Built in 1891, and occupied only by it’s original owners, Porterville’s Zalud House is thought by some to be haunted. The home stands today as it has through it’s entire history, never remodeled, and furnished with the possessions of the Zalud family.
Pearle Zalud lived in the house until her death at the age of 84 in 1970. Pearle and several of her family members have died in the residence, and one piece of furniture sits in an upstairs bedroom, still displaying the bullet hole created when Pearle’s brother-in-law, William Brooks, was shot while sitting in it at a bank in downtown Porterville.
On February 12, 2013, the Tuesday Evening Dining Group (TEDG) went to Porterville for dinner, a walking historical tour of downtown, and a special visit inside the Zalud House. Hosted by Porterville’s Paranormal Movement Investigations team, TEDG went ghost hunting! Did we find any? Well….
No, we didn’t. Not for lack of trying, though!
Several TEDG members brought along high-tech, sophisticated electronic gear designed to track down ghosts . This is an EMF (electro-magnetic force) detector, used to spot changes in the electronic fields that permeate our lives today. Some say the presence of ghosts can affect those fields, and therefore these detectors can be used to spot when spirits are in the area. While we could not verify the presence of any supernatural beings with our EMF devices, as the old saying goes, a lack of evidence does not prove a lack of presence. Or something like that. (I’m sure our lack of reliable results had nothing to do with the fact that our gear consisted of our iPhones and Androids with free ghost “hunting” apps!)
Where we did have some luck, however, was with our ghost radar. In fact, we had so much luck, it seemed like we were in the middle of a ghostly mob scene!
Every time we turned on our ghost radar systems, we got nearby hits! This can become rather disconcerting to those not used to the idea, and in order to prevent any concerns from developing into panic, those of us with the radar kept a low profile in the group. Since these ghosts are always around (and turning the radar on at random times proves that), we decided that until they proved hostile by physical means, we’d just keep their proximity to ourselves.
The TEDG bunch had an excellent dinner at Stan’s in Porterville, who opened up just for us! Everyone commented on how good the food was, and the reasonable prices. After dinner, we struck out on a walking tour, a special first for us.
As we walked the streets of downtown Porterville, the PMI team gave us the lowdown on some of the lowdown varmits (as well as some of the more upstanding citizens. Sometimes they were the same person!) that populate Porterville’s past.
After the downtown tour, we arrived at the Zalud House.
Our hosts, Benny and Heather, after the tour.
So… no ghosts. Our hosts were gracious, informative, and entertaining. Our group of about 20 had a great dinner and “hunt”. Check out the PMI website for information about their activities, and visit the Zalud House site for more information about tours in the residence.
The most incredible thing about this whole evening? Discovering that the City of Porterville has an “official” ghost hunting team! On the tour, Kenny told us that the city had a church for every saloon, and that there were an awful lot of saloons in Porterville! While most of the saloons are gone now, the churches remain, and their effect on the city is profound. (This is the only city in the state whose governing Council approved a resolution supporting Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that took marriage rights away from LGBT Californians) To think this city would have an officially approved ghost hunting team just boggles the mind.
This blog is dedicated to Don, who said he expected to see one about the outing in short order!