Lying in the heartless area that is Hollywood is the enormous white building known as the Roosevelt Hotel. This iconic landmark is a sweet reminder that Tinseltown used to be a much different place than it is today. Before it overflowed with tourists buying fake Oscars that deem them, "World's Best Dad," it was a place where celebrities actually lived and worked. The Roosevelt was a hub for stars such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Charlie Chaplin, Montgomery Clift, and the late, great Marilyn Monroe. At the height of her modeling career, the gorgeous yet troubled (despite her good looks, shockingly) starlet lived in the hotel for two years. Today, it is rumored she still resides there, but now, as a ghost.
If you are, for some reason, not aware, Marilyn Monroe is super dead.
According to HauntedHouses.com, the authority on haunted houses, The Roosevelt is home to several apparitions, which includes Montgomery Clift and Carole Lombard. Two non-celebrity ghosts allegedly haunt what is known as the Blossom Room, one of which is a little girl who has been spotted skipping and singing. The site continues, "Guests have been locked out of their own rooms, when their doors were mysteriously locked from the inside. The switchboard in the lobby will get calls from empty rooms. Phones are lifted off their receivers in empty rooms. A maid was pushed into a closet by an unseen presence." Clearly, ghosts are assholes.
Now, what about Marilyn? A mirror that used to be in her hotel room, suite 1200, has been rumored to reflect her image on more than one occasion. A hotel employee was the first to report the incident. "When this employee was dusting the mirror, which was hanging in the manager's office at the time, she saw the reflection of a sad, blonde woman. Turning around to talk to her, the employee found no one there. Yet, when she looked back into the mirror, the blonde was still there." That blonde being Marilyn, of course.
Personally, I find Marilyn Monroe to be one of the most fascinating celebrities the history of pop culture. She led a seemingly glamorous life, touted as one of the most beautiful women in history to this day. Her beauty was her ticket to success, which she both embraced and detested. She had two high-profile marriages, one to baseball player Joe Dimaggio and another to playwright Arthur Miller, and wanted to be taken seriously as an actress, but had a clear disdain for Hollywood. Marilyn, born Norma Jeane Mortensen, was once asked by a reporter what she thought of the industry. Her response: "If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein." She died of a barbiturate overdose in her Los Angeles home on August 5, 1962 at the age of 36. The death was ruled probably suicide, but there are beliefs that she was, in fact, murdered.
It's fitting that Marilyn's spirit would frequent the Roosevelt. This hotel was once her home, before the immense fame, after all. While living here, her future was unclear. Here, she was still a dreamer, unsure if her stardom would ever catapult. She had hope here. It was here that her life was beginning to take a turn in the right direction.
I kind of relate with Marilyn at this point in her life. It's exactly where I am in my life, unsure of how things are going to go in the near future. I hope to some extent that it mirrors the success Marilyn had. She was an admirable woman who has unfortunately become far more remembered as an image than an actual person. Too many people have forgotten that Marilyn was feisty. She was complex and outspoken. To prove this, I decided to attempt the seemingly impossible: to try and have her speak for herself to me, with some help from a psychic medium and some cocktails. Marilyn never shied away from a good cocktail, but her favorite drink was champagne. Deceptively fitting, considering it's light and bubbly in nature. What better incentive to get her to talk than having some drinks with her at her favorite hotel?
I set out to find a medium who would not only agree to do this, but would also want to indulge with me some delicious spirits, while talking to spirits. My search lead me to AJ Barrera, who met me at the Roosevelt bar.
He ordered a rather simple yet refreshing Fresh Basil Gimlet, and I went with the slightly more complicated Strawberry Fields, a deliciously sweet mixture of Ketel One, strawberry, rosemary, lime, and ginger. I asked, "If I sip something other than champagne, will Marilyn still show up?" He assured me that as long as we were enjoying ourselves, she'd more than likely come through. This was good news since champagne makes me incredibly lethargic, and I figured that yawning while talking to one of the most iconic dead people in the world would be worse than having a vodka cocktail.
The Roosevelt itself is quite grandiose. The interior suggests you're somewhere important. If the table next to AJ and I wasn't taken by a group of khaki-clad frat boys, I would have seriously felt as if I had been transported to a different era.
As we sipped on our libations, AJ explained some of the basics of medium-ship and what it means to contact spirits who have passed. "The process of mediumship works on many different levels, and it depends on the medium and the sitter. The sitter has to be open to this work. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to believe it but you have to be open to knowing the information. When I work with spirits, I actually feel them. I feel how they passed away. Spirit is here to do a job and I'm just a mouthpiece for it."
With that, I forced myself to be completely open to whatever was going to happen. When it comes to psychics, mediums, and anything else spiritual or otherworldly, I adopt a, Sure, why not? attitude more-so than call bullshit. This doesn't mean that I don't know—deep down—that it's probably bullshit. I just prefer to keep a small flicker of hope inside me. In other words, I like the idea of believing in this stuff more-so than I actually believe it.
With that, we got right into it.
MUNCHIES: What does it mean that spirit is here? Can they come back and forth? Spirits are not stuck here. They can come and go as they want. As for ghosts, they actually are stuck here. They often don't know they passed away, or have unfinished business.
