Ghost Stories of the Central Coast
Halloween is just around the corner…but who knows what else could be? While the Central Coast has a rich history, there are definitely some skeletons hiding in the closet. Whether or not you believe in ghost stories, these chilling tales are sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck.
1. Room 1007 at the Paso Robles Inn
Founded in 1864, the Paso Robles Inn is one of the most historic buildings in Paso Robles, and with history comes a lot of mystery. After the first event was held in the newly renovated ballroom in 2001, the front desk at the Paso Robles Inn began to receive mysterious calls often on dark, stormy nights. The weird part? The calls always came from Room 1007, and there was never anyone on the other end of the line after the front desk clerk picked it up. But it gets weirder—a staff member would go to Room 1007 after each of the calls, only to discover an empty room.
Concerned that there was a glitch in the phone system, the Inn asked the phone company to investigate the occurrences, but they didn’t find anything wrong with the hotel’s phone system. After that, the hotel staff started joking around that a ghost was making the phone calls and logged each time they received one of these phantom calls at the front desk. It was all fun and games until Room 1007 called 911 one evening. The police responded, and just like the hotel staff before them, they found the room to be empty. If people didn’t think there was a ghost in Room 1007 before, they definitely did now.
Intrigued by the strangeness of the phone calls, Paul Wallace began rereading articles about the 1940 fire that destroyed the original hotel. He discovered that on the night of the fire, the 911 call went out around 9:05 p.m., close to the time that night clerk J.H. Emsley sounded the alarm warning guests of the fire. Because of Emsley’s heroic action, every guest was evacuated from the hotel safely—except for Emsley, who died of a heart attack before he knew if all the guests were safe from harm.
This leaves us to wonder, is Emsley still trying to keep everyone at the Paso Robles Inn safe from harm as unfinished business? Whatever the case may be, Room 1007 is one of the most highly requested rooms at the Paso Robles Inn, according to Wallace.
2. Adelaida Cemetery
If your idea of a fun Friday night involves wandering through cemeteries late at night, Adelaida Cemetery in Paso Robles is the place to be. For those of you brave enough to endure the winding, forty-five-minute drive out to Adelaida, we offer one piece of advice: hide your car keys. According to legend, the lost souls that haunt Adelaida Cemetery steal visitor’s car keys, stranding them in the middle of nowhere with the company of Charlotte Sitton’s ghost.
It’s said that every Friday night between 10 p.m. and midnight, Charlotte wanders the cemetery wearing a long white nightgown. Apparently, Charlotte was married to a minister, but at the young age of 19, she committed suicide in December 1890 after her child passed away due to a diphtheria epidemic. She has been seen both at her own grave and her child’s, carrying flowers and placing them at the grave.
Going to the cemetery after dark is considered trespassing as it’s only officially open during daylight hours—seemingly for good reason as the cemetery is also known for a bleeding tree and a caretaker ghost.
3. Mission San Miguel
Unfortunately, some of the most brutal murders in California occurred on December 5, 1848, at Mission San Miguel. Since then, there have been several ghost sightings at this historic location.
When a group of men arrived at Mission San Miguel on December 4th, 1848, William Reed, who owned the Mission at the time, offered them a place to stay for the night—and we wish for his sake that he hadn’t. That first night was fine, but the men of the group left the next morning only to return to stay for another evening at the Mission, which William politely allowed.
Upon their return, on the night of December 5th, everyone at the mission was murdered, including William Reed, his pregnant wife Maria, their 4-year old son, a few other family members, and some employees. Including the unborn child, 11 people were killed that night.
The killings began when the entire group was warming themselves around the cooking fire until it started burning out. One of the visiting men offered to retrieve more firewood, only to return with an ax. He struck William Reed several times while the others explored the rooms of the Mission, killing the women and children. After the murders were carried out, the group of men stole all of William’s valuables and left the Mission that night to spend the night in nearby Templeton.
In April of 2009, a man visiting the Mission saw the ghost of a man step out of the wall on the south side of the church wearing a navy pea coat. William Reed always wore a navy coat in the wintertime, meaning that this ghost must have been poor William. According to Mission San Miguel, nobody has lived in the Old Mission rooms for many years…and after reading this spooky story, nobody would want to.