With just over 3,000 inhabitants, Moss beach has three times the amount of residents as it did in the year 2000. There is more fog experienced in the area than in other parts of California due to the currents in the sea. Although this creates an eerie atmosphere it was perfect for smugglers to bring in their load.
Initially built to accommodate smugglers in 1927, the Moss Beach Distillery was erected. The restaurant sits on a tall cliff, within a quiet bay overlooking the choppy sea. Illegal imports of alcohol could be brought onto the shores without fear. They were able to carry the kegs directly to the restaurant where they could be sold to the customers or moved on to their final destination. The windows surrounding the building provide panoramic views of sunsets and the secluded beach. With firepits located on the patio, it is a lover’s dream for cocktails and dinner. Frank Torres was the initial owner of the distillery.
The smugglers would find refuge and safety within the walls of the property while being unseen by passers-by and the police. The many bays and cliffs that surround this part of the coast have also made it an interesting site for a marine reserve. For this reason, it is now recognised as a protected site and those choosing to walk along the edge of the ocean must be careful not to take stones or shells home by accident.
Local myths tell a tale of a lady who visited the restaurant regularly looking for attention while the man that she was married to remained at home. Bored and looking for an interesting night she soon met and fell in love with a musician at the restaurant named Charlie. As they continued to meet a full affair began, much to her husband’s dislike.
One night the husband made his way to Moss Beach Distillery instead of staying at home and caught his wife with the man who played the piano. It is said that a fight broke out but because Charlie was well known and worked at the restaurant, the husband was removed by security at the property. Later that evening the lady was found having been stabbed in the back and Charlie had been knocked unconscious. It is understood that the husband had waited for the lovers to emerge and attacked them on their walk along the beach.
The Ghosts of Moss Beach Distillery
Since this night there have been reports from employees and customers that a woman continues to frequent the restaurant. Witnessed both inside and out of the restaurant locals are certain that it is the wife who was stabbed. The legend says that she is desperately searching for her lover.
Employees at the distillery recall phone calls that they have received which had no one on the other end. They remember check books that seem to suddenly levitate while no one is near them and dates being tampered with on the computers.
Other staff recollect doors being locked when the only way to do so was on the other side, yet no one was around to be accused of the prank.
It is a regular tale for women to lose an earring while dining at the restaurant. All of a sudden the earrings will all reappear in one pile. Collected and held onto by the wife herself.
Small children who have visited the restaurant have told their parents of the woman who is sitting or wandering around.
It is not only Moss Beach Distillery that appears to be haunted but the surrounding area as well. Several people have died in the vicinity and none of them seems to be moving onto the next world.
Legend of the Blue Lady
According to psychic Sylvia Browne, four further ghosts haunt the distillery. All of which have been confirmed to have met their death nearby. She has identified a lady who wears a blue dress as Mary Ellen Morely. According to historical records, Mary died in a car accident in 1919. Having received blows to the head and chest she is said to be searching for her son ‘Jack’, who was also in the accident but was saved by his father.
Sylvia Browne has also identified three other spirits known as Anna Philbrick, John Cortina, and Hannah Elder. All of which had met their deaths nearby.
Professor Loyd Auerbach, a parapsychology specialist has confirmed that the manifestations are genuine. During his visit he evidenced doors slamming, sudden temperature drops, and changes to the magnetic fields.
Women appear to be the focus of the ghosts as they are often said to feel someone breathing on their neck.