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Elevator Story

As told by Paulette Hemenway...

I have heard the same story at least 8 times in the last 15 years. It always "really" happened to an aunt or cousin or some other close relative of the person telling the story. It always takes place in Las Vegas although the hotels do vary and the person involved is always Eddie Murphy and his entourage. Here is the story...

A woman that is scared of black people (especially black men) is in Las Vegas. She becomes bored, leaves her husband at the slot machines and heads to her room. It is late and she is alone in the elevator.

The elevator stops and a large group of black men get on the elevator. One of the men in the back says, "Hit the floor." The woman, being scared out of her wits, falls to the floor, begging them not to hurt or rape her. The men are very concerned, assure her no one is going to harm her. It is explained that when the one said hit the floor he simply meant to press the elevator button for their floor. The men finally get the woman calmed down and apologize for the misunderstanding.

The next morning flowers arrive at the room (sometimes with a note, in some stories the manager comes to the room) with a note from none other than Eddie Murphy. In the note he again apologizes for frightening the woman and then states that he has paid for their hotel room and has arranged to cover all of their expenses for the remainder of their stay!

The first time I heard the story I bought it hook, line and sinker. The second time I got a tad suspicious. The third time and each time after that I have been told this story I must admit I've taken a certain delight in either 1) Letting the story teller know that they have been had, or 2) Finishing the story for them.

It is amazing to note that these people still swear that it is true and really happened to their close relative!

– Paulette Hemenway

Guide's note:  This is a story that has been told for many years and about many different black celebrities, including Reggie Jackson, Wilt Chamberlain, and O.J. Simpson. Earlier versions had the black man enter the elevator with a dog. When he commanded the dog to "Sit!" (or in a British variant said "Down, Lady!") one or more white passengers instantaneously did as they thought they had been told, fearing they were about to be mugged.

An email version of the same legend features Eddie Murphy and Michael Jordan together in the same elevator.

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