Following is a compendium of reader comments I have received on the Brookdale Lodge in Northern California.

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 13:29:27 -0600 (MDT)
From: James Mangin (
Subject: Re: Brookdale Lodge – ghost experience

My experience with the Brookdale Lodge happened about 1990 or so. I grew up in San Jose and spent most summer vacations up in Boulder Creek – one of 4 small towns that sit along Hiway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I’ve read a lot of articles about Brookdale being in Boulder Creek, but actually Brookdale is the next town going south – about 3 miles from Boulder Creek. Anyway, the place has a real interesting history going back to the early 1900’s ( I won’t elaborate since there is a complete history that you can read at and has changed owners several times, as well as being closed & re-opened many times. During the early 1980’s, we used to go there and explore. I used to take dates there. *grin*. The Lodge was closed at the time and we would sneak in and explore the old dining rooms, find hidden passageways that would come out near the cavernous inside pool area or end in blank walls, and generally have a great time. We never saw anything ghostly, but used to get gooseflesh, particularly in the old Pool area – it was definitely a weird place. One night in the summer of 1990 (I think, might have been ’91) a friend and I stopped by to have a drink at the bar there, about 1:30am. We both lived in Boulder Creek at the time and were bored. As you walk into the lobby area, you have the bar on the right, which can be seen through the large fireplace, and on the left is the lobby proper with glass display cases with merchandise and newspaper clippings & history of the Lodge.

As we walked in, my friend went left into the lobby and I went right towards the bar, where I sat in a chair, still in the lobby area, that faced towards the 4-way open fireplace that looked into the bar. I sat there for a minute or so, checking out the little girl who was sitting on the bar-side of the fireplace; she was looking off towards the left side of the room. She had shoulder-length blonde hair, pretty face, pale complexion, a blue & white knee-length dress tied about the waist with a coth belt or sash, and looked to be about 5 or 6 years old. I was thinking that I didn’t think it was very cool for parents to be bringing a little girl to a smoky bar at almost 2am in the morning. About this time, my friend began reading aloud from one of the display cases about the ghost of a little girl that was supposed to wander around the Brookdale Lodge. I think the legend is that she drowned in the creek that runs through the building. I turned and looked at him and forgot, for a moment, completely about the little girl and walked over to him. All the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up. I walked over and took a quick look at the newsclipping and then looked back at the fireplace where the girl had now disappeared. My friend, seeing the look on my face and the gooseflesh all over my arms and neck, was more freaked out than I was when I told him I had just been looking at a little girl sitting in the bar on the fireplace hearth. About 20 seconds had passed since I looked away from her, and nobody had come out into the lobby to leave – the only way out at that moment. Both of us went into the bar and there was no little girl. I asked the bartender where “she” went and said that nobody else had been in there, especially not a child. She said I was one of the few people who have seen the ghost of the little girl.


I live in Colorado now and returned to the Bay Area for a business trip about two months ago. I spent most of my free time in Boulder Creek during that week and on my last night I got a room and stayed at the Brookdale Lodge. (definitely run-down, but neat). I spent a few hours at the bar then wandered the grounds for a while; I couldn’t really explore anything since it’s all locked up now. Never saw anything, never even got weird feelings, and didn’t see any ghosts. But I know what I saw that one night – a little girl as real as you and me. She had substance, depth…she did not look you would think a ghost would be. I must’ve been looking at her, and looking her way, for at least two to three minutes and she was real, although in retrospect I don’t think I ever saw her move which should have tipped me off. And then she was gone.


-Jim Mangin
Westminster, Colorado (formerly of Boulder Creek, California)

I just looked it up – the girl is supposedly the niece of one of the former owners and she drowned in the creek. The dress she was wearing was not what I would consider formal, just a nice blue & white dress a little girl might wear to church. I still can’t get over how REAL she was, so weird…

Brookdale Lodge (2)

Date: June 26, 2001
Subject: Brrokdale Lodge experience

This occurred several years ago, sometime around 1995. On one of our visits to the Brookdale, a girlfriend and I commenced to the bathroom before making our way to the rest of the lodge. We’d been there several times before and were familiar with it’s history, both starlite and possibly a little sinister in it’s previous years.

That evening the bathrooms were a little less than spotless and were omitting a scent I wouldn’t expect to be a popular one at the perfume counter. This particular evening we were dwelling on it’s starlet history, particularly Marylyn Monroe’s visit to the lodge. We were discussing the possibility of Marylyn Monroe using this public restroom…which toilet did she use?…did she put paper on the seat first?…did she leave this smell? and other in depth inquires that derive from a few glasses of wine and a poorly kept bathroom.

