Skirvin Hilton Hotel Rumors
Russell Westbrook can put fear into any opposing player who tries to stand in his way these days. But he’s got nothing on the spirits haunting visiting NBA players at the famous Skirvin Hilton Hotel – a list that now includes the Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson. Both were so scared last season about all the ghost stories they had heard, they traded in their private suites to share one room with dual queen beds. This year, Winslow, 20, and Johnson, 24, are trying to tough it out and be men about it.
But that could change after what happened to Winslow Sunday morning. The 20-year-old forward said he was in the shower around 9 a.m. when the door to his bathroom began moving on its own. “That really happened,” said Winslow, who also wasn’t too happy about the bugs in his room and roach he found in his shower curtain.
The story goes that Effie grew so depressed after the birth of her child she threw herself, along with the baby, out of the window from the 10th floor. Many men who have stayed at the hotel have since reported being propositioned by a female voice while alone in their rooms. Others have seen the figure of a naked woman with them while taking a shower. “I don’t like them spirits and all that stuff, I don’t like to play around with it,” Johnson said. “Sometimes it’s a little bit safer knowing somebody’s there.”
“I ain’t scared of no ghost,” Haslem said. “A ghost will have a helluva time – he might as well go to another room because he’ll have the fight of his life if he comes to my room. It will cost him so much trouble he’ll just say I’m just going to the next room. He’ll say, not tonight, this ain’t the room I need to be in.”
“Everyone in the league knows about her,” said Caron Butler, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran who stayed at the Skirvin many times before he joined the Thunder this season. “Hopefully, she’ll haunt all the teams that come for the playoffs.” The legend holds that Effie was a housekeeper during the early years of the Skirvin, a luxury downtown hotel, before its 10 brick floors were expanded to 14 in 1930. W. B. Skirvin, the hotel’s widowed owner, supposedly had an affair with Effie and, when she became pregnant, ordered her to stay locked inside a room on an upper floor, even after she had the baby. At some point, the story goes, Effie went crazy, grabbed the baby and jumped, killing herself and the child.
Large men unafraid of attacking the lane, diving headfirst into the seats or lobbing pressure-packed shots shudder at the mere thought of Effie. More important, perhaps, they lie awake the night before a game, their prescribed rest undone by phantom pains. Is it any wonder that the Thunder had the league’s second-best home record? In the past few seasons, the Knicks blamed creaks and groans for a sleepless night before a loss. A Bulls player could not explain why his bathroom door slammed shut. A member of the Phoenix Suns woke to find his bathtub filled with water.