The Haunting of the Chelsea Hotel

Chelsea Hotel – New York County, New York, New York

Photograph ©Sam Rohn ~Location Scout, NewYorkLocations.Com

222 West 23rd Street
New York, New York 10011
(212) 243-3700

Built in 1884, the Chelsea Hotel was originally an apartment complex. The owners of the complex filed bankruptcy in 1905 and then the building was sold and soon afterward it became the Hotel that it is today.

In the early nineteenth century, the Chelsea had a tendency to attract low income clientele, as well as, those who conducted illegal businesses within its sound proof walls.

By the 1950’s, the Chelsea started attracting artistic types and over the years since, it has given creativity to such names as Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix and Dylan Thomas. Dylan Thomas actually died in room 206 in 1953 after going on a bender that led to alcohol poisoning. Dylan’s last words are said to have been, “I’ve had eighteen straight whiskeys, and I think that’s a record!”

Another death to take place in the building was in 1978. Former musician for the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious, and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, were living at the hotel after Sid’s career took a plunge. One morning Sid called the police, requesting that they come to his apartment right away. When officers arrived, they found Nancy lying in a pool of her own blood with a knife protruding from her side. Sid was arrested for murder but died of a heroin overdose before he ever served jail time.

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 hotels very walls, causing many to claim that the hotel is haunted.

Many who have stayed in the hotel have claimed to see the apparition of Sid Vicious near the elevator. 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.

Some of the other reports here consist of cold spots or gust of cold air that come out of nowhere. Many have claimed that they were followed by phantom footsteps, touched, tapped or pushed while in their rooms or walking in the hallways. Others have stated that their personal items were thrown across the rooms or moved during the night. Lights and televisions are said to turn on and off at will. Water from the showers and sinks come on for no plausible reason. And, many have also claimed to hear whispers or muted conversations right in the room with them when no one present could have been responsible.

Today, the Chelsea Hotel continues to thrive and still seems to magically attract famous writers, actors, poets and musicians. Patrons still report paranormal activity. Apparitions still walk the hallow hallways. And many unsuspecting guests are still known to experience the hair on the back of their necks standing on end. The Chelsea is and may always be a safe haven for, not only the living, but also the dead.