Padre Hotel

More From California


“A Sophisticated, Boutique Hotel”

“The legendary Padre Hotel will delight you with its unique blend of yesteryear and today.”

The 1928 Spanish Colonial Style, six storied, 113.8 foot tall, Western-themed Padre Hotel, is the “shining star” of downtown Bakersfield! It is Bakersfield’s only 4-Diamond Hotel. It now offers a top-of-the-line variety of one hundred twelve rooms and suites, in the upper price range, ranging from $225.00 to $400.00 plus. The rooms have been completely redone into a modern, boutique hotel style with modern furniture, etc. Some of the room decor suggests a western theme, but it can’t be seen in the hotel website pictures.

Besides offering rooms with all the bells and whistles, the Padre also has an upscale restaurant, a more informal cafe, an “uber hip” bistro, a boutique bar with some of its historical features left intact, and several meeting spaces. Their outdoor space on the roof offers an outdoor bar with a cabana and fire pits that can be reserved for private use, and comes with its own waiter.

Despite all the upgraded splendor, some of original decor and special murals in the lobby area are still there as well to remind people that this hotel started out as a glorious place to stay back in 1928!


Considering all the tragedy and strife in The Padre Hotel’s history, starting in the 1950s, we are relieved at how things have turned out! A beautiful Boutique Hotel that the original owners would be very pleased with!

Let us start in the beginning. There was a lot of prosperity during the 1920s due to the oil boom, and a high class hotel was needed in bustling downtown Bakersfield for all the business people and other travelers coming into the city who wanted an upscale hotel. Designed by John M. Cooperi, using the popular the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it was described as being “auspicious and flamboyant”. After it opened in 1928, it soon became the hot spot for night life, offering music, dance, entertainment and drinks — a place to have a great time. It was an anchor business for downtown Bakersfield!

Thanks to all the oil being produced, The Padre Hotel made it through the Depression, as there was still a lot of money being made here. World War 2 brought more business their way. Good times and good luck lasted through the 1940s.

However, the 1950s brought tragedy and mishap to the hotel, and the beginning of discord. There was a deadly fire on the 7th floor that killed a family with kids, and the 1952 Kern County Earthquake caused damage to the Padre Hotel that killed folks, by trapping them in the basement.


Milton “Spartacus” Miller purchased it in 1954. At that time it needed upgrades in the fire prevention system to be safe. Miller was considered to be a real character, with disdain for authority. He spent 45 years fighting with the city of Bakersfield over a “myriad of issues,” including being in violation of state fire codes. To express his disdain, he mounted a cannon on the hotel roof and aimed it at city hall. He also used the outer walls of The Padre to express his anger at City Hall. At the top of the building, the words “Alamo” and “Tombstone,” stayed there for years after the passing of Milton.

“He turned the Padre into the city’s largest billboard, draping it with banners and signs accusing the city of letting downtown Bakersfield’s business community wither and die.”

Finally, in 1966, Bakerfield won the legal battle and closed The Padre Hotel’s third to the seventh floors to hotel guests.

The once grand hotel started to go downhill a little in the 1960s, becoming a little frumpy looking, perhaps needing the funds that were being used to fight the legal battle with the city. After 1966, income was severely curtailed because of the closing of the upper floors. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the lower floors began to take on long term renters, who didn’t mind living in a compromised building. It became more of a boarding house, with lower rates, and low income folks that didn’t provide the money to maintain this once grand hotel. So sad!

Then, the soap opera really began. From 1966-1999, Miller continued to fight, but he died on June 9th, 1999. In the meantime he married Lora Gordon Miller on April 26th, from a Mercy Hospital bed. In 1999, Lora attempted to sell the Padre Hotel but was stopped by a lawsuit in 2000, challenged by Milton’s two nephews who claimed ownership of The Padre Hotel. They may have bought into The Padre Hotel years before Milton died. This new legal battle lasted from January to September of 2000. The parties settled out of court on April 27, 2001.

On April 16th, 2002, The Padre Hotel finally had a new owner, Pacifica Enterprises LLC, which paid $1 million dollars; not bad for a fixer-upper. It was all “Location, location, location,” and the possibilities that existed in Bakersfield. Condos were the way to go, a choice made by many owners of large hotels (Rockingham Hotel Building NH * Montauk Manor NY Long Island).

Another snag to development came when Pacifica Enterprises was hit by a civil suit after being reprimanded several times for breaking the asbestos law, putting their workers at risk. In June of 2005, the lawsuit was settled for $460,000. In turn, on Feb. 16, 2006, Bakersfield planning commissioners finally approved converting the Padre Hotel into condominiums, and it looked liked Pacifica Enterprises were on their way. However, they decided to put The Padre back on the real estate market in 2006.

