The Haunting of the Villa Montezuma

Villa Montezuma – San Diego County, San Diego, California

Photograph ©San Diego Historical Society

The Villa Montezuma was built in 1887 by Jesse Shepard. Jesse was an opera singer, a musician, a composer and an author. It was also Jesse’s ideas that went into building this exquisite nineteen-hundreds, Queen Anne style, crown jewel.

Jesse Shepard, in addition to his many other talents, was also a spiritualist and was known to hold séances in a particular room in the house. Unfortunately, this type of behavior was frowned upon by San Diego’s high society and Jesse eventually decided to return to his homeland of Europe.

After Jesse’s departure, the Villa Montezuma changed hands many times and the structure, after several years, was in need of serious restoration. Then, in 1970, it became the property of the city and after much effort and funding; it was restored to its former Victorian beauty.

There are two apparitions haunting the Villa today. The first of these is, of course, Jesse Shepard. Jesse’s spirit is felt strongly by visitors in the séance room. Guests have even heard piano music coming from behind a locked door in the house.

The second apparition is that of a former servant of Jesses’, who was so hard struck by the death of his wife, that he hung himself in the manors tower. This mans apparition has been seen starring, sorrowfully out one of the mansion windows.

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San Diego, California 92102
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