November 2004 - El Fandango- San Diego, California



A Victorian era woman in white appears in this restaurant She is seen at times drifting or floating through the building, sometimes passing through walls and closed doors. Usually she is sitting at a table in a dark corner. This spirit is sad and at times angry, but never interacts with anyone that sees her.


The El Fandango Restaurant is located in the 'Old Town' Section of San Diego. It was built on the site of the Machado home that was built between 1830 and 1843, then destroyed by fire in 1858. The restaurant is one of three original adobes that have been restored.

Their home stayed in the Machado family for over 100 years, and subsequently became a boarding house, saloon, art studio, souvenir shop, museum, church, and finally a restaurant

Original picture of San Diego (Old Town Area) back in the mid 1800s.

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Saturday November 6, 2004:

Damon and I decide early on in the day that we would go by El Fandango for dinner and maybe a good old fashion ghost story or two.

We arrived with high expectations. Our research on the area uncovered that practically the whole Old Town San Diego Historic Park was allegedly haunted. We even checked out a few stores along the way and they were filled with ghost stories, but none of which seemed to have the potential or the buzz about them as did the legend of the El Fandango mexican restaurant!

While we were being seated for dinner, I asked the hostess if she was familiar with the ghost stories surrounding the restaurant. She said she was and that she could seat us in the very area the ghost has been spotted. Upon further questioning she admitted she had no personal experiences with the lady in white, but believed the stories to be true. Our waiter also said he was familiar with the stories although he had not seen or heard anything himself. He also tried to find some articles that were printed on the hauntings but couldn't find them. Apparently, other curious patrons walked off with the articles. He then admitted that the activity had died down in the past few years, but still believed the restaurant was haunted.

After dinner I made up my mind to find someone working at the restaurant that could tell me a personal experience with this ghost. I went back to the hostess stand and asked them if they knew about the stories. The directed me to the cashier who they said had been working there the longest. Upon questioning the cashier, she said she too had not seen anything. About this time I was starting to think the rumors and legends of a ghost haunting the restaurant were a clever tourist scam, so I asked about the history of the building and particularly about the fire that happened in 1858. She denied any knowledge of a fire and thought the building had only been a residence. At that point I realized, at least now, that the ghost stories of El Fandango were just that.

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Although the lady in white never appeared, we kept a camera and an close eye on the corner the ghost has been seen. We even sat with her a few times and tried to carry on a conversation, but to no avail. The EVPs and film evidence came up short. I'm not denying that at one point in time the restaurant wasn't haunted, but I believe currently the spirits of the dead have passed on while the spirit of 1800 San Diego remains. My personal feelings are that the workers and management of El Fandango are clinging to their haunted status in a particularly competitive area so that they might have an edge against surrounding attractions. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the ghost of the lady in white is just taking a break. Maybe the restaurant is still currently haunted. Maybe a new ghost is planning on moving in. The only thing I can say for certain is that time will tell.
Do you think this place is haunted?
Rating: Average rating: 2.1551724137929 58 Ratings
HAUNTEDMaybeWho CaresDoubtfulHell No!