In honor of Halloween this week, we’re continuing to share some spooky Tales from the Print Room that we’ve encountered or heard over the years. This next spooking printing story comes from a little spot just 20 miles or so down the coast from our office in San Francisco…
The Eternal Patron: The Blue Lady of The Moss Beach Distillery
In the restaurant industry, you’re only as good as your last satisfied customer, and regular patrons are worth their weight in gold. But even your most loyal customer goes home eventually, right? Not so for the Moss Beach Distillery; their resident regular never, ever leaves the property.
A First Encounter
In 2001, employee Melissa Vega, had a Christmas Eve that she’ll never forget. Melissa was always been spooked about ghosts and spirits, so she was less than thrilled to close up the bar late at night. She was even less enthused about venturing into the dry storage room at the bottom level of the restaurant alone. Whenever she was down there she felt as if someone was there watching her, even though no one else was present. She usually asked a coworker to go with her, but on this night, everyone wanted to start their holiday early, so they split up the tasks. Unfortunately, Melissa’s job was to go into the storage room–alone. In spite of her nerves, Melissa descended to the lower level and dry storage room. While she was working, the sensation of fear overcame her and coursed through her veins; her arms, back and head tingled. “It felt like someone was in this tiny room with me,” she said. “I was still for a moment, wondering why I felt so uncomfortable, when all of a sudden I felt a stroke on the back of my head and neck. It felt as if someone was stroking my head and neck telling me that everything was okay.”
She opened her mouth and screamed out one command: “Stop!”
To a casual observer, this scene looked like a woman–on the verge of a mental breakdown–had just snapped–but Melissa wasn’t crazy. She had just received her first encounter with the Blue Lady, the legendary ghost with the colorful moniker that is forever tethered to the restaurant. grounds.
A Tragic Tale
The story of the Blue Lady starts more than seven decades ago, during the days of prohibition. A young, attractive, married woman fell in love with a handsome bad boy (believed to be the bar’s piano player by some). The woman, who habitually dressed in blue, often met her lover at the establishment. One day, while walking on the beach below the restaurant with her lover in tow, she was brutally stabbed; he was also attacked, but survived. Although many believe her husband was ignorant of the affair, it’s interesting to note that after the incident, her husband was never seen again.
The Blue Lady had a reputation of messing with and scaring some of the staff and, on occasion, a few patrons, but up until that night, she stayed out of Melissa’s way, “I had been working at the Distillery for about four years at that time, and the Blue Lady had left me alone up until then, probably because she was respecting the fact that I am pretty scared of ghosts and the afterlife in general,” Vega said. “It was as if the Blue Lady was trying to comfort me because I was so scared to be down there by myself. Nevertheless, it scared me even more.”
Stranger occurrences in and around the restaurant started happening shortly after the woman’s death: Mysterious phone calls without a caller, floating checkbooks, dates in the restaurants computer that were tampered with, and sightings of a ghostly man and a woman in a wide-brimmed hat.
A Possessed Printer or A Message from the Dearly Departed
One of the creepiest recollections wasn’t from the Blue Lady herself, but from a printer. Susan Broderick, the distillery’s bookkeeper for over a decade, recalls a jarring incident that took place a few years ago while working late in the office.
She was alone in the office when she suddenly heard her printer turn on and start printing. This would be a normal occurrence if she had turned on her printer and pressed ‘print.’ “I did not click on any ‘print’ commands, and there was no reason for the printer at my desk to turn on and print anything. It was a very spooky moment for me,” said Broderick. “I had no idea what was going on.”
She picked up the piece of printed paper. There was only one image on the sheet: a picture of a tiny heart.
“It surprised me so much that I cut that little heart out of that piece of paper and taped it to my computer monitor,” said Broderick. “I left it there for many years. I often wonder if it was our Blue Lady keeping me company late that night.” [aside: We can’t help but wonder what Argos would have shown as the “user” had she had print tracking software installed… ]
So, the next time that you’re in the Moss Beach and you want a spine-tingling side dish served up with your meal, head on down to the Moss Beach Distillery and toast a drink in honor of the legendary Blue Lady.