Now the door of this restroom had a common hydraulic closing mechanism that allows for the door to be opened without effort and close slowly behind you as not to slam shut. Now my friend was the first to leave and the door closed normally behind her. A few seconds after the door had completely closed I reached for the door, opened it and began to walk through. Halfway upon my exit the door SLAMMED shut. Since I was not entirely out of the doorway it struck my back so hard that it sent me flying into my friend waiting about 5 feet from the door. My hand was nearly caught in the door jam as I was sailing through but was somehow agile enough in that split second to pull it away. Needless to say she witnessed the door slamming shut and saw that I hadn’t pulled backwards on the door or any variation there of to cause the incident. With that we ran the hell out of that hallway but reluctantly returned to attempt to repeat the same action of the door, but with no success.

For all I know it was some kind of backdraft or freak failure of the hydraulics. We were saying some pretty rude things about famous visitors in that restroom that night. We could only wonder wonder if perhaps any of them were in there listening and thought they’d let us know there disapproval.


Brookdale Lodge (3)

From: Michele Phillips
Date: Nov 7, 2003
Subject: Brookdale Lodge

Just stumbled across your website while looking up information on this week’s Travel Channel’s haunted hotels. This summer while visiting the Santa Cruz boardwalk with a girlfriend of mine, we decided instead of driving back to Rio Del Mar or staying with her husband in their condo in Boulder Creek we would get a room in Santa Cruz. The town was sold out with the exception of one room that was on a back alley behind the main parking lot, didn’t have electricity, and probably had not changed the sheets in years. We were told an elderly couple had lived there. Deciding against it we headed up 9 (I believe) into Scotts Valley and every stop from motels to cabins were full.

We then stopped at the Brookdale Lodge, must have been between midnight and 1:00 am at this point. My girlfriend mentioned as we got out of the car that this place was supposed to be haunted. I told her to knock it off and quit trying to scare me! and she immediately dropped the subject. They had one room left, number 47 (?) and we immediately booked it. We decided to stay in the bar, after using the ladies room. Walking down the ramp towards the ladies room it immediately turned very cold, while using the restroom, I swear I thought were in the wrong room because I saw men’s work boots in the stall next to me. While exiting the room after washing our hands the site of a used paper towel caused my friend to start gagging. She exited the bathroom and has the hydraulic door shut, I grabbed it to open and it was as if there were no hydraulic pressure and the door slammed shut practically throwing me into her. I thought nothing of this at the time whatsoever.

After a couple of drinks we found our way to the room, second to the last one in the two story wing around the left of the hotel. The evening weather was chilly, with tons of trees aroun! d us blowing in the wind. Entering the room it was stifling. We opened the large doors and windows that faced towards a grassy area and opened louvered windows above the door on the opposite side of the room. My friend stepped out on the balcony to have a cigarette, her hair blowing in the wind, yet we could not get any air ventilated in that room. The switch on the room a/c was missing, so that could have been no help either. My girlfriend became extremely upset that pictures were obviously missing from the walls, leaving a shadowed area where they had been hanging. I had no idea what was upsetting her so much. Too tired to care I was going to bed. Only a couple of TV stations available I figured I would try to get some sleep after a long day of fun in the sun. She decided at this point she would head on home to check on her husband and would meet me in the morning.

All through the night I could not believe how hot! that room was, there was no air and if felt like a million people were in that room taking up space. I had a hard time sleeping at first because of all the noise, doors slamming, heaving footsteps, I couldn’t believe how insensitive people could be in the middle of the night. Sleep must have eventually come because the following morning I could not pull out of it. It felt drugged, oppressed, as if sleep had been induced and I could not seek a level of wakefulness. I was absolutely shocked to see it was 11:00am, that is the middle of the day for me! And it was only because my friend had returned and was waking me up.

We decided to head downstairs for breakfast. We went to the coffee shop, ordered breakfast and decided to get a couple of bloody marys from the bar. While over on that side we discovered the dining room with the stream running through it. So pretty but a little eerie feeling. We went back to ! the coffee shop to tell them we were changing our mind and wanted to have the Sunday Brunch but out orders were ready. We ate quickly and returned to the main lobby.

It was then I discovered all the newspaper clippings and history. I could not believe growing up in the Aptos area where our vacation home is located and never knew of this place. While reading the clippings, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, my friend had Goosebumps on goosebumps and admitted to me she had left the previous night because she was so spooked. The indoor pool area I had visited earlier was soaking wet, yet there were no sign of swimmers, the cold pockets in the bathroom area, loud noises and footsteps, yet I was at the end of the corridor?

To this day I am spooked just sitting here writing this. My son just walked into the room and I jumped out of my skin. My friend has returned for several visits taking her children with her. Her 17 ye! ar old daughter is adamant someone had drowned in the indoor swimming pool, and my friend, who has had encounters prior, cannot speak of that night without becoming visibly shaken. I, though never a skeptic, now believe that what your naked eye may not reveal, the hair on the back of your neck does.

