The Commercial Inspector | Haunted Places Series: The Skirvin Hot

The Commercial Inspector Blog Posts

The Commercial Inspector

CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



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!

Photo by Matthew Rutledge, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Comments are closed.





How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control Read As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic while facing down another cold and flu season, the cleanliness of your commercial HVAC system has never been more important.
Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Read Online shopping has brought convenience, affordability and many other benefits to today’s consumers, but this evolution has also brought its share of logistical headaches. Learn about food delivery's impact on CRE.
CRE News
Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Read Commercial security systems come in all varieties, and you’ll want to utilize more than one type for added peace of mind. Check out some of the different kinds of systems you can install to help protect your building.


National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.