Pueblo Plaza May Have Ghosts

There have been many sightings in the old stone cave beneath the restaurant
BY: NONA FEAR

They drift among us unseen by some but seen by others. These heavenly creatures choose to live in this central flower garden of the small plaza, as well as the underground cellar, now used for wine storage and banquet room by Susanna’s Restaurant owned by Susanne Stehr.

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The term orb describes unexpected, typically a circular objects that occur in flash photography, sometimes with trails indicating motion. They are especially common with modern compact and ultra-compact digital cameras. Orbs are often captured during low-light instances where the camera’s flash is used, such as at night or where a bright light source is near the camera. An orb can result from retroreflection of light off solid particles like dust, liquid particles, (rain) or other foreign material within the camera lens. However, those who have seen ghosts in the basement of Plaza Pueblo, believe this is a sign of them.

Those who claim to have seen them say they do speak on occasion but usually simply drift through walls, mirrors, and closed doors. It’s not a large cast of characters, and they seem unhurried and unfazed by the mortals who work among them.

There is a tall and well-built gentleman as described by Daniel, owner of the Balam Café in the plaza. He says his restroom is a favorite for this apparition, as he is seen to glide out of it, and calmly glide through the closed spa door just next door. Daniel claims the gentleman wears a suit and a rather large brimmed hat that obscures his face.

On more than one occasion this same gentleman has been seen by two of Susanne’s restaurant workers. And then, one time one of the wait staff tried to open the outside bathroom door and felt a strong pull in the other direction. The waiter continued to pull and again met with a tug back. But when the employee finally gained entrance, there was no one there!

That bathroom has a history of sightings by Susanna’s restaurant customers, who tell of hearing footsteps coming into the room but no one is there. Some other customers tell of hearing people speaking and whistling in that room but there was nobody there. At least these spirits seem happy in this room, as there is often laughing, whispering and talking among themselves. One of the kitchen workers refuses to go near this room, so of course this spreads the belief that supernatural powers hang out in the public restroom.

 Recently there was a very loud crash that seemed to come from the main dining area of Susanna’s Restaurant. It was a deafening sound that sent the kitchen staff rushing towards it, but they found no pieces of anything on the floor, nor any china missing.

Susanne herself was there for this one, and all she could do was stare in silence, along with her staff, and wonder out loud what was next for their haunted cellar.

There is an old stone cellar, often called the cave, that is beneath the restaurant. Susanna has it beautifully furnished with antique wooden tables and chairs and uses it for special events as well as storing the restaurant’s wines. A narrow stone staircase winds down to this room, setting the stage for what would be a spooky experience in any case. It was built many years ago as storage for water that fed what was a laundry where Susanna’s sits right now. In other words, this spooky cave was once a water pila.

Those who believe they see ghosts, say they often see an old Mexican woman dressed in a long ruffled dress quietly sitting in a high backed chair in the water pila. ‘Scuse, she sits in the wine cellar/banquet room.

A customer swears she asked her if she would like to leave. The senora ghost’s answer was no, she was very comfortable and liked this place.

One dark and stormy night, a restaurant worker was singing gospel music while sorting wines in the cellar, and he kept hearing a voice shushing him. “Shush, be quiet”, was the message by no one in the cave.

(Well, we made up the part that it was a dark and stormy night, it was actually on a sunny day that the worker was told to be quiet, but it set that seemed to set the mood better.) 

During events in her banquet room, Susanne has taken photos. Some of these photos have what is known as spirit orbs, or large white circles featured prominently in the photos. (See photo caption on this page explaining orbs).

Susanne’s Restaurant officially opened in 2004 and that was the first sighting seen by anyone in the plaza. A bartender saw shadows going through the stained glass window behind the bar. There is a passageway behind there that goes down to the cave.

And a little girl dressed in a green and white checked dress has been seen by several workers as well as customers, slipping out of the mirror in the main dining room and then passing through the door of the restaurant. She has been seen in the courtyard skipping around very happy, as if she hadn’t a care in the world.

Susanne has spent many a night alone in her restaurant and at that time has seen nothing. She feels that the ghosts are there as an integral part of the ancient adobe dirt and stones that were used to build the plaza. She wishes she could see them and communicate her welcome to them. She thinks of them as her friends and maybe her protectors.

Lorenza works the bar and is pragmatic by nature. But she swears she has seen the little girl in the green checkers come through the stained glass window that’s behind the bar. But Lorenza’s cherished long dead grandma has visited her many times to, so go figure.

Julio, one of Susanne’s wait staff, has never seen anything and hopes to keep it that way. He did however hear the big crash that had no explanation. Julio did tell me that he has “ghosts in his head” while laughing and feeling very pleased that he has been spared.

Fausto was working in the restaurant and also saw the little girl come out of the mirror. He was not pleased to see it, and hopes to never see it again.

Sonia has heard singing in the bathroom only to discover there is nobody there. She feels nervous but safe if other people are around. Still, she no longer uses this restroom.

Susanne is pleased with the number of wedding parties she hosts down there and tells us, “The ghosts keep sending me business”. This is said with a smile and a wink, as she still waits her turn to actually see her spirits and goblins.

A search is on to find someone to lead a séance, as a good medium could possibly put us all in touch with these spirits. If anyone out there knows a reputable, knowledgeable person to lead a séance, please tell Susanne at her restaurant, which is on Benny Juraez St. near the Rosarito Beach Hotel.