Haunted Hotels: NBA Playoffs Scarier For Some Teams

Facing off in the NBA playoffs against teams with great players like Lebron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Steph Curry, etc. is scary in and of itself for their opponents.

But for teams traveling to Milwaukee to play the Bucks, like the Boston Celtics are doing, or the Utah Jazz going to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder, containing “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Triple-Double machine Russell Westbrook may not be their only problems.

You see the the 125 year-old  Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee and the 103 year-old Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, have been rumored to be haunted for years. Players from NBA teams and Major League Baseball ones who have stayed there  have added fuel to this paranormal fire.

Skirvin 1Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City

Caron Butler, a now retired-N.B.A. veteran stayed at the Skirvin many times during his 13 year career, told the New York Times in 2014 in an article brilliantly titled “Fright Night,” “everyone in the league knows about her,” referring to an apparition house keeper named “Effie.”

(Do you need to tip an apparition? What’s the etiquette on that?)

“Large men unafraid of attacking the lane, diving headfirst into the seats or lobbing pressure-packed shots shudder at the mere thought of Effie,” author John Branch wrote in the article.

Among Effie’s alleged (apparitions might have lawyers too) transgressions detailed by Branch:  Then-Chicago Bulls player Taj Gibson couldn’t explain why his bathroom door slammed shut. Then-Phoenix Suns player Wesley Johnson awoke to find his bathtub filled with water (maybe a ghostly hygiene hint?).”

Effie is further alleged to proposition men with her voice or appear alongside them in the shower! She’s been reported pushing a baby carriage in the hallways and the sound of a baby has been heard crying at night with no corresponding infant in the vicinity.

Branch wrote that Effie and the Skirvin NBA phenomenon has its roots in a January 2010 game where some members of the New York Knicks were not happy with their accommodations the previous night.

“The place is haunted,” Jared Jeffries  said to The Daily News about the Skirvin. “It’s scary.”

“I definitely believe there are ghosts in that hotel,” Eddy Curry told The Daily News.

Some Skirvin History: 

Adding to its legend and lore, the Skirvin was vacant for nearly 20 years before it was renovated and reopened as the Skirvin Hilton in 2007. Wandering apparitions could have squatted in the place. It’s been depicted as happening before. See our post titled “A Ghost Story: Stream Of Consciousness On The Movie.

The Skirvin’s alleged haunted history precedes itself, even for some players who have never experienced anything paranormal there.  Speaking to NBA.Com in 2016 in an article, then-Lakers players  Lou Williams and  Larry Nance Jr. refused to stay at the Skirvin.  They paid for their own rooms at the nearby Colcord Hotel.

“I’d rather pay for my peace of mind,” said Williams, who also refuses to stay at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee for the same reason. “If they say it’s haunted, that’s enough for me. I’m not going to roll the dice.”

The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee:


The Prister Hotel is 125 years old, first opening its doors in 1893. It was billed as the  Grand Hotel of the West and presented as a “welcoming and luxurious meeting place,” writes the hotel’s website.    The Prister has quite a history, and a well-done video explaining it.

Here’s some links to stories explaining why some professional athletes haven’t been thrilled with their experiences.

From ESPN: The Haunting Of MLB’s A-List

From the article:

“The famed Pfister Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in America, and arguably the world. It is a historical landmark in Milwaukee which is the home of professional baseball and basketball teams whenever they are in town. Major league baseball players have reported a wide range of paranormal activity when they stayed in the hotel. Some of the things they reported are electrical anomalies, object manipulations and apparitions.”

Now if you should stay at either the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee or theSkirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, please, please remember to share any paranormal experience with us. Remember our recent post: A Spooky Call To Action: Share Your Experiences With Us 

Ok, that appears to be a wrap on this first installment of Haunted Hotels. Remember if you visit them, someone will leave the light on for you (they just might not be very-life like or human.)

Michael Mink

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