Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

Claremont Hotel

Berkeley, California
By Shannon Reinbold-Gee

Many people have checked into hotel rooms labeled “No Smoking” only to find a lingering smell of smoke. But few hotels can legitimately give the reason for such an inconvenience as being the result of a haunting. The Claremont Hotel (now the Claremont Resort and Spa) in Berkeley, California can make such a claim. And the smoke from a long ago fire is not the only thing clinging to the Claremont. It is also home to a playful little girl’s spirit.

In the late 1800s, a young Kansas farmer-turned-prospector by the name of Bill Thornburg was dreaming of gold. Heading to California, he became one of the minority and “struck it rich.” Being “new money” he bought 13,000 acres and built his wife’s dream home—a modern castle. He also had several stables, housing hunter and jumper horses and breeding English foxes for his hunting parties to chase and kill. The Thornburgs’ daughter married and moved away and soon after this, her mother passed away. Disheartened, Bill sold his wife’s castle to the Ballard family.

On a dry summer day in 1901, while the Ballards were away, the castle burned to the ground. Only the stables and barn survived the blaze. The result of a lively game of checkers, the property was won by Frank Havens. In 1905 he began construction on a hotel. The earthquake of 1906 dashed his plans. Not one to give up easily, Havens got the hotel built and opened its doors officially in 1915. Since then it’s changed hands several times and millions of dollars have been invested to make it a first class resort and spa.

People have speculated the 1901 fire is the real reason some guests smell smoke at odd moments in otherwise smoke-free rooms. After the fire almost ruined the structure, renovation led the owners to create a hotel. The Claremont Hotel, some say, looks like it should be haunted.

The fourth floor seems to be the area of the most focused activity. Witnesses report strange problems with flickering lights and televisions turning on while 4th floor guests use their bathroom. The mischief-maker seems to be the spirit of a little girl who died there when she was only six. Some say she died in the hotel, some claim it was in the house that caught fire.

Although her name and the story of her death have been lost to history, the traditional explanation has seemed accurate for years now. People occasionally claim to catch a glimpse of her. Her favorite room seems to be room 422, although the nearby rooms also seem to get some ghostly attention. No one seems particularly worried about the little girl ghost acting dangerously—most actually report getting the sense of a nice presence when she’s near. So, although the Claremont may look creepy to some, rest assured the restless spirit of one little girl will do her best to make visitors on the fourth floor have a memorable stay!

45 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »

45 Comments

Leave a comment

[1] · 2 · 3 · Next » ·

Show All Comments

(Ms.) Sam Herbert says:

February 5, 2006, 3:52 pm

My husband and I gave my in-laws a gift of a weekend at the Claremont, so that they could enjoy the Dinner/Dancing on Friday night, and the fabulous Sunday Bouffet at the resort. These were, indeed, appreciated features of their long-weekend stay at the Claremont. Unfortunately, their room–while it looked comfortable enough, if small, was the site of a great deal of unexpected noise and disruptive episodes. Our parents, not the type of people to complain about collateral problems associated with a gift, never reported it to management. Want to guess what room they occupied?!! Upon making a discreet inquiry, they learned that the “active construction” sounds they heard off-and-on throughout the weekend, were not matched by current building efforts in their part of the building. Nor were there any guests registered in the rooms opposite or to either side of their room, at the time. Sam Herbert

nicole says:

February 14, 2006, 10:48 pm

i would sue that hotel

bettina says:

August 4, 2006, 7:57 pm

can we know the adress of the hunted house so me and my friends can go?

CAB says:

October 5, 2007, 3:01 pm

As someone who is an employee of the hotel for only a few years, but has been in the hotel business for 12, I can truely say there is something that roams the halls of the Claremont. Occasionally, I will hear something strange in the halls when I am alone and see some strange things happen with the lighting around the hotel, twitches of sorts out of no where…

Heres the mos spokiest story yet I have heard from a trusted source…A friend stayed at the hotel for a convention she was attending. Without knowing the history of the hotel or that it was haunted, she checked in. She was put in a non smoking room as requested but smelled the stinch of some kind of smoke in the room. She ignored it and settled in. after having dinner she visited the Spa for a treatment. Daily I am asked about the hauntings here as guests love the excitment of possibly being in a haunted place. So while getting her treatment, she stumbled into the conversation between a few employees and a few people getting treatments. They spoke of the little girl who has been seen and heard around the hotel and how she died in the fire that burned the place before it was a hotel. After hearing more, she asked where the girl had been seen. They told her most of the reports are on the 4th floor but mainly room 419 and 422. 422 was the room she was checked into and was terrified when she put together the smell of smoke and the little girl in the room she was checked into. As you can tell, she quickly changed rooms…

Daily i walk that floor to see if anything strange happens…I will keep you posted and let you know of any new sightings or encounters….

