Sleeping With Ghosts in California

Oakhurst

  • Sierra Sky Ranch Resort – Nestled among towering oaks and pine trees, the Sierra Ranch began as the first working cattle ranch in the area in 1875.   Started by a man named Caster, he continued to build up his heard and land holdings to the point that by 1898 it was the largest cattle ranch in California.  However, by about the 1930’s the ranch had been sold and it became a tuberculosis sanitarium and in World War II, the Army purchased the property and established it for wounded and ailing soldiers.  Today, it serves as a guest ranch to the many visitors of Yosemite National Park and the northern California region.  It’s also allegedly haunted by four different spirits, including an old cowboy who committed suicide at the ranch, two children who died at the tuberculosis sanitarium and a female nurse.  Numerous odd occurrences have been reported here such as the smell of vintage perfume, a piano that plays by itself, misty clouds that float through the air, and more.  Sky Ranch, 50552 Road 632, Oakhurst, California 93644, 559 683-8040

Ojai

  • Ojai Valley Inn and Spa – Built in 1923 this Spanish Colonial retreat has been enjoyed by hundreds of travelers including a number of celebrities such as Clark Gable, Walt Disney and Judy Garland.  A landmark on the California Central Coast, the inn is a member of Historic Hotels of America.  Part of its history is said to remain in Room 5, where a bad smell has been known to linger and mysterious banging noises come from the closet.  Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 905 Country Club Rd., Ojai, California 93023, 805-646-5511 or 800-422-6524

Palm Springs

  • Korakia Pensione – Nestled in the heart of the southern California desert at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, this Moroccan style inn was built in 1924. The breakfast inn today actually consist of two historically renowned villas.  Allegedly it is haunted by the wife of a former owner who has been seen walking along the road on the anniversary of her death.  Other strange occurrences include cold chills on extremely hot days and clothes that have been rearranged while guests are gone from their room.  Korakia Pencione, 257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs, California 92262, 760-864-6411.
Placerville, California today

Placerville, California today

Placerville

  • Cary House Hotel – Known as the “The Jewel of Placerville,” the Cary House Hotel has been catering to guests since 1857 when it was known as the finest hotel in gold country.  Today, it continues the tradition of old time hospitality and service.  It is also said to be one of the city’s most haunted sites.  One of the ghosts is said to be a man named Stan, a former Cary House desk clerk who’d been stabbed to death when he reportedly made a pass at the wrong person.  Today, this impish ghosts allegedly likes to pinch people’s behinds.  Room 212 is said to host the spirit of an old horse and wagon operator who died in the room.  While you’re there beware of the old elevator as it has been known to make unmanned trips up and down the four story building.  Cary House Hotel, 300 Main Street, Placerville, California 95667, 530-622-4271.

Riverside

  • Mission Inn – Occupying an entire city block in the heart of downtown Riverside, the Historic Mission Inn began as a modest two-story 12-room adobe boarding house built in 1876 by Christopher Miller.  In 1880, Miller’s son Frank purchased the building and surrounding property and began to add on to it.  Over the next several decades the hotel was expanded with court yards, a chapel, and additional wings.  Today, the historic inn is said to be haunted by the original Miller family.  Guests have described beautiful singing coming from empty rooms, reports of large blue lights floating in the air, being touched and pushed by ghostly hands, numerous accounts of equipment misbehaving, and more.  Apparitions have been seen in the hallways, floating near the ceiling in the Dining Room, and near the storage building behind the hotel. Mission Inn, 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California 92501, 951-784-0300 or 800-843-7755.

Robles

  • Paso Robles Inn – During the 19th century the Paso Robles region , known for its mineral hot springs, became a popular stop for travelers along the Camino Real trail.  In 1889 the Paso Robles Inn was built to accommodate the many people passing through.  Fully restored to its former glory, the inn continues to carry on the century old tradition of serving travelers with 30 of its 100 guest rooms outfitted with hot spring spas.  Mysteriously, the phone at the front desk continuously received mysterious calls from an empty Room 1007 on a regular basis.  On one occasion, the phone even called 911.  Staff believes these phone calls come from a former 1940’s night clerk who found a fire in the hotel.  He quickly took action, ringing the alarm and helping to get the hotel evacuated.  However, in the process, Emsley died of a heart attack. Paso Robles Inn, 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, California 93446, 805-238-2660 or 800)-676-1713

San Diego

  • Horton Grand Hotel – In the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp District, The Horton Grand Hotel is a restoration of two separate hotels opened in 1886 – the Grand Horton Hotel and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery Hotel.  Both hotels once sat in San Diego’s infamous red-light district.  The hotel is now said to be haunted by a 19th century gambler by the name of Roger A. Whittaker.  When he was caught cheating at cards, he ran from the game hiding in an armoire in Room 309.  However, he was quickly found and shot by the other gamblers.  Today his restless spirit is still said to lurk in Room 309 and along the stairway to the room.  Guests have encountered unknown hands shaking the bed, lights that turn on and off by themselves, doors mysteriously opening and closing, and the sounds of cards being shuffled and dealt. Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave., San Diego, California 92101, 619-544-1886 or 800-542-1886.

 

  • Lake Morena Campground – Located 63 miles east of San Diego on the remote eastern slope of the Laguna Mountains, Lake Morena is surrounded by thousands of acres of chaparral covered hills, huge old oak trees and large rock formations.  Within the remote confines of this park, at least one campground is allegedly haunted.  Across from the campground near boulders that lie beneath a grove of wooded trees, the apparition of a ghostly young woman in a long white dress has been seen several times.  Sometimes she has been seen pacing before she vanishes, other times, she is reported to just stare at you before disappearing.  She has also been heard to be laughing and singing in the distance.  Other campers have also heard heavy footsteps around their tents which do not fade as if someone were walking away, but simply seem to “lift” and disappear.  Lake Moreno County Park directions:  From San Diego, take I-8 east to Buckman Springs Road and turn right for four miles to Oak Drive, then west three miles to Lake Morena Dr. and the park entrance.

 

  • U.S Grant Hotel – In 1910 this luxurious hotel opened after costing nearly two million dollars to build.  Fully renovated today, it allegedly hosts a ghost who walks the hallways.  At other times, this spirit has been known to enter guest room, making all kinds of strange noises. U.S Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway, San Diego, California 92101, 619-232-3121

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