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Redlands business is home to curious ghost

Building & Home Owners Last updated

  • Written by: Mimi Barre International Day Spa
  • Published:
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By Shelli Escobar who has been the Spa’s Director since before the Spa’s move to the Victorian cottage in 1996.

Strange spouting water faucets surprised employees at International Day Spa in 1996, soon after the grand opening of the 1898 Victorian cottage on Cajon St. After closing one night, Lisa the Receptionist was alone emptying the cash register. All the guests and employees were gone, and all the doors were locked. Lisa heard the 5 showerheads of the Vichy Shower pouring water. When she went to check, nobody was in the Hydrotherapy Room who could have turned on the shower. She turned off the handles and reported it the next day.

A month later a new Receptionist was hired. When she was closing the spa, the water in the Vichy Room was again turned on. She turned it off but didn’t report the phenomena for a few weeks. Then she couldn’t keep her silence. She was afraid to report it for fear that a manager would think that she had broken the pipes.

Montana was the most “no nonsense” manager one could ask for. She thought that we were making up stories. One night as she was closing up, she saw from the corner of her eye an old woman walking down the hall. Since all the guests had been gone for over 30 minutes, she found this unusual. She saw the woman dressed in a long dress with her gray hair pulled back in a bun. The woman went into a treatment room, but when Montana followed her into the room, nobody was there.

Sandra, an Attendant, was working in the room next to the Hydrotherapy Room when she heard a rustling sound and then a big SPLAT. When she checked, the water mattress had been pulled off the massage table and was on the floor. Nobody was in the room. No mortal could have pulled the unwieldy, heavy, water filled mattress onto the floor.

Kim, a massage therapist, who hadn’t heard any of the tales about the ghost, related a story of feeling somebody in the room watching her give a massage. When she looked around, nobody was there. She was asked if her client noticed anything. She said that the client was unaware of the presence. Kim felt that the woman watching was just curious as to what was going on.

None of these employees felt any fear. They all said that whoever was there just wanted to check out the new features of the old building.

The “ghost” mischief began when Mimi Barre and Leon Armontrout started work on the old building to restore it to its Victorian charm. The building had been a private residence, boarding house, apartments, dental office, and Bill Upston’s photography studio. Two rooms were changed into Hydrotherapy Rooms and sinks were added in the facial rooms and hallway.

Mimi selected lovely Delta faucets for the hall sink and the facial rooms. The faucets were in the living room, which was being used as the staging area. The day before the faucets were to be installed, Mimi looked for them, but they were gone. She figured that someone had stolen them. Ross Harkness, the general contractor, said jokingly, “Oh a ghost probably ran off with them.”

Running out of money on the build-out, Mimi zipped out to the plumbing store to buy some unused but old American Standard faucets. They were ugly, but affordable. That night she put the appropriate faucet in each sink so the plumbers would install what was needed and where it was needed.
The next day when Mimi came to check the work, to her surprise, the beautiful Delta faucets were each installed in the appropriate sinks. Shocked, she asked the plumbers where they had found the missing faucets. They looked at her as though she were nuts and said, “They were right in the sinks where you put them last night. You told us that you would put the faucets in the sinks so we couldn’t mix things up.”

“No, I put ugly American Standard faucets in the sinks. Where did you find these pretty Delta ones?”

“They were in the sinks where you put them!”

The ugly faucets were later found in the living room with one box opened. To this day, nobody knows where the original faucets disappeared to or how they were found. Everyone decided that a ghost really HAD stolen the faucets, but when she saw the ugly ones that were to be installed instead, she switched them back.

The fascination that the ghost seems to have with water and with the business going on in the old Victorian home has diminished. She seems happy with the Spa occupying her abode now that she knows what all the “new stuff and activities” are all about. Now the Team Members at the Spa seem to miss their companion.


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