The Mystery Behind Midtown’s Haunted Mansion

By Armando Gonzalez, SacMidtown.com

It’s your average Sunday afternoon in the heart of midtown’s Boulevard Park. People are out and about in the neighborhood running, walking and biking by.

Yet, something is different about the average day in the neighborhood on my block.
As the local midtowners scatter by they all share the same routine—they stop, they stand paralyzed, and they look up with wonderment at the sight of the abandoned mansion that sits across the street from my apartment. Some take pictures, others play investigator—but most simply stand in front, immobilized for about fifteen-minutes or more. Yep, just another average Sunday afternoon living across the street from the midtown Sacramento’s most haunted landmark.

When we moved in we were just like the daily visitors—awe struck and curious. But, fast forward a few months to now and we no longer join in the work of the local  Matlock’s and Perry Mason’s. Instead, we watch in awe of the magnetic pull that this alleged paranormal hotspot seems to get. In the early evening, just after the sun rises, and even on special occasions, at night—people line up in herds to catch a glimpse of the place. Now I must admit that I am clearly desensitized to the sight of the rickety old place. I have caught my glimpses, and yes, even done my investigating. So I suppose the real reason that I no longer stand around hypothesizing about the place is because I see it everyday, and I guess I feel like I already know the story. At least that’s what I tell myself.

I hadn’t even put away half the boxes on move in day before I was at my laptop performing a multitude of Google searches to get to the bottom of the mystery home that sits across the way.

Within minutes I had a few different theories on the history of the place ranging from Poltergeist haunted to curious midtown landmark that may or may not be—but probably is— haunted. Judging by the online hype comprised of ghost website features and local television and radio news pieces, I was living across the way from midtown Sacramento’s most haunted spot.
Before I knew it, I was drawn in.

I spent the first few days in the apartment occasionally glancing out the blinds to look for movement from inside the house, as if I might catch the place off guard and seething of paranormal activity that would allow me to confirm, for once and for all, the folklore. Every night at dusk, like clockwork, the lights on the home come on lighting up the eerie looking fully furnished mansion. Despite it’s decrepit condition, at night the mansion looks like it actually might house someone, or something—adding to the allure of the mystery.

The day I met my first neighbor I patiently waited for a few minutes into the conversation before letting my intrigue bubble over in a flood of inquiry about the mansion.

“What do you know?” she quickly responded. “Well, I have heard a lot about it being…well ya know – if you believe in that sort of thing.” “Haunted?” she exclaimed. “Ya, I am pretty sure it is,” she said.

The neighbor then began to recount a story of another local tenant’s run-in with the chief governing spirit who supposedly occupies the home. According to the neighbor, one night the other neighbor’s dog wandered past the fence and onto the yard of the mansion. The girl hopped the fence, retrieved her dog, and headed back into her apartment across the street. Five minutes later there was a middle-aged man knocking at her door. As she opened the door to see what the man wanted he seemingly glided past her directly into her bedroom and sat on her bed. Stunned, and realizing the man was hardly real, the girl screamed and demanded to know what the man wanted with her. According to the story, a short conversation ensued between the girl and the man before the spirit vanished out the front door the same way he came. Apparently her crossing his fence gave him right to cross her front door.

Ok, I know—sounds a little far fetched right? Not totally believing the story, but also not any less convinced either, I set out to find out more. I called up the only friend I knew that had some legitimate knowledge of the paranormal and spirit world, past watching the occasional ghost hunters, and invited him out to have a look.

“It’s demonic,” he quickly snapped after three minutes of examining the place. “It’s definitely a place of demonic worship.” “Satin worshipers? Really? I just moved across the street from a devil-worshiping house,” I thought. Awesome. No wonder we got that half off the first month’s rent.

My friend went on to point out the four horns on the top of the house, the gargoyles, and the extravagantly placed add-on window baring some sort of glass window that had a cross on it. “They used the downstairs for worship and they lived upstairs,” he said.

“Doesn’t look like they use it for that anymore, but because they once did they have given spiritual authority over to spirits, allowing them to house the place in it’s abandon state.”

Between the online poltergeist pointed research, story of the middle-aged ghost pissed about the dog playing on his yard, and the obvious signs of Satanism pointed out by my resident ghost expert, I was quickly beginning to wonder just what I might have gotten myself into by moving across the street from this place. “You will be fine,” he said, “Just don’t go over there poking around and they won’t bother you…and if they do just ask them to leave politely.” Awesome, thanks for that. Guess it’s time to brush up on my ghost manners, I thought to myself.

