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.
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.
you think this place is haunted?