CAB

CAB says:

October 5, 2007, 3:05 pm

The Hotel is actually in Berkeley, 41 Tunnel RD, very close to the Cal Bears Football Stadium. It stands out clearly on Google Earth…

Sorry about the spelling…I got a lil excited…

AVB says:

March 16, 2008, 6:40 pm

I’ve been driving past this hotel for CAL football games since I was 3 months old. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go in, because it always looked so old and like out of place to me, like, it’s ALWAYS interested me. This is the first thing I’ve EVER heard about it being haunted. It just makes me want to go in there even more. :]

Tony Cordiale says:

August 6, 2008, 6:42 pm

Really close to my old home 2110 Funston Pl. Oakland, ca 94602 which was also haunted ….

isaac says:

September 11, 2008, 6:25 pm

i would go ther but i cant

Deliverance Minister Helena Garilano says:

September 13, 2008, 8:00 am

The Hotel would be haunted is because the owner has not dealt with the spirits. The spirits have a “legal ground” to stay and that would be a tragic event such as a fire or someone dying on the property. There is a curse because of a death on the property. The legal grounds must be removed. If the owner does not deal with this. Visitors must do this if you are a Christian. Whenever you pay for a room at a hotel before walking in you say I cover myself and family with the blood of Jesus Christ, I break any curses brought in by a death in the area where I occupy in the Name of Jesus Christ. I bind all demons and command you to leave this room in the Name of Jesus Christ , I command you to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ (repeat many times) Read the bible out loud in the room . They might follow you home. Say Any demon that transfered to me followed me or was sent to me I bind you and cast you out in the Name of Jesus Christ. Demons can change their appearance to look like a person. They don’t want you to know who they are. There are more details on my website http://wwwHauntedHouseBuster.Com
Minister Helena Garilano

Deliverance Minister Helena Garilano says:

September 13, 2008, 8:04 am

The Hotel would be haunted is because the owner has not dealt with the spirits. The spirits have a “legal ground” to stay and that would be a tragic event such as a fire or someone dying on the property. There is a curse because of a death on the property. The legal grounds must be removed. If the owner does not deal with this. Visitors must do this if you are a Christian. Whenever you pay for a room at a hotel before walking in you say I cover myself and family with the blood of Jesus Christ, I break any curses brought in by a death in the area where I occupy in the Name of Jesus Christ. I bind all demons and command you to leave this room in the Name of Jesus Christ , I command you to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ (repeat many times) Read the bible out loud in the room . They might follow you home. Say Any demon that transfered to me followed me or was sent to me I bind you and cast you out in the Name of Jesus Christ. Demons can change their appearance to look like a person. They don’t want you to know who they are. There are more details on my website http://www.HauntedHouseBuster.Com
Minister Helena Garilano

KKR--- I am a girl ppl!!! kkr is my group name!!! says:

October 4, 2008, 12:06 am

My dad works at the hotel and he always comes home with a whole bunch of spooky stories about the hotel like how there was a woman choked to death by a man and now everyone is waiting to see her and the little girl shes pretty active I guess she likes to play with little kids she is friendly I guess… The maids actually yell at the ghosts which is sortve funny but the thing is if you show them fear then they will come after you… You cant be fearfull in that situation what some of the maids do is when the ghosts start acting up and start kicking the garbage cans in the rooms the maids are like “Boy you better pick that up or sit you *** down!!!” I find it sorta funny but I mean the ghosts leave you alone after that the thing is im going to be spending the night there with my dad maybe tomorrow because he has to work a double night shift and my mom was like hell no so im sortve freaked out but I still want to go its like im excited scared and im going to be taking a couple of alergies pills before I go to sleep becuase I do not want to wake up in the middle of the night there and if my dad leaves me in the middle of the night this is going to be funny because if I have to you might see me lounging on the floor in front of the check in snoozing cause I am not staying in the rooms alone… The spirits dont just stay in one room they roam around also the spa area is huanted to when they lock up they see shadows but they dont see anyone and when they lock up they can feel that something is there and see shadows which just scares the crud out of me and im only 13 I still share my bed with my sister idk what im going to do my mom says to think it through but no matter what my answer is going to be yes oh yea also the elevators are sort’ve haunted too… If you click 5 you will be on 4 if you click 2 you will be on 3 those two levels are haunted from what I hear hey CAB is it??? Well anyways wish me luck cause I know as soon as I go there you are going to probably see me knocking on room number 422 and 430 thats how stupid I am but then again before I get out of the elevator I would probably pee in my pants… Well any advice before I roam the levels of hell???