A couple weeks later on a mid-week morning I was sitting out on my porch eating breakfast gawking at the place when I met the midtown block’s version of Yoda.  The older man slowly approached my stoop, hunched over, walking with cane firmly in hand, and quickly struck up a conversation about everything midtown. He started by sharing his stories of buying his house back when the whole H street block was a two-lane highway and the neighborhood was infested with crack houses. He followed that up with a short historical run down of the history of Boulevard Park and even threw in a complete background of the apartment home that I am living at.

“Finally,” I thought.  This was the guy who could settle the case of the midtown mansion once and for all.” “So what about the mansion across the street,” I slyly asked. “Well,” he began, “Everyone seems to think it’s haunted but to be honest with you, that’s all a bunch of bullshit.” According to Yoda, a rich, old Italian family has owned it for the past 30 years. The matriarch of the family lived and died in the mansion sometime in the late 80’s and her last request was that her family never was to sell her beloved home. So to pay homage to the matriarch, the family has refused to sell it but also has seemingly refused to do much else to the home past occasionally mowing the dead grass once a month.

“We hate the place,” Yoda continued, “We wish they would sell it—it’s dragging down the neighborhood.” Reeling as I watched my ghost conspiracy theory evaporate faster then the state’s budget, I made a last ditch effort at saving the idea of the haunted mansion by offering my demonic worship house & online research counter argument.

“Huh,” he mumbled lost in thought momentarily. “I guess those horns are a pretty strange add on, as is that window.” “A-ha! Conspiracy theory resuscitated,” I thought to myself. “I don’t know though,” Yoda went on. “Could be something, but kinda sounds like more bullshit from those ghosts conspiracists if you ask me.” In the words of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar—“ACCESS DENIED!”

As I walked back to my apartment that morning, I felt as undecided as ever as to whether or not the mansion sitting across the street from my house was actually haunted. Yoda clearly proved he knew a thing or two about midtown, I mean the guy has lived across the street from the place for practically as long as I have been alive. If anyone would know if the place were haunted it would surely be Yoda, right? But, what if Yoda were simply a skeptic? He did strike me as a very logical guy, believing in science and reason, fully bought into the Western philosophy that seeing is believing. According to Yoda, he is yet to see, so why bother believing? So maybe there is still room for the idea of the mansion in fact being haunted. It’s hard to easily forget the online poltergeist tales, the Satan worshiping elements of the house, and the story of the girl, her dog, and the spirit.

As I ink this story months later, I remain in an uncomfortable position of undecided.

While I wish I might know for sure one way or another, for my own sanity, I have handed in my detective badge on this one. It sounds like the only way to know might be to hop the fence one night and start snooping around the property. But until I brush up on my ghost manners, I think I’m cool on having to escort a middle-aged spirit out of my house—for now at least.

He’s not exactly a “midtown hipster” although Armando Gonzalez has been called a “man about town.” A sports enthusiast that used to host a local sports television show, a lead singer of a somewhat popular 90’s cover band and a Marriage and Family Therapist working on his doctorate.

About agonzalez

He’s not exactly a “midtown hipster” although Armando Gonzalez has been called a “man about town.” A sports enthusiast that used to host a local sports television show, a lead singer of a somewhat popular 90’s cover band and a Marriage and Family Therapist working on his doctorate.

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Posted by on Apr 6 2012. Filed under What To Do. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments for “The Mystery Behind Midtown’s Haunted Mansion”

  1. midtownie

    That house is not DEMONIC. I implore your friend to, and possibly you, should you choose to, look up the Legend of La Gargouille. You might find the relationship between your gargoyle and the cross.

    You can start here if you’d like:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gargoyle

  2. angell jones

    every evening when the sun is rising? huh?

  3. […] The mystery behind Sacramento’s haunted mansion: “Something is different about the average day in the neighborhood on my block. As the local midtowners scatter by they all share the same routine-they stop, they stand paralyzed, and they look up with wonderment at the sight of the abandoned mansion that sits across the street from my apartment. Some take pictures, others play investigator-but most simply stand in front, immobilized for about fifteen-minutes or more. Yep, just another average Sunday afternoon living across the street from the midtown Sacramento’s most haunted landmark…” […]

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