Michele Phillips

Brookdale Lodge (4)

From: “Kristine” (
Subject: Brookdale Lodge
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 1:41 AM

The Brookdale Lodge is a locally famous place. Brookdale itself is very small, maybe about 500 people, but a lot of people around here go to Brookdale because it has the only indoor heated pool around. It is haunted, no doubt. A girl drowned in the pool, I believe, in the 1920’s. There is also a room below the pool where you can watch the people swimming from under the water. That room used to be where the mafia men would sit and pick out the girls who were swimming. That room has a very eerie feel to it. For more info go here:


Brookdale Lodge (5)

Subject: Brookdale Lodge- Ghost experiance
Date: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 12:39 AM

I was talking about ghosts with my friend the other day and how spooky The Brookdale Lodge is, so I decided to look it up. I have lived in Boulder Creek all my life, born and raised… The Brookdale Lodge is like 5 min away if you drive to it. In order to get where I wanna go I have to drive by the Brookdale Lodge, so I drive by it about every day and knowing all the stories and the history I have always been spooked. I have known about Brookdale lodge being haunted and how the little girl had drowned and so on.

Well my friend had always invited me to go swimming in the indoor pool there. I barely even knew what ghosts were at the time, I was probably around the age 8 or 9 but I knew that the Brookdale Lodge was haunted. I went swimming there probably about twice a week, an indoor pool to an 8 year old is like the coolest thing. One day I was swimming and in the deep end of the pool there is a window that’s underwater that you can look into a dance room and it leads into the dining room. So I thought it would be fun if my friend went in the room and wave or whatever.

Before she had even left to go down to the room I had went underwater and looked around down there. But when I went under I saw a little girl just standing there looking at me blankly. She was small like around the age 5 I’m guessing and had a blue and white dress on. I was a little confused at why there was a girl down there. So I went back to the top of the water to catch my breath and went back under and she was gone.

Shortly after that, my friend showed up in the room and I started to yell at her to come back up to the pool. I was really scared, I told her what happened and how the girl wasn’t there when my friend went in the room. The scary thing is when she was in the room she said she had felt a sudden breeze of cold air, and all her arm hairs had stood up and had many goosebumps. I have never been back to the Brookdale Lodge since then… the fact that the little girl made eye contact with me creeps me out till this day.

Brookdale Lodge (6)

From: “james hill” (
Subject: Brookdale Storie
Date: Friday, October 08, 2004 9:56 PM

About 3 years ago I moved to Santa Cruz and I was not familiar with the Brookdale Lodge. My family and I just moved there so we decided to take a look in the motel because we heard it was haunted.

Well I was about 13 at the time and my sister 14 and we both were so excited to be in a haunted place we decided to look around. We first walked into the Mermaid room where you could see underneath the pool and it was dark and we both were scared but there was nothing to be afraid of. We were just spooked but we still wanted to look around. We then went back into the dancing room with the checkered floor and we walked up onto the stage with the fireplace and we both got strange feelings so we left.

I then decided to go to the bathroom and my sister went to look around herself. Well I walked into the bathroom and went in to a stall. I then heard the door open. I thought it was my sister so I looked underneath my door but I saw no one. I then got ready to leave the stall when I heard footsteps but there was no one there. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what was going on.

I waited in the stall for a few more minutes, then the bathroom door opened and then shut. Some one had come into the bathroom and I never saw who. I thought it might have been the little girl who died there but I never saw her. We then left the Lodge and we came back a few months later for a birthday and I found myself wanting to walk alone and be alone. I thought if I was alone the little girl would come to me she never did. To this day I’ve never seen her.

2 Replies to “Brookdale Lodge (Brookdale, CA)”

  1. Hi,

    I live in Brookdale, just a bit over a year now, not far from the lodge, and I can say that I’ve had a few unsettling things happen over the past year of living in my house, but I’ve never experienced anything in the lodge when I stayed there. I believe that the entire town of Brookdale has some things going on with it, and I would like to know more of the history of this place. The biggest thing that happened was that one night really late, my daughter and her friend heard childs laughter outside her window. When they looked out the window, then walked outside, they saw nothing. It was really odd considering that we live on a private road and no children live there, and it was about midnight when this happened. She said they also heard the footsteps as if the child was running down the side of our house. Creeepy!

  2. I stayed there in the early 2000, not sure of exact dates. My family and my parents had the 2 rooms on left across from pool bottom floor. Crazy experience! It was a raining when we arrived , I had a 2 year old baby and we laid down to nap early afternoon. I just remember loud stomping and running and laughing like children playing above us. Power went out that evening around 9. Creepy. Old man knocked at the door gave us this orange old school candle and said it probably would be off all nite bad storm. My baby was scared so we put her from her playpen into the bed. Soon after she got up and began conversing near the closet with someone and playing for a long time.. It was strange. Found out at breakfast in am we were the only one with kids and there were no occupants in the wing we were staying in.

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