The Haunted Grove Park Inn
The Grove Park Inn was conceptualized by Edwin Wiley Grove (1850–1927) with the help of his son-in-law Fred Loring Seely (1871–1942). Edwin Wiley Grove was known as the “Father of Modern Asheville”. In the late 1890s, Grove introduced the Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove has sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. Edwin believed the Asheville, North Carolina climate would have health benefits and be the ideal location for a resort. His doctors sent him there to determine if the climate would help reduce or cure his bouts with extreme hiccups, which would last several weeks at a time.
E. W. Grove began to accumulate the land for the inn and his Grove Park-Kimberly Avenue developments in 1910. He bought several farms and sloped areas all the way to the top of Sunset Mountain. Grove bought and demolished several TB sanitariums in his zeal to change the face of Asheville. Construction began in 1912 and was completed in 11 months and 27 days. This was accomplished by paying high wages to the dedicated workers. Circus tents were erected on the job site to house the workers. Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. He had no idea of how true his words would become when he proclaimed that The Grove Park Inn “was built for the ages.” The hotel was outfitted with furnishings from the Roycrofters of East Aurora, New York, one of the most important designers and manufacturers of Arts and Crafts furniture, metal work and other accessories. The hotel was built of rough granite stones and the expansive lobby is noted for its enormous granite fireplaces and expansive porch with its scenic overlook.
Many famous guests have stayed at this inn, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Elbert Hubbard, Helen Keller, Woodrow Wilson, John D. Rockefeller, Gen. John J. Pershing, Dean Smith, Jerry Seinfeld, John Waters, David & Amy Sedaris, Mischa Barton, Mike Huckabee, former NC Governor Bev Perdue, Sanjay Gupta, Trey Anastasio, Charles Schwab, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Enrico Caruso, Harry Houdini, Al Jolson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bobby Jones, Wiley Post, Will Rogers, Bill Tilden, Billy Graham, Barack Obama, William Shatner, Don Cheadle, Vijay Kansupada, Raziel Reid and many others. .F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed at the hotel for two years to write while his wife was in an insane asylum in Asheville. The rooms in which he stayed, 441 and 443, are available for guests. One is furnished exactly as it was during his stay in the 1930s. Rooms in which famous people stayed are marked by plaques on the door saying who stayed there and when.
Reported since the 1920s, the mysterious Pink Lady at The Omni Grove Park Inn has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for more than a half century. Little was known about the Pink Lady - just a swirl of stories about a young woman dressed in pink who fell to her death in the Palm Court atrium around 1920. Mere rumors, tales and lore weaving through the inn's rich history. In 1996, the Omni Grove Park Inn conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon and the resulting evidence focused on room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor. Research suggests the Pink Lady ghost is the grandmother of the noted local author Bruce Johnson. Others have suggested it was a young woman, dressed in pink in the 1920s, falling to her death in the Palm Court over the stone wall from an upper floor. Though her body was removed, it seems that her spirits has lingered behind.
Many get cold chills on the wa to room 545, so severe they never attempt again to enter. Others have seen the Pink Lad as an apparition of "real dense smoke -- a pinkish pastel that just flows... a real gentle spirit". Others have seen her standing at an elevator when the door opens, slowing disappearing in front of their eyes.
The pink lady seems especially drawn to children. In fact, after a family visit to the inn, a doctor once wrote that his children told him that “they enjoyed playing with the lady in the pink dress”. Her pranks are child-like in nature, also; some guests have reported that their feet have been tickled at nighttime, the air conditioning has been turned off and on, as have the lights, and she has been blamed for doors and windows being opened.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
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