How many hotels do you know of that have catered to many famous people? Which has the reputation of being a mob hideout? That has a stream running through the middle of the dining room? And also may be haunted?
The Brookdale Lodge began life in 1870 as the Grover Lumber Mill in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. In 1900, it was purchased by H.J. Logan and converted into campgrounds and a hotel. Clear Creek was built over so it ran through the center of the main dining room. The Brook Room, as it was known, was one of the Lodge’s most famous draws. The other was the in-building swimming pool whose sides were glass walls. People could watch swimmers in the Mermaid Room from the Brook Room.
Over the years the lodge has had many owners. Over time, it has played host to famous people such as Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Tyrone Power, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr, and President Herbert Hoover. During the 1940s and 50s, it was rumored to be a mob hideout riddled with secret rooms and tunnels for gun running and smuggling booze.
There have been many deaths associated with the hotel. Multiple people have been reported to have drown Clear Creek, as well as the Mermaid Room. In 1972, the drowning death of a thirteen-year-old in the pool lead to the shut down of the Mermaid Room, although the death has not been verified. Additionally, there were violent deaths and several suicides through the years. It was only a matter of time before rumors of hauntings began.
One of the most famous is Gladys Logan, who is often called Sarah in the legend. She was ten years old when she was playing on the banks of Clear Creek in 1892, before the Lodge had been built. She slipped, falling onto rocks and injuring her head. Sarah didn’t drown, but she did die from her injuries. Over the years, people have claimed to see a little girl in the dining room, playing near the banks of the creek she loved.
Sarah isn’t the only ghost in residence. There are reports of music playing after hours, men arguing, the sounds of parties in empty rooms, and a woman seen wandering around the bridge that connects one side of the dining room to the other. Room 46 is reported to be the most actively haunted, including reports of poltergeist activity, . Some believe that there is an elemental spirit that guards the land the lodge is built on.
The lodge was red-tagged in 2011 as uninhabitable due to damage from several fires that had not been repaired. In 2014, new owners began restoring the lodge to its former glory. The hotel portion has reopened, and there are plans to restore the Brook Room, the ballroom, and the Mermaid Room. Soon thee may be new tales about the spirits that reside in this unique hotel.
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