My husband and I love to stay at
historical B&B's. One is the Bella
Maggiore, in Ventura,
California and it has quite a history. From a
1940's hotel, housing an infamous prostitute named Sylvia, who was found
hanging in her room, the old inn now houses beautifully restored Bed and
When you arrive at the Bella
Maggiore you can see a book where guests leave their comments. Leafing through the book, you will see page after page about their
comments of having met up with the ghost named Sylvia. Her trademark
appears to be welcoming the male guests with her rose scented perfume.
staying there twice with no "Sylvia” sightings, frankly, I was getting
disappointed. However, upon our third stay at the historic inn, I was
to be rewarded with a frightening experience. We booked a
beautiful suite with a living room and fireplace, where its stained
glass windows overlooked the boulevard and a small view of the Pacific
Ocean. Adjoining the living room was a separate bedroom and
early on Sunday and relaxed in the living room before a warm fire and
sat leisurely enjoying a book. Suddenly, I became aware that
"something” was to my left side. I became so frightened; it felt
as if the air was being sucked out of the room. No matter how
hard I tried to reason with myself, I just knew if I looked to my
left, something awful was about to happen. When I finally calmed my
nerves (just a little), and forced myself to look to the left, the
strong, sickeningly sweet smell of rose perfume permeated the air.
It was suffocating. I
was so scared that I grabbed my long coat and ran down the hallway, to
the front desk. When I arrived, the man working there could see how
frightened I was and he understood about Sylvia. Graciously, he
agreed to walk me back to my room. As we made our way up the stairs he
came to a complete stop.
Just out side of "Sylvia's old room" the
lights above started to flicker and as we continued down the hall, all
the lights near the guest rooms began to blink. The man said
that could not be as he had just done the light check for his shift.
When we arrived at my room, I requested that he come in, where he
confirmed that he, too, could smell the strong perfume. As I had the
door propped open to the hallway, two more guests, going to breakfast,
stopped and commented on the strong smell of rose perfume. Before you
knew it, we had at least four people in the small living room area,
all commenting about "Sylvia". The odor was so strong anyone coming
down the hallway was affected by it.
One man, who stated that he often stays
for prolonged periods at the Inn, commented that the previous Saturday
night; he had a "visit from Sylvia." Apparently she had taken his
wallet and placed it in an entirely different part of his room.
However, he went on to say that that type of prank was a "usual”
trick played by Sylvia and paid it no mind.
After everyone left, I opened the bedroom door
to find my husband still fast asleep; never having awakened.
Upon getting ready to go
downstairs for the complimentary breakfast, in their airy, beautiful,
atrium, several guests and I discussed our personal experiences with
So, if you ever are
in traveling to the City of Ventura,
California, spend a night or two at the Bella
Maggiore Inn ....perhaps you, too, will have an encounter with their
resident ghost, "Sylvia."
Submitted by Three Sirens