Area 41 Nautilus St Camp Pendleton ghostA.K.A Las Flores Estancia Adobe was incorporated into Camp Pendleton in 1942. Established in 1823 as an estancia (“station”). It was part of the Spanish missions, asistencias, and estancias system in Las Californias—Alta California. Las Flores Estancia was situated approximately halfway between Mission San Luis Rey de Francia and Mission San Juan Capistrano.
According to local legend, a priest was murdered at the site when an outpost of Mission San Luis Rey stood near the adobe (one variation holds that the killing was done by local Indians being used as forced labor for the mission).
One of the best-noted accounts of the paranormal came from author Jerome Baumgartner in “Rancho Santa Margarita Remembered.” Baumgartner, was a great-grandson to co-owner Richard O’Neill in the late 1800s. Baumgartner recounts, recounts a family story about two women who saw a pair of Franciscan monks standing in their room in the adobe. As the frightened women grabbed each other, the monks said, “Be calm, my children” and drifted from the room. Elena Patricia Alderete, the niece of Ruth Magee (whose family leased the property from 1888 to 1967 and raised beans on the surrounding land so successfully that one Jane Magee was known as “The Bean Queen”), visited Las Flores during the 1950s and ’60s and remembers tales of a female ghost who roamed the building’s upper story. One rumor has it that the woman was a resident who died of a wasting disease, possibly tuberculosis, on the premises.
Jerome Herrington property manager from 1998 accounts (20 years earlier) of a marine corporal checking on a sentry who guarded the adobe saw a man wearing a burlap-colored priest’s habit, speaking in a language he couldn’t understand. When he [looked] back, no one was there.” In 1999 Herrington’s son reported, “He heard the sound of a horse neighing, but when he went out, there was no horse or tracks.”
The most recent accounts of the paranormal ghost haunt seem to be witnessed by Marines stationed at Area 41 Camp Pendleton.
Three different ghost accounts follow;
“I remember when I was in Marine Corps boot camp at MCRD San Diego I got dropped from my training platoon to a Medical Rehab Platoon. Well, strange things happened to me here, like things disappearing, unknown locks being placed on people’s things, and more missing stuff. From what I have heard, recruits have committed suicide in those squad bays. I’m surprised there isn’t anything on the internet about that.”
“I was stationed right across the fence line from you at RTC/NTC San Diego back in 1980. We had the same suicide stories. Like with anything military, it would be kept private and only those of us that were stationed there would know about it. It isn’t like the military is going to admit to it happening. However, I do remember instances standing midnight to 4:00 am watch not to mention grounds watch, particularly the ones that included the track and fence line that separated MCRD from RTC/NTC. Midnight runners, recruits marching, not to mention phantom artillery fire from the firing range were witnessed.”
“This incident happened to us up in Camp Pendleton, CA. My squadron had left for a week of field training. When we returned about 10 marines including me had our lockers tampered with. I couldn’t even open my combination lock. Investigations went on and nobody knows to this date after a year. Not to mention the marine who loses his cell phone after turning his back to just get a shirt. The sim card appears on his bed the next day. ”
Some claim the paranormal ghost haunt is based on the suicide of one marine, in the second upstairs barracks. The second-story room in one of the barracks is haunted by the ghost of a Marine. He shot himself after finding out his fiance left him. The ghost moves furniture, hums the song to “Jeopardy”, and has struck another Marine sleeping in the room. People in the room feel the ghost is there watching them.