In the heart of downtown Oklahoma City stands the historic Skirvin Hotel, a grand establishment with a storied past and a reputation for paranormal activity. The legend of the Skirvin Hotel, shrouded in mystery and intrigue, has captivated guests and locals for decades, making it one of the most famous haunted hotels in the United States.

The History of the Skirvin Hotel

Grand Beginnings

The Skirvin Hotel, named after its founder William Balser Skirvin, opened its doors in 1911 as a luxurious destination for travelers and socialites. Over the years, the hotel became a hub of activity, hosting celebrities, politicians, and dignitaries from around the world. Its elegant architecture and opulent decor made it a symbol of sophistication and prestige in Oklahoma City.

The Legend of Effie

According to legend, the Skirvin Hotel is haunted by the ghost of a chambermaid named Effie. As the story goes, Effie was employed at the hotel in the early 20th century and had an affair with the hotel’s owner, W.B. Skirvin. When Effie became pregnant, Skirvin allegedly locked her away on the 10th floor to avoid scandal. Desperate and distraught, Effie is said to have taken her own life and now wanders the halls of the hotel, forever searching for her lost child.

Reported Paranormal Activity

Mysterious Occurrences

Guests and staff at the Skirvin Hotel have reported numerous paranormal encounters over the years, adding to the legend of Effie and the hotel’s haunted reputation. Some of the most commonly reported phenomena include:

  • Unexplained Noises: Guests often hear strange noises coming from empty rooms, including footsteps, voices, and the sound of a crying baby.
  • Strange Occurrences: Doors open and close on their own, lights flicker inexplicably, and objects move without explanation.
  • Apparitions: Several guests claim to have seen the ghostly figure of a woman in old-fashioned attire roaming the halls, believed to be Effie searching for her child.

Investigations and Confirmations

Paranormal Researchers

The Skirvin Hotel’s reputation for paranormal activity has attracted the attention of paranormal investigators and researchers, who have conducted numerous studies and investigations at the hotel. Using equipment such as electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors, infrared cameras, and audio recording devices, these researchers have documented evidence of unexplained phenomena and captured EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recordings purportedly of Effie’s voice.

Guest Testimonials

Many guests who have stayed at the Skirvin Hotel have shared their own eerie experiences, adding to the hotel’s haunted reputation. These testimonials often echo the reports of strange noises, ghostly apparitions, and unexplained occurrences, lending credibility to the legend of Effie and the Skirvin’s haunted legacy.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

Tourism and Popularity

Despite—or perhaps because of—its reputation for paranormal activity, the Skirvin Hotel remains a popular destination for tourists and thrill-seekers. Ghost tours and haunted hotel packages offer guests the opportunity to explore the hotel’s haunted history and experience its supernatural phenomena firsthand.

Literary and Media References

The legend of the Skirvin Hotel has been featured in numerous books, articles, and television shows, further cementing its place in popular culture. Its haunted reputation has inspired writers, filmmakers, and storytellers to explore its mysteries and weave tales of supernatural intrigue.

Community Identity

For residents of Oklahoma City, the Skirvin Hotel is more than just a haunted landmark—it’s a symbol of local pride and cultural heritage. Its rich history and haunted reputation serve as a reminder of the city’s past and the enduring allure of the unknown.


The legend of the Skirvin Hotel is a tantalizing blend of history, mystery, and the supernatural, weaving together fact and folklore to create a haunting tale that continues to captivate and intrigue. Whether viewed as a genuine haunted hotspot or an elaborate urban legend, the Skirvin’s legacy endures, inviting guests and visitors to experience the thrill of the unknown and the allure of the paranormal. As long as the doors of the Skirvin Hotel remain open, the legend of Effie and the hotel’s haunted reputation will continue to fascinate and inspire generations to come.

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