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home » Ghost Stories » Investigations - Fulton's Underground Restaurant and the Hess House
The Dining Specters of Fulton's Underground Restaurant
and the Hess House
By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Ghostwriter

Before I talk about the Fulton Restaurant investigation, I am wondering if the Mayan prediction of 2012 is really starting to come to fruition?  As I watch CNN News, there are two things that I have been focusing on.  I see the rise of 2 of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  The two are Plague and War.  Why?  There is the 'superbug', a staph infection that can become the flesh-eating bacteria that has been hitting high schools, causing the death of a 17 year old boy.  This could be the Apocalyptic Horseman known as Plague.  Then I hear that Russia has allied itself with Iran and feels that Iran has every right to continue with their nuclear activities.  Russia does not want America to interfere and retaliate with a preemptive strike against Iran.  Could this be a second Apocalyptic Horseman, that we all know as War?   When I heard this, I had a dream that we were going to be involved with a few nuclear strikes in the year 2008 or 2009.  I hope I am wrong, but my dream was pretty vivid.  Maybe I was thinking too hard about the new cold war with Russia.  I hope this was just a dream and not a premonition.    

Enough gloom and doom, let's talk about the paranormal investigation of Fulton's Underground.  Here is the haunted history of Fulton's as written by Master Hunter:  

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Phantoms at Fulton's

Standing across the street from Fulton's West End Bar and Grill in Old Sacramento, one might easily get the impression that an entire building is missing. But closer inspection reveals an opening in the wrought-iron fence, leading to ancient brick stairs that descend surreptitiously into a quaint courtyard. The surrounding walls that form this secluded, outdoor café hold 150 years of often turbulent history, which supposedly manifests itself in occasional unexplained occurrences.

Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Sacramento was plagued by repeated floods, with no less than five during its first 12 years. After 1862, residents decided that the existing levees were insufficient, and raised the level of the entire city by 12 feet. As a result, the first floors of the existing buildings became the basements, or were abandoned entirely. The building that houses Fulton's predates the raising of the city, and the old brick retaining walls which were constructed are clearly visible in the restaurant's main dining area.

Much of the labor was done by Chinese immigrants, who came to California in droves during the Gold Rush. Being the manager, Brian Rodriguez spends a lot of time at Fulton's late at night, after the customers and most of the staff have already gone home. He admits that he doesn't particularly like being in the building alone. "You get this weird feeling," Brian said. "It's like someone's watching you, someone's checking you out. You don't even have to see anything." He admits, however, to glimpsing occasional shadows, which he tries to tell himself "must be explainable." The restaurant's previous owner, who sold the business in November, 2004 and moved to Denver, Colorado, swore that there was something very strange about the place, Brian said. Brian believes that Fulton's may have been the site of an old mission. The building later served as the assessor's office, and at one time, may even have been used as a jail.

April Williams has tended bar at Fulton's for six years. Shortly after she started, she found that on some mornings, chairs inside the restaurant had been turned backwards during the previous evening. April, as well as other employees and patrons, have also felt certain cold spots -a phenomenon often associated with spiritual activity. As an experiment, a customer once took home a vase of dried flowers from one of the "haunted" dining booths, where patrons had sometimes complained of chilly drafts. When she woke up the following morning, the chairs at her dining room table had all been turned backwards. She promptly returned the flowers. April said that the staff usually warns new waitresses not to be alarmed by the occasional tugging on their skirts by unseen individuals. In the past, servers have been so unnerved that they have quit. April has never had a ghost tug on her clothing, but she recalls standing near the back of the restaurant one day, and feeling drops of liquid on her head. Looking up, she expected to see wet paint or leaking water from the rafters, but there was no sign of either.

In 1992, a waitress claimed to have seen the spectral figure of an Asian man with a ponytail. Although the apparition was first spotted in the banquet room, he has appeared other places since then.

In October, 2005, a pair of mother and daughter psychics visited Fulton's, and pointed out certain areas where they said that people had died. The so-called Mafia Room - a large, private space with an oblong table and paneled, wood walls- gave off such negative energy that the two women refused to even enter. Shortly after the two psychics departed, Brian got a lesson in humility. He was joking with some of his employees about their haunted workplace when a large, potted fern about 20 feet from where he was standing suddenly fell over, making a loud clang. The group bolted from the room. Brian is a bit more careful about what he says now.

On this day, I brought along HPI paranormal investigator Debbie Talani that has the inside scoop about Fulton's Underground restaurant.  Debbie introduced me to Brian Rodriguez, the General Manager.  Fulton's Underground is located at 900 2nd Street in Old Sacramento.  I began the interview process with Brian and Debbie both.  Debbie was once a waitress at Fulton's and has had her own experiences.  From my interview with Brian and Debbie, this is what I gathered.  

