February 14, 2014
Ventura County is perhaps one of southern California's most beautiful and varied counties. Some areas give off the country feel while others are quite commercial and urban. There are hills, mountains, fields, ranges, and even beaches. You can spend a whole day shopping at one of the many malls or commercial districts and then relax by the beach while drinking a fruit smoothie, or, if you want something a little more rugged, you can go horseback riding or hiking on one of the many nature trails in the area.
As idyllic as Ventura County is, it also has its dark secrets and mysterious tales. Some locals believe that there are a few places the past hasn't left completely, where tragic or violent histories still resonate in the form of hauntings. The Bella Maggiore Inn is one of them. No one knows if the stories behind this supposedly haunted place are true, but according to visitors and ghost hunters alike, one thing's for sure: there's definitely something weird going on.
The charming hotel rests in the heart of downtown Ventura. Close to many bars and restaurants, it's a good spot for visitors who want to experience the city's nightlife. However, guests may want to avoid Room 17, for it is said that the restless ghost of one Sylvia Michaels makes her home there.
Some say that Sylvia was a “lady of the night” who often frequented the hotel during the mid-20th century. Others say she was a struggling writer who sought a romantic and exciting life in the once notorious and dingy neighborhood. What she exactly was doing in the hotel, no one can confidently say, but all who know about Sylvia agree that she met her end in room 17.
The stories surrounding her demise also vary. One story goes that she took her own life out of heartbreak and loneliness. Another tale states that she met her premature end at the hands of a killer. The common thread is that her death was ultimately tragic, which is why her spirit haunts the room to this day.
For many decades, guests and employees have reported strange poltergeist-like experiences throughout the hotel. Objects have mysteriously moved by themselves and lights have inexplicably flickered on and off. Some have even heard the piano playing with no one at the keys or caught a whiff of rose scented perfume, which is said to have been Sylvia's favorite.
The hauntings in Room 17 have especially been disturbing. Some guests have reported hearing the sound of a woman sobbing or screaming while others have felt sudden drops in temperature. A few have even experienced intense dreams or nightmares that they believe were influenced by Sylvia's spirit.
Whether you're a scaredy-cat or a veteran seeker of spooks, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann hope you enjoyed this eerie southern California tale.