By Roderick Reed
Does the idea of going to Oak street seem frighting this year? Or the prospect of staying at home on Halloween just plain scary? Here are a couple of things to know about in Haunted Laguna!
The most interesting “haunted” building in Laguna rests on Catalina Drive. The old white building sits on the hill. It is the Arch Beach Tavern, built in 1915 to house people from the movie industry. The ghosts in this building roam the nearby neighborhood. Over the years, residents have reported seeing a little girl playing on the balcony at night on the third floor. Another resident reported hearing digging in the laundry room, but the floor is cement, and the digging sounded like a shovel into gravel and dirt. “Ghosts of America” logged 13 ghost sightings in Laguna Beach so far, including a report seeing an older woman with white, short perm-style hair standing over their bed.
“When I first moved in I woke up to what I thought was a nightmare but clearly was not; I saw a woman in old-style courtesan clothing. She had curly long dark hair and was wearing old-fashioned lingerie. She was scratching at me and telling me to ‘get out.’ I had actual marks on my arms, so this was very real! I remember she had long red-painted nails.”
Sounds a little crazy I suppose, but Greg and Marcia (not real names) live on a street alongside the old tavern which is now an apartment house . Their first hand story backs up the stories that have been going on for years. Greg and Marcia, opposed to being thought of as supernatural believers, are still trying to rationalize their way out of their haunting:
Jolted from sleep, Greg heard pained moaning sounds in the house . Greg heard what sounded like someone moving around the house. The same night, Marcia heard footsteps moving from the kitchen into bedroom. She sensed someone walking into the room. Not so much because of the footsteps, but the feeling of weight moving across the floor. Marcia sat up expecting to see one the kids at the bed. Instead, from the bedside, a curly-haired, turn of the century woman wearing a white apron was staring directly at her. She closed her eyes thinking it was her imagination, and when she opened them, the woman was drifting away with heavy footsteps across the floor.
The Witches House on Wave Street is the vision of Whittier carpenter, Vernon Barker, who built it in the late 1920’s. Not Haunted as far as I know but it certainly has architecture perfect for October.
There are other buildings in town rumored to be haunted including Ti Amo Restaurant. Owner Jim Hirschberg will tell you stories about it if you ask.
Why aren’t there more ghosts in Laguna Beach? For all the people who have died here over the years, some of them must not want to leave?
I will tell you right now, I love Laguna. If something ever happens to me (God Forbid) I’m not leaving. Look for my ghost not only in my house, but Bluebird Park, The Sawdust grounds, and downtown.