It is unlikely there is a more unique stay in Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear, California than the Bracken Fern Manor. This gorgeous, 1920s-era Victorian is nestled in a valley in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, and has a storied and haunted history. The manor is a magnificent four story, ten bedroom structure. Its architecture is amazingly preserved and resembles a Connecticut Atlantic Coast seaside lodge. The front desk staff dresses authentically “old-timey,” and you’ll feel like you just stepped out of a time machine. The surrounding mountains are a beautiful reprieve from the city, but they also add eeriness to the haunted history of the Bracken Fern. Oh yeah, we kinda just glossed over the haunted bit, didn’t we?
What Makes The Bracken Fern Manor A Unique Stay:
Prohibition-era Speakeasy With Mobster Ties
Originally built as a retreat, there are two buildings: Bracken Fern Manor and the historic Tudor House. Each sits on opposing sides of the road. The Tudor House became part of a speakeasy operation during the prohibition era for Hollywood’s most elite celebs and was run by famous mobster “Bugsy” Siegel. The manor became a brothel. The two buildings are connected by a secret underground tunnel, but unfortunately it can’t be accessed these days. The stories that tunnel could tell, though!
Haunted History Of The Bracken Fern Manor And The Tudor house
As legend has it, there are at least two ghosts that haunt the Bracken Fern. A six-year old boy named Brian and a former prostitute named Violet. A car struck and killed Brian right in the front of the inn, and Violet allegedly jumped to her death from an upper story window. A different report claims the mob killed her. Either way, these are both terribly tragic stories. Spooky fact: Stephen played a show at the Tudor House a few years back and got to stay at the manor, coincidentally, in Violet’s room! He didn’t have any encounters with Violet’s ghost, but did have a peaceful night’s sleep.
There has been quite a bit of media coverage over the years, mostly due to the haunted past of buildings. The Bracken Fern is an amazing place to stay, whether you’re drawn to this aspect of its history or not. The beautiful surroundings and striking architecture from the “roaring twenties” make it a wonderful experience all on its own. Gorgeous Dogwood trees surround the year-round resort. It has a full wine cellar, private library, a lounge with a large fireplace, full kitchen, a redwood sauna, and it’s pet-friendly! The amount of charm and history are off the charts.
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