Sportress of Blogitude

Zoinks! Miami Heat staying in a purportedly haunted hotel in OKC

The Skirvin Hilton, the hotel that the Miami Heat are currently staying at in Oklahoma City while they are in town for Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals against the Thunder, has a long-standing reputation of being haunted.

According to urban legend, the hotel’s original owner, W. B. Skirvin, had an affair with a maid that resulted in a pregnancy. In order to avoid scandal, Skirvin allegedly locked the maid in a room on the 10th floor, never letting her out even after she gave birth to the child. They say that she became so depressed and desperate that she leaped to her death with the baby in her arms, although no documentation in any newspaper exists of it. For a more detailed account of the hotel’s paranormal history, click here.

The hotel has become notorious for sightings and other assorted creepy phenomena associated with things that go bump in the night, including some by NBA teams. The Lakers stayed there once, but perhaps the most prominently known pseudo-ghost story involving the NBA was spun by the New York Knicks, specifically Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry, who were so spooked out they had trouble sleeping for the two nights the team stayed at the horror hotel when the team stayed there in 2010.

Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls also had a scare shortly after the Knicks’ stay, claiming his bathroom door slammed shut in the middle of the night. Like, jinkies!

But despite the reputation for supernatural goings-on at the Skirvin Hilton, at least one member of the Miami Heat wants to go on record as saying he ain’t afraid of no ghosts: forward Udonis Haslem. And he insists that if the hotel is in fact haunted, he’s more than willing to be more than accommodating to any resident poltergeists.

“I’m a pretty good guy, man. I respect everybody’s space,” he said. “If that’s the ghost’s room and they come pop up on me like that and he says it’s his spot, he can have it. There’s plenty other rooms.

“I don’t want to be in a room where somebody died or was locked up for 10 years or whatever the story’s supposed to be. I don’t want that room.”

He said he has slept fine these past few nights.

“I would have to see that to believe that,” he said. “Not saying it doesn’t exist, but I just need to see that with my own eyes. If I see it, maybe I’ll believe it then.”

Fair enough. But everyone can put on a brave face in the light of day and maintain it until they are all tucked in their bed in the dead of night and it’s dark and the noises begin and the pervasive sense of dread starts to creep in closer and closer and closer…man, I’m giving myself the willies here.

Like hey, where are Shaggy, Scooby, Fred, Daphne and Velma when you need them to put an end to these kind of terrifying tales by revealing it was all part of some nut’s master plan? In this case, if the Heat does have experiences with the paranormal while staying at the Skirvin Hilton during the NBA Finals, since it involves LeBron James, I bet the mastermind behind the purported haunting would be Old Man Gilbert, the owner of the abandoned amusement park Cleveland Cavaliers. Zoinks, indeed.

[Sun Sentinel]