Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghosts at the Claremont Resort (my own experience)

I'm in Berkely, California for a women's conference.  My 16 year old daughter came with me and we're staying at a lovely, 85-year old hotel overlooking San Francisco Bay.  We got here about a week ago and definitely had an interesting first 24 hours. 

The Claremont Resort
(Click on the name above to see a pic of the hotel.  We were staying on the far left end.)

Beautiful hotel lobby:



We've since changed rooms, but our original room was on the 4th floor, at the very far end of the hotel, Room 416.

Long hallways.  Eerily quiet at that end of the hallway where our room was located. Room was smallish, but cozy enough with a view. But something just didn't feel right. Did not sleep well at all. Neither did my daughter.  (I usually don't have any problem sleeping in hotels.) We kept hearing noises from the people in the room above and next door, and doors slamming shut.

In the morning, my daughter said, "Mom, I don't like this room." She had done a google search and found out that the 4th floor has had reported hauntings, one room in particular (not ours). I said it'd be alright, but in the back of my mind I was already thinking that I didn't want to spend another night on that floor.

In the evening we went downstairs and chatted with the bellman about good places for dinner. He said that since things were slow, he'd be happy to give us a tour after we had dinner. Said he'd take us to the 4th floor, there's "lots of trippy things there." We said, "We're staying on the 4th floor..." He asked which room and we told him. He didn't say anything, just that he'd be happy to give us a tour of the rest of the hotel later.

At dinner, my daughter said she really, really didn't want to stay in that room. So when we got back from dinner, we asked the desk clerk if we could change rooms. He smiled and asked if we'd been talking to the bellman. We said we hadn't heard his stories yet, but we'd maybe like to hear them after we changed rooms. We said we just didn't feel comfortable where we were and we'd really like to change rooms and move to another floor. Then the desk clerk said, "Don't worry, we'll get you out of there." Now THAT confirmed to me that something was not right on that floor.

Moved to another floor, and we immediately felt better. There was just something really unsettling about the 4th floor.

Talked to the bellman later. First of all, there is no floor above our old room. So there were no people above us making those noises. And there was no one in the room next door, either. Also, the bellman said the room next door supposedly has a lady in white who passes through that room. My daughter said that during the night she stretched out and her hand touched the wall (of the adjoining room) and it felt hot and "weird." She pulled her hand back and couldn't sleep.

There are stories about a young girl who reportedly haunts the 4th floor, playing with guests and the hotel staff. And the bellman told us a story about one guest who came down to the lobby in the morning, pale and shaking.  The guest said there were "people coming out of the walls" of his room on the 4th floor.  The bellman told us about another couple who pushed the record button on their phone as they were walking up to the hotel. They weren't talking to each other, but as they played it back, there were voices, one of a young girl saying "Mama." When I heard that story, it reminded me of something I heard when I used my cell phone and called my husband earlier in the day (while we were still in the old room). I called his cell but it didn't ring right away. So I called again, this time, before he answered, I distinctly heard a young girl's voice saying "Mama" just before my husband said hello. I remember thinking, "How did a child get on the line?" Really weird.

The bellman (who's been here 9 years and has seen and heard a lot) said that a ghost hunters team did come here to investigate a couple of years ago. He said it was a big team and they came in disguise so as not to alarm the guests. They kept interviewing him about things that went on. He didn't say if the story every aired.

My sister called and she googled and found more stories from guests. Similar stories to ours about noises and hearing a little girl saying "Mama."

Funny thing is that my daughter and I both watch "ghost hunters" on TV, but to find ourselves in the middle of a real-life adventure is a whole 'nother thing. My daughter had wanted to go on a ghost tour while we're here, but we've nixed that idea. We're not going to Alcatraz either, we figure we've had our fill of creepy stuff.

Another story from the bellman I forgot to mention. Two women were in a room and they heard a knock on the door. They answered it and no one was there. Another knock, they unlocked the door and again, no one was there. Then, as they're in bed, the SAW the deadbolt turning and the chain lock being undone!!! If that happens, I'm sleeping in the lobby.....

Also, there's a story that a lady died in a fire in room 417--the room directly next to ours. Maybe that would explain why my daughter said the wall felt "hot" when she touched it.

None of the spirits here are reported as being harmful, just playful. The maids and other guests have reported lights flickering, televisions going on while you're in the shower, and drawers opening by themselves. Nevertheless, there's a distinctly eerie feeling when you go to the 4th floor. We didn't even know any of the stories when we got here, yet we could feel something strange as soon as we stepped off the elevator.  I just attributed it to being an old hotel.

