When the visiting NBA teams travel to other cities for a game, the last thing they should be concerned about is ghosts roaming around in the hotel rooms. But that’s exactly what happens when teams travel to Oklahoma City to face off against the Thunder.
The Skirvin Hotel opened in 1911 and quickly became known as “the newest, finest hotel in the Southwest”. That may have been true, but it’s also rumored to be exceptionally haunted. In fact, it’s so haunted that professional basketball players are nervous to enter the hotel and some of them won’t even step foot in it.
First, let’s talk about why this hotel has such a reputation for being haunted. There’s a tragic story that may explain some of the paranormal activity. The first owner of the hotel was named William Balser Skirvin and he was allegedly having an affair with a maid named Effie. After she became pregnant with his baby, William locked her away in a room on the top floor so that nobody would find out about the pregnancy. And according to the legend, Effie was so distraught over being imprisoned at the hotel that she jumped out of the window with her baby, killing them both.
As for the paranormal activity that the NBA players experienced while staying at the hotel, there are definitely quite a few. Derrick Rose apparently wouldn’t stay alone in his hotel room and had to get his teammate James Johnson to share the space with him. Another story involves Ron Artest (better known as Metta World Peace) who thought about filing charges against the “Skirvin ghosts” for “touching him inappropriately” during his stay.
When Eddy Curry stayed in a room on the 10th floor, he didn’t realize that it was rumored to be the most active room in the hotel and where Effie often makes her presence known. She apparently snuck up on him while he was in the bathroom and he was so freaked out that he left the room and stayed with Nate Robinson.
Some players have refused to even stay at the hotel, like Taj Gibson, Wesley Johnson, and Lou Williams. As a matter of fact, several of the players ended up getting their own places when they had to spend time in Oklahoma City.
And it’s not just NBA players who have experienced strange things at the Skirvin Hotel. Sports analyst Bill Simmons also had an experience there when he kept waking up to the sounds of a baby crying. Employees at the hotel have reported seeing apparitions walking along the hallways and hearing unexplained noises, as well as furniture moving on its own and tools that suddenly go missing.
With all of that paranormal activity, I can understand why numerous players don’t like staying there. And since a lot of athletes are very superstitious, a haunted hotel really wouldn’t help them, especially if they ended up losing the game.