The author, J.M. Moore, is a former resident of the Barclay Hotel and had lived there for seven years from 2005-2012. One evening in 2008, Moore was in the elevator trying to get to her apartment on the 5th floor and inadvertently ended up in the basement. Moore stated in a May 1, 2016 interview with Decay Mag, "Something had happened in the elevator to where it took me straight to the basement, even though I had pushed the 5th floor button. And I thought that was sort of peculiar because the janitor or the maintenance usually needs a key to access the basement level and I thought it odd that it took me there anyway. So the door slid open and I was just standing there just exposed to its sort of cryptic and menacing disposition. And this overwhelming feeling just engulfed my entire being and something inside of me said 'do not step off of that elevator into the basement' and it was so powerful, that I was frightened! I immediately pressed the [close] button in order to get to my apartment. That was the pivotal moment that I knew for certain that something unimaginably horrible had happened in that basement. And that's when I started researching the hotel."
Take a virtual tour of the basement and lobby of the present day Barclay Hotel via 3-D scans created by Craig Sauer. See if you can find the large black and yellow sign painted on the wall that reads "Paradise Alley". Many scenes from this 1978 movie starring Sylvester Stallone were filmed in and around the Barclay Hotel.