This is a pic of the 4th floor hallway with our original room on the left.  (We walked down 3 hallways like this to get to our room at the end of the hotel.)  Our room is the next to the last door. At the end you can see a firedoor which leads to a stairwell (used for emergencies only).  There are no rooms across from ours, only windows. 


During the night, I kept hearing what I thought was the stairwell door slamming or the next-door room door slamming shut. Every time I'd open our door to look out, I never saw anyone. Yesterday I asked the desk clerk if anyone was staying in the end room the same night we were. He said no one was in that room. And I asked him if the security guards or anyone uses the end doorway. He said no, no one uses those doors. My daughter and I both heard noises in the room (and from the non-existent room above us), so I know I wasn't imagining things.

Since we've changed rooms, nothing out of the ordinary has happened.  Tonight is Halloween, but I'm not planning to do any ghost-hunting.

Other than the strange experiences, I've found the hotel to be quite charming!

UPDATE:  We're back home, safe and sound.  During the last couple of days of my stay, almost every staff member I spoke to had a story or experience to relate.  Here's one more from a lady in the gift shop.  She said that when the hotel was undergoing a renovation, she and another staff member visited Room 422 (or maybe it was 423, she couldn't remember).  They walked into the room and looked around.  They looked into the bathroom, but neither of them could go in.  She said it was as if both of them got a message saying, "Don't come in."  They looked at each other and knew they weren't going in.  She said it was the weirdest feeling.

15 comments:

  1. I came across to your blog when I read the story of Tim Duncan & Jeff Ayres of San Antonio Spurs having same experience as yours. Thanks for sharing. I had fun reading your blog until the very end. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you for reading! It was so interesting to hear of others' experience.

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  2. yeah mee too..I read about Tim Duncan and Jeff Ayres of SAS and search google about it.

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    1. And thank you, too, for reading! Yes, when we had our experience we also googled and found other stories. So weird!

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  3. Same I read about the san antonio spurs and googled it.

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  4. This is quite funny as I too somehow came across your blog from reading Tim Duncan's story about the hotel. Great article!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your story about the Claremont, who knew there were spirits there! It's a gorgeous hotel.

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  6. I am sitting in room 417 right now. Heard the story last night about the 4th floor. Glad I waited until morning to hit the internet.

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    1. Hi John, yes, probably better that you didn't read all this until morning. Anything unusual during the night?

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    2. no. but right after i posted this, i took a stroll around the corner to 422 and there was tons of noise coming out of that room. the descriptions of encounters in/near that room are that there is a 'playful' child ghost. these noises i heard were very much of that sort, though didn't strike me as juvenile. i want to believe those were actual (present) hotel guests making that noise.

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  7. We left last night at 1:00 am so scared after we heard a loud scuffle, a woman shriek and then a loud bang like she fell and then sobbing outside our door. We were at the end of the hall in room 421. It was so scary I was in tears immediately pasked and got the hell out of there with my fiancé. The ghosts on the fourth floor are real !!

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  8. These stories are the same ones I heard when I went there for a day visit. I also took a tour of the 4th floor with friends. The one thing that struck me and others was that as soon as we all got off the elevator, we all felt very dizzy. There is something very strange regarding that floor. Im not sure if it's the design of the floor or what. We all walked around trying to figure why this phenomenon was occurring. Once we got back into the elevator and back to the main floor, we all felt better. We will be going back to occupy 421, 422 & 423.. Why? because we are a Bay Area paranormal investigative team.

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    1. Would love to hear more about what you find out. Thanks for sharing what you experienced. It's really strange, isn't it?

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  9. I Worked there as a graveyard janitor for 4 years a saw a ghost and open rooms with nobody in them i also on the 4th floor sound like a little girl playing ive seen doors open in front of me smelled food and heard food cooking with no chef in the kitchen i also had something similar to the movie the shining happen to me I called off for 2 nights i was very sick doctors told me that it was my head i saw guests leave for no reason a little after 3am I would walk down hallways at 3 or 4am and hear something or someone run up behind me but nobody was there heard boots with spurs walk behind me with a tall shadow at the restaurant patio at the paragon

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  10. I Worked there as a graveyard janitor for 4 years a saw a ghost and open rooms with nobody in them i also on the 4th floor sound like a little girl playing ive seen doors open in front of me smelled food and heard food cooking with no chef in the kitchen i also had something similar to the movie the shining happen to me I called off for 2 nights i was very sick doctors told me that it was my head i saw guests leave for no reason a little after 3am I would walk down hallways at 3 or 4am and hear something or someone run up behind me but nobody was there heard boots with spurs walk behind me with a tall shadow at the restaurant patio at the paragon

    ReplyDelete