A GHOST STORY Does Geo. Mitchell's Spirit Haunt the Scotts Creek Road?
In his day there were few men better known in Santa Cruz than Geo. Mitchell. For years he was employed in a brewery, and then engaged in the saloon business. He took an active part among the firemen, when each felt proud that he ran "wid de masheen." Mitchell was a jovial sort of chap, fond of a joke and ready to lend a hand in any popular movement. During the latter days of his life he was not blessed with prosperity, but he retained his good nature being apparently as happy as in the days when no one could have a higher stack of chips in front of him in a game of poker or jolly joker, and he had the money to pay for them. Before coming to Santa Cruz, he had taught school in his native State of Pennsylvania, thus showing that he had been possessed of a fair education.
A few years ago he was on his way to the Bolton ranch up the coast when he met his death. The winter rains had washed out a portion of the road along Scotts creek, a favorite fishing stream, but Mitchell, being a reckless driver and in a hurry to reach the ranch, left this city one dark night in a dog cart, the result being that the horse, cart and driver went over the bank into the creek.
Mitchell fell into the water first, the cart falling on top of him. Thus pinned down he was unable to move, and was drowned. Next day, as daylight appeared, a passer=by discovered the remains of the deceased lying face downward in the shallow stream. So much by way of preface.
It is believed by some who have occasion to drive over the Scotts Creek road on their way to their farms that Mitchell's spirit haunts the place. A resident, in verification of this, says that a few weeks ago he was driving home in the night, in a wagon, when his horses suddenly wheeled around almost throwing him from his seat. He then heard the rustle of leaves and imagined he saw a ghostly form float across the creek. The horses became restless, and ran away at breakneck speed, not stopping until they had reached another road, a mile or more away. He tried to make them return to the road they had left, but they refused to obey, nor has he since been able to drive them over it.
The man believes he saw Mitchell's spirit, and asserts that he did not take any spirits of any kind before he left this city.