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Haunted Places Series: The Skirvin Hotel

HAUNTED PLACES SERIES: THE SKIRVIN HOTEL
 October 20, 2021 |  CRE News |  just for fun, hotel, Haunted Places Series

Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Built: 1911

Stepping up to the plate for our third spooky stop is the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. Located in downtown Oklahoma City, the 14th floor hotel is equal parts colossal and luxurious. As beautifully crafted as the Skirvin is, it’s the dark history of the building that really captivates guests.

The Start of the Skirvin
The Skirvin Hotel was the ambitious dream of wealthy oilman W.B. Skirvin. Enlisting the help of local architect Solomon A. Layton, Skirvin worked tirelessly to bring his dream to life. Originally the hotel was designed to be two separate six story towers, but Layton and Skirvin wanted to go bigger. They settled on ten floors to keep up with Oklahoma City’s population boom. Upon completion in 1911, the Skirvin Hotel boasted 225 rooms, air conditioning, a ballroom, and stunning Austrian chandeliers. 15 years later, a third 13th floor tower was added. All three towers were then built up to 14 floors in 1930.

W.B. Skirvin and Scandal
During the Prohibition era, the Skirvin Hotel doubled as a speakeasy and was one of the most popular spots around. However, this wasn’t the most controversial happening inside the hotel. According to reports, W.B. Skirvin had an affair with a maid, “Effie.” To keep her a secret, Skirvin locked her in a room on the 10th floor. Effie later gave birth to a child and the two stayed in the room for days on end. The isolation began to take its toll on Effie, and she eventually leapt out the room’s window with her child, landing on the pavement below.

Hard Times Befall the Hotel
After W.B Skirvin, the hotel exchanged hands numerous times. Skirvin kept trying to make his hotel the most extravagant location, but his finances couldn’t keep up, especially after the Great Depression. In 1945, the building was sold to Dan W. James who owned several other luxury hotels. James faced a multitude of problems in post-war America, but like Skirvin before him, James kept working to upgrade the hotel. He put in a pool, implemented unique amenities, and held various conventions. Yet in 1963, the combination of new, more comfortable travel choices and trends that attracted people away from downtown OKC forced James to sell. The next few lines of ownership would continually face the same challenges, along with the multimillion-dollar demands of modernizing the Skirvin. In 1988, the Skirvin became bankrupt and would sit empty for the next two decades.

Cryptid Clients
Famous guests from NBA stars to former presidents have all stayed at the Skirvin, though some haven’t made it through the night. There have been multiple reports of unexplained activity in the hotel. Objects will move out of the corner of your eye when no one else is there. There are also reports of a woman whispering throughout the hotel and a young child crying. Sometimes the faint apparition of Effie will appear before vanishing shortly after. The flurry of activity has given even the most steel-nerved athletes a reason to check out early.

Visit the Skirvin!
Today, the Skirvin Hotel is one of Oklahoma City’s premier accommodations There are over 500 rooms to choose from, and it’s perfect for any event. Reserve your room today!

For all your commercial inspection needs, contact National Property Inspections today!



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