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Lore abounds of ghosts in Porterville
Several haunted sites rumored in the Orange Belt
A lady in white, murders amuck and a secret boxing ring/dance hall are all part of the Porterville’s ghost lore as the nation observes Halloween today.
Some of the better-known haunts are the Zalud House, the old Palace Hotel and Scranton Cemetery. What history do the structures of Porterville hold and what happened?
This Halloween some of these stories will be unearthed with stories that involve the main street area and other places.
On the home front, one resident reported that her house was definitely haunted.
Porterville resident Korey Kilburn shared this story on Facebook.
“My house on south Plano, originally the Vandalia Club, has had a few spirits around. The late Sylvia Corkins contacted one spirit who was the original owner’s son. Searching for his wife. She convinced him that she had gone to the other side. He used to walk through the house opening doors and turning on lights. You could hear footsteps across the floors where no one was at,” wrote Kilburn.
Another reader shared her story.
“My parents’ house on F is haunted. A little girl fell down the basement stairs. [She] opens the doors, turns on music, I lived there for over 20 years my parents still do and we learned to live with it,” wrote Alexis Rincon Abbott.
The Spencer Isham House, according to ghost hunter Benny Huerta, co-founder of Paranormal Movement Investigations, is also rumored to have music and voices coming from the second story area.
Through the years, stories have abounded of haunted places and beings in town from Main Street to Scranton, to Terra Bella and beyond. Buildings, areas and even cemeteries have been rumored to contain sights and sounds of an otherworldly persuasion, but what about other places? Main Street holds a number of local stories that many may not know about.
“At Edwards Gallery a murder took place upstairs in the 1920s. [In the] haunted alley behind City Hall at a mechanic’s shop there was an explosion and two gentleman were killed. In the basement of City Hall employees hear things and see things,” said Huerta, who added that other structures including the fire department were also haunted.
According to Huerta, the Porterville Fire Department, which was built in the 1930s has also had reports of hauntings as members of the department have reported being held down in their bunk beds and radios working even though they weren’t plugged in. The haunted boxing ring/dance hall located above Earth Angel is also an area of activity.
“People have seen apparitions, seeing things moving and hearing talking,” stated Huerta.
Finally, there is the story of the two men who haunt downtown Main Street. As the story goes, these two men fought to the death over a slight that the other had done.
Huerta explains that one night one of the men was drunk and shot a woman in her buttocks.
After the man went to jail and came out the second man kept harping on him. The two men then fought in an unnamed downtown business.
Other reported sightings include a woman in white in a dentist’s office and a murder which occurred in a clothing store.
Though the bulk of local lore is comprised of businesses or houses, other places, like schools, could be haunted, residents say.
“I too believe John J. Doyle school is haunted. I believe the spirits of the two little girls is still around there,” added Bounmy Vongsavanh also on Facebook.
However, other areas of town are also sites of activity.
“The old Commision Honorifica building is scary, sometimes very active,” said Kathy Guinn of the Porterville Ghost Society which is another ghost hunting group.
She added that reports of footsteps, shadows and doors opening and closing round out the activity at the Old Veterans Of Foreign Wars Hall which is now the Porterville Adult Day Services or (PADS).
The Barn Theater
Family Healthcare Clinic
Porterville Developmental Center
Parts of Sierra View District Hospital
The Old Gandy Dancer on North Main
The Post Office
Old Police Department at City Hall
The Lindsay Theater
Old Road Camp in Terra Bella.