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Get Spooked at the Omni Shoreham This Thursday

It’s kind of like the Bates Motel but more local (in Woodley Park) and, we hope, with no Hitchcockian shower scenes. The Omni Shoreham Hotel has a suite (number 870) that’s notorious for three unexplained deaths that occurred there in the 1930s. The housekeeper of Henry Doherty, one of the hotel’s owners, dropped dead while calling the front desk; Doherty’s wife and daughter also died there mysteriously. Now you get why it’s called the Ghost Suite?

Risk your life—rather, check out the historic space this Thursday from 5 PM to 9 PM, when the Omni Shoreham will escort guests through suite 870 as Washingtonian contributor Eric Nuzum (author of “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost” in the November issue) shares his sleepover experience inside the possessed suite. Over the years, housekeeping carts have gone missing, guests have reported “gusts of wind” when windows were closed, and lights have randomly flickered at 4 AM. Nuzum, who is something of a ghost expert himself—his cultural history of vampires, The Dead Travel Fast, was published last month—will tell stories about the room’s history.

Haunted or hoax? Either way, the suite is worth checking out—if only for the Halloween-themed drinks, such as Witch’s Grog, Pumpkin Margarita, and “Embalming” Juice (mmm, alcoholic formaldehyde). Menu items, including black chips with pumpkin salsa, range from $4 to $8. There’s no cover charge, but guests must be 21 or older. Since the mysterious 1930s deaths, the room has been fully redesigned and restored and is opened only on rare occasions. Like this one.

Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St., NW (at Connecticut Ave.); 202-234-0700.


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