I felt very compelled to share my experience of staying at the notorious Chelsea Hotel last night, as today it is still rattling me to the bone.
I had a shoot last night, Wednesday, at the hotel in room 501. I found out it was an incredible suite on a floor very famous for housing great artists and legends like Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious, and Dylan Thomas.
I’ve had a love affair with the idea of being like the little girl “Eloise” who lived and roamed the hotel hallways, since I was a kid, and always wanted to visit this historical hotel. Last night, when I was first to arrive, strange things began happening that are still unsettling to me. Throughout the evening, several knocks were at my door, keys rattled, my water turned on, and it was unbearably cold while the outside NYC weather was in the 70′s.
With such history, such as the deaths of people like Arthur Miller and Dylan Thomas – and murder like the Sid and Nancy homicide … I felt uneasy, and a joyous unnerving feeling that I have yet to shake today.
I am sharing this, and risking my reputation to be perceived as a “nut”, because I am fascinated with what I have found online regarding haunting of this hotel. Countless reenactments, blogs, stories, and books seem to have been written regarding similar experiences that I had.
Over the last century, the Chelsea has seen its share of drugs, alcohol, immoral behavior, death and despair. All of these events have seemed to leave their mark on the hotel’s very walls, causing many to claim that the hotel is indeed haunted.
Many who have stayed in the hotel have claimed to see the apparition of Sid Vicious near the elevator, or at the top of the elevator shaft. The apparitions of Dylan Thomas, Eugene O’Neil and Thomas Wolfe have also been seen in their transparent forms in various parts of the building, scaring those on the first floor who have been open enough to witness it.
Now, I did not see the ghost of Sid, nor Nancy, or Thomas … But, I did feel something, so compelling and exciting I am sharing it with my readers today. I highly recommend this place, even for the non believer- who is interested in being a part of some sort of “history”. A history of New York visitors-artists, musicians, authors, auteurs, actors.
Incredibly enough, the Chelsea still houses many long term residents, who have their own stories regarding the above characters, and they remain in their units as reminders of the past, and the present. How rare a place like the Chelsea is in today’s modern times. I highly recommend a visit to this place. A place certainly for the living, the in between, and the dead.