Alfred Hitchcock’s Late Estate, Bruno's BBQ, The Cinelux, Lockhart Gulch Road
Alfred Hitchcock's Late Estate
It was in 1940 when Alfred Hitchcock and his family bought the beautiful Spanish-style adobe, which was built in 1926. The Hitchcocks used the 200-acre estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains as their second home until 1972.
According to famous psychic Sylvia Browne (RIP) the fabulous old Hitchcock estate is said to be haunted and stained with residual energy from Santa Cruz’s dark past. Browne visited the estate back in the 90’s, when some friends of hers were interested in buying the large estate. Before Browne even entered the property, paranormal activity began. The psychic saw the ghosts of two large beautiful dogs lying on the ground guarding the gate at the front entrance. When she got closer she noticed the dogs were very ill and foaming at the mouth, as if they had been poisoned. When Browne arrived at the former Hitchcock estate, she told the hostess, Lavona about her encounter. Lavona seemed surprised and asked Sylvia how she knew about the dogs being killed by a neighbor years back. Browne reminded her that she’s psychic.
As Sylvia entered the five bedroom home, she immediately was horrified. “All I could see were walls covered in bloody handprints, and cowled figures standing everywhere, watching us, like cloaked and hooded monks with nothing but darkness where their faces should have been.” -Sylvia Browne, Visits From the Afterlife
While touring the estate, Browne also saw ghosts of both a man and a woman. “… some movement outside the barred window caught my eye. I looked to see a small, thin, gray-haired woman in a black dress with white cuffs, a white collar, and a white apron. A very dapper man in a black suit was standing beside her.”
Weeks later Browne saw an old photograph of the Hitchcock family. Standing in the photo with them was the older gentleman and woman that she saw in the yard. She was so overwhelmed by visiting the home and seeing such frightening images. “… I’m convinced that the land the house is built on is holding imprints of centuries of Godless evil, darkness that could take centuries more to be neutralized … The bloody handprints on the walls of the Hitchcock house are the only traces these sadistic pseudo-Druids’ victims left behind … Whoever is living here now, I would love to hear from you. But whether I do or not, please know that you’re in my prayers.” –Sylvia Browne, Visits From the Afterlife
More on Alfred Hitchcock:
The legendary, local writer, filmmaker, and producer Alfred Hitchcock was known for his thriller and horror movies, particularly his hit flick, Psycho, made in 1960. The Sunshine Villa located on Front Street (see Sunshine Villa story) is what inspired Hitchcock to write the film. The home was the Old McCray Hotel at the time. The place not only looked haunted, it was. The decrepit structure was so eerie and enchanting, that Hitchcock made the Bates mansion in his movie Psycho very similar to the haunted hotel, located on Beach Hill in Santa Cruz.
That same year, Hitchcock won an Academy Award for best director, and also received an honorary doctorate for “magnificent accomplishment in the world of cinema,” presented by The University of California, Santa Cruz.
In 1961, a strange event took place in Capitola that inspired Hitchcock to write his next famous film, The Birds, released in 1963. Late in the night on August 21, 1961, huge flocks of seagulls “invaded” the area from Pleasure Point to Rio Del Mar Beach. Hundreds of seabirds fell from the sky and collided into homes. Scientists could not determine why the birds came down is such an odd fashion.
Hitchcock was a local resident of Santa Cruz County until 1974. The creative genius, also known as “the Master of Suspense,” was said to be very serious, but also very funny at times. One of Hitchcock’s most famous quotes was, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
After directing more than fifty films, the eighty-year-old legend died peacefully in his sleep from kidney failure on April 29, 1980, in Bel Air, California. Hitchcock was then cremated, his ashes spread along the Pacific Ocean. His funeral was held in Beverly Hills at the Good Sheppard Catholic Church.
