Paranormal Story Archives
September 2001 Page 4
by l. b.
I wanted to share a paranormal experience that happened approximately two years ago to us, and was witnessed by one of the hotel staff and several hotel guests at the time.
My husband and I traveled up the coast to stay at the Bella Maggiore Inn, in Ventura, California. It is a beautiful three story hotel of European styling, located within the confines of the city of Ventura. Routinely, many travelers both foreign and locally, come to relax, sightsee and share stories at this infamous "B&B." Breakfasts are served at Nona's restaurant on the first floor of the hotel for guests, non-guests pay the usual restaurant fare. We have stayed there now four times, the last one being the most frightening and disturbing:
We were told by Bill and Gregg, manager and assistant manager, that the inn had previously been a hotel which served the "needs" of gentlemen in the 1930s and '40s. One particular woman, Sylvia, distraught over some romantic entanglement, hanged herself in room 15. Since the inn underwent renovations, the room itself is claimed to be haunted, as well as "visitations" from Sylvia herself. She is known for being a rather mischievous ghost, and leaves a trail of strong rose perfume during her "appearances."
In the first floor, which contains the main lobby, fireplace and restaurant, sits the registration area and a seating area with a album. In looking at the album, it contains recollections of guests past and present, and their own personal "experiences" with Sylvia the ghost.
Needless to say, I was put off; my husband the eternal skeptic, was non-plussed. We stayed on the second floor, the only room that had a living room, fireplace and separate bedroom suite on that floor. The room was romantic and cozy, fresh flowers adorned the fireplace mantle. The windows overlooked one of the main drags of the city of Ventura. The overall ambiance was one of warmth and comfort.
During the day, we investigated Ventura, stopping in our favorite chocolate/candy shop, and venturing into book stores and checking out the historic city hall. We picked up a book about haunted Ventura by a paranormal investigator, Richard Senate, a very well-known and respected author and lecturer.
Upon arriving back at our suite around dinner time, we quickly changed and went downstairs for dinner. We then went upstairs to a small room, where comfortable chairs, and wine and fresh fruit and cheeses awaited us. We found several guests conversing and listened to the conversation, all of which quickly centered on seeing or not seeing "Sylvia," the ghost. One man in particular, a regular guest, said although he had not actually seen her, his room was routinely moved around; his personal belongings like his comb, wallet that he would lay on the dresser would be moved many times during the day/night. Always there would be a telltale rose fragrance lingering.
Of course, my husband thought this hysterical, but not wanting to offend, simply rolled his eyes at me, as I was completely glued to this man's story. After the conclusion, I met up with Bill and Gregg, both confirmed that each had personal experiences with "Sylvia," the ghost!
We retired to our room, and quite frankly, looked under the bed and in the closet to see if Sylvia was lurking, but to no avail.
The next day, I arose early, leaving my husband to continue to sleep and snore. As I entered the living room suite, I had a peculiar feeling or sense that I was not alone. I thought this ridiculous as there was nobody in the room, so I consequently planted myself on the living room sofa, after turning the gas-lit fireplace on. I picked up the book by Richard Senate and started to read. As I did, something told me to turn my head to my left. I was actually afraid to, but I slowly turned my head.... nothing there! I thought this was ridiculous so again I continued to read. Suddenly, I felt like all the air had completely been sucked out of the room. I felt it hard to breath and started to smell a very strong aroma, an aroma of roses. I was so frightened, but not wanting to wake up hubby, I quickly put on my long coat over my pajamas, ran down the two flights of stairs to where Bill was at the front desk. I told him what I was experiencing and he ran up the stairs in front of me. At the top of the stairs we both stopped in our tracks. There by room 15, the hall lights were blinking rapidly. Bill turned and stated he had just did a routine hotel check and the lights were stationery not blinking, they should not be blinking. As we quickly went down the hall, all the hallway lights were flashing. When we got to the room we talked in hushed tones. Without solicitation, he commented he could smell the roses and it was cold. We were both so spooked we held our room's door open. Several guests stopped, maybe out of curiosity and we invited them in. Everyone commented on the curious rose smell and how cold the room was. Well, that was all it took for me. I promptly thanked Bill, closed and locked the door, like that would really help anything, and promptly went to the other room and woke up hubby. Naturally, he completely slept through the entire happening, but did say that "perhaps" he could smell roses.
After composing myself, and making my husband stay with me in the bathroom while I showered and got dressed for breakfast, upon leaving our room, the whole floor literally was enveloped in an overpower rose smell. One guest passing by stopped, laughed, and said we must be new to the hotel, as that was "Sylvia" leaving her infamous trail of rose perfume behind!
Needless to say, we left shortly thereafter, me in panic and delight that I had actually experienced a paranormal experience, and my husband staunchly remaining a skeptic.
If you are ever there, please check out the guest album located on the first floor level. You will find many, many, guests who have experienced "Sylvia" for herself.
Did I ever see "Sylvia" materialize? No. Do I believe what I experienced? Yes. Would I go back? Perhaps not.
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