News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

Time Jockey – Ghostly Ghouls

By Joe Castillo


More Haunting Tales  ….. Here’s my second installation of special Halloween stories. I’ll try not to make them too scary. The Balzac Café in Azusa is located in an old brick building with thick walls and solid concrete floors. The building was at one time a bank, but through the years was converted to a restaurant. Ghostly images of a tall male with a beard have appeared in the upstairs offices and rooms. The image appears to be reviewing financial records and has been named ‘The Ghost Banker’. Another image has appeared by the women’s bathroom inside the restaurant. The image appears to be confused by the restaurant and is rumored to be a previous female customer of the old Bank. Ghost hunters have found no known crime, murder or haunting in the house which would cause the ghosts to take up residence in the café. It just goes to show you that ghosts can appear anywhere and anytime, even without a previous spiritual or deadly event taking place…. In the northern part of Azusa, in the 200 block of Soldano Azusa, a haunting feeling is evident. Visitors have reported the sound of two women crying for help coming from a vacant lot, a lot which has an eerie feeling about it. Ghost hunters were stumped by the coldness of the lot and talked to local residents about neighborhood stories. One story was of a plane crash in the 1970’s which killed the two women passengers onboard. The planes crashed at the site of the vacant lot, and the two women onboard were killed by the ensuing fire. Local residents have said that images have been seen of two women walking through the neighborhood then disappearing into the night. Soldano Avenue has been known to have other ghosts wandering the street and moving into older Victorian homes. It’s just another story of ghosts having no boundaries when looking for a place to call home. Maybe it could be your place next time ….. The Rio Hondo Riverbed in Pico Rivera may have been the site of a Gabrieleno massacre by Spanish soldiers. When Spanish missionaries arrived in Southern California in the late 1770’s, they made plans to build their string of Missions. They forced the local indigenous people to provide the labor to complete their master plan. With the forced labor came physical abuses against the Gabrielenos, including traumatic physical injuries. When the Gabrielenos complained to the Spanish missionaries, the offending soldiers were sent back to Mexico and new soldiers were sent back in their place. But the abuses continued and more Gabrielenos were quietly killed. Along the Rio Hondo Riverbed, shouts of young men and women could be heard, along with musket shots and galloping horses. Ghost hunters have documented these sounds and theorize the ghosts of the hunted Gabrielenos are still running from their Spanish tormentors. If you live somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley, the ghosts of the Gabrielenos may be heard anywhere, at any time, in any place. Just something else to think about the next time you hear a bump in the night…..

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