What about Marilyn? Do you feel her still here? Her residual energy is still here. Most people don't understand that there is residual energy. When I do this work, I basically go through a meditation. I open up my chakras and let anything that wants to come through step forward. I'm like wifi. Once I turn on that signal, anything can come through.
Author's note: The wifi signal was strong. AJ started off with me, and had come into communication with my grandfather on my dad's side. I don't know much about my father's side of the family, but I will admit that some of what he had to say got me a bit emotional. My grandfather apparently said hello, and wanted to apologize to my father for whatever reason. I made a mental note to let my dad know and we moved on to the woman we've all been waiting for: Marilyn Monroe.
AJ: I don't know too much about her history, but when I connect with that energy it doesn't come through as the happy, vibrant energy people would expect. I really feel like there's more of a personality disorder that comes here when she steps forward. There's cloudiness. I feel like the energy it's very sad--it's very depressing with how it comes through.
Depressing? How so? She seems to be taking responsibility for her death.
That's fitting, seeing that she most likely committed suicide. There is a definite sense of ownership over her passing. This is her way of not saying she's sorry, but rather that she is taking responsibility for what she did. I do feel like she had more issues she thought she could get through, but I feel like she knows that if she had still been here, she would have seen things would get less difficult over time. A quote keeps coming into my mind. I think it's from Oprah, who is still here, thank God. Actually, I think it's Maya Angelou, and it basically says, "You shine so bright, you have no idea how bright your future is." I feel like she did not know how bright her future was. This is her way of saying, "I fucked up" to be quite honest. Can you get a sense of how she looks on the other side? Is she unhappy, or has she let herself go? I'm seeing her with long hair. She wants us to know that she still has her beauty. She is also making me feel like she is over there with a separate individual. I feel like this person is more connected with emphysema or lung cancer. She is signaling that he is there with her.
She was married to Joe Dimaggio and Arthur Miller. The baseball player? Did he have a lung condition? I can definitely tell you whomever she's with had a lung condition. I'm feeling tightness in my chest. Regardless, this would be her way of saying, "That's who I'm with on the other side." I can assure you that she is over there with some of her family members as well. OK, wait. This might sound crazy, but by any chance would she know John Wayne? I see an image of a cowboy. I seriously feel like John Wayne is coming through with her. He's stepping forward with Marilyn. Really? I have the urge to touch my face. Not like I have facial hair, but like ruggedness. That let's me know he is stepping forward. Does John have anything to say? No, it's just Marilyn talking. I feel like Marilyn wants me to stress about her drug addiction over her career, even though her career is big, big thing. Her energy is just saying "I was so lost. I'm so lost." That's what I keep hearing. So she's still lost? When people have certain issues here in the physical realm, they're not done. They take those issues with them to the other side. This is part of her way of recovering, or evolving on the other side. I don't think she looks at herself as an icon. She knows that she's one, but she doesn't want to be looked upon as that. However, she is letting me know she still puts herself on a pedestal. She just said, "I am the mecca of people." I can see her face, and there is a smile. It's funny because I just asked her, "What about the movies?" and I just heard, "I don't want to talk about the movies." Can you find out if she would have still been acting later in life? Is it something she would have stopped doing? No. She wouldn't keep doing the movie thing. If she was still here, her life would still be in recovery. She'd be hidden. I truly feel like she did not want to be around people. I feel at the same time that she loved the attention. This is something she couldn't overcome. This is part of her way of saying, "I'm OK with what I did with myself, but I'm not okay with how I left things behind". What does she do now as a spirit? I would say she is still around. Is she here right now? Possibly. Spirits spend a lot of time at their favorite placesYou know what I'm hearing? "Who gives a fuck about my body?" She doesn't care about her body. I am who I am. She's coming through as, "I don't want to think about my looks. I want to come across as a normal human being." That's usually not how celebrities come across with me. She is more of a teacher now. Is she maybe bored on the other side? I see her sitting at a bar with a martini. She is having a cocktail with us. She is enjoying her life on the other side. Are spirits able to keep up with the times of what's going on right now? Absolutely. They can see so much more than what we can see because of what we're not connected to. They can come and go and see anything that they want. She doesn't want to talk about the lifestyle and being famous. She wants to talk more about the lifestyle behind being famous. I thought she was going to go more into the fluff of Hollywood, but she wants to talk more about what it did to her. It's a different story from any other dead celebrity I've spoken to.
And that was it. AJ got what he could out of the movie star, who apparently wouldn't have remained a movie star had she not died so suddenly. He stressed how deeply Marilyn felt she needed to educate, which feels appropriate. She doesn't want others to follow in her footsteps. We ordered a round of vodka sodas and left Marilyn alone, bearing in mind that she just might be having another martini with us. Maybe some champagne. Sipping on my second drink, I thought more about The Roosevelt itself. With cocktails like these, it makes sense that there's the occasional guest who refuses to ever leave. I know this is a place I'm sure to come back to, and when I do, I'll get myself that champagne cocktail as a thanks to Marilyn.