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Haunt Jaunting Hazards Part 2: Shady Haunted Places

Proceed with Caution. Possible Frauds Ahead!

Last week I wrote how one of the hazards of haunt jaunting is the paranormal posers I come across. But there’s also another kind of paranormal poser. The shady ones. The haunted places that aren’t even actually haunted and falsely advertise their paranormal activity for publicity and profit. Those kind aggravate me to no end.


What got me thinking about this was after reading “Is It Haunted or Not?” on Phantoms & Monsters. Lon had received an email from an employee of the Pierpont Inn in Ventura, California. The employee shared some experiences she’d had with a ghost she calls Mattie. (I actually don’t know if the email was from a male or female. I’m assuming.)

Lon responded by thanking the person for taking the time to send the email and share the info. Next day he gets another email from the hotel’s GM stating the hotel is NOT haunted, even though because it’s of a certain historical age people fancy it must be. The GM asked Lon to refrain from exchaning further emails with employees so as not to encourage the rumors.

Here’s the thing: if it’s not haunted and the GM is acting responsibly in trying to dispel the rumors, bravo! I’m all for people maintaining integrity.

The trouble is, there’s evidence suggesting otherwise. Lon shared how the Los Angeles Paranormal Association had investigated the property in 2009 –with results. There was also an article in The California Chronicle about the inn’s haunted activity, which Lon also shared.

So I can appreciate his confusion as to whether the Pierpont Inn is haunted or not. I also respect that Lon tried to clarify it all. Here’s a snippet from that exchange: 

I wrote back to the General Manager and asked…”you’re telling me, in light of these articles, there have never been any hauntings at this location?”

A few hours later I received the following email:

That is exactly what I am telling you, a few years ago some advertising agency decided it would be a great advertising campaign for the inn. The inn is absolutely not haunted period end of story!!!!!!!

Aw, that poor foolish General Manager. Not the end of the story. Sadly, the rumors won’t be so easily dismissed.


Say the inn truly isn’t haunted. That’s a sad thing. Well, good, because no Earth-trapped spirits are lurking about. But bad because now we’ve got a location listed on several haunted places lists that really isn’t. Very hard to change that perception.

But you know what? Serves ’em right for listening to an ad agency to draw in business that way. Karma, as they say, is a bitch. Proof positive right there! (Not that this GM was involved in such shady shenanigans, but now they’re stuck paying the price.)

However, if it is haunted…for shame. Fess up, Pierpont. There’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on paranormal tourism –as long as it’s done respectfully and responsibly. It can be good for business. (And from the sounds of some other info Lon dug up and included in the article about the inn, good business is something that might be lacking at the Pierpont. Or, rather, good customer service.)

At any rate, the moral of this story is that, yes, sometimes haunted places concoct ghost stories for business purposes. Shady, unfair, but not illegal. At least the Pierpont Inn admitted to it.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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3 thoughts on “Haunt Jaunting Hazards Part 2: Shady Haunted Places

  1. Great article! I especially like your statement, “There’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on paranormal tourism –as long as it’s done respectfully.” But let me ask, how would you define “respectfully” in this case?

  2. Great article, we definitely support ‘paranormal tourism’ to help preserve historic sites but only under a certain set of checks. We’ve dealt with many sites reporting to be haunted in NY and most are reputable. There are however other sites which have spun claims as part of their marketing.
    Our encounter was fairly straight forward, we came for the investigation but something was a little wonky when the owner refused to sing our waiver until ‘after the investigation.’ We were still young back then so we let it slide. The investigation just went wrong through and through. When we came back with the evidence (hardly any but enough to say there might be something) the owner told us to never speak of it. That was fine but a year later we saw an upstart team on the news about their investigation of the site… they had gotten a paper towel roll to unfurl in front of an open window. When we asked if we could give it another go for her, she threatened to sue us if we said anything about our investigation. To this day they are still known for their haunted site even though we have evidence that says otherwise.

  3. Oh wow. That’s just nuts. Those kinds of stories make me so mad! SO MAD! I can only imagine how it makes you all feel!!!!! Then again, I have to remind myself these kinds of incidents are how we learn, isn’t it? But learning via the school of hard knocks sucks sometimes!!!! THANKS for sharing such a neat anecdote. (And for sharing the link too. 😉

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