The Chelsea Hotel, New York is reguarded as being in the top ten of most haunted hotels in the world. It was built in 1883, when the area was the center of the theater district. Maybe that is why it always seemed to attract talented, yet troubled artists. It was first divided into private apartments. The owners of the complex filed bankruptcy in 1905 and 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 Eugene O'Neil, Thomas Wolfe, and Arthur C. Clarke (who wrote 2001: A Space Oddyssey while in residence). Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix and Dylan Thomas. Poet Dylan Thomas actually died at the Chelsea in room 206 in 1953 after going on a drinking binge 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!
Author Charles R. Jackson ("The Lost Weekend") committed suicide in his Chelsea room in 1968. Charles James, often referred to as America' first couturier, died in his room in 1978, after living there for fourteen years. Another death to take place in the building was in 1978 in room 100. 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. After a drug binge, Nancy was found stabbed to death on October 12, 1978. Sid had no idea if he did it or if someone broke in and killed Nancy. Before he could stand trial, Sid overdosed on heroin, an injection some believe his mother gave him because he told her he couldn't stand going back to jail.
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 have left their mark on the hotels very walls, causing many to claim that the hotel is haunted.
Residents and visitors of the hotel have claimed to have seen the ghost of Sid Vicious close to the first floor elevator. There have been some cases where guests have had reported paranormal activity in and around room 100 these include large temperature fluctuations, orbs have been seen. Some guest have reported loud music coming from room 100 and others have heard raised voices and the sound of a couple arguing, but on check out they find that the room is unoccupied.
Sightings of Thomas Wolfe's ghost have been reported on the 8th floor. In room 206 a guest woke early in the morning to see the ghostly face of Dylan Thomas watching her from the end of the bed, the face slowly dissipated after several seconds. Other guests have complained of loud footsteps pacing the corridor outside the room on investigation the corridor is always empty. In room 124 the ghost of an unknown man has been seen in and around the bathroom.
In the most recent report, a woman, her sister, and their mother reported problems with the lights, writing "the lights in our bathroom and hallway went off and on over and over while we were there," later adding they heard a high-pitched woman's scream, a sink that kept turning on and off, and strange bubbles rising up from the drain. After taking a seemingly normal picture of a closet in the room, there appeared to be a skeleton peaking out from behind the door frame. It is the top photo on the right.
Even the Star Lounge in the basement has seen paranormal activity such as a power cuts, lights being switched on and off and objects being moved around. There have also been cases of the furniture being rearranged and strange noises.