Friday, October 25, 2013
Haunted Manhattan: The Algonquin Hotel. Coffin Hop 2013
By the 1920s a group of literary luminaries met daily for lunch at The Algonquin's Round Table, among them Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Franklin Pierce, Robert Sherwood, Harpo Marx, Alexander Woollcott, Harold Ross, George S. Kauffman, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, and Edna Ferber. This group, known as "The Vicious Circle", cemented the hotel's fame for centuries to come.
As the country sank into the difficult years of the Great Depression, the hotel owner, who'd always had a soft spot for celebrities, let struggling writers eat for free. The rumor got around, and soon big names like William Faulkner were adding to the place's mystique. It is said that Faulkner wrote the first draft of his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech while at the Algonquin.
And so, it is only logical that after so many fates where directed from the tables of the Hotel's restaurant, and so many golden days were spent within its wall, that some of its former visitors decided to stay. Forever.
Reports range from paranormal singing in the elevator, noises of furniture being dragged across the recently renovated room on the 13th floor, sightings of Dorothy Parker in the bar, and ghostly steps on the staircase.
So, what happened to me?
Well, nothing, besides a lovely lunch with my husband. We went there during the summer, enjoying of a rare change to go out by ourselves since the girls were in Mexico with my parents. I insisted on eating at the famous Round Table, asked the waiter about the story of the place, and snooped around.
The Algonquin Hotel is a place steeped in history and I felt a special connection to it since I'm myself a struggling writer. And even though no preternatural figures visited us, we couldn't avoid to feel under the shadow of some of the greatest minds ever.
For a chance to win a copy of DEATH BY DRIVE-IN, the Coffin Hop anthology, tell me about an experience that made you re-evaluate your position in history. The winner will be selected randomly from the comments, and announced here on my next post.
Don't forget to stop by the rest of the participating blogs!