Wednesday, October 28, 2009
With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it was time for some spooky Hollywood tales. Many of the old "haunts" (ha ha) of famed actors and actresses are now torn down due to lack of care. But there are a few that are still around and have even been renovated over the years. The first such place is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The Roosevelt opened in 1927 and was host to several of the Hollywood elite. Many famous Hollywood legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift stayed here in its heyday. The hotel remained popular for many years and then in 1984, underwent a restoration. Since that time, the ghosts, they say, have been putting in frequent appearances. The first strange event took place in December 1985, about two weeks before the grand re-opening. Alan Russell, the personal assistant to the General Manager, was in the Blossom Room, where the first Academy Awards banquet was held in 1929 (I was just in this exact room in August and it is GORGEOUS!). He was sweeping the floor and noticed an extremely cold spot in one part of the room. He and the other employees who were present were perplexed to find there were no drafts or air conditioners to explain away the chill. Psychics who have investigated the hotel believe there is a man in black clothing who haunts this room, although who he may be, no one knows.
On that same day, another employee named Suzanne Leonard was dusting a mirror in the manager’s office. She looked into the glass and saw the reflection of a blond woman there. She turned quickly around but there was no one behind her, although the reflection remained for some time before fading away. So, who was this mysterious figure? It was later learned that the mirror once hung in Suite 1200 of the hotel, a suite that was frequently used by Marilyn Monroe. Could she still be lingering behind at the Roosevelt?
As guests began to arrive at the refurbished hotel, the staff was told of other encounters. They frequently heard complaints about loud talking in nearby rooms and of voices in hallways...rooms and corridors that would prove to be empty. Phones were lifted from receivers in empty suites...lights turned on in empty, locked rooms ... a maid was inexplicably pushed into a supply closet...a typewriter began typing in the middle of the night in an empty, locked office...a man in a white suit (who was seen by three different people on two different days) walked through a door and vanished ...extra bedspreads that were hung on a rod in the basement began moving on their own...a little girl was seen playing in the lobby and then vanished before the eyes of a startled staff member...and much more.
Some employees also reported strange shadows on the Ninth floor, prompting many of them to refuse to work on that level. Strange things were especially connected to Room 928. Here, housekeepers have reported cold spots that brush by them and others have felt a strong presence watching them or walking beside them. One night in 1992, a female guest reported that a man’s hand patted her on the shoulder while she was reading. She turned, thinking that it was her husband, only to find him sound asleep.
Room 928 has been most prominently connected to actor Montgomery Clift, who lived in the room for three months in 1952 while filming From Here to Eternity. Clift was said to restlessly pace his room and the corridor outside, rehearsing his lines and practicing the bugle. And some say that he still does...
Wow! What an exciting place! I can honestly say that it is truly amazing to be inside the Roosevelt. You can imagine being there in the 1940's with all the other starlets. It definitely has a "haunting" quality about it. Enjoy the photos!
Haunted Places: The National Directory By Dennis William Hauck (1996)
Hollywood Haunted by Laurie Jacobson and Marc Wannamaker (1994)
Hollywood and the Supernatural by Brad and Sherry Steiger (1990)
Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger (1975)
Hollywood Babylon 2 by Kenneth Anger (1984)
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (official website www.hollywoodroosevelt.com)