Thursday, March 4, 2010

Is Fresno's Meux Home Haunted?


Do the spirits of former residences still wander this Victorian era
house in downtown Fresno?

Located on the corner of Tulare and R Streets in downtown Fresno sits a house that has been in existence since 1890. Built in the Victorian style, the Meux Home was the residence of a Dr. Thomas Meux and his family up until 1970 when his daughter, Anne Prenetta Meux passed away. The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It now exists as a museum, educating the public what a typical Victorian home was like. But there are stories that not all of it's residences have left.

When I first started investigating haunted locations in the Fresno area over a decade ago, I was told by several people that the Meux Home might be haunted. Stories of hearing children's laughter upstairs were common and I was even told the story of how the house would be closed up for the night and then when it was reopened the next day there were door knobs missing on several of the doors.

I decided to go to the home itself and see if I could find any truth to these stories. Upon my arrival, I found the head docent (tour guide) and struck up a conversation with her. I talked a bit about the architecture style of the house before broaching the subject of ghosts. To my surprise she didn't flinch when I asked if the house was haunted. But she did tell me she had never heard any stories if there were ghosts there and had never heard that the place was haunted.

I discussed the topic of ghosts and the paranormal with her for a few more minutes, she was quite knowledgeable in it (turns out she listens to Coast to Coast AM every night). I then asked her if it was possible to do an investigation of the home, to determine if there actually was anything there. At that point she got somewhat annoyed, saying they don't allow camera flashes in the home as the light from the flash tends to fade antique objects. I told her we could do only video work, and just use our night vision enabled cameras to accommodate them, but she still declined. Saying that the Board of Trustees wouldn't like the stigma of the Meux Home being haunted. I gave her several examples of homes turned museums that were known to be haunted (Whaley House in San Diego, Winchester Mansion in Santa Clara) that have benefited from this, but she still declined. I gave her my card and said goodbye.

Though I never did hear from the Meux Home, every time I drive by it I still wonder if the stories are true. Why are children's laughter heard and whose voices are they of? And the stories of the door knobs missing intrigues me. Could it be the same children playing pranks on the docents that now work there? Or is it someone else? Unfortunately I may never know and it seems the haunted history of the Meux Home is still a mystery and may always be one.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I visited the Meux Home on a school field trip when I was in 2nd grade. I definitely felt a haunting presence in that home. Our tour guide also mentioned how many people have heard strange noises there, and other haunting phenomena.
From my personal experience (I used to live in a haunted house that lay right next to a graveyard) I would say that the Meux Home is definitely a haunted estate. I felt several spiritual presences when I visited.
The Meux Home is a great location for paranormal investigators to visit, and I would encourage them to do so.

John Barbour said...

T. R. Meux was my great-grandfather, and my father grew up on T Street. When my great aunt Anne Prenetta Meux (T.R.'s daughter) still lived there, we often made family visits, so I well remember the house in its pre-restoration, lived-in state. Next time, ask about the pistol that was stuck in the tree next to the front walk (the tree literally grew around it). Voices? could be from some of the hoboes that hung around the after riding the Santa Fe, whom Anne sometimes offered a hot meal, the multiple stray cats she also fed, or the residual echoes of us kids who sometimes peeked into upstairs rooms we were told to stay away from . . .

Anonymous said...

My husband graduated from Fresno High in 1946. He says one of his teachers was Miss Meux. He doesn't know her first name. Was that Dr. Meux's daughter, Anne?

Anonymous said...

I attended a wedding at the Meux Home Museum this last weekend and took several pictures with a digital point and shoot camera. Nothing out of the ordinary through the camera nor in the camera's feedback until I downloaded the pictures to my computer. Specifically in two cases there were "orbs" in the pictures taken on the veranda porch against the house, and in one of the pictures there is a faint definition of an arm, hand and body however "foggy" behind one of the groomsmen. As my family was present and sitting next to me at the wedding these visions were not present to the naked eye. I did not use the zoom on the camera. It may be explainable due to the fact that the groomsman was next to a window looking into the house causing some backlight however the orb is not explainable as there is definition of an eye and nose in the orb. My family had feelings of something around the house; we all felt something, even anticipating a shutter to open or for something to fall. It was a beautiful wedding and a good time was had by "All"!

mamasmiley@ymail.com said...

i know this place is haunted.my mom had once visited there on a school field trip with my brother and she said they were in marys room,on her bed there was a doll, the guide went on about saying how the dolls hair back then was made of real human hair,and of course they have a sign 'do not touch'.so my mom being curios, as everyone was leaving the room, she went back into the room and touched the dolls hair at that same moment the picture of mary next to the bed on a side table fell flat on its face.all my mom could do is pick it back up and she told mary she was sorry for touching her things and she ment no harm.now when we go by there my mom says she can defenitly feel someone looking out the window at us.my grandmother is 85 and has lived in fresno sense she was bout 14.her and my grandpa started out in a tent on there land they bought for ther house in s/w fresno,and now she wants to visit the meux hm after all these yrs of passing it by.so i wonder if we will experiance anything else from the unknown?i kinda hope so....

mamasmiley@ymail.com said...

i hope my comment got sent?

