Hearst Castle, once known as La Cuesta Encantada hosted the most lavish parties during Prohibition and into the 30's. Famous actors, politicians and notables of the day all vied for an invitation from Wm. Randolph Hearst and his mistress Marion Davies. In short it was the center of California society.
By 1963, the parties had finished and the Hearst family had given the property to the State of California. Stories circulated that the sound of clinking glass, music and conversation drifted in the night, as if the festivities were still being carried on.
However, the celebrities were gone, and only tourists filed through the rooms, filled with the multitude of beautiful objects Mr. Hearst had collected throughout his lifetime. Among them were rugs, hundreds of them that covered the floors of the castle and the guesthouses.
But there was one rug that was different. It was in a bedroom of an upper story in the south tower. Tourists were not allowed there. The staff noticed that mysteriously this one rug would curl up against a bedpost, no matter how often they straightened it out.
One of the guides said, "We straighten it out, then the next time someone enters the room, the rug is out of place. No one goes in there, except the staff. None of us will admit, at least to curling up a corner of the rug so how does it get disarranged?"
The staff described an "eerie sensation" and that the hairs on the back of the neck seem to prickle. The castle had opened in 1958, and the public wanted to see more of it. And now there were plans to open up that section to the public.
Was the newspaper article just a ploy to entice the public to visit the soon-to-open rooms in the Hearst Castle? Once the tours ended, fifty-five employees roamed among the lonely corridors. Could it have been just their imagination that made them look over their shoulder, because they felt the presence of an unseen someone watching them?
Perhaps it was Mr. Hearst, or Marion Davies, even though in those years the guides never mentioned her name, despite her 34-year relationship with Hearst.
Source - Fresno Bee March, 1963
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer