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Stokes Adobe

Street view of the Stokes Adobe in Monterey, CA at night

Legend has it that the Stokes Adobe in Monterey, California, is more than just brick-and-mortar; it’s a spectral repository haunted by the ghosts of a nefarious past. Delve into the sinister saga of James Stokes, the second proprietor of this haunting abode, who, in a macabre twist of fate, posed not only as a healer but also as a harbinger of doom. 


The air within these walls thickens with the stories of his alleged masquerade as a doctor, a sinister guise that allowed him to commit unspeakable atrocities. Prepare to bear witness to a disturbing scene that plays out like a horror film and continues to leave a bloody mark to this day.


As we unlock the ghastly secrets within, we invite you to join US Ghost Adventures on a ghost tour that takes you into the heart of darkness, where history and hauntings converge.


History of the Stokes Adobe


Constructed in 1833 and one of Northern California’s most historic homes (now a restaurant), the Stokes Adobe has witnessed the ebb and flow of Monterey’s cultural and culinary landscape. Originally built for the prosperous Ambrose Tomlinson, the Adobe showcased opulence, boasting architecture and furniture that exuded success. 


In 1837, the ownership of the adobe underwent a significant transformation as Tomlinson sold the property to James Stokes. This marked a pivotal moment for the former home, as it passed into the hands of an intriguing character—a British Navy deserter who, under the guise of a physician, etched a dark and deceptive narrative onto Monterey’s history.


The Fake Doctor is In


Stokes, who had disembarked in 1833 with a trunk filled with medicinal supplies, began a perilous journey of practicing medicine without authentic knowledge or qualifications. Remarkably, Stokes managed not only to evade discovery but also to ascend to a position of prominence as the personal physician responsible for the health of California Governor José Figueroa.


This audacious undertaking, unbeknownst to the public, led to the unfortunate demise of several patients under his care, including none other than his most notable political client. The governor’s death in 1835 under Stokes’ care adds a layer of suspicion, hinting at a darker side to the British sailor turned impostor doctor. 


Despite the questionable practices of its owner, Stokes Adobe continued to evolve. Over the years, it transformed into various establishments, each iteration weaving a unique tapestry of stories into its historic walls. From hosting social events to becoming a hub for the upper echelons of Monterey society, Stokes Adobe’s narrative took unexpected turns, reflecting the dynamic and multifaceted history of this intriguing structure.


Why is the Stokes Adobe Haunted?


A figure of authority, James Stokes once held the position of Mayor of Monterey, but his story took a tragic turn. Infamous for his erratic behavior fueled by alcohol, Stokes faced a karmic reckoning that unfolded in a series of grim events within the Adobe.


At the heart of the haunting is the apparition of James Stokes, who ultimately ended his life due to being plagued by the consequences of his actions. Known for his dubious medical practices, the spirits lingering within the Adobe are said to be tied to the patients who met untimely ends under his care.


The painful demise of Governor Figueroa wasn’t the end of this horrific ordeal. Stokes’ questionable methods extended even to the embalming process, where an alleged overdose of arsenic turned Figueroa’s body to ashes during transport, potentially an attempt to erase evidence of malpractice.


The Patients Pile Up


As Stokes’ malpractice persisted, Mrs. Tomlinson, wife of Stokes Adobe’s previous owner, became another unfortunate patient. The exact toll of Stokes’ malpractice within the Adobe remains a mystery, veiled in secrecy and contributing to the haunting legacy that echoes within its walls. 


Urban legends suggest a veil of dark secrets, ranging from these fraudulent medical treatments to alleged sexual abuse, all of which purportedly came to light through the revelation by his sons.


Josefa, Stokes’ beloved wife, met an early end as well within the Adobe at the age of 39. It’s noteworthy that Josefa was the widow of one of Stokes’ unfortunate patients who did not survive his questionable treatments. He also experienced the death of a son not long after the passing of his wife, adding a layer of macabre complexity to the haunting. The spiritual energy within the Adobe intensifies with the lingering presence of these souls, their fates interwoven in a tapestry of tragedy.


The Spirits of Stokes Adobe


Witnesses have detailed encounters with the problematic James Stokes, a phantom figure draped in a rigid white coat whose restlessness knows no bounds. Startling reports speak of Mr. Stokes traversing the Adobe’s levels, his ghostly figure sometimes breaching solid walls, a manifestation of his discontent with the bustling commercial transformation of his once-quiet dwelling.


In stark contrast, the benevolent spirit of Josefa Stokes graces her former abode with a gentile presence. Guests and staff alike have attested to ethereal occurrences—an orchestration of voices akin to a gathering of women, the distant cries of infants, and the delicate shattering of unseen glass. 


Meanwhile, the lively Hattie Gragg, in her spectral form, partakes in the joyous metamorphosis of her cherished home into a contemporary hotspot. Her playful behavior, from flickering lights to the haunting melody of a piano, infuses a mischievous charm into the atmosphere.


Haunted Monterey


Over the years, Stokes Adobe transformed, each phase preserving a piece of its history. The spirits within, at times approving and at times disapproving, watched as the Adobe evolved from a residence to a high-class restaurant, witnessing the ebb and flow of societal changes. 


As we invite you to explore the past and ghostly inhabitants of the Stokes Adobe, we beckon you to join US Ghost Adventures on a riveting ghost tour where the spirits of history converge with the hauntings of the present here in Monterey. 



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