Skeptic Gail Porter and sensitive Chris Fleming investigated numerous locations associated with the late Marilyn Monroe in Las Angeles, California. Their goal was to possibly contact the ghost of the iconic blond bombshell in the hopes more information might be gleaned about her mysterious death at age 36 in 1962.
Gail started by interviewing Hairdresser Mickey Song who coiffed Marilyn the evening the Hollywood star sang her famous sultry “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy. Mickey’s private salon was stuffed with Marilyn memorabilia as he happily recounted his brush with fame.
When asked by Gail if he thought Marilyn might still haunt locations she knew in her heyday Mickey replied, “I think you might be surprised.” He said rumors at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel alleged that a mirror associated with Marilyn had frequently startled housekeeping staff who glimpsed her reflection from time to time.
As Mickey mentioned the mirror at the Roosevelt Hotel I had a brief psychic glimpse of Marilyn. I assumed it had been in a room she once occupied as she was standing nude in front of a full length mirror. Despite her iconic sex symbol status she wasn’t in sex-kitten mode. I had the impression she had recently stepped out of the shower and like millions of women around the world was critically inspecting herself. No makeup, no racy lingerie. She was alone in the room at the time. She didn’t seem particularly happy with her reflection.
Meanwhile Chris interviewed Marilyn’s 1959 “Some Like It Hot” co-star Penny McGuiggan. Peggy had first heard of Marilyn’s death on her car radio. Penny acknowledged many questions remained about her co-star’s death that ranged from theories of suicide to murder by the Kennedy’s.
Chris asked Penny how she first met Marilyn. Penny said Marilyn had been getting her makeup and hair done in another location and strutted into a room full of actors. Marilyn approached Penny and said, “Hi, I’m Marilyn.” Penny claimed Marilyn had such poise and charisma that simple introduction brought the room to a breathless standstill.
Chris asked Penny, “If you saw Marilyn, what would you say to her?” Penny replied she would say, “Hi Marilyn! Good to see you again… and you still look wonderful! What have you learned since passing on? What are some of the mysteries that you now know? What goes? What are you doing over there? Do they have a production company? Are you acting?” Penny had a lot of years to ponder that question.
Gail and Chris regrouped at Barney’s Beanery which according to Bar Manager Peter Meadows Marilyn frequented for the chili. Chris gulped some of the concoction while he and Gail compared notes and realized both Mickey and Penny had mentioned Marilyn sightings at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Gail shared something Mickey had said. According to Gail, Mickey had said, “If she did come back she would want to thank everyone for loving her.” Gail was somewhat puzzled by how badly Marilyn’s fans wished for her return. Gail wondered if Marilyn’s adoring public were so in love with her persona they would want her to come back? Chris countered that the real question was, “Has she come back?”
As they attempted to answer that question Gail and Chris visited the venerable Roosevelt Hotel that had catered to the rich and famous since the 1920’s. Gail provided some history. Marilyn had lived at the Roosevelt for two years early in her modeling career. In 1984 the hotel had undergone a $12 million dollar renovation. Reports of paranormal activity had increased since.
Manager Ani Aghamalian showed Chris and Gail the hot spots associated with Marilyn in the hotel. She showed them a full-length, wood-framed mirror against a wall in a public space and explained the mirror had once stood in cabana number 246, the poolside room Marilyn had inhabited for two years. Hotel staff that had glimpsed Marilyn’s spirit in the mirror consistently described her as looking sad.
Ani then lead the pair to the Blossom Room, the location of the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. The ballroom was known for several paranormal anomalies. The spirit of a man in a tuxedo had often been seen by staff. Near the end of the large space an unexplained cold spot was frequently experienced by living, breathing people.
I saw the spirit of the man in the tux, but other than to say he was Caucasian, middle-aged and had silver at the temples of his dark hair, I had no idea who he was.
At first Chris didn’t feel a cold spot but did pick up on some tingling energy. He located the cold spot a few steps away. He told Gail and Ani, “Something is moving around.”
