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Haunted Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C

Eva Gabor

The Omni Shoreham is a true Washington D.C. institution, that has hosted inaugural balls for every United States President from FDR to Bill Clinton. Shoreham opened in 1930 and has become a historic Washington D.C. Landmark that has been central to the most influential city in the world. The Omni Shoreham is reportedly haunted by the ghosts of the adopted daughter of an investor and of a housekeeper. The hotel has named the suite where the haunting takes place the Ghost Suite.

Ghost Stories

The Omni Shoreham was built in.1930. The owner of the hotel, Harry Bralove, needed financial backing, which he received from Henry Doherty. Doherty became a minority shareholder and took a suite of rooms in the hotel. Mr. and Mrs Doherty lived in their suite of rooms until 1973. Occupying the suite along with the couple was their adopted daughter, Helen and the Executive Housekeeper of the hotel, Juliette Brown. Juliette Brown looked after the family.

Juliette awoke early one morning feeling ill. She reached for the telephone, but died before completing the call. Some time afterward, Helen Doherty also died mysteriously in the suite. The causes of these mysterious deaths were never disclosed. Rumors of suicide and drug overdose were alleged.

The Dohertys vacated the premises and strange occurances started. Televisions and lights were turned on spontaneously at 4 am. Although the suite was unoccupied, guests in the adjacent room reported hearing loud noises in the suite. The suite has been redesigned, restored and renamed the Ghost Suite.

History of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C.

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The Shoreham Hotel was the vision of Harry Bralove, an ambitious man who earned a degree from Georgetown Law School while working for the United States Navy. After he left the Navy, he started a construction company building apartment homes.

While walking the property along Rock Creek Park, he envisioned a grand hotel. Architect Joseph Abel brought the vision to life with the eight story hotel featuring Art Deco decor. The building had running ice water, an indoor ice rink in the lounge and high-speed Westbrook elevators. In the basement, a furniture factory manufactured quality custom built furnishings for the hotel public areas and guest rooms.

When the hotel opened a single room was $5, a double room was $8 and parlors and suites were $12.

Since the 1930’s , the Shoreham has been a favorite destination of world travelers, dignitaries and presidents. The grand opening of the stately hotel was celebrated with a splash, when famous singer Rudy Vallee flew in on a tri-motors Amelia Earhart airplane.

During World War II, the hotel got around rationing of alcohol by purchasing the entire stock of a Scottish distillery.The hotel was home to the legendary Blue Room, which was the swankiest nightclub of its time. The Blue Room was a favorite gathering spot for John and Jacqueline Kennedy. Prominent politicians have called the Shoreham their home while staying in the nation’s capital. Famous guests have includes President Ronald Reagan, President George Bust, Sr., Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, West German Chancellor Helmet Kohl, Senator Ted Kennedy, Eva Gabor and actress Helen Hayes.

The landmark hotel is a member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America and Resorts and Great Hotels of the World. The hotel has been awarded the AAA Four Diamond rating.

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