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Chilling stories celebrities have about the paranormal

For Diane Ladd, her particular ghost story – with a Watergate Hotel cameo thrown in for good measure – seems to have changed the course of her acting career.

As Ladd told Entertainment Weekly, she was a rising star when she appeared in a play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 1976. During her stay at the Watergate Hotel (post-Nixon scandal), she was awakened just before 5 a.m. by someone roughly shaking her arm. Only when Ladd stood up, she saw no other corporeal human, but the wispy silhouette of a woman in her bedroom, which then disappeared.

When she went to the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center for her play, Ladd heard a whisper while she was on stage. After the second event, she thought it was the voices of bored ushers, but she discovered that no ushers were lingering backstage. Finally, again while standing in front of the audience, Ladd says that a disembodied woman’s voice whispered in her ear, saying her name was Martha and she needed Ladd’s help. Presumably, host Maury Povich rather dramatically told Ladd that it was the ghost of Watergate whistleblower Martha Mitchell, who had died in May 1976. Povich told Entertainment Weekly that he couldn’t quite remember the exchange, although he knew both Ladd and Mitchell and both were on his show. Ladd was in favor of a biopic about Martha Mitchell, although this has not yet materialized.