1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Courtesy of Jorge Mir
Marilyn Monroe first stayed at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel when her modeling career began, posing on the hotel pool's diving board for a suntan lotion.
By
updated 10/28/2008 11:13:20 AM ET 2008-10-28T15:13:20

You’ve checked into the Beverly Hills Roosevelt hotel, donned your chicest outfit, and are ready to hit Tinseltown. On your way out, you stop to admire your fresh look in a lobby mirror when eerily, you see a ghostly figure next to your reflection — that of the world-famous blond, Marilyn Monroe.

Tales of haunted hotels abound, of course, especially in older establishments like the Roosevelt. Usually, the haunting spirit is that of a random person — someone who died there, perhaps, or someone who simply doesn’t want to check out. But some of these hotel spooks — like Sid Vicious, Anna Nicole Smith, and Marilyn (who’s specter has also been reported at Lake Tahoe’s Cal Neva Resort) — became famous before their deaths. And conveniently, some of them inhabit easily booked hotels.

So who are these A-listers who have come back from the great beyond to haunt hotels? Elvis Presley, for one. People all over the world have laid claim to seeing the still-living King, of course, but his spirit is popular, too. It’s been spotted in his old performance space at the Las Vegas Hilton — just waiting, perhaps, to do one more show.

Another singer, Janis Joplin, has a different kind of connection to the hotel she’s said to haunt. It was in the Landmark Hotel (now the Highland Gardens Hotel) in Los Angeles that she died of an overdose in 1970.

Naturally, some hotels don’t like to discuss the celebrities — either living or dead — who stay with them. The Roosevelt maintains that their hotel isn’t haunted by anyone, celebrity or otherwise. And the Algonquin Hotel — where writer Dorothy Parker is said to lurk — says it has no documented occurrences of a haunting. (On the flip side, other members of the Historic Hotels of America proudly publicize their ghosts.)

As with any unexplained phenomena, there are more rumors than documented cases. So perhaps these celebrity spirits don’t exist, and the sightings have proliferated because diehard fans don’t want to accept that their beloved star is gone. But maybe there’s some truth to them. After all, why would so many guests insist that what they saw was real?

Regardless, there’s nothing more exhilarating than a spirit surprise around Halloween — especially if it’s a star from days gone by. So grab your Ouija board, pick a hotel, and prepare for an Academy Award–winning ghost hunt.

Copyright © 2012 American Express Publishing Corporation

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
  1. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    Secret Service director resigns amid scandal

    10/1/2014 7:30:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T19:30:52
  1. Texas Ebola patient had contact with kids

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a press conference on Wednesday that “some school-age children” had been identified as having contact with the man diagnosed with the first case of Ebola in the United States. 

    10/1/2014 5:37:52 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T17:37:52
  1. Carrie Vitt

    5 things we learned from '100 Days of Real Food' blogger Lisa Leake

    10/1/2014 6:30:19 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T18:30:19
  1. Getty Images file

    Brad Pitt loves 'being a father,' raves about kids, Angelina Jolie

    10/1/2014 6:16:00 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T18:16:00