Sometimes chairs are turned around backwards from the dining tables.  Certain areas of the restaurant has a 'weird' feeling to it.  At times the patrons and staff feel like they are being watched, this especially happens in the pool table area of the restaurant.  One night a patron claims he saw a man and a woman sitting at a booth, as if they were enjoying their dinner and when the patron continued to watch this couple having dinner, they no longer were there.  There is a place in the cellar where people feel the presence of a lady that sits in the corner, they feel that she is unhappy with the remodeling of this restaurant.  In one area room, called the Mafia Room, there are stories that people died in this particular area and the feeling of gloom sometimes is felt by the workers.  Note:  Many people lost their lives in Old Sacramento, due to the flooding of the Sacramento River.  This room is called the 'Mafia Room', because of the way the dining table and chairs are set up, it's like a scene from the movie Goodfellas.  Many people have felt presences in the Mafia Room.  The Mafia Room is notorious for it's chairs being moved.   There was a night that a waiter had left the Mafia Room and came back to find the chairs on top of the dining table.  Another time a waitress felt a hand placed on her shoulder, when she looked back, no one was there.

Brian has heard many stories, when he is alone in the restaurant, he simply ignores any strange sounds and brushes off the fact that he is being watched and continues his work.  Sometimes when they are cleaning up, they place the chairs on the table and when returning, the chairs are mysteriously placed back on the floor.  Some people smell a strong odor of perfume in certain areas of the restaurant.  In fact Debbie remembers one time the perfume smell was so strong, that it seemed to have a life of its own and started moving from room to room, then it dissipated and the smell was completely gone.  When Debbie worked at this restaurant, she remembers customers telling her that menus were snatched from their hands from an unknown presence.  Brian remembers how some menus were neatly snacked and put away, then later that night the alarm was set off and he had to come back to check on the alarm and found all of the menus on the floor.  Many of the workers dread going into the linen room, even Debbie doesn't like this room and will not enter it anymore.  When I walked into the linen room, I felt a heaviness in the air.   After interviewing Brian, Debbie and I decided to have dinner.  The dinners here are tremendously delicious.  Debbie had the cheese pasta plate, with salad and tea.  I had the chicken parmesan with beef vegetable soup and a Coke.  The food here is tantalizing to the tastebuds, I savored each bite of my melted cheese chicken breast.  As Debbie and I ate, Debbie tells me how one time a wine glass broke in half and the bottom portion of the wine glass flew onto a customer's lap.  Debbie tells me that on other times, forks have been snatched out of customer's hands.

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After we dined and I took a few digital photos of the interior of the restaurant, we got back in my vehicle 'Ghost Tracker' and headed to an unknown location.  Debbie said she had a surprise for me.  She took me to a residential haunting, a home we will call the Hess Home.  The occupants bought the house in 1987 and the paranormal activity started in 1990.  I will detail the accounts of the activity in each room as told to me by Occupant #1 and her two children and mother.

The Hess House

Kitchen:  Stove knob once popped off on it's own and flew 10 feet.  The coffee machine turns off and on by itself, this has occurred three times.  The faucet would drip three times and then stop, this process continued three more times and the occupant told the faucet to stop and it did.  

Living Room: The occupant's brother died in this house, he had heart problems and in his weakened state, he would knock three times on the wall for assistance or help from the family members.  When he died, the occupants of the Hess Home, heard the three knocks on the wall the following night, as if the occupant's brother was still alive.  Occupant #1 once felt something was in the corner and felt a gentle stroke on her arm.  Sometimes their cat Lynx goes crazy in the living room, like he feels something is around and darts around the room like he is crazy or on catnip.  

Backyard:  The backyard is huge, with a beautiful swimming pool and jacuzzi.  One day Occupant #1 was taking a picture of her son at the storage area where her brother would keep his things.  When she saw the photo of her son, he was surrounded by a strange white mist.  Jiggs, a Yorkshire Terrier and family pet is buried in the backyard and Occupant #1 feels at time, that Jiggs plays with her cat Lynx.  Lynx has been observed by the occupants of playing with an unknown friend in the backyard.  I was shown where Jiggs is buried.  

Hallway: Lynx the cat sometimes stares at the wall as if he sees something and then starts running up and down the hallway in a frantic.  In one digital picture taken by Occupant #1, there appears to be a purple ray coming from the ceiling.  We both determined that it was a reflection from the hallway light, but can't understand why the light ray is purple in color.  Occupant #1's children have seen 'shadow people' near the hallway bathroom and across the hallway area.  Both children attest that they have witnessed 'shadow people'.  Occupant #1 feels that there is two entities in this home, one entity is possibly her brother.