Once in Marilyn’s room Gail commented on the great view of the pool and wondered if Marilyn liked the room as she could people watch. Ani agreed with Gail and mentioned that Marilyn’s first commercial photo shoot had taken place at the same pool. The popular suntan lotion commercial was Marilyn’s first exposure to the Roosevelt Hotel. She liked it, so she stayed.
Past guests in Marilyn’s room had reported unexplained music from the bathroom. I tuned into the bathroom and saw Marilyn as she soaked in the tub, surrounded by lit pillar candles as she relaxed to jazz or swing music. She seemed to prefer to soak in the dark by candlelight. Once again she was alone, no juicy tryst.
When Chris walked into Marilyn’s room he noted the stale air (likely from a shut up room) and that he had picked up an unpleasant smell. He wasn’t sure what it was, but at first it was faint, quickly became strong and then faded away. Gail hadn’t smelled anything other than stagnant air.
I focused on the smell and wished I had not. I actually smelled two things, one right after the other. The first smell was burnt hair. Any female who has ever messed with straightening or curling irons knows that smell.
The second smell came with another visual. I saw Marilyn on hands and knees vomiting into a classic “Standard” style white toilet. It was not the one in the room at the time of Chris and Gail’s visit.
I also had the disturbing impression that may have been the time in her life when Marilyn started taking diet pills to maintain her figure. I don’t think they settled well at first. I don’t factually know if Marilyn used diet pills or not. My pill theory was based strictly on what I saw as a psychic medium.
The most famously haunted room at the Roosevelt Hotel was not Marilyn’s. It once housed and was subsequently named after actor Montgomery Cliff. Montgomery co-stared with Marilyn in the movie “The Misfits”. They knew each other and according to Ani were friends during the time Montgomery stayed at the Roosevelt.
The ninth floor suite had long upset the maids who cleaned it. Roosevelt maids commonly reported feelings of being watched and walked beside as they worked. They also experienced a number of cold spots that came and went. An unidentified male psychic who slept in the room once reported that he woke to see the apparition of Montgomery Cliff seated in a corner of the room watching the psychic.
I don’t know who saw the apparition, but I believe him because I saw it too. As the encounter was described I saw Monty seated in the same corner manager Ani pointed out to Gail and Chris. The location was the same, but the chair was not. The chair at the time of the visit was an armless model in a burnt orange color. The chair I saw Montgomery Cliff’s shade seated in had squared upholstered arms and the whole thing was a darker color, with nubby bile green fabric.
Montgomery had his legs crossed as he rested his elbows on the chair arms. I found it interesting that his appearance morphed as I watched him. At first he was wearing a heather gray three-piece suit with a white shirt. Then he showed up in the same position but wearing flannel slacks and a patterned sweater. The other thing that kept changing was his hands. My first image of him he was just seated in the chair. As he morphed and instantly changed outfits I saw him in both getups with a burning cigarette in his right hand. Regardless of his clothing style or the cigarette he looked sophisticated and utterly bored.
Chris wanted to take Montgomery’s room after nightfall when the energy of daily lives would subside somewhat. He hoped less interference would allow him to focus more clearly on the residual energy currents he felt in the room.
It was decided that Chris and Gail would jointly check out the Blossom Room and Gail would spend the night alone in Marilyn’s cabana.
Before the sun went down Chris introduced Gail to Parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff. Dr. Taff explained his field was the scientific study of any and all paranormal topics from spirits to “…things that go bump in the night.”
Gail explained to Dr. Taff that she was a skeptic who wanted to believe in the paranormal and asked him if he had any advice for that evening. Dr. Taff replied, “Actually I would say keep an open mind. Don’t let it be so open that you are naive or gullible about something.” My opinion of Dr. Taff fell from that point on. His observations were factual and fair but I didn’t like how he condescended to Gail. Sure, talk down to the cute young blond who asked your opinion. Gail was a skeptic, not an idiot.
Dr. Taff talked about instruments that could detect changes in the environment that might be paranormal but stressed that all other explainable causes had to be ruled out first. Chris pulled a thermal scanner and an EMF meter from his bag and explained their uses.
The trio went to the ballroom and headed for the location where Chris had earlier felt the often reported cold spot. Both the thermal scanner and the EMF meter were dead. Chris was frustrated because he didn’t feel anything going on around them either. Despite this upon review they found two visual anomalies.
