Omni Shoreham Hotel

Posted by junketseo in Washington DC Ghost Tours
Omni Shoreham Hotel - Photo

This sprawling historic hotel is located in the northwest part of Washington, D.C., and has stood watch over the city since its conception in 1930. While not as old as other haunted hotels on the roster, the Omni Shoreham Hotel has seen its fair share of strange happenings and perhaps even the haunting of a room that is now only known as ‘The Ghost Suite.’ So, who is this specter hanging around? Read on to find out the captivating history of the Omni Shoreham, and join us as we try to uncover the hauntings reported there.

Looking to unmask the hauntings of the capital for yourself? Join us for a hauntingly fun and historically accurate Washington D.C. Ghost Tour!


History of the Omni Shoreham Hotel


The Omni Shoreham Hotel was the brainchild of Harry Bralove, a local real estate mogul who wanted to construct lavish apartments in the heart of Washington, D.C. Instead, he decided to create the Omni Shoreham Hotel, a luxury lodging that would serve the city and became known as its ‘Grand Dame.’

His construction company broke ground in 1929 in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood, and alongside respected architect Joseph Abel, they brought the Omni Shoreham to life. Using a beautiful mixture of Art Deco and Renaissance Revival design, the aesthetic nature of the hotel has persisted in making it one of the best-looking hotels in the United States to this day.

Abel also oversaw the installation of cutting-edge amenities at the time, including running ice water, high-speed elevators, and fireproof walls.

After a $4 million investment, when the hotel was finally ready for her big debut, it stood as one of the finest and most luxurious destinations throughout the entirety of Washington, D.C. Bralove formally inaugurated the hotel on October 30th, 1930, with a party that brought almost 5,000 people to the space.

Over the years, the Omni Shoreham Hotel has hosted countless entertainers, including Aretha Franklin, Eartha Kitt, Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, and even the Smothers Brothers.

The Omni Shoreham soon became one of the most established haunts (pun intended) for some of the nation’s most prolific politicians. The hotel oversaw seven U.S. Senators, 18 congresspeople, and more than a dozen of the nation’s Presidents throughout its history. President Harry Truman was even considered a regular at the hotel, playing poker regularly in Room 406D with the Speaker of the House, John McCormack. President Kennedy was another common guest who often enjoyed sips of hotel bar cocktails in the Blue Room with his adoring wife.

The Omni Shoreham truly captures the best of the nation’s capital and has been one of the leading members of the Historic Hotels of America organization since it was recognized in 2007. Even more, Historic Hotels of America included the Omni Shoreham on its list of the country’s Top 25 Most Haunted Hotels.


Haunting Tragedies of the Omni Shoreham Hotel


The hotel, located at 2500 Calvert St NW, opened its doors in 1930 and was immediately bombarded with tragedy.

During Shoreham’s early years, three people died in Suite 870 unexpectedly. At that time, the apartment was occupied by one of the hotel’s owners, Henry Doherty. Juliette Brown, the family’s housekeeper, dropped dead mysteriously one night at 4 am. Doherty’s daughter and wife also perished mysteriously in the same suite. During its vacancy, there were claims of mysterious noises, doors slamming shut, and furniture moving — many of which happened around 4 am, the time of Juliette’s death.

Guests who stay in Room 870 experience the shock of the front desk clerk as they check-in and the fright of a lifetime once they spend the night in the suite. This was said about the suite in The Washingtonian:

Suite 870 at the Omni Shoreham has a couple of things that make it stand out among the thousands of hotel rooms in Washington. First, it has a view—the penthouse suite’s terrace offers a breathtaking view of Rock Creek Park, with the Arlington skyline, Air Force Memorial, and Washington Monument peeking above the trees in the distance.

A guest who stayed in this presidential suite had some experiences of his own:

The clerk’s wide eyes went from her computer screen to my face. “Did anything . . . ?” She trailed off, hoping I’d fill in details. She probably wanted me to tell her about the unexplained noises in the three-bedroom suite or about lights turning off on their own. Maybe she hoped I would tell her I had spent the last hour before dawn on the terrace, hedging my bets that whatever was inside wouldn’t step out for fresh air.

All I could think of to say was the truth: “I’m not entirely sure what just happened up there.”

“She usually won’t let me inside,” the clerk said, referring, I assumed, to the resident ghost. “Almost every time I have to go up there, I can’t get the key to work. Some folks here won’t even go inside.”

Even after renovating the suite and attempting to use it to draw in ghost aficionados, the Omni Shoreham has difficulty renting out the haunted room. There’s even a plaque on the suite’s door designating it as ‘The Ghost Suite.’

Even the boss had a run-in with the resident spirit, Juliette. He was working at another property when current manager Todd Scartozzi stayed in the suite with his family. His daughter cried out in the middle of the night that there was someone in the closet. The closets in the ghost suite are equipped with motion detectors that flip lights on if they sense movement. As he sat with his young daughter on the bed motionless, the lights in the closet flipped on and turned off, turning on again later.

In Conclusion

So, what do you think? Could the spirit haunting the Ghost Suite be that of the family housekeeper who unexpectedly passed away? Or perhaps it’s someone else, just as mysterious and unknown as the causes of the hotel’s hauntings. Whoever it is, the spirit is just as active today as it was decades ago.

Are you brave enough to book the Ghost Suite at the Omni Shoreham Hotel? What about a Washington, D.C. ghost tour with DC Ghosts?