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The Skirvin Hotel at the corner of 1st Street and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City is the city's oldest hotel. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. First opened in 1911, the Skirvin Hotel contained 224 rooms in a ten story two winged tower. A third 12-story wing was added in 1925, and then in 192930 all three wings were leveled off to 14 floors with a total of 525 rooms. The hotel is named for its founder, William Balser "Bill" Skirvin, whose daughter, Perle Mesta, became the ambassador to Luxembourg under Harry Truman.

The hotel closed down in 1988 and sat abandoned for most of the next nineteen years, until it was renovated and re-opened as part of the Hilton chain of hotels in 2007. The renovation project restored the original exterior finish, installed historically accurate windows, reconfigured guest rooms and added new guest elevators.

The Skirvin has a number of ghost stories associated with it, and these have been spread by National Basketball Association (NBA) teams. The most notable examples occurred in 2010, when the New York Knicks famously blamed their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the haunting. The Chicago Bulls reported doors slamming shut on their own and strange sounds outside their rooms during their stay there. The story received national attention again in June 2012, when the Miami Heat were staying in the hotel for the NBA Finals. Most recently, the Baylor Lady Bears, who were the defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women's Division I basketball champions, were put up at the Skirvin. In one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, the Lady Bears unexpectedly lost 8182 to Louisville in the regional semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament.

As the story goes, the hotel's original owner, W. B. Skirvin, had an affair with a maid named "Effie", which led to a pregnancy. To protect his reputation and avoid a scandal, Skirvin locked the maid on the 10th floor. The maid became depressed and even after the birth of her child, she was still not let out of her room. She eventually jumped out a window killing herself and the baby, without notice in newspapers. In some versions of the legend, this maid is described as "a woman of loose morals," and men who have stayed in the hotel have reported being propositioned by a female voice while alone in their rooms. Others claim to have seen the figure of a naked woman with them while taking a shower. One man even claimed he was sexually assaulted by an invisible entity during his stay. Over the years, hotel staff say they have seen objects moving by themselves and have heard strange noises at night. According to Oklahoman reporters Steve Lackmeyer (who also co-wrote a book about the hotel) and Jason Kersey, Skirvin was "a notorious womanizer and drinker" and the 10th floor was known for various incidents of gambling and other vices, but there is no real-life evidence corresponding to the "Effie" story: Skirvin's family did believe that he had an employee (his assistant and bookkeeper, Mabel Luty) who was also his mistress, but she outlived him.


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