Already have a preferred podcast listening app? Copy this:
From Scotland to So Cal, we’re talking about haunted historic destinations today.
Today’s guest is Kadi Baker, who’s taking us inside the quirky, magnificent and secretly haunted Mission Inn in Riverside. Some hotels cash in on their ghosts, but the Mission Inn prefers to be a little more discrete. Kadi’s stayed there several times and has some tales to tell.
Kadi is a marketing strategist with a passion for adventure and food. When she’s not working, or adventuring, she enjoys cooking. Her favorite life experiences include riding bikes to an underground jazz club in Paris, France at 2am and (of course) ghost hunting at the Mission Inn.
This episode begins with a recap of my recent adventures in Edinburgh. It’s actually my second trip there, in under six months. That’s kind of crazy when I consider that prior to two years ago, I’d never thought I’d visit Scotland. I completely fell in love with Edinburgh and would head back there in an instant. I’m not sure what it is about Edinburgh, but I’m sure it’s the ghosts, at least in part.
One of my favorite places to visit in Edinburgh is the famously haunted Greyfriars Cemetery – a must see for Harry Potter fans. Riddle… McGonagall…you’ll recognize a lot of the names in this cemetery if you’ve read the books. You can check out my facebook live video of Greyfriars on the Supernatural Travel Facebook Page. It was raining so hard I had to make a second trip to the cemetery to film that video!
We managed to stay dryer when we took a tour of the haunted underground vaults in the city beneath the city.
Mary Kings Close is a well preserved underground complex of homes, stables, and streets beneath what is modern Edinburgh. The city was erected on a narrow spine of land and one way that it was expanded, was by reinforcing existing structures, walling them off and building right on top of them. It was illegal to live underground, but it was a common practice. The sick, the poor, criminals… many people retreated to these underground areas and when you tour, you can still feel the misery lingering in the damp air.
There’s one room in particular where a famous psychic sensed the spirit of a little girl named Annie. She was sad because she had lost her doll, she told the psychic. So naturally the psychic ran right upstairs, and out to the Royal Mile and bought her a Barbie Doll. That doll is still there in the room, along with a few thousand other dolls brought by tourists. Everything from Super Mario to a Rasta Banana.
Ever feel like you need a vacation after your travels? I’m ready to check into and check out the Mission Inn.
As a historic, luxury hotel, the Mission Inn has won all kinds of awards. But I think what makes the Mission Inn so magical is that the founder, Frank Miller, was an avid world traveler. Frank collected the essences of places like Edinburgh and Rome. He came back Europe with a head full of dreams, and made them reality in Southern California.
You won’t find another property anywhere, that manages to successfully marry so many different architectural styles. From Gothic to Moorish Revival and Mediterranean, it’s possible to feel transported here without leaving the country. Famous authors like Anne Rice have stayed here, and the hotel has hosted dozens of events for celebrities and presidents. It’s a hidden gem.
Some hotels cash in on their ghosts, but the Mission Inn prefers to be a little more discrete. You might have some luck getting stories out of the bartender, if you visit. That’s often the case, in any haunted establishment. The bartenders have the best stories.
Thanks to Kadi, we’ve got the inside scoop on which rooms might still be occupied, even after the guests check out.
Key Links to explore:
- The Mission Inn Riverside
- The Food Lab Riverside
- Kadi Baker
- Mary Kings Close
- Greyfriars Cemetery
- Damnation Alley