Tag Archive for: Bella Maggoire Bed and Breakfast

Haunted Places in Real Life and in My Books

Over the years I’ve had a fascination with haunted places and have stayed in a few.

The Queen Mary is supposed to be haunted–and has a tour with some special effects added. However, I once was there for a conference and many of the photographs taken during the awards ceremony showed that we’d been visited by tiny orbs of light. When I went down to my room after the ceremony and got off the elevator, nothing looked as it had before and I couldn’t find my room. I had to go to the center of the ship and come back–and then all was returned to normal. Something to do with the haunting? I have no idea, but it was definitely weird.

The historical  Menger Hotel in San Antonio is another place that’s haunted. No, I didn’t see any ghosts, but I may have heard one. While trying to sleep, someone kept knocking loudly on the door or another room, I finally poked my head out and though the knocking continued, no one could be seen.

The Bella Maggiore Inn in Ventura CA is another haunted spot–Room 17 in particular. Yes, we asked to stay there and were warned it was haunted. This old bed and breakfast was once a boarding house which you can tell. A previous time we stayed there, the room we had once had a Murphy Bed which is now the closet and the bathroom had obviously once been a kitchen.

The haunted room was much smaller–and our ghost didn’t show up. However, my daughter said that was because I was there–the ghost is supposed to be a prostitute and I guess hubby would have had to be alone to be visited. However, the whole place has the ambience of being haunted.

Then there’s the Santa Maria Inn. It has two parts, a modernized hotel on one side, then the old hotel where the movie stars once stayed. We’ve stayed there several times. In the old part, the rooms are small compared to what we’re used to today, but each one is different. No, didn’t see any ghosts, but it certainly seems like there might be one or two lurking just beyond the next corner of the long corridors.

No wonder I like to write about ghosts and haunted houses–and I’ve written quite a few.

My Deputy Tempe Crabtree series always has many ghosts and spirits. The only one about a haunted house is Spirit Shapes.

I even included a haunted house in my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, Violent Departures.

What about you? Have you ever visited a haunted place or encountered a ghost?

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

Alas, No Ghostly Visitation

Hubby and I chose to stay in Room 17 of the Bella Maggiore Bed and Breakfast in Ventura CA because the room is supposed to be haunted. We did not have a ghostly visitor. My daughter looked up the ghost and said it was because the ghost, a prostitute in her former life, only visited men who stayed in the room by themselves. Guess I ruined it.

However, we did have a rather intimate romantic encounter with a real live young man. Room 17 opens on a balcony shared with another larger room. There are no windows in these rooms, only doors that open to the balcony with no screen door and a transom. We were sitting in our room with the door open, when this darling young man popped in to inform us he was having a surprise party for his girlfriend’s birthday at 10 p.m. on our shared balcony complete with music, a Spanish harp and guitar along with a singer. We were invited.

Both of us were tired, but assured our visitor we’d enjoy the music. Of course we had to shut the door and the drapes in order to go to bed, because the chairs and table were only a few feet from our room. At 10 p.m. the music began. It was lovely and very romantic. It was over by 11.

The next day, after we’d had our wonderful breakfast and hubby was transporting our bags to the car, I was sitting on the bed with door open and in pops the young lover. He wanted to know if we’d enjoyed the music, I assured I’m had. I said, “I hope your fiancee appreciates you, not many men are as romantic.” She came out and I met her (cute young thing) and told her that her boyfriend was definitely a keeper. He said, “Thank you.”

From there we went to the Premiere Author event at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Though it was nice, we didn’t have much traffic. The talks about writing and poetry reading were scheduled back-to-back with no time in-between for the attendees to step into the book room. I sold two books and I don’t think anyone else sold more than one. Of course, the organizers realized they’d made a mistake. But it was wonderful to see and smell the ocean air.

From there, we headed to the Bank of Books (bookstore in a former bank) and set up for a talk about mystery writing. This was planned spur of the moment, so didn’t expect much of a turn-out and I was right. Three people came to hear me and we all had fun. We will plan another event, with a bigger lead-in time for the fall.

No matter what, we had a good time. We spent Saturday night in our youngest daughter’s new home, beautiful and huge. Five bathrooms! Can’t imagine having to clean them all. Of course she says my grandchildren are responsible for their own. (They’re grown or nearly grown, so it is possible this might happen.)

After a great breakfast, we left the cool temperatures by the ocean and headed back to the hot temperatures of the San Joaquin Valley.

This week I’m helping out at Vacation Bible School. Actually had fun with the fifth and sixth graders that I had to keep track of.