Sleeping With Ghosts in California


  • Madrona Manor – The manor was built in 1880 by wealthy businessman John Paxton. The 17 room home called Madrona Knoll Rancho at the time was the grandest show place in the area. The property remained a private residence until 1981 when it was renovated as a romantic country inn and restaurant. The inn, now on the National Register of Historic Places is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl in Room 101, as well as a spirit named Elsie he has been known to lurk in the Dining Room. Madrona Manor, 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, California 95448, 707-433-4231 or 800-258-4003.
Greetings From Hollywood, California

Greetings From Hollywood, California


“I have been asked if I ever get the DTs; I don’t know; it’s hard to tell where Hollywood ends and the DTs begin.” — WC Fields

  • Chateau Marmont – built in 1929, this hotel has played hosts to numerous celebrities over the years, including John Lennon,  Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Dustin Hoffman, Greta Garbo and dozens of others who are looking for a little privacy.  The majestic, castle-like hotel rises above the sunset Strip is also a place of many tales, some good and some not so good.  Hollywood stars have come to the hotel to have affairs by the dozens, this is where John Bulushi died from an overdose, and dozens of show biz deals have been made and broken.  It is also said to be haunted by a number of ghostly spirits.  One has even been known to climb into guest’s beds. However, you should know that the Marmont continues to protect its guests’ privacy and if you don’t rent one of its very pricy rooms, you won’t be allowed to wander around here. Marmont Hotel, 8221 Sunset Boulevard Hollywood, California. 90046, 323-656-1010.


  • Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – At the start of Hollywood’s golden days, as the silent pictures were being replaced with “talkies,” the Roosevelt Hotel was designed and built on sprawling strawberry fields as a benchmark of glamour and elegance. Named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel opened its doors onto Hollywood Boulevard on May 15, 1927, having been built at the then staggering cost of $2.5 million. The most prestigious movie stars of the day, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, helped to bring the hotel to life and the grand opening hosted the biggest celebrities of the day like Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Will Rogers and Clara Bow, among others.  It quickly became the epicenter of Hollywood, the Entertainment Capital of the World. In 1929, the first Academy Awards ceremony took place in the Blossom Room of the hotel. Today it is said to be haunted by the likes of Montgomery Clift who continues to play his bugle in Room 928; and Marilyn Monroe whose image has been seen gazing from a lobby mirror. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028, 800-950-7667.


  • Knickerbocker Hotel – Built in 1925, the building opened as a luxury apartment before later becoming a hotel.  This Hollywood hotel, like many others catered to hundreds of celebrities and if walls could talk, would tell a host of scandalous tales.  Today, several ghosts have been seen in the old hotel including Valentino and Marilyn Monroe. 1714 Ivar Avenue, Hollywood, CA. 323-962-8898.

Joshua Tree

  • Joshua Tree Inn – Built in 1950, this Hacienda Style Inn in the Mojave Desert is located just five miles from the Joshua Tree National Park.  Though peacefully elegant today, it had a darker side one night in 1973 when Gram Parsons died in Room Number 8 from a drug and alcohol overdose at the inn.  Gram, called by some as “the patron saint of alternative country,” is credited as being the world’s first country rock star and the first long haired country singer to ever show himself at the Grand Old Opry.  Today, his spirit is said to haunt the hotel, especially the room that he died in.  Here, strange shadows are seen and objects shake and move by themselves. Joshua Tree Inn, 61259 Twenty-nine Palms Highway,  P.O. Box 1966 Joshua Tree, California 92252, 760 366-1188.


  • Julian Hotel – This historic hotel began as a restaurant when freed slaves, Albert and Margaret Robinson, began a restaurant in the early 1880’s.  As their reputation grew, they began construction on the hotel in 1897.  The Julian Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California.  Evidently, its original owners are reluctant to leave, as Albert, with a pipe in his mouth, has been seen in mirrors.  In the upstairs rooms, lace doiles and furniture is often found to be rearranged.  Julian Hotel, 2032 Main St, Julian, California 92036, 760)-765-0201

Knights Landing

  • Snowball Mansion Inn – Located on the Sacramento River the Snowball Mansion, built in 1872, encompasses 7 1/2 acres of gardens with a private lake for guests to enjoy.  The mansion is said to be haunted by Lucy Snowball who roams the hallways. Snowball Mansion Inn, 42485 Front Street, Knights Landing, California  95645, 530-735-1122

La Jolla

  • The Grande Colonial Hotel – Known as the “Jewel of the Pacific”, the hotel offers classic European styling in the intimate setting of a boutique hotel.  Commanding views of the spectacular California coastline, the hotel is ideally located just one block away from breathtaking white beaches and steps away from the elegant shops and world-class museums and galleries renowned to the area.  Near a meeting room called the Sun Room, heavy footsteps are often heard on a staircase.  It sounds as though several men are running up and down the stairs and culminates in slamming doors.  Some sixty years ago, this room was used as a temporary barracks for single servicemen during World War II. The Grande Colonial Hotel, 910 Prospect Street La Jolla, California 92037 888.530.5766.

Lake Arrowhead

  • Bugsy Siegel, American Mobster

    Bugsy Siegel, American Mobster

    Bracken Fern Manor – The brainchild of Chicago mobster, Bugsy Siegel, this Alpine style inn was opened as Club Arrowhead in 1929.  The state of the art club catered to the rich and famous of Hollywood, offering gambling, illegal liquor, and prostitution.   It also offered legal amenities such as an Olympic size swimming pool, skiing, tennis courts, a bathhouse, and more.  So successful was the resort, that Bugsy was soon able to convince the bosses in Chicago to front the money for another little gambling spot in the middle of nowhere — Las Vegas.  The brothel, known as “The Crib,” continued operations through World War II and gambling operations were maintained in the speakeasy up to 1955.  Now a Certified Historic Landmark in the State of California, Bracken Fern is also said to be haunted by a former prostitute named Violet.  The prostitute killed herself after the mob killed her lover and her violet scented perfume can still be smelled wafting through the halls.  Another ghost of a small boy has also been seen at this historic inn.  Thought to be the son of a former prostitute he was trampled by a team of horses.  Today his tiny footsteps are often seen in the snow.  Bracken Fern Manor, 815 Arrowhead Villas Road, P.O. Box 1006, Lake Arrowhead, California 92352, 909-337-8557 or 888-244-5612

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