Being famous and living a life of luxury is a driving force for the lives of many people who will do just about anything to obtain it, and more importantly, retain it even if that means staying around long after they brush off this mortal coil. And if what is rumored to be true about The Hotel Roosevelt, the ghosts that haunt this Tinseltown hotel just might prove this belief.
Built in 1927, The Roosevelt was destined for greatness as its history is directly tied in with Hollywood. The luxurious hotel became an instant hit with the rich and famous of jazz era Los Angeles. The hotel was such a favorite of Hollywood, it was only natural that the first Academy Awards was held there in 1927. The big winner that night was “Wings” for best picture and best actor went to Emil Jennings. Unlike today’s three-hour Oscar ceremony, the first awards show lasted a mere five minutes.
The memories of the Hotel Roosevelt don’t end there. Shirley Temple, Hollywood’s first child star received her first tap dance lesson in the lobby. During the dry years of the prohibition era, the swashbuckling leading man Errol Flynn ran an illegal gin joint out of the back room of the barber shop. One of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen, Marilyn Monroe, shot her first suntan lotion ad by the pool. With a history such as this, The Hotel Roosevelt became legendary and ultimately became haunted as well.
While filming the classic “From Here to Eternity,” the handsome leading man, Montgomery Clift, resided in Room 928. In order to play his part properly, Clift had to teach himself how to play the clarinet. At all hours of the day, Clift could be heard pacing the halls of the 9th floor diligently practicing the instrument.
Long after his death, guests on the 9th floor have reported the eerie sound of a clarinet being played in the halls, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of footsteps. Clift, who was well known for diving into a part and giving the best possible performance apparently carried that work ethic with him beyond the grave.
Phantom musical notes aren’t the only phenomena attributed to Montgomery Clift. Guests staying near room 928 have reported hearing loud noises coming from the screen legend’s former room. When they complain to the front desk, staff responds to investigate the noises and find nothing but a dark, lifeless room. The only peculiar thing they do find, the phone is off the hook and unplugged from the wall. According to those who knew him, Clift despised the noise of a ringing phone while he worked and would often disable the phone.
Montgomery Clift isn’t alone in haunting the Roosevelt, according to witnesses he is joined by another Hollywood legend. Marilyn Monroe, an actress celebrated for her beauty was a frequent guest of The Roosevelt and insisted on staying in Room 1200. This particular suite had a full-length mirror that Monroe could gaze into before going to a shoot or heading out for a night of parties, rubbing elbows with her fellow entertainment elites. According to guests, the mirror Marilyn Monroe loved may have caught more than just her comely visage.
Following her untimely, some may even say suspicious death, guests reported an unnerving experience in Room 1200. While looking into the mirror, people claimed to see the image of Marilyn Monroe staring back at them. Frightened by the experience, guests complained to management who removed the mirror and placed it by the elevators. The move didn’t stop Miss Monroe from appearing in the mirror. People getting on or off the elevators would catch the occasional glimpse of the blonde bombshell staring back at them from beyond the grave.
Paranormal researchers and investigators feel that the haunting at The Hotel Roosevelt is residual in nature. Energy and memory trapped at a location and forced to replay when the conditions are just right. The Hotel Roosevelt is still loved by the rich and famous and it’s a popular point of interest for tourists and ghost hunters alike.
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