My Stay at the haunted Santa Maria Inn – X-File #07-28-08

This was one of my early investigations. I stayed at the Santa Maria Inn overnight and experienced apparitions, EVPs and strange sensations on this case.

Case Status: COMPLETE. This is an X-File in the GRI archive. X-Files are cases we revisited to add new evidence that was missed in the initial case report, never analyzed to begin with or a case with updates worth adding to the case. We will update ALL cases, even “completed” X-Files, to insure they remain relevant in our archive into the future.

Case #072707 – Santa Maria Inn, California.

Many years ago I embarked on one of my first in a series of paranormal investigations while on a road trip with friends. It was July of 2007 and we had cause to stay at the Santa Maria Inn as we traveled the west coast.  The Santa Maria Inn is reputed to be haunted by a number of ghostly apparitions and I literally jumped at the chance to stay in the haunted room 210 when I learned we would be staying there.

For a variety of reasons, this case really never got analyzed properly due to a family medical event soon after I returned home from the trip. I have decided to revisit ALL of my cases to find new evidence and also to plan new missions back to these locations to see what can be picked up and will cover these in future case publications.

Returning to this early case of mine: In truth, I really didn’t have any idea of how to conduct an investigation, but oddly enough, I managed to get EVPs on video and some on a very bad audio recorder I was using at the time. My equipment these days is MUCH better and I am one of those people who get EVPs pretty easily without really trying to get them.

The Santa Maria Inn

The Santa Maria Inn was originally built in 1917 by Frank J. McCoy. The original incarnation of the hotel was a 24 room business.

Much has changed over the past century of the hotel’s history with the current structure now providing guests 164 rooms to choose from for their stay.

The hotel was a very “in” venue in it’s early heydey. People who traveled along the El Camino Real saw it as the essential place to stay with the hotel attracting the likes of famous personalities like Bing Crosby, President Herbert Hoover, Charline Chaplain, Bette Davis and Rudolph Valentino.

The Claims of the Haunting

Santa Maria Inn

Rudolf Valention. Silent film star of the early 20th century.

The Santa Maria Inn has had numerous reports of hauntings over it’s years of operating. Over the course of the past century, the ghost of famed silent film’s star Rudolph Valentino is reported to haunt room 210 of the hotel. Valentino is also reported to haunt room 221 of the hotel as well.

The Santa Maria has a number of other ghostly occupants in addition to Valentino. A woman knowns as “Peppy” is reported to haunt the hotel in an upbeat mood. No one knows who this woman is but her good mood makes her a ghost I would find interesting to meet in a subsequent visit to the hotel.

A sea captain who first was seen at the hotel is also a frequent report of guests. It is rumored he was murdered by a mistress and his spirit is seen often throughout various parts of the hotel. In addition to Valentino, he is also a frequent visitor to room 210.

A variety of other paranormal phenomena are reported in the hotel. Footsteps are hear in the corridors with footprints sometimes left in their wake. Doors open and close themselves. A piano sometimes plays itself and there are reports of objects moving on their own.

Personal Experiences

Upon reaching the hotel, the first obstacle presented itself. Even though I had reserved room 210, the staff had given it to one of my travel group and it took some fast talking for them to trade rooms after I found out about the mix up. But what happened right off the bat was that the couple had strange noises occurring from the moment they got into the room and they were glad to trade once they heard how haunted the room reputedly was.

Once I was room and as I went to enter it, I felt like a sailor on a rolling swell as I stood at the front door. This is a relatively common feeling for me when entering a haunted location or into an area with strange energies.

I ran a number of EVP sets and also videotaped in the room. My video recorder (Sony DCR-SR82) got the better EVPs and thus I featured these in the video and extracts shared here. More evidence is coming to support this case file.

While I slept in the room, I awakened to a tall shadow person standing to my left and I felt the bed shaking. The shaking and the sound of a male voice woke me. It was around two to three AM when this occurred. I turned on the lights and looked around after the apparition vanished. This sighting was much in keeping with the reports of activity in room 210. Unfortunately, I have none of this encounter on tape or photographed so this is merely a personal experience. I have experienced many apparitions before and after this one and it matched many of the human spirits I have encountered.

On my return home, my father had a massive stroke and this evidence was set aside for 14 years. On rediscovering it, it was decided to begin with this case and revisit many of our past cases and see if we detect new features of these cases as well as to revisit these missions of the past to see what else we can discover.

Equipment used:

  • EMF detector.
  • Sony SR82 video recorder with night vision.
  • Creative Labs audio recorder.

Evidence Collected

A number of EVPs were detected. These are summarized in the video above as well as the individual EVPs clipped below. Headphones are recommended to hear these EVPs.


Interference or whisper” from Santa Maria Inn 2007 July 28 Investigation.  “Sleep” is said towards end.

“Interference or whisper” from Santa Maria Inn 2007 July 28 Investigation”



Determination and Final Case Disposition

The Santa Maria Inn is DEFINITELY haunted. This hotel is worth a second visit to stay in room 221 to see what we run into there as well as a full formal investigation of the entire hotel.

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 – Bedroom

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 bathroom.

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 – Interior shot

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 – Door where activity takes place

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 ceiling

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 – Where I saw the spirit that night next to the bed.

Santa Maria Inn – Room 210 door