In January 2010, the Oklahoma City Thunder handily defeated the New York Knicks, scoring 106 points to the Knicks’ 88. Was it skill behind Oklahoma City’s win? Or did a ghost indirectly aid the team?
Located at the corner of 1st Street and Broadway, Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel regularly hosts teams in town to play the Thunder. The one hundred-year-old building also has a reputation for being haunted. According to a report in the NY Daily News, a two-day stay at the Skirvin left at least two Knicks players convinced the hotel’s spooky stories were true.
Eddy Curry was one of those players. Per the Daily News, Curry only slept two hours the night before the game with Oklahoma City because stories of the hotel’s resident ghost, Effie the maid, spooked him. According to local legend, Effie jumped to her death with a baby in her arms after the hotel’s owner and child’s father, W.B. Skirvin, locked her in a room to prevent a scandal. The spurned maid is now said to roam the hotel, slamming doors, peeping at men in the shower, and even propositioning male guests. Visitors also report awakening to the sound of a wailing baby.
“They said it happened on the 10th floor and I’m the only one staying on the 10th floor,” Curry told the Daily News. “That’s why I spent most of my time in (Nate Robinson’s) room. I definitely believe there are ghosts in that hotel.”
Is the tragic tale of Effie true? There’s no record of a woman hurling herself from the upper floors of the Skirvin Hotel, and according to General Manager John Williams, no Effie ever worked at the hotel. However, a few Knicks players are certain the Skirvin harbors ghosts.
“The place is haunted. It’s scary,” said forward Jared Jeffries.
A year after the NY Daily News published the Knicks ghost story—much to the amusement of Thunder fans—ESPN columnist Bill Simmons spent a night at the Skirvin Hotel and had an eerie run in with Effie’s baby. He described the creepy encounter in his column:
“I woke up at 4:30 with my heart pounding. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I wasn’t alone. I had an overpowering sensation that someone else was in the room. I decided to turn on the light. Stretching to my right for the switch, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of a baby crying urgently to my far left (right near the window). The urgency freaked me out just as much as the crying itself. I fumbled for the switch, couldn’t find it, fumbled, fumbled some more, then finally turned the light on. The crying sound stopped.
I kept the lights on. And the television. And that’s how I spent the next three and a half hours — half-asleep, half-awake and totally spooked. The words ‘Man Up’ did not enter the equation.
I came to Oklahoma City for Durant and Westbrook and left telling stories about Effie’s baby. Just know that the next time someone tells me a ghost story, I will believe them.”
Has anyone ever had a ghostly experience at the Skirvin Hotel? Share you story here or in the comments section below!
The Skirvin Hilton Hotel
One Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102