Photo by Arjun KC
We are in the midst of spooky season and ready for some fun thrills! With Halloween around the corner, it's time to indulge in some of the area’s haunted history. With its rich and rooted past going way back, Monterey County has no shortage of ghost stories and spine-chilling spots! Here are some must-see sites to give you the spooks this Halloween!
Rumor has it that the historic Monterey Hotel located in downtown is haunted. Both guests and staff have reported spooky interactions with a number of ghosts. One of the spirits is a maintenance worker affectionately known to staff as Fred, who mutters about constantly having to fix the stairs, and loves to mess with the TV and clock radio in Room 217.
Another commonly spotted ghost in the hotel is that of a young teenage girl. No one knows the identity of this female spirit but she’s been caught sitting on the main stairs or wandering the upper floor. The last spirit comes in the shape of a man dressed in Edwardian, high-hatted finery. He
appears from time to time in the mirror facing the front desk and is believed to be the building's architect, who died in 1936.
In addition to ghost sightings, there has been a slew of other paranormal activities. Author Jeff Dwyer has recorded a loud, disembodied "Hello" on the second floor and he reports that staff members have felt the touch of cold hands, found objects relocated to bizarre places, and seen
doors inexplicably moving. Eek!
Point Sur Lightstation
Having seen its share of shipwrecks, the Point Sur Lightstation is thought to be a haven for those lost souls whose spirits perished along the coast. Locals have claimed to spot an old man standing at the window looking out over the ocean — despite the fact that the quarters are vacant.
Tours of the Lightstation take place regularly on Saturdays at 10am and Wednesdays at 1 pm. And during the month of October, look forward to special Halloween Tours on October 22nd and 29th at 5:15 pm. An evening of ghostly fun will begin with a walking tour to the lighthouse in time for sunset, get ready for paranormal investigators sharing recordings from Point Sur's ghost hunts, and explore inside one of Point Sur's real haunted houses, the un-restored Triplex. Enjoy hearty snacks, desserts, and hot drinks during the tour.
Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers as the weather can be cold and windy!
Point Piños Lighthouse
Despite being the oldest on the U.S. west coast, the Point Piños Lighthouse is still functional. A long list of lighthouse keepers have been chronicled on the house's website, where you can read all about some of their dark, rugged tales.
One of the lighthouse’s best-known keepers is believed to haunt the space to this day. Between 1893 and 1914, Emily Fish lived within and maintained the Point Piños Lighthouse. Many visitors to the lighthouse have claimed to see Emily’s ghost, smell the scent of her perfume, or have heard the sound of footsteps walking past them.
This U.S. National Register of Historic Places is a must-see during the haunting season. The Lighthouse is now open Saturday 11 am - 3 pm and Sunday 1 pm - 3 pm. Entry fee for adults is $5 per person. Catch a glimpse of this stunning place from Pacific Grove Golf Links or from the road on Asilomar Blvd.
Tor House and Hawk Tower
In 2017, Tor House made its television debut on Ghost Adventures for Travel Channel, where three paranormal hunters sought out the ghost of American poet Robinson Jeffers. Hawk Tower stands just next door, and both imposing structures are regarded as haunted entities.
In the words of Jeffers — who lived here with his wife from the early 1900s — "We raised two boys here; all that we heard or saw was beautiful — and hardly human." But was it paranormal? One thing is for certain: the unique, eerie stone remains will not be forgotten any time soon.
Docent-led tours of Tor House are now open for full indoor and outdoor tours on Saturdays only. The hour-long tours begin at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm, in the docent office. And, during the weekend of October 14th, the Jefferson Fall Festival is back!
This historic haunt dates back to as early as 1833. James Stokes worked out of his home as a pharmacist, but despite his "profession," his medications killed more patients than saved them. Later, the home was converted into a restaurant where there were reports of disembodied female voices calling for help, shifting mirrors and furniture, and strange silhouettes — some in 1800s-period clothing — lurking around the property.
Not only did dinner guests remark on these sightings, but staff members as well. In fact, according to one waiter, if you stood in the main room by the old front door, you might feel someone — or something — tap you on the shoulder.
Don't let the name fool you; the home is merely dubbed from an 1879 stay by famous author Robert Louis Stevenson. It was a modest boarding house for impoverished artists and nomads in the 1800s and was actually called the French Hotel. The previous inhabitants were the Giradin family — all of whom died horrible deaths in the mysterious adobe.
The Giradins are rumored to haunt the property to this day. Some have seen the spirit of the family housekeeper in a black dress and others have seen Mrs. Manuela Giradin herself. There are tales of rocking nursery chairs, sounds of someone coughing from the second floor, and sudden overwhelming scents, like Manuela's signature smell of roses.
If you dare enter, tours are offered at 10 am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tickets are $10 for adults.
Colton Hall was built in 1847 and is considered one of the most historic buildings in California. Built to serve as a public school and town meeting hall, Colton Hall now offers visitors a re-creation of the meeting room where California's first Constitution was drafted in October 1849.
However, Colton Hall also served as a jail and execution hall where many soldiers were put to death. Workers and visitors have experienced cold spots, eerie whispers, and the distinct feeling of being watched closely.
It was on the second-floor porch balcony that soldiers were hung to die a grim death. It's definitely worth a visit to listen for the footsteps many people have heard on that very same porch. Open for free daily from 10-4 pm.
Los Coches Adobe
Photo from The Scare Chamber
The former inn, stagecoach stop, and brothel located off Highway 101 in Soledad is rumored to be haunted by the old Madame that used to run the place. It's said that in the early hours of the morning, while her guests slept (mostly miners), she would sneak into their rooms, slit their throats and steal their gold. Rumor has it that her ghost that’s been spotted wandering the grounds, while others say they’ve heard screams coming from an old well on the property.
Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach
Everyone loves a good mystery, and Pebble Beach delivers. Welcome to Ghost Tree, where the weather and the ocean are unpredictable and downright ferocious. Standing on a bleak cliff overlooking the volatile sea, this barren and lonely tree marks the site of dangerous ocean waves that crash against the rocky outcrop known as Pescadero Point. In fact, an experienced big wave surfer died here in 2007 trying to ride some chillingly gnarly 50-foot waves. But this is not the first death at Ghost Tree.
A few hundred years ago, Maria del Carmen Barreto Garcia Madariaga owned some 45,000 acres of the California Central Coast, including Pescadero Point. After her death in 1856, people reported sightings of a mysterious woman in a white lace gown. If you keep your eyes open, you might catch a glimpse of the "Lady in Lace" strolling down the middle of the road — and then vanishing into the foggy ocean without a trace.
We hope you enjoy all the thrills and chills that Monterey has to offer you this Halloween! Explore all the hauntingly fun Halloween events in Monterey County here.