(photo credit: hotellarose.com) As autumn leaves turn to gold, it's prime ghostly haunting time in Marin and Sonoma county. Get out to enjoy the fright of the season with some cocktails. Spooky haunted bars and taverns are legendary in the North Bay area where old stagecoach stations, pioneer homes, roadhouses and historic hotels have a ghostly story to tell.
Hotel La Rose
308 Wilson St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Built in 1907, this imposing basalt-stone building sits in Railroad Square directly opposite the 19th-century railroad depot. The La Rose has a welcoming aura at Bistro 1907. Beware though because the story is told that several guests of the hotel, a family, were killed during their stay. Sometimes the ghost of a child is seen looking for his or her parents. An eerie aura pervades the bar and lobby area. Several scenes were filmed nearby in Hitchcock's 1943 movie "Shadow of a Doubt" for the story of an evil strangler who preys upon wealthy widows.
Village Inn Bar & Restaurant
20822 River Blvd.
Monte Rio, CA 95462
Drop by for a beer and barbecue on a nice fall day at this casual pub on the Russian River, but don't be surprised when you can't find some of your belongings. It is reported that the buried ashes of Elijah, a former resident, are the source of this theft. Strange happenings here include items jumping off tables and other supernatural bumps in the night. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
10400 Pacific Coast Highway 1
Jenner, CA 94540
This old inn dates back to days of sea captain William Jenner, the town's founder and namesake. When you're quaffing an adult beverage at the Fireside Lounge and bar, things are pretty safe. It's when you leave to go home in the dark that things get interesting. Don't be surprised if you see a man in a black leather jacket stumbling along the roadside. However upon second glance, he will have likely disappeared into the trees. The mystery man walks north on the west side of Highway 1, then disappears.
The Casino Bar & Grill
17000 Bodega Highway
Bodega, CA 94922
There's a small dive bar in this quaint roadside village just inland from Bodega Bay off Highway 1. After perusing the antique store, it's time for an old-school Sonoma brewpub visit to quench your thirst and down a few barbecued oysters. This bar dates back to 1939 and was the go-to place during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds" which made Bodega Bay a haunting icon. Several people who have spent the night at the casino report hearing a poker game in the patio behind the bar after the bar is closed. But when you look around, there's no one there. Is it the spooky sound of something evil or maybe just an old sailor who came back for one more hand?
Lobby Lounge at The Mendocino Hotel
45080 Main St.
Mendocino, CA 95460
This deluxe Victorian inn has a swanky, dark-panelled vintage bar in the lobby. It also has a ghostly concierge who appears to welcome guests in the tradition of a great historic inn. This ghostly apparition of a demure Victorian lady has been seen in the bar and the dining room many times. She reportedly prefers to appear near tables six and eight and has also been spotted late at night in the lobby.
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