A new book takes a look at Monterey County’s haunted past. Author Patrick Whitehurst fills Haunted Monterey County with tales of the supernatural, from the “vistas of Big Sur to the streets of Monterey.”
KAZU’s Dylan Music spoke with Whitehurst and began by asking the author if he set out to frame the paranormal tales in the book with the county’s history in mind.
Patrick Whitehurst (PW): I’m very into history throughout the Southwest and Central Coast. And, I wanted to talk about that history, as well as share some of the ghost stories that are told in Monterey. So to write a book that kind of formed history and ghosts together was fantastic for me.
Dylan Music (DM): And you go into some haunted aspects of the Salinas area, most notably at the Steinbeck House, which is the renovated childhood home of John Steinbeck. So what can you tell us about this floating spirit of the Steinbeck House? Is it kind of like a vapor or ectoplasm, like something out of Ghostbusters?
PW: That was what I had heard, and more than one account was that it was sort of a yellow, fog-like creature or being that has been seen at the front window and also floating toward the ceiling. A lot of people have indicated that might be John Steinbeck. Since it was his childhood home, it’s possible that his ghost could appear there. Sort of like at the Robert Louis Stevenson House, there’s people that believe that Stevenson’s ghost has visited his old room there.
Whether or not famous authors are haunting the places they once lived in is a matter of opinion. One thing’s for certain -- there’s plenty of thrills and chills to be had in Monterey County this Halloween, if you know where to look. Haunted Monterey County is out now.