San Juan Bautista Ghost Walk visits haunted locations

Guides lead tours of six places the undead have gathered.
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San Juan Bautista’s Rotary Club held its 10th annual Ghost Walk in town on the Friday and Saturday evening before the feast of All Hallow’s Eve.

The hour-long walk stopped at six haunted places in town: Mission Cafe, Plaza Market, Mission San Juan Bautista, Rozas House, San Juan Bakery and Grocery and Posada de San Juan.

Aprillynn Wyatt, who attended the event with her husband Ty, told BenitoLink the tour was fun.

“We are here to support the community,” she said, noting she was interested in learning more information about the town. Asked whether she believed the ghost lore, she did not answer.

At the Mission Cafe, participants heard the story of a cook who might have used a few humans in his dishes. In the early days of San Juan Bautista, several men around town and nearby ranches went missing. Legend has it that the chef at what is now Mission Cafe prepared dishes with a unique taste.

Amy Ortez, who is in her second year tour guide, said she enjoyed the walk and that everyone seems to have a good time.

At the Plaza Market, participants were told of a dead soldier and dead prostitute who roam the area.

The Grim Reaper stood waiting for the tour group as they arrived at Mission San Juan Bautista. The symbol of death assured everyone he was not a “bad guy” who wanted to accompany the group to the afterlife. He cautioned the group that bacteria, viruses, drugs, crazy people with guns and drunk drivers are what kill people.

From there, the tour moved on to Rozas House where Emelda Erasmus lived for 75 years. The location operated as a boarding house for a number of years, though Erasmus does not seem to have left following her death. There have been reported sightings of her at the house since her death in the 1900s.

President-elect of San Juan Bautista Rotary Club Rosa Vivian Fernandez organized the event and said she loves the “vibrant energy of the family event.” Tourists are always interested in the haunted history of the town, she said, and they ask a lot of questions about during the tours.

The last stop on the ghost walk was Posada de San Juan. The group was reacquainted with the Lady in White, a once-powerful madame in town known as Deanna who became engaged to a prominent Frenchman. Sadly, on her wedding day, she tripped down a stairway. Instead of walking down the aisle, she walks the halls of La Posada.

Several ghost walk attendees said the event was fun and they learned a lot about the town's history, along with its ghosts.

Outgoing Rotary President and San Juan Bautista City Council candidate Cesar Flores talked about the importance of the Rotary Club in San Juan Bautista and said he would love to see the Ghost Walk and the town’s Dia de Las Muertos celebration become a joint celebration lasting throughout the week of Halloween and Day of the Dead.

No members of San Juan Bautista’s undead community showed up for the Ghost Walk. Or did they?



Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018.

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