Sleeping With Ghosts in California

The decks on the Queen Mary still sport their original wood flooring, Kathy Weiser.

The decks on the Queen Mary still sport their original wood flooring, Kathy Weiser.

Long Beach

  • Queen Mary – Considered the most luxurious ocean liner ever to sail the Atlantic, the Queen Mary first set sail in 1936, carrying 3,000 passengers and crew.  After making more than 1,000 voyages across the ocean, the Queen Mary was permanently docked in Long Beach in 1967.  Today, it serves as both a luxurious hotel and a museum and is the constant source for stories of paranormal activities.  Said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the nation, this historic ship has a number of spirits lurking upon its decks.  The swimming pool is reportedly haunted by two women who drowned there, the ghost of a young woman in a white dress has been seen in the Queen’s Salon, children have been heard playing in the Forward Storage Room, and a 1930’s gentleman has been known to roam among the First Class Suites.  These tales and more are to be found at this floating haunted hotel. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, P.O. Box 1100, Long Beach, California 90802, 800-437-2934 or 562-435-3511.

Los Angeles

  • Figueroa Hotel – This 1925 former YWCA residence has been transformed today into one of downtown Los Angeles’ best budget hotels.  Though there doesn’t appear to be a specifically identified spirit, a number of strange things allegedly occur here.  Eerie sounds are said to emanate throughout the hallways and the rooms, televisions turn on by themselves at night and will not shut off, and the elevator seemingly moves of its own accord, stopping on certain floors, then opening to display no one there. The hotel started undergoing renovations in November 2015, with an expected reopening in 2016. Hotel officials say it will be transformed back to it’s Spanish Colonial splendor from the 1920’s. Figueroa Hotel, 39 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, California.


  • Alexandria Hotel – Opened in 1906, it quickly became a natural meeting place for the burgeoning film industry.  During its heyday, it played host to people like Winston Churchill, King Edward VIII, Presidents Taft, Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as dozens of celebrities.  Today it is haunted by an unknown “lady in black” who has been spotted on several occasions.  Some believe she was a former resident who was stricken with grief and died of a broken heart. Alexandria Hotel, 501 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, California 90013


  • Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites – Wonderfully restored from the time when Mendocino was a booming lumber port, the hotel is located in the heart of the historic village of Mendocino.  Overlooking the Mendocino Headlands and the Pacific Ocean, this historic hotel opened in 1878 as the Temperance House.  For a time it was a sanctuary for those wanting to escape the excesses of the many saloons of a lively logging town.  However, this building too, succumbed to Mendocino’s ribald past when it became a brothel for a time.  Today, the hotel is said to be haunted be a Victorian woman who haunts the restaurant, appears in mirrors, has been known to visit guestrooms, and likes to play tricks on the hotel staff.  Mendocino Hotel, 45080 Main Street, Mendocino, California, 95460, 707-937-0511 or 800-548-0513.

Mokelumne Hill

  • Hotel Leger – Sitting at the corner of Main and Lafayette streets, there has been some type of “hotel” here since 1851.  George Leger (pronounced “luh zhay,”) the hotel’s founder, originally began a wood-framed tent hotel that catered to the many prospectors of the Moke Hill gold rush.  Later, Leger built a “real” building.  The present hotel is actually three separate historic buildings.  In 1879, Legler was shot to death in a gambling dispute and today is said to continue to haunt his old hotel.  And, he’s not the only one!  Others include a Lady in White who has been seen in Room 2 and a young boy in Room 3. Hotel Leger, 8304 Main Street, Mokelumne Hill, California 95245, 209-286-1401.


  • Murphys Historic Hotel & Lodge – Opened in 1856, the hotel first catered as a stopover for Matteson’s Stage route from Milton to the Calaveras Big Trees. Almost 150 years after it first opened, the Murphys Hotel still hosts travelers touring the central Mother Lode region  Evidently, there is also an “older” visitor who also resides at this historic hotel.  Guests tell of feeling a presence immediately when they walk in and feel as though they’re being watched.  Allegedly, a bookkeeper was shot at the hotel long ago and his body thrown over the balcony.  He is said to roam the second floor today. Murphys Hotel, 457 Main Street, Murphys, California 95247, 209-728-3444 or 800-532-7684457


  • Napa River Inn – Built in 1886, this building first served as a warehouse and feed store.  But today, the building serves as an upscale boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Napa Valley. The son of the building’s original owner, Captain Albert Hatt, hanged himself in 1912 in the hotel and is said to continue haunt the area now occupied by Sweetie Pies Bakery.  A woman in a white dress, who some think was Captain Hatt’s wife, is also frequently seen in the hotel. Ethereal footsteps of the pair have been heard in the hallways and doors have opened and slammed shut of their own accord. The Napa River Inn, 500 Main Street, Napa, California 94559, 707-251-8500

Nevada City

  • Red Castle Inn – Built in 1860, this grand four-story brick mansion sitting atop Prospect Hill, overlooks historic Nevada City.  One of the few remaining historic lodging landmarks of California’s Gold Rush era, the Red Castle Inn offers travelers a glimpse of what life was like more than one hundred years ago.  The gothic mansion is also home to a ghostly lady in gray.  Thought to have been the governess for the original builder’s family, the ghost is so real that guests think she is alive until she walks straight through a door. The Red Castle Inn Historic Lodgings, 109 Prospect Street, Nevada City, CA 95959, 530-265-5135 or 800-761-4766.


  • The National Hotel – A registered historical landmark, the National Hotel is the oldest continuously-operating hotel west of the Rockies.  In 1856, when the hotel catered to miners, it was also used as a stagecoach stop and telegraph, mail, and express center.  Looking much as it did back then, a number of other era ghosts are said to continue to occupy its space, as strange things continually occur.  Staff and visitors alike tell stories of lights flickering, strange cold spots in otherwise warm rooms, and experiencing eerie feelings. The National Hotel, 211 Broad St., Nevada City,  California  95959, 530-265-4551.

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