- Omni Mount Washington Hotel: Guests have woken up to the original hotel owner’s widowed bride sitting at the end of her old bed, brushing her hair.
- Omni Shoreham Hotel: Not only were there several unexplained deaths in ‘The Ghost Suite’, but since then guests have heard noises coming from the room and spooky activities surrounding it.
- Omni Parker House: The ghost of Harvey Parker has been said to continue to check up on guests to ensure they are enjoying their stays… Long after his death.
- Omni Royal Orleans: A maid who died in the hotel during the hurricane of 1915 still takes care of guests by warming their beds.
Back in 1930 when the Omni Shoreham Hotel first opened, the owner, Mr. Harry Bralove, had some financial difficulty. He asked Mr. Henry Doherty to become a minority shareholder in the hotel and thus help the company financially. Mr. Doherty agreed to that proposition and in addition took a suite of rooms where he stayed with his wife.
The Executive Housekeeper of the Hotel, Ms. Juliette Brown, also stayed in the very large suite and took care of the family. Early one morning, Juliette woke up not feeling well, and reached for the phone. As she picked up the receiver, she suddenly died (of natural causes!). An engineer found the phone had been taken off the hook and went to explore the situation and found her in her bed, dead.
The Doherty’s were a very wealthy family and their suite was filled with beautiful furniture and art. Their china was from Napoleon Bonparte and Persian rugs were spread throughout the gorgeous rooms. The Doherty’s, however, were childless, and adopted a daughter named Helen. Some time after Juliette’s death, Helen also mysteriously died in the suite. No one was ever clear on how it happened, but rumors abounded with thoughts of suicide or a drug overdose.
The Doherty’s lived in the suite from 1933 to 1973 at which time the area was closed and basically became condemned. There were holes in the ceiling that pigeons flew in and out of, and the once beautiful rooms existed no more.
Once the Doherty’s were gone strange things occurred in and around the guestrooms in the wing that surrounded the suite. Televisions and lights would suddenly go on at 4AM (the time of Juliette’s death?). Housekeeping carts would be moved, and people reported feeling a breeze, the same breeze you feel when somebody near you runs by. Records from 1975 report that a client staying in room 863, who knew nothing of the story, called then General Manager, Mr. Phil Hollywood, and asked who was in room 864 (Juliette’s bedroom). He complained of noise throughout the past two evenings and said it was disturbing him. Of course, there was no one in the room next door – so who or what was it? It was the hotel employees who named the ghost “Vivica” but who knows if it’s Juliette or Helen who haunt the rooms at the Shoreham.
This wing of the hotel has since been fully redesigned and restored. This suite of rooms is now a Presidential Suite, named appropriately, THE GHOST SUITE and offers some of the most spectacular views of the city.
“I first heard about the ghost of Harvey Parker when I began Working here in 1941,” explained longtime Omni Parker House bellman, John Brehm, in a 1992 Boston Globe interview. “ They used to say he roamed the halls on the tenth floor annex. There were many stories, but one in particular happened around 1950. An elderly woman guest insisted she saw an apparition outside room 1078. At first it was a misty apparition in the air, then it turned toward her. She said it was a heavy set older man with a black mustache. He just looked at her, then faded away. She came downstairs, a bit jittery, and security went up to the tenth floor. They checked it out, but reported they could find nothing.”
To those who knew Harvey Parker, such sightings — which have not been reported for two decades now — could hardly come as a shock. A perfectionist who kept his hands in every detail of his restaurant and hotel operations, he played the ultimate host to ordinary folks and world-famous guests. A host, it would seem, who could never really bring himself to leave.
Other Ghostly encounters…
Elevators are always called to the third floor (the floor Charles Dickens occupied) without a button being pushed or a guest waiting for the elevator.
A security officer reported that late one evening he saw the shadow of a man on the wall in the Bosworth (oldest) section of the hotel. When he stepped aside to let the man pass there was no one there. One thing he later realized was strange was that the shadow was wearing a stovepipe hat.
In a room on the 10th floor, guests have reported the sound of a rocking chair that kept them up all night. There are no rocking chairs in the hotel.
Bellmen have reported bright “orbs” of light floating down the corridor on the 10th floor then disappearing.
A mother and daughter were spending the night in room 1012. The daughter awoke around daybreak to find a gentleman dressed in period garments of the latter 1800’s standing at the end of her bed. The gentleman sported a large grin as if he was asking, “Are you enjoying your stay? “ When she smiled back the gentleman gracefully disappeared. The woman was amazed to find the portrait of her nightly visitor hanging in the dining room when she went down for breakfast. It was the portrait of Harvey Parker.
Many years ago, before becoming the Omni Royal Orleans, the old St. Louis Hotel constructed in 1960 on the corner of St. Louis Street and Royal Street had no heating or air condoning. The hotel was destroyed in the the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915.
It is told that a maid who died during the hurricane of 1915 at the hotel still comes to visit guests to warm their beds.
She would put a copper-bottom pan filled with coals at the foot of the bed and then tuck the covers in all around the bed to keep the guests warm.
However the mysterious maid doesn’t always seem to be helpful, cold water faucets have been reported to turn themselves on in themiddle of the night.
The identity of the ghostly maid still remains a mystery…