Jason says:

October 4, 2008, 12:28 am

Yea that place is definitely haunted. While your at it, check out my site http://www.paranormalknowledge.com

We cover all the spots Real Haunts does not!

KKR--- I am a girl ppl!!! kkr is my group name!!! says:

October 4, 2008, 7:41 pm

Any advice people cause I am going to go and spend the night there tonight!!! My mom is calling me stupid and they know I am looking for trouble but the thing is for some reason I think almost half of the things is fake there minds can be playing tricks on them thats happen to me a couple of times sry people I used to watch to many scary movies when I was little… I mean it could be there minds are playing tricks on them because they are beleiving that it is haunted and they are just waiting for somthing to happen and then tell everyone after they freak out or the 4th floor could just be haunted… hmmm… Maybe … I should go ahead and check out the 4th floor by myself??? well if I do am going to have to give this alot of thinking if I do go I will tell you what happens people… k c ya gotta finish my homework… =)

Melanie Scott says:

October 31, 2008, 2:39 am

So what happened with your stay KKR? I really wanna go! One of my passions is investigsting the paranormal. I guess you could say I’m super sensitive to paranormal experiences ever since I was a kid.

KKR says:

November 1, 2008, 3:08 am

It wasnt bad at all I went to sleep round 1 am as usual but since I was pretty scared I just dug my head underneath my blankets and went to sleep… but I did wake up in the middle of the night because of this cold chill so I turned to my side and saw my dad was still sleeping and went back to sleep with my bedside lamp on. That was pretty much it though nothing really scary I went up to the 4th floor and pushed the door open to room 430 I didnt know people were in it so I ran up to the next floor. There is a nice view on the 9th floor and the garlic french fries is a must have over there! THEY ARE SO ADDICIVE! But no my dad is always trying to spook me out saying that he is going to put me in room 152 (I think it was that room)for on halloween with one of your friends! Well my stay was great Happy Halloween!:)

Riley Jencon says:

November 2, 2008, 9:35 am

i once went in that room it was odd my lungs burned in there so bad i had to leave the room i was listening to music i know some1 who died ad the strangest thing he had a chip in his finger i saw bloody handprints wiv something like 21/30 on the side of it reminds me i silent hill 4 now im always hearing stuff sayin like the chaos of death when im alone and im seein thing pointin at me and also i hear soon u will die ur the 30th sacrafice wtf if any1 else has seen this please post on this

Tony says:

February 4, 2009, 1:15 am

KKR, I would like to talk to you regarding the Hotel. Can you contact me via our website at BaysideParanormalSociety.com

Thanks!

Lesley says:

March 13, 2009, 12:56 pm

KAY SO I WAS HOME, GOT SCARED AND RAN.

THE END.

Dafne says:

June 17, 2009, 7:59 pm

hey kkr i want to talk to you about the hotel so i can jnow some more stuff

Tony says:

June 17, 2009, 9:39 pm

We had a team meeting at the Hotel recently. I had a chance to talk with some of the help and walk up to the 3rd & 4th floor where things are going on. I can tell you this,you do get he fun house effect on the 4th floor.

I was told that everyone knows whats going on but, they keep it hush hush.
Just recently I was told that a guest was scared out of her mind from what she saw.. so much that she complained to the front desk because she was so scared.

We are making plans to spend the night soon…

[1] · 2 · 3 · Next » ·

Show All Comments

Leave a Comment

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)

Website

Please use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Let's try to keep this place looking classy.
Real Haunts reserves the right to remove any comment that does not adhere to this requirement or is otherwise
inappropriate. Any post containing a link will be flagged for moderation due to recent comment spam. Feel free
to include relevant links, but please know that it will delay your post.

About Real Haunts

Do you believe in the supernatural?

This is the best resource for haunted houses, spooky stories, ghostly tales and all things paranormal.

 

We have mountains of stories about ghosts, ghouls, and specters.

Sitemap

HomeStatesSubmit a Haunt

 

Copyright © 1998-2014

The Dumb Network LLC

Privacy Policy