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The Ghost of Dorothy Parker Stops Haunting New York City’s Algonquin Hotel after 50 years
In a shocking turn of events, it seems that the ghost of Dorothy Parker, the renowned American writer, has stopped haunting the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. The iconic hotel, known for its rich history and literary significance, had been plagued by Parker’s spirit for over half a century. Local historians speculate that her restless soul finally found peace when her ashes were finally laid to rest alongside her family in the Bronx.
Parker’s remains had suffered numerous indignities over the years, including being stored in a filing cabinet in a downtown Manhattan law office for 17 long years. However, her ghostly presence continued to be felt at the Algonquin Hotel, where she was a member of the famous Algonquin Round Table – a gathering of literary luminaries of the early 20th century.
The news of Parker’s departure from the hotel came as a surprise to experts and enthusiasts alike. Greg Young, the host and producer of the popular “Bowery Boys” podcast, which chronicles the history of New York City, commented on the development, saying, “You can certainly argue that since Parker’s ashes have been returned to New York City, she no longer haunts the Algonquin.”
Kevin Fitzpatrick, the founder of the Dorothy Parker Society, was equally stunned by the news. He had personally ensured that Parker’s ashes were laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, next to her parents and grandparents, in August 2020. Fitzpatrick expressed his amazement, stating, “Oh wow. That’s incredible,” upon learning that Parker’s ghost had seemingly left the Algonquin after more than 50 years of alleged hauntings.
Parker’s presence at the Algonquin Hotel was part of its rich haunting history. Paranormal investigators had uncovered various inexplicable activities during their visits to the hotel. The hotel’s sub-sub-basement was particularly notorious for its ghostly occurrences. Investigator Doug McMillan, who had spent several hours there with Fitzpatrick in 2016, commented, “There were definitely some unresolved issues manifesting themselves down there.”
Claims of Parker’s ghostly encounters were supported by reports from visitors, including children who claimed to have been scolded by a “mean woman” in a painting of the Algonquin Round Table members. A night spent by reporter Kelly Conaboy of Gawker at the hotel in 2015 further fueled the belief in Parker’s presence. She used various tools, such as an electromagnetic field reader, an Ouija board, and a crystal pendulum, to communicate with the dead. While she could not confirm all the members’ presence, eight of them reportedly responded positively, suggesting that Parker “may be” present.
The Algonquin Hotel itself has long been associated with hauntings, with Parker’s spirit being one of the most notable. Elle Decor even named it one of the “most haunted hotels in the world” in 2018, specifically highlighting Parker’s ghost. Renovations in the hotel’s attic reportedly led to unexplained noises and even a photograph of Parker flying off the wall and shattering.
Parker, a prominent figure in American literature, had a remarkable career. She played a significant role in shaping The New Yorker magazine, wrote lyrics for Bing Crosby’s hit song “I Wished on the Moon,” and made noteworthy contributions to the world of Hollywood, particularly as one of the screenwriters of “A Star Is Born.” Her wit and clever quotes continue to be celebrated today.
Unfortunately, Parker’s life ended on a somber note. Despite her fame, she died childless and bequeathed her assets to Martin Luther King Jr., whom she greatly admired but had never met. When King was assassinated just months after Parker’s death, her assets were transferred to the NAACP, as stipulated by her will.
For almost 20 years, Parker’s ashes remained in anonymity, interred in a simple memorial next to a parking lot at the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore. However, Fitzpatrick and members of the Dorothy Parker Society launched an effort to have her remains disinterred and returned to New York City. In 2020, her ashes were finally brought back and buried alongside her family in Woodlawn Cemetery. Fitzpatrick reminisced about the emotional experience, saying, “It was an out-of-body experience having her box next to me, knowing it was Dorothy Parker’s last ride.”
The Algonquin Hotel may still be haunted by other spirits, as per various reports and legends. However, it seems that Dorothy Parker’s ghost has finally found peace. As Greg Young remarked, “These ghost stories become real because people retell them and believe them.” Whether Parker’s departure from the hotel was a mere coincidence or a true cessation of her haunting presence, only time will tell.