April 19, 2016 – A team of ghost hunters have found signs of paranormal activity in the Cremer House restaurant in Felton and are planning to return at the end of the month to gather more evidence, according to owner Emily Thomas.
“It never really weirded me out until today, after they left I got the shivers,” said Thomas, who also co-owns Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.
The restaurant is housed in the oldest building in town, built in 1874 by Thomas Cremer and his wife, who operated it as a boarding house, restaurant/tavern, gambling hall and brothel.
The ghost hunters came last Friday equipped with electro-magnetic frequency meters, other types of energy detectors and digital thermometers, according to Thomas. They plan to return with TV cameras and interview staff who have experienced strange goings on upstairs, where the brothel used to be.
“The women who do the filing back there have always noticed that when they’re in there the light goes out,” said Thomas. “We’ve had someone come in and change the light bulb and someone come in and check the sockets and electrical in there but every time they’re in there the light will go out.”
Thomas adds: “There’s one office when you step into it, it’s insanely cold, colder than any other room. So they found a lot of energy in there too.”
And then there’s a tiny room that spooks Thomas so much she refuses to enter. “It’s too small for a bedroom and too big for a closet, I can only imagine what went on there,” she said.
The 19th century building was also operated as the Grand Central Hotel and then fell into disrepair and stood vacant for years, before being painstakingly renovated by Thomas and building owner Bob Locatelli, who also owns the New Leaf Market next door. The current Cremer House restaurant opened in late 2014.
Over its 142-year history, the building has housed, fed and entertained lumberjacks and railroad workers. There have also been at least two known murders inside its walls.
In the late 1800s a fight broke out in the kitchen and a dishwasher fatally stabbed the cook. Another time an employee came in to collect his pay and was hit over the head with a poker and stumbled into the street to die, according to local historian Randall Brown who is in the middle of revising his book, Ghosts of the Creamer Hotel, Felton: a local history.
For more on the history of the building, see Molly Lautamo’s article The Cremer House: Scandalous Stories From Felton’s Oldest Building on Mobile Ranger.
For more on the current ghost hunt, stay tuned!
Deborah Luhrman is publisher and editor of Edible Monterey Bay. A lifelong journalist, she has reported from around the globe, but now prefers covering our flourishing local food scene and growing her own vegetables in the Santa Cruz Mountains.