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What Wanda Sykes saw at The Jefferson Hotel will give you goosebumps

Posted at 3:47 PM, Apr 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-25 00:50:05-04

Skip ahead to 2:45 to hear Wanda's ghost story.

RICHMOND, Va. -- If you spend enough time at The Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond, you are bound to see a Hollywood celebrity, famous musician or powerful politician. But it is what actress-comedian Wanda Sykes saw while staying at the historic Richmond landmark that made headlines. When she appeared on "Ellen" this week, Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres she saw the ghost of a female slave inside her hotel room after a performance in Richmond.

"I don't want people to think I'm crazy, but it happened," Sykes said. "I'm in my room and I just had a sense that somebody else is in this room."

Sykes admitted she'd been drinking the night she saw the ghost, but is convinced what she saw was real.

"I was like, 'no, something is in the room.' I kind of looked out the corner of  my eye, and it was this woman. It was an old woman. And she was just looking at me and I'm pretty sure she was a slave, because don't nobody wear stuff like that anymore," Sykes said. "She was just looking, but I didn't feel like she was going to hurt me, she was just like happy to see me. She was real proud. I was like 'okay thank you for everything that you went through. As you see things turned out pretty good.'"

Ellen later admitted she too saw a ghost once. Ellen said the ghost she saw appeared in her former home.

WTVR CBS 6 anchor-reporter Greg McQuade spoke to a high level source at the The Jefferson Hotel who said they were aware Sykes comments.

"We are very surprised by her ghost story," the source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said. "We are not aware of any ghosts at The Jefferson. The Jefferson is celebrating its 120th anniversary on October 31. The historic hotel has welcomed many famous guests including 13 American presidents, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Charles Lindbergh. We are also a place to celebrate milestone moments in Richmond. If we hear of any more reports of ghosts we may have to start charging these transparent guests."

The Jefferson Hotel, built by Lewis Ginter, opened in 1895, 30 years after the end of the Civil War. It was built on the grounds where a massive Franklin Street mansion once stood. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1901, rebuilt in 1907, closed in 1980 and re-opened in 1993.