The Dark History Of The Claypool Hotel
The Claypool Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana was a grand hotel in its day. It replaced the Bates Hotel that hosted Abraham Lincoln as he made a historic speech. It had eight stories, over 500 rooms, a theater, ballroom and a garden on the roof. But all this gold and glitter didn’t hide the fact that it had a dark history and it finally came to an unseemly end.
Corporal Maoma Ridings – 1943
Corporal Maoma Ridings was a physical therapist who once treated a very special patient. She offered her services to FDR while he was at the Warm Springs Infantile Paralysis Foundation in Georgia. Things seem to be going very well for Maoma, that is until she checked herself into the Claypool Hotel. She was on leave and she traveled to Indianapolis which she had done many times before. In fact, she even had a date scheduled later that evening with another Corporal from the local base at Camp Atterbury, but she never made it.
At approximately 8:00 PM that evening, a housekeeper entered Maoma’s room and was shocked to find her partially nude body laying between the door and the bed just a short distance from a pool of blood. Upon investigation, curious details turned up about the events leading up to the tragic event. After just 30 minutes from check-in, the bellboy Alfred Bayne Jr delivered 6 bottles of pop and ice to the room. He stated he saw another woman with Maoma who was dressed in black with a hat and veil. An hour later, another call to room service was made and this time bellboy Robert Wolfington was delivering more ice, but when he knocked no one answered. He let himself in and a feminine voice told him to leave the ice and take a quarter for a tip. Three hours later and the housekeeper finds Maoma dead on the floor.
Police noticed a few oddities around the room, a broken whisky bottle with no blood on it, the bed was unruffled but a corner was turned down, and Maoma’s cape and underwear were neatly folded in a pile on the top. Blood was splattered throughout the room, but it didn’t appear to be a struggle. A call came in while the investigators were there, which turned out to be her date for the night. The bellboys and her date were all cleared and no one has ever been charged with her murder. For more on the story, you can check out The Examiner
Dorothy Poore was found stuffed in a dresser drawer at the Claypool in 1954. Actually, she was not a registered guest at the Claypool, but instead she was staying at the Lorraine Hotel while she looked for a job. Her body was already badly decomposed after being dead for 36 hours, and the stench was so bad they had to evacuate the entire 6th floor. Fortunately in this case, fingerprints were found and they managed to track down Victor Lively who said the murder was an accident, but if it was, why did he check in as Jack O’Shea.
On June 23rd, 1967, the Claypool finally closed after a fire that started in the 4th-floor utility room. It turned out to be too devasting to recover from and was determined to be arson. Fortunately, everyone was able to evacuate safely. The hotel was finally torn down in 1969.
The Claypool is no longer there, but that doesn’t mean that the imprint of what happened has gone away. The Embassy Suites is now in its place and activity has been reported. Lights mysteriously go on and off, things go missing in the rooms, and hotel guests have complained that their bags have been repacked after they left and came back. A ghostly female military officer was seen in the lower level restroom which could easily be Maoma Ridings. Guests have mysteriously checked out in the middle of the night and some have reported toothpaste propelling itself across the room. The staff is rather guarded about reporting incidents, but some confess to feeling watched or creeped out especially on the 7th floor where Maoma met her end.
So is this hotel haunted? Sometimes you can only answer the question if you witness it yourself. Would you stay in Room 729 to find out?