Stags’ Leap Winery Haunted?

I just love how conversations over wine inspire random subjects. I was tasting with a Portuguese winemaker, and we got on the subject of ghosts.  He believed his winery is haunted.  His reasons why were incredulous and intriguing.  The conversation brought up something that I forgot about years ago.

I was with a group touring the Manor House at Stags’ Leap Winery.  Pretty cool place.  It is old, gothic and kind of eerie.  The house, bounded by gorgeous gardens, has been there since 1888.  During its tenure, the stately, stone Manor House has been home to many things; a residence, a spa retreat with hunting, fishing, tennis, swimming and myriad other outdoor activities; a bootlegger’s haunt, maybe a brothel… Its history is attracting.  So there I was standing at the bottom of the house’s stairs looking around as my party was moving on to a different room.  I don’t know why I lingered, but it was only for a moment.  In that instance, I notice a woman coming down the stairs.  Being the chivalrous gentleman that I am, I apologized and said, “excuse me” as I moved myself out of the way of the descending person.  Yah, there wasn’t anyone there; I swear there was.  It was freaky.

Now, with the advent of the internet, which really wasn’t around when I was touring Stags’ Leap way back when, I have come to discover that there have been many who have reported seeing a ghostly woman. The legend is that she was a prostitute who died in the house when it was brothel.  In the late 1980’s, the winery’s marketing director, Bill Piersol tells the story of three different occasions when an acorn was dropped on him from above.  He doesn’t know from where they came, but those three acorns are still kept in a box in the Manor House’s library.  Again, freaky.

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