As Chris held up his EMF meter an unexplained light dappled his arm as it skipped from his left hand up his forearm. More distinctly an unexplained dot of light was recorded as it passed by Gail’s head. She speculated it might have been an orb, a sphere of light commonly associated with the spirits of the departed. (My vote was dust.)
Dr. Taff, Gail and Chris headed to Marilyn’s room. Dr. Taff talked about the transitory nature of paranormal phenomenon. It was present one moment and gone the next. Lights full on, the first thing Dr. Taff noted was the stale air in the room. Chris confirmed the air had been stale earlier in the day during the tour with the manager. Although Chris asked any spirits in the room in manifest in a form they were comfortable with, nothing happened. Chris said all got was dead air and Dr. Taff agreed.
Next up was Montgomery Cliff’s suite. Chris talked about Hollywood rumors that Montgomery Cliff had been an alcoholic and probably in a state of emotional turmoil during his stay at the Roosevelt Hotel. He stated those kinds of intense and negative emotions could easily leave energetic imprints behind. Dr. Taff admitted that although Marilyn’s room had felt dead, Montgomery’s room had an anxious energy in it he had no rational explanation for.
It was time to split up. As Chris said goodbye to Dr. Taff he noticed something on the floor of the tiny hotel closet. He picked it up. It looked familiar, like the temperature scanner he had in his bag. Chris assumed Gail or someone else had put a different scanner down in the room. That wasn’t the case. When he checked in with everyone and examined his bag, he realized the scanner WAS HIS.
Dr. Taff dryly remarked Chris seemed to have an apport on his hands. Apports were not explained. In a nutshell they are physical objects moved from one location to another by spirit or paranormal means. They are most frequently associated with physical mediums. A physical medium somehow manifests one or more objects either from inside their body or in some cases thin air. I have heard and read about apports but have not seen them manifested in person. I am a mental medium and to the best of my knowledge so is Chris. Physical mediumship is a completely different ballgame.
Frankly that comment was a bit of a cheap shot on Dr. Taff’s part. That might be why it was largely ignored. Almost everyone was upset. As Chris said, “That’s too soon. That’s too soon for something to happen.”
When things settled down Gail was sent to spend the night in Marilyn’s room. She was somewhat nervous, but became full-blown anxious when she heard indistinct but unexplained sounds in the dark room around her. She didn’t have a rational explanation for the sounds, but did have an internal debate going on. Part of her wanted to dismiss the sounds but another part wondered if she could have been haunted at the time. At any rate she told her camera there was an “…odd feeling in here.” As her fear ramped up she declared she was, “Sure something was wrong.” She was unhappy and wanted to leave the room. After she toughed it out for three hours she did just that.
Chris returned to Montgomery’s suite and noted the time was 12:02 am. Abruptly the phone rang but it turned out to be the camera crew in the parking lot. When his heart rate slowed down (I jumped just watching the episode) Chris started to hear filtered noise fill the room. Gail’s voiceover said it sounded like someone was flicking the light switch in the bathroom. Then Chris heard a moaning sound from the bathroom and speculated it might have been Montgomery Cliff’s spirit worshiping the porcelain god. Chris said Monty’s contemporaries claimed he spent a lot of time in the bathroom as he suffered from the effects of his drinking. Chris also felt unexplained pressure in his ears and around his neck.
I wasn’t surprised about the pressure Chris felt around his head and neck because I saw Montgomery’s ghost following Chris around the room almost from the moment he walked in. Monty’s spirit was closely shadowing Chris, as close to his back and shoulders as his own aura would be. In other words, too close for comfort.
Gail and Chris met at the pool the next morning to relate their respective overnight experiences. Chris explained about the self-propelled thermal scanner and Gail questioned if it could have fallen out of his equipment bag. Chris said that wasn’t possible as his bag had been in another room at the time he picked the scanner up from the closet floor. Chris recapped his experiences for Gail and razzed her a bit when she admitted she had only lasted three hours in Marilyn’s room. Hey, we all have our moments. I think as a skeptic Gail’s limited experiences in Marilyn’s room would have been a lot more frightening than for someone used to paranormal experiences.
