. . . 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.