Just inside the gate along the 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach California stands the imposing Crocker Mansion. A good friend says it's haunted, and he has first-hand experience!
You may know that Charles Crocker (photo below) was a member of the "Big Four," a group including Leland Stanford, Collin Huntington, and Mark Hopkins.These folks were rail barons of the Central Pacific Railroad and also owned the Pacific Improvement Company.
Crocker, who thought Pebble Beach would make a dandy summer resort, also owned the luxurious Hotel Del Monte in Monterey. As an added attraction for guests at the hotel, he began offering picnic tours to Pebble Beach by horse-drawn carriage. As many as 150 trips daily were made, totaling 17 miles round trip to the forest from the hotel Del Monte. Crocker built a log cabin where the Pebble Beach Lodge (blue sky color photo below) now stands in 1908.
Crocker's mansion, built in the 1920s and pictured below was an imposing structure even by railroad baron standards. Carved from a grove of Monterey Cypress trees it fronts directly on the Pacific Ocean. After his death his passed through several hands.
In 1998 our general contractor friend, Alex, was asked to come into to the mansion to look around. The new Italian bronze-clad entry doors were rumored to cost a million dollars. The walls, originally containing frescoes, had been repainted purple by a renter with money but bad taste in wall color.
Alex ended up working there for five years, from 1999 until 2004. Together with a crew of four, Alex was required to wear a clean suit and booties, and was never allowed to take photos of his work, which began with the removal of the purple paint from the walls. An engineer by training, Alex invented a way to gently remove the paint without doing great damage to the underlying art on the walls.
A caretaker supervised his work, appearing at odd times during the day to check that no items were being photographed or "borrowed." Eventually those visits ended as Alex and his crew gained the trust of the overseer.
From almost the first day at work at the mansion Alex noticed his tools and equipment, which were required to be kept in the room in which he was working, seemed to be moved around in the morning when he arrived. Assuming that the caretaker was messing about, he moved things to their proper place and began work.
After six months the caretaker announced he was no longer going to live in the adjacent guest house and gave Alex the keys to the mansion, the only set, as well as the alarm code.
It was then that work equipment started to move, then disappear. Purple walls cleaned themselves one night, and there was no evidence that any of his equipment had been used. Locked windows were found open one day with no sign of forced entry.
It was almost as if Charles Crocker himself had come back to supervise the work on his haunted mansion.