There’s something electric about tales of ghosts and goblins; even more so when you actually visit a haunted site. And although I can’t guarantee any spirit sightings or ghostly encounters, these California haunts all have good wheelchair access.
Ghost in a Ghost TownWhere better to find a haunted hotel than in a ghost town? More specifically, at the Fallon Hotel (www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28005) in Columbia State Historic Park. Constructed in 1859, this 14-room inn opened its doors as a boarding house, but over the years it’s had several incarnations. Remnants of the past remain today, in both worldly and other-worldly forms.
Although period decorations grace the accessible guest room (Room 14), modern conveniences (such as indoor plumbing) have been added. Access features in the bathroom include a roll-in shower with a fold-down shower bench and a hand-held showerhead, grab bars in the shower and around the toilet, and a roll-under sink. It’s simple, but very nicely done.
In the other-worldly category, guests have reported strange smells of whiskey (from a long gone saloon) and smoke (it’s a “no smoking” property); as well as lights that mysteriously turn on and off. Additionally, a female ghost often appears in Room 9 and Room 13.
Ghost Hunters CentralUp on the Northern California coast, the Mendocino Hotel (www.mendocinohotel.com) has been the site of paranormal activity since well before WWI. So much so, that the property was chosen as the headquarters for the 2006 California Ghost Hunters Conference. It’s also been featured on Ghost Hunters.
Opened in 1878 as the Temperance House, the property also served as a bordello for many years. Today, a Victorian woman reportedly haunts tables 6 and 8 in the restaurant, and has also been seen in the guest rooms. She is described a “playful spirit” by housekeepers who often encounter her.
A ramped entry is located on the far right side of the building; and even though you don’t have to spend the night to encounter the lady spirit, the hotel boasts a nicely accessible guest room (Room 306). Located in a garden area behind the main hotel, this Victorian style room features barrier-free access, wide doorways and a roll-in shower. As an added bonus, there are accessible pathways throughout the surrounding garden area.
The Blue LadyLast but not least, let’s not forget about the haunted Moss Beach Distillery (www.mossbeachdistillery.com), located just south of San Francisco. Legend has it that the restaurant is haunted by the Blue Lady, a former patron who used to frequent the establishment to visit her piano player boyfriend. Over the years, there have been reports of levitating checkbooks, mysterious locked rooms and ghostly sightings.
The restaurant dates back to the 1920s, but access upgrades have been added over the years. The accessible entrance is clearly marked and there is lift access to the downstairs patio area. Arrive promptly at noon for the best lunch seating, or reserve a specific table for a romantic dinner. And keep your eyes open for the Blue Lady, as she’s also been sighted in the ladies restroom!
And if you’d like to expand your search for accessible haunted hotels across the U.S., then check out www.emerginghorizons.com/haunted-hotels-across-america.