Day two got off to a promising start when Gail went to talk to Greg Shreiner, President of the “Marilyn Remembered” club. Greg had amassed the single largest private collection of Marilyn Monroe collectibles in existence. He told Gail he frequently felt her spirit was guiding him to the opportunities to obtain her former belongings.
I agreed with Greg about Marilyn’s help in building his collection because she chose that moment to show up again. I saw her standing to Greg’s left. When Greg mentioned he felt her help him she said, “I was. He is a sweetheart.” Then she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. That was the Marilyn the world knew and loved. She was in a sexy short-skirted dress that made her look all legs, fully made up and ready to make men everywhere drool.
Sadly neither Greg nor Gail were aware of Marilyn’s appearance.
Chris met up with Psychometrist Michael Kouri, author of “Haunted Houses of Hollywood”. Michael explained that psychometry was the ability to pick up energy and information off objects people had formerly worn, owned or used. Michael noted his left hand was more sensitive to such energy than his right. He reassured Chris he had never encountered the Marilyn collectibles Greg had gathered.
When he first walked into the main room of Greg’s collection Michael was somewhat overwhelmed. He asked Gail, Chris and Greg to leave him alone in the room with Marilyn’s things for a few minutes. They went as far as the door. Michael was obviously already picking up information from the things around him. He suggested the camera focus on his more sensitive left hand which was prone to severe shaking when energy started to flow. Michael held his left hand over an empty straw seated stool. Immediately his hand started to tremble.
Michael opened a jewelry case and placed a rhinestone bracelet that once belonged to Marilyn on his right wrist so that he was in physical contact with it and held his trembling left hand over it. Information and images started to flow.
First Michael noted a lot of energy was flowing through him. Marilyn was there, I saw her in blue slacks and a white sleeveless shirt with a collar.
Michael asked Marilyn’s spirit for confirmation of her presence. This was followed by an unidentified noise in the room as he asked, “Did you hear that sound? What is that sound we are hearing?”
At that point Michael placed the open bracelet on top of the stool.
Michael asked Marilyn what happened to her. He first got a strong impression of the letter E followed by the letter M. Michael was shown the image of a woman in a uniform type white dress, but said she wasn’t an “official nurse”. Greg explained that Marilyn’s housekeeper at the time of her death had been a woman named Eunice Murray. He asked Marilyn if Eunice had been associated with her death in some way. Michael’s hand shook harder than ever as he tried to calm Marilyn’s spirit down. He said this physical reaction and the mental conversation he had with Marilyn confirmed Eunice Murray was involved in Marilyn’s death.
Gail’s voiceover said that Eunice was hired in 1961, the year before Marilyn died. Eunice was reportedly the person who found Marilyn’s body.
According to Michael, Marilyn explained “That’s one of the reasons I have stayed behind. I want people to know the real truth behind my life. I didn’t have to die. I could have been saved if it wasn’t for that asshole Peter Lawford.”
Gail explained Peter Lawford was a “Rat-Pack” actor, a silver screen contemporary of Marilyn’s. He was alleged to be the last person to speak with Marilyn before her death. What wasn’t mentioned was he was also the brother-in-law of then President Jack Kennedy. (Marilyn died August 5, 1962. JFK was assassinated November 20, 1963.)
As Michael relayed Marilyn’s words, Chris was seated on the floor next to him. Chris was presented on “Dead Famous” as a “sensitive” which can be a pretty broad umbrella. A more commonly used term might be empath. His empathic abilities kicked into high gear. Right after Marilyn’s scathing comment about Peter Lawford Chris emotionally crumbled. His face contorted into pain and tears as he said, “I just felt stuff going through (my body) sickness, like chemicals and shit. She knows she was slipping away. There wasn’t anything she could do about it.”
Michael then asked Marilyn if the person who stood over her as she was dying was Eunice Murray. Chris nodded and said, “She didn’t want to die.” Michael confirmed, “You’re right she wasn’t ready to die yet.”
