Just posting this because I mentioned it on Twitter and got a few requests to hear this story.
Everything you’re about to read is true to the best of my memory.
I used to work at a haunted pizza parlor. At some point someone got the idea to bring in a Ouija board to communicated with the ghosts. We staged a séance that was a huge failure mostly because most of the crew thought it was a game or a party. A week or so afterword one of the employees who had not been at the séance nagged the bartender, Ron, and me into trying again. We were bored, and because nothing happened the first time we figured it was worth another try.
What we did was have the other guy, Dave, write down whatever the planchette pointed at while Ron and I wore blindfolds fashioned from towels. We figured this way it would be hard to cheat. After the rest of the crew had gone home we killed the dining room lights, and began our Ouija session by the glow of the Budweiser sign. We began with asking if there was anyone there who wished to speak to us. We asked this a dozen times but nothing happened. Then the planchette started to glide in a circle over the board. I figured Ron was having fun with me.
“Is that you?” I asked.
“No, I thought it was you,” he said. We asked if someone wanted to talk to us one last time but the pointer just kept circling the board.
I asked, “Do you want us to get out of here?” The planchette jerked hard to one side of the board. Ron and I yanked our blindfolds off. It was pointed to “Yes”. We looked at each other, stood, and headed for the door leaving the board on the table, and dragging Dave behind us. He was asking what happened but Ron and I couldn’t speak until we were at the stoplight a block away.
Ron said, “Please tell me that was you.”
“No,” I said. “No way.” We explained to Dave what had just happened and that shut him up. I wish I could say I felt Ron pull, I wish I could say I felt an icy, evil presence, but it was a matter of the planchette slipping from beneath my finger and me trying to keep it from flying off the table.
The Ouija board took up residence on a shelf in the manager’s office where it was forgotten for a few months. The haunting was in full swing by then. There were three ghosts, two girls around 13 or 14 years old, and a man in a coachman’s uniform. I would recognize this uniform in a photo from the old Hotel Del Monte in Monterey just over the hill. Doors would slam, the coachman was eventually seen by everyone at some point, and half of the crew had seen the two girls.
The pizza parlor was in the Carmel Center, which was becoming the Crossroads Shopping center. The construction was the factor behind the hauntings as the restaurant had no reputation for being haunted in the year and a half that I had worked there. Next to us was a Safeway supermarket. Back then it closed at 10:00 P.M. and overnight crews restocked the shelves. One of those guys was Caesar, who would come in for lunch every so often. One evening he and I were sitting at a booth enjoying free beer, and talking about all sorts of things. Then the conversation turned to ghosts. It turned out that Safeway had weird things going on at night.
I told Caesar about what happened with the Ouija board and he got excited and insisted that we try it again. This time it was with Danny, our manager, and me and Caesar. Again, we waited until everyone had left, and we were careful not to tell anyone what we were up to so we didn’t invited pranks. Danny and I put on our blindfolds and we began. Things started out like the last time, with nothing happening. The Caesar started speaking in Spanish and the planchette started to move deliberately.
Neither Danny nor I spoke or understood Spanish.
Caesar was having a conversation. The session lasted almost a half hour and then the planchette stopped. We turned on the lights and Caesar translated all he had written down. The answers were all in Spanish. The ghost had called him a drunk (we were drinking a lot of beer). When he asked if he had heard our earlier conversation the answer was AMPS. We had discussed guitars and his new Fender amplifier. I don’t recall everything that he wrote down. There was a date in the 1890s, and some other mundane stuff. The weird part was that the opening statement and closing statements were almost identical:
“I am speaking to the one named Caesar”
The second version spelled his name the Latin way. Caesar did not touch the planchette and Danny and I had been blindfolded. Our minds were blown. That night Caesar went home and had a dream where he met the man who wore the coachman’s cloak. He was an older man, missing teeth. He had a shack near the river just behind the shopping center where construction was happening now. He told Caesar he had murdered the girl’s mother, and later murdered them and buried them near his shack.
It’s just a dream, so take it for what it’s worth, but in the 1990s they would dig up the skeleton of a woman on the banks of San Jose Creek about a half mile from the center. This was about where the old man had said he’d killed the mother.
We didn’t use the board again. Danny moved on and the board was left in the office until the pizza parlor was sold. By then I worked at the theater in the center, and one of the guys at the restaurant asked me if I wanted the board. I took it home. I didn’t use it, just stuck it under my desk. Sometimes I’d do my Arabic homework on it while sitting on my bed. The board was in my house for a few weeks until the shit hit the fan.
My grandmother had a series of strokes which eventually killed her.
The water heater burst a day after she died.
Our dog vanished.
I remember being emotionally spent and heart broken. As I sat on my bed my gaze fell upon the Ouija board box under my desk. At that moment I didn’t believe the board had anything to do with misfortune, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Grabbing the box I took it out back and put it in the trash can. That night I went to work at the theater and got home after midnight (not being creepy, it’s what time the last show let out). When I turned on the light in my room I saw that Ouija board sitting in its box on my bed.
I took it back outside and put a brick on top of it. That next morning I heard the garbage truck approaching. I got out of bed and went out back. The Ouija was where I’d left it. I snapped the board in half, put it into the garbage can, and dragged it out to the street where I waited and watched it get loaded into the truck. It was like night and day at home afterword. Things calmed down and got back to what would pass for normal. I could write off most of the things that happened at my home to coincidence if it weren’t for that board somehow returning to my room. To this day it is all hard to believe, and if someone else told me this story I’d think he was on something too.
Just thought I’d share.