The famous Omni Shoreham Hotel in Northwest Washington, D.C. have long been plagued by two mysterious deaths at room 870: housekeeper Juliette Brown, and Grace P R Eames, wife of the hotel’s former shareholder Henry L. Doherty. Since then, numerous paranormal activities have been reported in and around the suite. In 2019, Shoreham Hotel made the list in the “25 most haunted hotel in the U.S.” article realised by the Historic Hotels of America.
Room 870 is now said to be the most haunted room in the Omni Shoreham Hotel. In fact, it has been designated by the hotel as “The Ghost Suite”.
Two people were said to have died in the suite during the early days of Shoreham Hotel. During the initial months of Shoreham’s operation, room 870 was occupied by Henry Doherty, one of the hotel’s main shareholder. One day, the family’s housekeeper Juliette Brown was found dead in the room with a phone left hanging on the bed. Investigations revealed that Juliette has been feeling unwell the day before and had reached dialled the phone in the morning to call for a doctor.
In another incident, Doherty’s wife Grace P R Eames passed away in room 870 due to failing health.
It was widely believed that Doherty’s adopted daughter Helen Lee Doherty Lassen also passed away in room 870 from a drug overdose. This is however untrue as Helen as cemetery records have revealed that she had n fact passed away at Holme-Olstrup, Denmark in 1964.
After the mysterious death of the Juliette and Grace, the room was left empty for over 50 years. In the late 1990s, room 870 was refurbished and made available for booking for the first time since the completion of Omni Shoreham Hotel. However, it did not take long before guests of the luxurious suite began reporting strange activities in the room.
On many occasions, visitors would find their personal belonging being shifted across the room. Lights and the TV were also said to turn on by itself at 4 a.m., which is the reported time of death of Juliette. Guests staying in the neighbouring suite have also claimed to have heard strange noises from room 870 when it was unoccupied.
The most chilling tales from guests staying on the 8th floor involved the sighting of a woman in an old-fashioned white dress strolling along the hallways on the 8th floor.
Today, the legendary room 870, or “The Ghost Suite”, can only be booked upon special request or if the rest of the rooms in the hotel are fully booked.
History of the Omni Shoreham Hotel
The historic Omni Shoreham Hotel was built in 1930 by Harry Bralove, owner of a local construction company owner. In spite of the Great Depression which lasted from 1929 to the late 1930s, Bralove was determined to build a majestic hotel in the country’s capital.
The massive hotel was completed in under a year and at a cost of $4 million, today’s equivalent of $655 million. Shoreham Hotel’s grand opening saw over 5,000 people attend the inauguration.
Bralove had succeeded in building a hotel that represented the nation; it became the default venue for the inaugural ball of every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 to Bill Clinton in 1993. The hotel also became a popular leisure spot for many of the presidents. Both President Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy were regularly spotted in the hotel’s legendary Blue Room.
Over the years, Shoreham Hotel have also played host to numerous politicians, dignitaries and celebrities including Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon, and renown musician Aretha Franklin and The Beatles. The hotel was also featured in two films: No Way Out (1987) and Shattered Glass (2003)
In 1983, the hotel was acquired by Omni Hotels and Resorts and was rebranded as “Omni Shoreham Hotel”
Today, the hotel is fitted with 834 guest rooms and several meeting spaces, making it one of the largest hotel in D.C and a popular option for large-scale business events and conferences. In 2001, it received four diamonds from American Automobile Association (AAA). It is also a member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America.