Brother's Room (which is now her son's room):  TV turns on by itself.  Fan turns on by itself.  This is sometimes the hottest room in the house.  When walking into this room, I noticed that the atmosphere seemed somewhat gloomy.

Occupant #1's Bedroom:  One night entering this room, the doorknob would not move and the door would not open.  She struggled with the door and finally after a long time, the door just opened.  The TV in this room has turned on by itself.  Another night, they all heard a strange scratching noise in this bedroom and Lynx the cat freaked out.  Then the scratching noise stopped.  One of the most mysterious things that happened in this room is that a mysterious green dot appeared on the wall.  She tried to remove the dot to no avail.  There was no light source for the dot, because when she placed her hand over the dot, the dot did not appear on her hand.  Then the next day the green dot mysteriously vanished.  There is a strange discoloration on the walls and there is no explanation for the discoloration.  The atmosphere in this room, seemed heavy at times.

Occupant #1's Mother's Room:  The mother says that at times she hears a knocking on the shower door.  The strangest event is when a loud crash sound emitted from this room, when all of the occupants ran into the mother's room, both shower doors were completely shattered for no apparent reason.  

Special Note:  Occupant #1 is part of the Wiccan culture and has a gazing ball in the backyard and steps that read 'magickal'.  She is also a Harry Potter fan and her license plate reads 'HGWZXPS'  - if your a Harry Potter fan, figure that one out.  The license plate frame reads: King's Cross - Platform 9 3/4.  

I sat in the Occupant #1's brother's room for a long period of time.  I used my Listen Up sound enhancer and I asked if there is anyone here?  After asking the same question several times, I finally got a male's voice whispering..."yes".  Then I asked is there anything you would like to say.  I said this several times and the answer was "why?" Digital photos were taken of the Hess Home and in one photo, there seems to be hollow circle orbs.  In one photo there are two hollow circle orbs and the next photo shows one hollow circle orb.  The third photo shows no hollow circle orbs.  This is the first time I have ever taken pictures of hollow circle orbs, usually I take pictures of round ball like orbs of various colors.  While talking with occupants, we did hear some strange sounds coming out of the garage area, like small knocks.

Took digital photo of the Mafia Room and captured a small orb against the wall.

At the end of this paranormal investigation, I head home after dropping Debbie Talani off and get a call from my neighbor Nick Asevedo.  Nick once lived in a haunted house in Reno and believes the ghosts of this haunted house now reside in his home in Elk Grove.  He believes the ghosts followed his family from Reno to Elk Grove.  He tells me that his blender turns off and on, he captured an orb shot when taking a picture of his son, the TV switches channels on its own and claims his girlfriend has witnessed this too.  Now here is the funny thing, his house is across the street from my house.  I tell Nick..."yes, I will do a preliminary investigation of your house sometime next week."  I tell Nick goodbye and then the thought comes into my head...."it never ends."  

As I write this article, I get another call on my cell phone.  This time it's a lady I will call 'Rotunda' in Compton.  She is crying, she is frantic because an entity in her home is scratching her daughter.  She does not want to get off the phone with me.  As we are talking an ungodly deep male voice is heard on the phone about 6 times.  She asks if I am the one making this noise.  I tell her..."no ma'am".  She becomes even more freaked out.  I suggest having her church bless her home, we say prayers together on the phone and I keep her on the line as I look up on the Internet for Los Angeles based paranormal groups.  I send out emails to 4 Los Angeles based groups, letting them know that this woman needs immediate assistance.  I give her Janet Milchak, psychic and spiritual counselor's phone number, so she can talk with Janet, to calm her down through this crisis.  I inform Shannon McCabe immediately, who will do a follow-up with this lady.  The chills went up and down my spine, as I heard this strange deep male voice on the phone, while this poor woman is begging for help.  I ask the lady if there is a power pole near her home and she says there is a power pole directly in front of her house.  In most cases with extreme activity like this, homes are near power poles where entities are able to feed off the energy from these poles and are then able to move objects and touch people.  I suggest that she stays with a friend this night and she says she will.    She thanks me profusely for staying on the telephone with her and says she is calling Janet immediately.  While we were talking, she saw three shadows moving towards her and she becomes more frightened.  As I was talking with her, the goosebumps were all over my arms and I felt chills going up and down my spine.  I am usually never scared of anything, but the thought of this poor woman and her daughter being terrorized by an unseen force made me scared for both of them.  I will say prayers for them tonight and hope a paranormal group will assist her through this horrible ordeal.  Godspeed to them both.

Paul Dale Roberts,
HPI Ghostwriter

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