Does the ghost of M. Theo Kearney haunt his former residence? - Photo courtesy of historicfresno.org
Several miles west of downtown Fresno, lies Kearney Park. The park was started in 1892 by M. Theo. Kearney and was to be part of a 225 acre agriculture complex. The current mansion was originally to be the caretakers quarters, unfortunately it and an adjacent servant's quarters were all that were built as Mr. Kearney died in 1906 and his dreams of an agricultural "Garden of Eden" were never completed.
Though Mr. Kearney died over one hundred years ago, there are rumors that he still walks his property at night, perhaps dismayed that his dream was never completed. There are also stories that a house maid, a Nora S., also wanders the darkened halls at night. Perhaps she feels she still needs to make sure the residence is kept in order for Mr. Kearney. Others have seen a man wandering around in the wooded area near the house. Others have felt as if someone from the house was watching them and once someone said they saw a female figure on the porch.
There is also an urban legend stating that a woman in white (some call her the White Witch) haunts the railroad tracks on the property and that anyone who is unfortunate enough to see her eyes, dies immediately. Personally, I find this highly unlikely as if she kills anyone who sees her, how can there be any witnesses to pass on this claim?
Still, Kearney Park is one of those Fresno treasures that most people know about, but may have never gone. The City of Fresno currently owns the Mansion and Park and you can tour the Mansion for a small fee. For further information on public tours of the Kearney Mansion, you can call 559-441-0862.