In this haunted house in Salinas, dolls can talk and ghosts smell like fish
As you walk past the Green House Escape Room on Main Street, you would never guess that countless incidents of paranormal phenomena have occurred in the over 100 year old historic house.
Not much was known about the history of the home of the Salinas until Jessica Soss opened her escape business last June. She couldn’t wait to open, finding the location to be the perfect place to bring customers for games and have a good time.
However, it didn’t take long for things to start bumping into the hallways or for things to disappear or be moved.
Soss soon realized that the house was more than she had expected.
“I didn’t really think there was anything about this building until I found out the hard way,” she said. “All the doors were locked, we weren’t open yet and I was in the employee bathroom when there was what looked like a very loud adult stomping around and the bathroom door slid open. wide open.”
Each piece appears to have its own unique personality with a range of elements that are said to have caused paranormal behavior. Several teams of paranormal investigators have come over the past year to witness these accounts for themselves.
The many voices
One of the first things people see when they enter the escape room are the porcelain dolls perched on a table in the lobby.
Most of these have been collected by Soss over the years. She describes herself as a person sensitive to spiritual activity and says that she found herself connected to them.
To talk to them, Soss places a small loudspeaker box next to the dolls but always asks for their permission first or presents them with candy as an offering to communicate.
They are asked a question and if they are ready to speak, their many voices begin to come through the speaker.
Soss invited Pink House Paranormal Research to investigate paranormal activity in the house. Deborah Reed and her family work together as a paranormal research team and have verified the electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) of the alleged spirits inhabiting the dolls.
âWhen we went there to do an investigation my husband and grandson got a TEU and we recorded it,â Reed said. “One of the dolls was talking and she answered them by name. It was a really trippy experience.”
Soss says most of the spirits behind the dolls are children, but they all have different, and most importantly, playful personalities. One doll that stands out from the small crowd is a plush monkey named âDoug,â who Soss says is the spirit of a 42-year-old man from Watsonville.
âHe loves money,â Soss said. “We asked someone to come in and say, ‘Hey, whoever whispers in my ear gets that half a dollar.’ So someone whispered in his ear and I thought it was ‘was Betty [a doll] because it is quite active. When I asked, Betty told me it was Doug and she was furious that he got there first. For about a month, he sat there with half a dollar sitting on his bulging eyeballs. “
Soss says the dolls are harmless and brings them home at the end of each work day.
The Area 51 room is a popular choice for guests participating in escape games.
While the puzzles in the dark room keep everyone entertained, a few feet from them is a black radio box that sent at least one person running for the hills.
A second radio with a more vintage look is located just above the lobby counter. While not as active as the Area 51 radio, that radio would turn on by itself every now and then, but Soss says there could be more mystery.
âWhen I bought this radio from a thrift store, something was attached to it,â she said. “I don’t know what or who, but it definitely made a difference.”
Footsteps, chills, and pulling on pant legs are common phenomena experienced by staff and visitors. It is said that two spirits roam the rooms of the house and are said to be the pranksters.
A ghost named “Joe” lives in the Flat Line game room. The theme of the play is that of a doctor turned serial killer.
âIt will sting you, it will trigger winning puzzle games, which is really annoying. I have found that when I put a dime on offer it stops, at least for a while,â she said. . “He smells like rotten fish. We thought something was dead in the walls of that room for a while, but that’s when you know he’s around.”
The second spirit of the house remains unnamed. Soss thinks it’s a child’s mind.
âThey will turn the lights on and off. You will hear your name called,â she said. “They’ll also play the poke poke game and sting people, unless they don’t want to be disturbed.”
Don’t look at yourself in the mirror
While most spirits are harmless, there was a time when something in the house triggered something more sinister.
An old mirror was once placed in the Fort Ord themed room at the front of the building. Soss didn’t think about the object until a friend worried about the paranormal activity around him.
The mirror, supplied with the house, was found hanging on a wall just outside a door.
Soss says that according to the myth, mirrors should not be placed in front of another door or in front of another mirror, as this can bring bad luck or open spiritual portals.
âThere were a few times that I and my colleagues saw something in the mirror when they looked at it. At one point we felt something in the room and we could see handprints in the mirror but the mirror was high enough that guests couldn’t reach it, âshe said.â It looked like it was on the other side of the mirror, almost like something had stuck and there was a half-face print on it. “
Soss says the appearance of characters continued to escalate.
âThere were a few bad things, some malicious things that came out of that mirror,â she said. “One looked like a giant figure in black ink in water moving on the wall, then she walked out the front door.”
She believes that a spirit once jumped out of the mirror and into her doll, Betty.
âBetty felt bad. Betty’s face is very young and happy, but it doesn’t matter what took old Betty away from her,â she said. “Her face has no pockets and at the end of the days she looked tired and had bags under her eyes and when I spoke to her she looked annoyed that something jumped on her.”
That’s when the Pink House team arrived with Standard Output Sensitivity (SOS) camera equipment to investigate the sightings.
What they found is something they say they will never forget.
âMy grandson brought someone to help uncover the mirror and he had been punched in the chest, hard. When we took pictures with our SOS, there was a figure there guarding the mirror. That was if he didn’t want someone to approach that, “Reed said.” We saw it like four different times on our SOS with a few EVP’s. “
During the mirror investigation, Soss and team members also say they heard a voice.
âIt was almost like someone else was standing there and saying ‘Get out of my damn house,’â Reed said.
At the same time, the team discovered that an office, which is never locked, was locked. After hearing the voice, the office unlocked.
âWe believe in the paranormal here because we have experienced it and wanted to find the proof so that we can release it in the community,â Reed said. “I don’t know if the spirits will stay with the house or if they will go with Jessica but I think they will probably stay there.”
Soss plans to move his Escape Room business to the mall early next year. Until then, the public can visit and reserve their games before the trade closes in mid-November.
Pink House investigators documented their investigation into the Salinas Escape Room on their website. https://www.pinkhouseparanormal.com/. Soss also tried to research any history of the house, which could indicate strange incidents or a death, but found nothing.
To learn more about the haunted history of the Salinas Escape Room, visit https://www.escaperoomsalinas.com/ or find him on Instagram @escaperoomsalinas