Archive for September, 2009

Teodora Olivas

. . . was at the Olivas Adobe. I love that place; it’s small, surrounded by trees, gardens and vineyards. The building is only two stories with a courtyard. It’s a rather plain adobe structure which once housed the Olivas family in the 1800’s. Teodora Olivas was the matriarch, and her main responsibility was raising her thirteen children while her husband was away on frequent hunting trips. The family owned a great deal of land at one point, but after the death of Don Raymundo in 1879, they gradually lost their fortune and the house was sold in 1899. It had many owners by the time it was sold to the “Yeast King” (such an unfortunate title) in 1927. In 1972, the City of Ventura acquired the property and the City has maintained it ever since.

I was alone in the front of the adobe, standing near the entrance on the long, front porch. I wasn’t thinking about anything, I wasn’t hoping for a paranormal event; I remember that I was lost in thought, absorbing the peculiar atmosphere that surrounds the house. It was dusk and the light was fading. It’s difficult to describe what happened next. I saw the image of a woman with a severe bun, a long, black Victorian dress and black, laced boots. She was standing at the other end of the long outdoor hallway, by a small door that leads to a storage area. Her expression was severe and almost angry. In a flash, I saw all the details of her appearance. Her features and her dress were impressed upon my  mind, but it wasn’t exactly like seeing her–it was more like the image of her face and figure were somehow transmitted to my conscious mind. Is that a hallucination? I don’t know–I’ve never had one before or since.

At the time, I had not seen her picture or done any research on the adobe at all. I knew nothing about it. Later, after I told my husband all about what happened, we looked up some information on the adobe and I saw a picture of the exact same woman I had witnessed at the end of the long hall at the Olivas Adobe. There was no doubt it was her. I was absolutely astounded.

I still think about her expression. From what I could tell, she did not want me or my husband there. We were trespassers on her property. Was that, I wonder, the “real” Teodora, or simply an image of her that remains at her old home? All I know is that the Olivas Adobe feels truly haunted, especially in the evening and at night. The few times LAPA has investigated the adobe, we’ve all felt the presence of someone or something around the home, especially in the courtyard by the metal gate. We’ve witnessed lights, heard odd sounds, and felt the courtyard come alive with strange energy.

Teodora had a very hard life. I know she’s still there. Many other visitors have reported seeing her upstairs and also seeing faces peering out from the childrens’ room. I wonder if she misses her family; perhaps they are all still together, and only the lucky are allowed a glimpse into their past.

Olivas Adobe

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Peluso's CondoA picture of the area where the author saw an apparition of a man

Where do I begin . . . probably at the point where I was totally oblivious to the little things going on around me. It was 1989 and I was getting married. I just bought a condo and decided to move in before the wedding. Having never really lived alone before, I thought the feelings of discomfort were just part of acclimating to my new surroundings. Although I was alone, I still slept with the bedroom door locked. That should have been my first hint that something was just not right. If I had my old Snoopy Night Light, I probably would have used it to provide me some comfort from the dark and disturbing quiet. Well, sort of quiet. Every little bump in the night seemed to wake me up. Again, I just put it down to being in a new place. Soon I would get use to my surroundings, I thought.

It wasn’t long before I started to get used to the little idiosyncrasies of my new place. Things like the squeaky doors, the occasionally leaky faucet and the TV turning on and off on its own, for no apparent reason. At first, I thought one of my neighbors had a similar remote code and that was setting things off, so it had to be an electrical problem. After numerous electricians could find nothing wrong with the outlets, I attributed it to a faulty off-brand television set. Again, ignoring the obvious.

After a short time, I was married and my new wife moved into our condo. The familiar comfort of living with someone again soon put these little annoyances out of my mind and all seemed well . . . or so I thought.

It was a morning like any other. I woke up, careful not to wake my sleeping bride, and stumbled my way to the bathroom for my morning ritual. After a well-needed shower to wash away the night, I stood in front of the mirror prepared to shave away several days’ worth of 5 o’clock shadow. After smoothing on the shaving cream, I looked up,  put the razor to my face and suddenly saw something that sent chills down my spine. Directly behind me was the bathroom door, and looking through the mirror, I saw a man standing behind the door. He was wearing brown corduroy pants and a long-sleeved white shirt. He had dark brownish hair, but his face was shadowed. At first I stood there in shock; then as quickly as I saw him, I turned, ready to swing my double edge razor at him. As I turned to face the door, I realized that there was no one there, nothing hanging on the door, no shadows, nothing. I looked back in the mirror, and again there was nothing reflected but the door.

I didn’t speak of the incident for several days, hoping it was just my imagination and maybe I wasn’t fully awake yet. It had to be my mind just playing tricks on me.

One evening about a week later, I decided to bring it up to my wife. I said, “something happened the other morning when I was shaving. I was looking in the mirror . . . ” before I could finish my sentence my wife said, “so you saw him.” The blood drained from my body at that moment. I asked, “saw who?” She said, “the guy with the brown pants. I’ve seen him too; he walks back and forth from the bedroom to the bathroom.”

Needless to say, I never stayed in the house alone again and always made sure I turned on all the lights before I entered any room. I was more than on board when my wife eventually suggested we move. I am just thankful that I didn’t see him again.

Submitted anonymously

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