In 2008 the new owners, Bakersfield’s own Brett Miller and talented architect Graham Downes, formed the San Diego-based Padre Partners LP, and went to work. By the time they were done, they had created this beautiful, “Boutique Hotel” and opened for business in 2010 after an 18 million dollar renovation in partnership with the city of Bakersfield!

The City wanted The Padre Hotel to become the economic anchor in downtown Bakersfield to draw in people who would support local businesses as well. A big thank you goes to Padre Partners LP and the City of Bakersfield for re-establishing The Padre Hotel as a high class venture that draws in a lot of money, making it once more an economic asset. Though they took out most of the historic features, leaving just a few, it was better than tearing it down completely.



While many spirits who reside here are friendly, others are not, for a variety of reasons.

They may hate the additions or the changes/improvements made. The spirit of Milton “Spartacus” Miller was not pleased with the renovation efforts and wasn’t afraid to show it. Plus, there was the ultimate betrayal: the new owners had gone into partnership with the City of Bakersfield, his sworn enemy! NO!

Tragedies in structures can cause the hauntings of the victims, whether they’re not happy about their sudden loss of life, or because they still want to find fun now. Children have died here since it was built, through accident or illness. Children and adults were killed in the basement during the 1952 earthquake.

A family was killed on the 7th floor by a fire in the 1950s.

Miguel Rocha shared with a professional ghost hunting team, AMPED, “So there was a fire on the seventh floor. This happened many years ago. A family was unfortunately trapped up there, and ever since everything they done with the building it seems there is a heightened activity on the 7th floor.”

Sometime in The Padre Hotel’s history, The Mafia may have discovered it. The hotel may have had a speakeasy during Prohibition, as most high class hotels did, which means involvement with bootleggers and organized crime. Some of those folks didn’t have good characters, and death hasn’t given them any redeeming values. Others claim that Milton Miller himself had connections to organized crime in the 1960s, but this has never been made certain. It sounds like just a rumor to me.

Hotels that sink to the level of low cost housing that attract transients and others from the underclass have a few spirits from that time, some not so nice, with bullying tendencies.

The Padre Hotel had become a bit frumpy and run-down, housing transients and people with issues. Some of these folks may well have died here.

Tall buildings have the tendency to draw people who want to commit suicide. The Padre Hotel has had its fair share of jumpers throughout the years, in good times and bad.



For years, staff, guests and residents have had experiences with the spirits who love the place, whether mischievous, friendly, or just plain mean, thry get their chuckles by trying to scare the living. Perhaps they had the vacant floors to themselves for so many years.

The Padre Hotel brought in a professional ghost hunting team in 2017, AMPED, for a ghost hunt, as they realized these spirits were real and some were scaring their guests and staff. 23ABC’s Adam Bowles went along with this team to explore the paranormal claims that have been reported at the Padre Hotel. Hard evidence was caught, especially around the toys, that were put on top of a bed with attached buzzers that were brought along to entice young children spirits to play with them. Some of these young spirits were seen on sensor screens as they played with the toys.

Psychic Medium Theresa Caputo, also known as the Long Island Medium, made contact with the little children, who told her why they stayed there: because they love this place!

The Spirit of Milton “Spartacus” Miller

He’s a cranky spirit who is not a happy camper.

During the renovations, he tried to stop progress by taking tools needed by workmen.

Today, he lets his grumpy presence be known in ways that are annoying. Perhaps he likes to oversee the staff!

Dark shadows are seen floating down the hallways.

Unfriendly spirits with bad attitudes who resent the living.

On the third, seventh, and eighth floors, some spirits take delight in trying to scare the living. They watch for opportunities, but don’t actually hurt them.

In Room 704, a female guest entered the room, and heard a rustling behind her that followed her wherever she went in her room. When she went to bed, she looked up and saw ” a sinister-looking face peer down at her from the roof. It smiled crookedly and bore into her soul with pitch black eyes.”

The Spirit of a Suicidal Cowboy

A male guest was awakened by the sound of spurs being dragged across the floor. He awoke to see a translucent cowboy leaning over him, and stroking his face; perhaps being too friendly. The guest did his best to shake the spirit off, who then jumped out the window. The guest looked down from his window and didn’t see a body.


Hard evidence that has been caught and the years of personal experiences sure do point to mischievous, friendly and also not-so-nice spirits as well.

AMPED Paranormal Investigators say in their description of themselves that they have made spirits leave, so they may have been able to banish a mean spirit or two during their investigation, but we shall see if they will reveal their evidence in a public forum.




The Padre Hotel Bakersfield is found on the corner of H Street and 18th Street.



Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr


Your Road Trip to Milwaukee’s Hot Spots

Haunts in California