Have you every been deeply haunted by a place?
Last summer I went to Byron Hot Springs which is an abandoned resort hotel complex near the town of Byron. It’s one of the more creepy places I’ve ever visited. This hotel is now in ruins and is the home to only cows which share this sleepy and beautiful rolling farm land.
Getting there is a bit tricky and I needed to google around a bit to get a solid plan together. After eating at the Byron Diner that was out of the movie Twin Peaks – I finally found parking off site and walked to the entrance of Hot Springs road. First thing I saw was an obscure spray painted sign reading “Danger No Trespassing”. About a half mile down the road I saw another sign which was a tree stump painted with the words “Turn Back.”
After walking a mile or so I approached the Hotel which is a rather large complex and is surrounded by Palm Trees. The place is eerily quit, only the breeze and the smell of cows. After walking around the hotel it’s apparent that many kids party here in the night time and light fires and there is graffiti everywhere. After carefully stepping inside the crumbling building – there are several floors, many rooms, bathrooms, closets and staircases, all with their own graffiti. The elevator shaft is missing an elevator, and the lobby, lined with a grand sweeping staircase on each side. You can’t help but think of the Shining movie and the stories the building must have.
A Brief History
- Used by the Bolbones Indians for centuries, the therapeutic hot springs were discovered in the 18th century by white fur trappers.
- The third major structure to be built at this location, this ornate Beaux Arts style four-story brick hotel opened in 1914.
- In its Jazz Age heyday, its golf course was popular with San Francisco socialites and Hollywood stars like Fatty Arbuckle and Clark Gable.
- The SF Seals even used this luxurious hotspot for spring training.
- The resort was sent spiraling into decline by the Great Depression, finally closing in 1938.
- During WWII it was commandeered by the military, renamed “Camp Tracy” and used for German and Japanese POW interrogations.
- In 1946 the military sold the hotel to the Greek Orthodox Church who converted it to a monastery named “Mission St. Paul”.
- Since the late ‘50s, the resort has been sold and resold to a long list of developers who all had big plans to rejuvenate it. All failures. Its current owners still want to redevelop the spot as a major resort destination.
There’s a lot of talk about the hotel being haunted. Tales of an angry groundskeeper that should be feared when you get there. Here’s a paranormal site with interesting commentary the hotel.
What I’ve recently found out. Don’t go there! The current owners are patrolling the property in trucks and are armed with rifles and are chasing people off the grounds.
If you are interested in other urban exploration adventures like this – check out the site atlasobscura.com and you’ll be surprised what you find.
For more information: byronhotsprings.com