This elegant Spanish Colonial Style hotel was the handiwork of architects, Fisher, Lake and Traver, and named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt. Within the gilded walls of its elegant 320 rooms, 38 suites, and 65 poolside cabanas, glitterati from another time and place dined, drank, danced and enjoyed secret liaisons with lovers far away from the roving, judgmental eyes of the press and adoring movie fans.

The grand opening celebration on May 15, 1927, was star-studded, including among others, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, and Clara Bow. It cost $2.5 million dollars to complete ($33.9 million in today's dollars).

The Hotel Roosevelt has a colorful and haunted past

Down through the decades, the Blossom Ballroom has been the site of many receptions and social events. The first two Academy Awards banquets (1929 and 1930) were held here, and during the hotel’s first restoration in the 1980s, a mysterious cold spot appeared in one small section of the ballroom. It was said to be about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the room. The source of the chill, despite physic investigations, remains a mystery, and marks only one of many eerie stories and odd occurrences.

Some celebrity ghosts still maintain residence at the Hotel Roosevelt

Some celebrities made their Hollywood home here before they became famous. The most prominent of these are Marilyn Monroe, Carole Lombard and Montgomery Clift.

Marilyn Monroe resided at one of the cabanas and her first professional magazine shoot took place at the hotel’s pool. Her ghost has been seen a number of times reflected in a full-length mirror, which was originally situated in her poolside suite (#1200). Today, this same mirror stands on the hotel’s lower level, next to the elevator.

Tormented method actor, Montgomery Clift, lived in Room 928 for three months in 1952 where he paced the halls practicing his lines, playing the trumpet and preparing for his powerful role in From Here to Eternity. According to nearby guests, the sounds of a trumpet playing can still be heard along the 9th floor corridor.

Over the years, some employees have refused to work on this floor and particularly Room 928, where housekeepers have felt the presence of something unseen that either watches or walks beside them as they attend to their chores.

The 12th floor penthouse, which is a 3,200-square foot duplex with an outdoor deck and beautiful view of the Hollywood Hills and its famous sign, was the intimate setting for Clark Gable and Carole Lombard’s steamy affair for which they paid $5 per night! Today that same room is available for the hefty sum of $3,500. The ghost of glamorous Carole Lombard has been seen here several times over the years.

Spirits also haunt some of the other floors. Tales abound about a little girl with a ponytail wearing a blue dress and a mysterious man in a white suit who has been seen walking through a door before vanishing from sight.

Former Saturday Night Live cast member, Ana Gasteyer, witnessed a piano playing by itself while staying in one of the suites. Voices emanate from empty rooms as well as the clacking of a phantom typewriter. Lights go on and off, and perhaps worst of all, a maid reported being pushed into a supply closet.

There is so much to see and do in this beautiful hotel that was built to enthrall and inspire. One of the most haunted places in America, come visit and stay in one of the more…challenging suites. That is, if you dare.

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