Although Hitchcock is no longer with us, his time in Santa Cruz County still echoes with his glory.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S LATE ESTATE
(Now known as: Heart O’ the Mountain)
Year built: 1926
705 Canham Road
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
** PRIVATE WINERY– NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC.! - NO TRESPASSING!
Part of an old 1920s structure still stands, nestled in a corner within the Kings Village Shopping Center in Scotts Valley, and currently occupied by Bruno’s BBQ. Before Bruno’s moved to its present location in 2003, the building was used by several different venues, and became partially remolded, except for one part of the building which is believed by various former patrons to be haunted. An old, classy bar still remains, as well as the second floor banquet room, with a cocktail lounge, where the paranormal activity occurs.
A former bartender at Bruno’s BBQ told me that for many years guests have gotten the feeling that the upstairs was inhabited by a ghost or two. Some have claimed to have seen or heard things that they couldn’t explain. I asked if the venue was haunted after I felt an unseen presence watching me from the top of the staircase. The bartender said that other people have also told her that they get the feeling of being watched.
“Go upstairs and tell us what you feel,” a waitress said to me. Of course I took up her offer and headed up the staircase where the energy seemed to change drastically with each step. It wasn’t an un-easy energy whatsoever, but it was obvious that something or someone still hangs out in the structure. When I reached the top of the stairs, I got a strong sense of a man in the cocktail lounge near an old original fireplace. At that moment, my Ghost Radar said, “Engineer.”
I began taking photos and while I was focusing my camera on the bar in the cocktail lounge, I noticed two orbs that were both the size of a baseball shoot past me. The energy then got even more intense for that moment. It really caught me by surprise since I had just arrived, and I’ve only seen and experienced something similar on a few other occasions. Unfortunately, my camera was still focusing and didn’t capture the orbs in time; but I will never forget it.
The upstairs cocktail lounge at Bruno's BBQ, Scotts Valley
As I was leaving Bruno’s and walking out the door my Ghost Radar said, “Outside.”
It’s a mystery who haunts the restaurant, but there are theories. The Bartender that I spoke with said that she thinks it could be haunted by the man who built the original, remaining part of the building. I got the sense that she may be right about that.
The Cinelux - Scotts Valley
The theater’s second auditorium is inhabited by a spirit that has made guests, as well as employees, feel as if they are being watched. Former manager Chet Bauerle said that he felt the presence I had heard about, and that he doesn’t like to be alone in the second auditorium without another worker present. After a midnight showing of Paranormal Activity 3, Chet stated that some guests came out of the theater and said, “We don’t know what was more scary, the theater or the movie!”
Another eerie incident took place in 2009. One of Chet’s coworkers went in to clean Auditorium 2, when he came upon an elderly woman in the theater who was very upset. Apparently, this lady was yelling at him, so he went to find a manager. Within less than a minute, Chet and this staff member came back to the auditorium where the woman had just been, but she was gone. “There is no way she could have gotten out of the auditorium that fast. We checked the back doors; we checked everything, and no sign of the lady.”
“Upstairs in the projection booth, I’d go as fast as possible to start movies, thread them up, do whatever I had to do and get out of there. It felt hostility up there, like something didn’t want me in there. I was never actually touched, but it was almost like something was pushing you out. As soon as you open the door to the projection booth, you were not welcome.”
The third ghost is believed to be the spirit of a former owner, who has been seen walking up the staircase by an employee, and was also sighted in the office by several construction workers. A newer employee told Chet that the spirit of a man kept following him around. After describing his features, Chet concluded that he was being trailed by the old owner. Some of the theater’s staff members claim to feel his presence watching over them, and even looking over their shoulder.
CINELUX - SCOTTS VALLEY
The Kings Village Shopping Center
226 Mt Hermon Road
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
Lockhart Gulch Road
One of the older and almost forgotten ghost stories told by Scotts Valley locals, was of the haunting of the "Woman in White". As the legend goes, a ghost of a woman, glowing white has been seen walking down the side of Lockhart Gulch Road, sometimes with a small child.
LOCKHART GULCH ROAD
(Near Bridge Creek Road)
Scotts Valley, CA 95066