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A Big Sur Lodge Ghost Story

Fog above ocean rising up cliffsides.
Foggy Big Sur Coast. Image by Don Taylor from Pixabay

Halloween seems like a great time to share a ghost story. So here goes...

Once a upon a time, a former boyfriend and I drove the winding Pacific Coast Highway up the central California coast to Big Sur. As we arrived, fog rolled off the Pacific Ocean up cliffs that dropped hundreds of feet to the water.

We checked into the Big Sur Lodge, surrounded by giant ancient redwood trees. After dinner, we settled into Cabin 42 and eventually fell asleep.

At some point, I woke to go to the bathroom and on my way back to bed, a black form hovered in my path.

"What the hell?" I thought. The mass was barely visible, just a shade darker than the rest of the room. It seemed to be about three feet by three feet, oval-ish, and floating a few feet off the floor. I rubbed my eyes. Was imagining it?

The mass disappeared. I dashed back into bed and got under the covers.

What could have been 20 minutes or two hours later, I woke. "UHHHHHHHH!" My boyfriend wheezed a crackly low moan. I rolled towards him as he moaned again, this time loader, "UHHHHHHHHH!" I put a hand on his sweaty chest and quietly said, "Hey, wake up. You're having a nightmare. Everything's ok." I gently shook him and his eyes popped open. He gasped for breath. "Are you all right?" I asked. "Holy shit. I had the scariest nightmare. There was this heavy black mass sitting on my chest. Smothering me. Choking me. I couldn't breathe!" he said.

Chills ran down my spine as I asked, "What exactly did the black mass look like?"

We turned on all the lights and my former boyfriend described the same black mass I had seen on my way back from the bathroom. A year later, I went back to the Big Sur Lodge to attend the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Workshop. When I checked in, I was given the key to Cabin 42. "Can I please have a different cabin?" I asked. "It's the only one we have," the lodge clerk said.

That night, I slept with all the lights on, wrapped in my Granny's scarf, holding her rosary in my hand. And I was fine. In the morning, I thought about how the ghost from my last stay in that cabin didn't bother me. It just didn't like my boyfriend.

Smart ghost.


What about you? Do you have a ghost story? If so, please share in the comments.

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Heidi Green
Heidi Green
Nov 02, 2023

Suzanne, what a terrifying experience! It sounds like the apparition was trying to prevent you from going back to the bed with the boyfriend in it and, failing that, decided to address the menace directly. It’s just that the “menace” in this case was not the apparition.

My “ghost story” experience was with my mom after she passed. I was 19 and away at college. After the memorial service, I went back to school, and over the next several years, my mom would appear to me and conversations. It was different than wishful thinking, I could tell that she was really there. Our conversations were with words, though, even though I could see her mouth moving. They were conversations with…

Suzanne Casamento
Suzanne Casamento
Nov 02, 2023
Replying to

Could be! He was not a good match for me, that's for sure, but at the time I couldn't see it. And WOW. Your mom has some serious ghosting skills! I mean, for the two of you to have heartfelt conversations is one thing, but for multiple people to have experiences with her spirit is amazing. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

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