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May 09, 2007

Mary Pope-Handy's Los Gatos Ghost Tour (Translucent Guide)
Los Gatos has no shortage of haunted places, the old cemetery (now covered with shops), a former mortuary turned restaurant and also the Opera House are all reputed to be a little spooky.

But that’s not the whole list.

Border’s, a fabulous store for books and music located in “Old Town”, seems to have two ghosts of its own.

The stories about these ghosts are that one is a small boy and one is a man in his 20s or so, wearing jeans, I believe a pullover sweater and a baseball cap.

Who are they?  We’re not sure. The young man is a complete mystery, at least to this writer.  But there is a rumor about the child, that he fell off a balcony when the building was a school.  (This was the site of the town’s school from the 1880s until the 1950s. Later it was developed into a shopping center. For awhile, the old auditorium was a theater. That spot is now Border’s.)

View of California Cafe in Old Town, Los GatosIf you ask the people who’ve worked there a long time about the hauntings, some will say they don’t believe, and some will say they’ve heard things.  When it is a matter of the books moving off the shelves, you can argue that they were squeezed in too tightly and were pushed by natural force.

I did, though, meet a few people myself over the years who told me of their own personal experiences in the store.  One gal told me that she and two other employees were chatting one day when they all saw the apparition of the grownup spectre out of their peripheral vision.  When they turned to look straight on, he vanished. But all three had seen him.  And a person I know well had an experience of the child ghost when we visited the store one day which could not be explained away.

Borders Books in Old Town, Los Gatos, CA - haunted?And no, they weren’t actually scary happenings overall. Just weird.  And that is normal for hauntings – they are usually more weird than anything else. 

Borders is arguably one of the very best places to hang out in town.  There are books, magazines, and papers of course. And there’s a coffee bar, with seating both inside – at tables or comfy leather chairs – and outside on a sunny deck.  It’s got a comfortable ambiance, a bit of history, and that “little something extra”. I have never felt that it was a creepy place in the least.  If the place is indeed haunted, which I believe it is, they are not bad ghosts. Nothing to fear.

So go to Borders, buy a great book and have a seat in a comfy leather chair. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the place…and if so, fill me in!

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