The Pierpont Inn was built in 1910 as a respite for travelers along the 101. The Inn was Josephine Pierpont's inspiration, and some say she still inhabits the Inn she loved so much. Other suspected spirits-in-residence include Mrs. Mattie Gleichman, who ran the Pierpont for 70 years, and Emma Darling, a former guest.
The property features unique architecture from different decades: two 1925 English Tudor Revival cottages, a 1935 Spanish Revival Banquet Center and A Mid Century Modern retreat - The 50's Flat (for an excellent background on the Pierpont Inn's history, see: www.pierpontinn.com.
We were there to see whether these buildings retained some of the spirit(s) of guests past, or previous occupants; with a little luck, perhaps we would find some evidence that Josephine herself still wanders the lush grounds of the Inn she devoted her life to.
We began our investigation in the Vickers' Estate. We started in the library, and moved to the main room with the fireplace. While members of the team set up the video and audio, we asked questions of Ted, one of the former occupants of the 1935 Spanish Revival Estate. Questions ranged from the simple ("are you still here?") to the more complex ("how do you feel about the renovations on this property?"). In between taking pictures, asking questions, and soaking up the atmosphere, there was some light-hearted banter; at one point I state, "I don't feel anything here at all," which is ironic given what the audio revealed later.
In the background, someone or something is walking upstairs. It might also be interpreted as soft, continuous tapping, but Layla had mentioned during the session in the library that she heard footsteps. At that point, some of us heard them and others didn't. In any case, the digital recorder clearly picks up sounds that we were not making. The four of us were completely alone in the building at the time, a fact I verified at least once during that session. It is well-known among ghost hunters that the most interesting material can surface even when one doesn't feel the presence of anything or anyone in the room. I reminded myself of that later, since one's senses are not always the best guide when it comes to perceiving the paranormal; that is why we lug around so much equipment.
We continued our investigation in the bar area, the restaurant, the staircase up to the staff offices and the offices themselves, which are located in the original area of the hotel. This section of the Pierpont Inn is now closed to the public. The staircase leading up to the office area was alive with activity; besides eliciting a definite, creepy impression (the area is reputed to be haunted by a young girl) our EMF (electromagnetic field meters, used to detect unusual energy sources) devices were lighting up like Christmas trees. Although it is true that wires in the walls can set off an EMF meter, in this case the energy source was not consistent; sometimes it spiked in a certain area, and other times it didn't. In a few instances, the lights seemed to be responding to our questions.
The staff offices provided us with our eeriest experiences. We produced a few unusual pictures in the Catering Office, showing light anomalies that our photographic expert (Ty Supancic) cannot explain by normal means. This was during a session where the EMF meters were again behaving strangely, in areas where there was no obvious energy source. It was in these same offices that a pen moved by itself, under the watchful eyes of Layla and Grant. Staff of the hotel have reported pens moving around of their own accord in those offices, so this finding was especially interesting. Unfortunately, the pen would not perform this feat on command, so we were not able to capture it on video.
The entire hallway seemed active. In different spots, the EMF meters blinked on and off, with no predictable pattern. We took various pictures of the glass paned door where people have seen the reflection of a woman in white, but we were unable to capture her. We ended our investigation sometime after midnight, and we headed off to our well-appointed rooms for some much needed rest.
I would like to point out that the staff at the Pierpont Inn was exceptionally accommodating and generous. Ali, Tom, Anthony and Morgan were gracious hosts, and we would like to thank them for the time they took explaining where the "hot spots" were, and detailing the reports of paranormal activity. We could not have completed the investigation without them, and we look forward to working with them again.
We are still in the process of reviewing all of our evidence from the Pierpont Inn investigation, but our preliminary findings are quite suggestive of a haunting, especially in the staff offices and around the staircase near the lobby. The energy there is different from the other areas of the Inn; you feel it as soon as you round the corner from the lobby. While it's not possible to say exactly what or who might be lingering at the Pierpont, there is certainly the feeling that we were not alone there. Something with intelligence and apparent consciousness appeared to be quite interested in our activities, and gave us much food for thought. We hope to have more photographs and EVPs to share with you in a few days.
We recommend that you enjoy a fine meal at the Pierpont's restaurant, followed by a drink at the bar, perhaps a nightcap in the lounge, and then-maybe-you'll be ready to walk up those stairs. Bring your camera and don't trip when you come running back down.
Kirsten A. Thorne, Ph.D.
Co-founder, Los Angeles Paranormal Association