Villa Montezuma Museum

Not only is this mansion incredible to look at, it also reportedly has a lot of … spirit, too.

The Villa Montezuma Museum in San Diego, Calif. was built in 1887 for English author, composer and pianist, Jesse Shepard (who also wrote under the name Francis Greierson).

The house — which features gargoyles, five fireplaces and numerous stained glass windows — cost $19,000 to build, plus an additional $7,000 for the windows. But he lived here only one year before moving to Paris.

During that time, though, the affluent Sheppard kept company with all kinds of peeps, including folks interested in the paranormal. He began holding seances in his home with various spiritualists, often playing music to help set the mood.

From “Several spiritual entities are said to regularly haunt the Villa Montezuma. While the details on the who and why are scarce, one such ghost is thought to be that of a gentleman who hanged himself from the second floor observatory. It is possible that this was one of the later owners of the mansion, as it had changed hands numerous times.

Multiple eyewitnesses have attested to seeing an apparition hanging from the very same observatory where the unnamed man committed suicide long ago.

As an interesting side note, none of the villa’s numerous owners had ever found success while living in it. Each faced severe financial ruin and was forced to sell the home to someone else. It’s rumored that the Villa Montezuma had a curse placed on it that guaranteed the decline of all who dared to live there.

A poltergeist thought to be that of Shepard himself can often be heard playing the piano in the dead of night – even when no one is home!

Tourists who have visited the villa serve to confirm the eerie atmosphere that permeates the massive estate. Many of whom have said that they’ve seen ghostly figures lurking in the stained glass windows.”

In 1969, the Villa Montezuma was purchased by the San Diego History Center with the goal of transforming the large estate into a museum and cultural center. After opening on November 12, 1972, a volunteer organization came along known as Friends of Villa Montezuma that served to assist in maintaining the mansion.

It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit our Instagram or Facebook accounts for additional photos!

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