Chris described his experience as if he had slipped into Marilyn or Marilyn had slipped into him. So his perspective was that of Marilyn as she was dying. Chris felt Marilyn’s frustration as she tried to hold on as the fatal medication went through her body. She was aware of a woman who stood above her and tried to keep her focused. Marilyn tried to protest “I can’t believe you are doing this to me.” Then she wanted to ask, “Why are you doing this to me?” Chris said she just couldn’t hold on and slipped away.
That particular moment of the episode was especially interesting to me. The credits at the end of season one, episode three placed the production date of the Marilyn episode in 2004. Two years ago (May 2009) I was a member of an audience of ghost hunters Chris was talking to in Louisville, Kentucky prior to a ghost hunting event at Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
During that 2009 talk Chris shared brief clips from “Dead Famous”. I had not heard of the show before. Heck I had never heard of Chris or Gail before. I certainly had not watched any of the episodes. (In fact on 2/18/11 I watched the first episode of the series I had seen in its entirety.) However, since Chris was on the itinerary as the only medium speaking I went into this talk determined to figure out if he was the real deal or not. It didn’t take long for me to conclude he was a real and credible psychic/sensitive/medium. As he talked about various episodes I was able to tune into his experiences at the time the show was in production. I had done this type of thing with other people before and since but not without talking to them about it first. (Sorry Chris.) I was picking up details of his experiences on the show that Chris was not sharing with the audience. Some of those details pertained to Marilyn’s death.
Three details stood out for me. The most significant was that the “medication” that killed her was some sort of fast acting poison. It could have easily been a prescribed medication in a fatal dose. Whatever it was I could feel it burning through her circulatory system at an insanely fast rate as Chris talked about her death. (I did not pry beyond what he was publicly talking about. That would be a gross and unethical invasion of privacy. I figured the subjects of his talk were fair game. Anything else would not have been.)
The other two details were how fast her vision blurred as the poison hit her and the sensation of falling backwards through a black tunnel as she died. In the episode Chris talked about her trying to hold on and failing but he didn’t specifically describe her blurred vision or how she fell back into the dark tunnel as she left her body.
After the 2009 talk I buttonholed Chris for a few moments and asked him about the burning poison etc… he graciously listened and confirmed that I had those details right.
So maybe I was tuned into Marilyn directly instead of Chris as he experienced her death through her eyes? Nope, that doesn’t wash because although I am a psychic medium I am NOT an empath. Watching the episode on Marilyn in full I picked up on her and other sprits with regularity but I didn’t have the same sensations I had listening to Chris at Waverly Hills two years ago…five years after the Marilyn episode was filmed.
I know from experience I cannot tune into a faked memory. If something didn’t really happen to whoever I am focused on I can tell the difference in energy in just a couple heartbeats.
I also happen to be a medical intuitive and even when I am energetically inside a client’s body (with their permission) I don’t get the same intensity of experience as I did tuning into Marilyn’s death via Chris. Based on my professional experience as both a medium and a medical intuitive, there was absolutely no way Chris could have been deceptive about what he experienced with Marilyn’s death. Finally seeing the episode more concretely confirmed what I already knew. Confirmation is always good.
After Chris explained his intense experience from Marilyn’s perspective Gail suggested a break. Michael took the opportunity to ask Gail what she thought about what she had witnessed. She replied,”…I don’t know because all the information you came up with I already knew… It was a little bit unusual for me because I didn’t learn anything new there.”
Prior to the séance Chris explained to Gail what was involved. He said a group of people sat with joined hands around a table. The room was then energetically cleansed with white light. That same white light would be used as a “protectant” to keep out any negative energy that might be in the area. His choice of words cracked me up as I contemplated white light as a paranormal version of Armor All. The work was absolutely serious and solid, the phrase entertaining.
The séance was held in Greg’s home around a wooden table with a few candles lit to help along the infrared cameras. As skeptics Gail and Dr. Taff were banned from the proceedings but stood nearby as observers. Before things could get started Dr. Taff patted all participants down to make sure they were not wired for faked effects. He had the door to the room closed so nobody could sneak in and startle the group.
