more than a dozen years, a single light bulb in the lobby chandelier stayed on. Based on our research, it was over the spot where Skirvin would sit in his chair, giving thumbs up or down on which visitors would be allowed a room.”
The Skirvin Hotel is an eerie place. Many unexplainable things have happened there.
Nineteen years later, the Skirvin Hotel reopened in 2007 after $50 million in renovations.
There are people such as many NBA basketball players and regular everyday guests who have claimed to have experienced paranormal encounters and sightings at the Skirvin Hotel.
In 2011, ESPN's Bill Simmons said in a Bleacher Report article, that he heard crying babies during his time at the Skirvin Hilton.
He recounts his tale of staying on the Skirvin's 10th floor in a sidebar of a story on his NFL picks. At around 4:30 a.m., he awoke to what sounded like a crying baby in his room. He got the distinct feeling that someone else was in the room with him. The crying was urgent and seemed to be coming from near the window. He flipped on the light and the crying stopped.
Weeping children is not the only creepy occurrence at The Skirvin.
Staff members have claimed to see maid carts moving on their own. Indicating that Effie is still at work to this day.
Many male guests have reported seeing an apparition of a female lurking around their rooms.
According to an article on the Ranker website, in 1994 a security guard revealed his story to a group who liked to explore the abandoned hotel. He related the story of "Effie" (though he said the events took place on the eighth floor, not the 10th). Effie revealed herself through the scent of lavender perfume, he said. Her spirit would try to seduce men, including him.
On one occasion, the ghost told the guard that she wanted him to join her in the afterlife. She manifested in the truck he was driving and held the guard's leg to the gas pedal, trying to make him crash.
Coincidentally enough, the way W.B Skirvin died was horrifyingly similar.
Skirvin died on March 25, 1944, when he and his friend, Earl Saxon, were cut off by a hit-and-run driver who forced them off the road and into a creek bed near Grand Boulevard.
Could Skirvin’s mysterious mistress maid, Effie, be the cause of his death? Did she appear in the suspect’s vehicle and force him to run Skirvin off the road?
If, in fact, she did come back for the lover that led to her demise; and in turn, took his life.
This is just another legend. To this day, many people stay at the Skirvin Hotel in hopes of having a paranormal experience.
If this seems intriguing, visit the Skirvin Hotel’s website and book a room. https://www.skirvinhilton.com