Chris led the séance which was composed of Greg, Michael and additional members of “Marilyn Remembered”. As often happens when talking to the dead, Marilyn did come through, but wasn’t the first spirit to show up.
Chris felt someone else arrive first whom he described as shy. Michael chimed in and gave the spirit’s name as a man named Johnny. Johnny wanted to know why the séance participants were not calling on any other dead besides Marilyn as the house was full them.
I saw Johnny as an old, bent man with white hair in overalls. His age wasn’t mentioned in the episode. Johnny was right, Greg’s house was full of spirits of the dead, a good number of who decided to mob around the chair where Chris was seated at the head of the table. Chris was aware of them as he commented, “They’re coming from everywhere.”
Shortly prior to Chris becoming the focus of a ghostly horde, Michael and Chris were each aware of the spirit of a little girl who chose to stand next to Chris and follow the proceedings with great curiosity. I saw her as age seven or eight with long dark curling hair pulled up in front but hanging down her back.
The group focused on Marilyn and Chris felt her presence. Gail said the room was suddenly filled with the scent of perfume. Gail stated it was known Marilyn’s favorite scent was Chanel No.5. Michael commented that it smelled like gardenias, a scent an elderly lady would wear. Dr. Taff smelled it too but had no rational explanation. I don’t believe Marilyn was behind the gardenia scented perfume.
The scent faded as Chris smiled and giggled a bit in response to the presence of the little girl spirit next to him. Some people do attract the ghosts or spirits of children. EVP expert Debby Constantino would be a good example.
One of the ladies from “Marilyn Remembered” started to cough and choke. She gasped she should not have participated in the séance, that she was too sensitive to be doing it. Chris advised Michael that an entity was trying to enter Cerise. Michael felt it too and guided her into a cleansing and protection visualization. I could see and feel something dark and malignant harassing Cerise, but I am certain it was not the spirit of Marilyn Monroe.
As Cerise struggled Gail looked as if she was attempting to hide secret amusement at what she may have thought was overdone dramatics. I wondered about that too until I got a glimpse of the hostile entity. Cerise was in trouble. It was good she was pulled out of the séance.
As the situation unfolded Chris’ voice could be heard as he warned the same dark entity to “Get away from me now!”
Chris pulled the séance back on track as Gail read out loud the automatic writing Michael produced as Marilyn’s spirit communicated with him. I don’t know if Michael’s handwriting actually changed during that process but I had the impression of large, loopy cursive, definitely a feminine hand.
Michael wrote on Marilyn’s behalf, “I do not understand why so many worship me. I wish to be free now. Please help me. I wish to fly upward to heaven.”
Chris backed up this message with his impressions as the told the table, “If you want to help her, people have to let her go. Let her go. Go on to the other side. She will swim home. We will all go home. She wants to go home.”
As Chris spoke Michael kept up with his automatic writing and Gail kept reading. It sounded like Marilyn’s agreed with Chris as Gail’s voice repeated, “Yes, yes please.”
Chris’s words were a bit on poetic side, but I think he was deeply communicating with Marilyn. As a medium I have assisted in crossing over hundreds of earthbound spirits. The sheer longing of such spirits as they approach the divine is intense and poetry is probably the closest form of language that can explain what they feel and see.
Although members of “Marilyn Remembered” were sympathetic to the message, Dr. Taff wasn’t convinced. He said, “With all due respect to the participants of the séance, I have to say that what was being said while intriguing and entertaining perhaps could be said by anybody. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s real or doesn’t mean its right or doesn’t mean it’s wrong. All we are looking at here is an experiment in dealing with the human psyche. It’s that people believe what they want to believe whether it is real or not.”
Gail remained skeptical but said that Chris believed he had communicated with the spirit of Marilyn and had been able to help her. I think Chris did help Marilyn because I asked my guides if she still needed assistance and was told, “It has been handled.”
In their final recap Gail admitted she had been freaked out at times. Chris acknowledged she had not gotten enough proof but expressed the hope at some point in their investigations she would see something move, hear something or be physically touched by a spirit that would give her a more concrete experience to deal with.
I now better understand why “Dead Famous” was such a popular show. I look forward to viewing more episodes.
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at: email@example.com
© 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.