Anonymous said...

I am a current docent (tour guide 2013) at the Meux home, and I can assure you there are no ghost in this home.It is not haunted. The basement, attic, nor house has any spirits in it of any kind. No one died in the home, no souls are still attached to the home. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I am there at least once a week. No children's laughter, no spirits, and the only time any thing goes missing is when the public decides to take the antiques for them selves. All door knobs are still there.

Brandon Melton said...

@anon "docent"

While you may believe, in your (short) experiences of working there, you yourself have not experienced any paranormal phenomena, that does not mean there is ZERO activity in the house.

In all of my researching and paranormal explorations, I have felt that uneasy feeling many times, and I experience it all three times I have been to the Meux Home.

In 2nd or 3rd grade we went there on a school field trip, and I felt upset and followed the whole time, I even remember telling my teacher and my parents this, to which all parties ignored.

The second time there, in High School, I swear I saw a little kid turn the corner down the hall during the tour ahead of us a bit. When we went around the corner, the kid wasn't there. I did not feel any uneasiness as I did the first time though, completely normal feelings, except swearing on my cat that I saw that child.

The third time there about a year ago, I had more uneasy feelings. Although I didn't see anything paranormal (I see faint orb auras in haunted places quite often) or feel followed, I did get the same uneasy feeling I get when I'm in a room with something Paranormal.

Before you come out and deny alllllll of the claims people have about this place, just understand from a semi-veteran paranormal enthusiast- that NOTHING is 100% not haunted. Ever.

Enjoy your haunted tours.

Jose Hernandez said...

when i went the meux home (that was in 3rd grade) it was creepy when i went in there was this baby doll on the piano that where ever i went the eyes followed me.As soon as everyone was upstairs i went down stairs the piano cords were playing,i was freacked out,then where the big christmas tree is i heard and saw presants opening when everyone but me was upstairs.

DAVID BARBA said...

I believe it is haunted because my family and I actually had an experience. It was in the mid 70s. We were walking to our car. The Meux home had just been given to the city. They were preparing it to be a city museum, so there was no one living there. We have always appreciated the beauty of Victorians. We all looked at, then we looked at each other in disbelief! There was a woman peering out, we could not see her face because she was wearing a bonnet. But I could see her in an old Edwardian dress. I have never forgotten that experience! So you can't tell me it's not haunted!
We saw it!

Anonymous said...

@Brandon Melton

I am also a docent at the meux home. I also agree with the other docent. There is nothing there makes the place haunted. I have not seen children, nor orbs or heard voices.
It is a old home, but there is never anything out of the ordinary. guests may think something happens, but the docents who take extreme care of the house EVERYDAY find nothing wrong with it.

You have only been there only three times but we have been coming to work at it every week.

Anonymous said...

I am also a docent, have been one for many years. I HAVE been in places where I believe their was activity but the Meux Home is NOT one of them. When school kids go there it is sometimes a little scary for them since it is old and different. They tend to take something innocent and run with it. Again, out of all the times I have been there I have heard and seen nothing and I am sensitive to these types of things. Sorry but had to say it.

David Meux Livingston said...

I am the greatgrandson of James Meux, youngest brother Dr. T.R Meux. Though I have not had the pleasure of visiting the mansion, can state that I was in the "Home Place" in Stanton Tennessee countless numbers of time in my youth before it burned in the 70's due to lightning. I have never heard any "family secrets" regarding spirits. Just don't think the Meux family are unsettled, disturbed, or restless people...Ghosts, not in character. David Meux Livingston

Anonymous said...

I recently became a docent at the museum, I have been in and out of the house several times, so far, and I do believe it is haunted. I am to the point, where I do not want to go in alone any more. I have seen shadow figures inside the house, they move like real people. I will be in the breezeway, and I will see some one walk from the front parlor into the foyer, and when I go to see if someone is there, there is no one there. I was working with another docent one time, and they swear that they heard some man mumbling from the library. I was told by the old docents that I was not to share any experiences I have with any one, but this house is haunted, I have seen way too many strange things. Heard opera music coming from upstairs one day. When you are there, and all is quiet, you can hear some one walking up stairs, when you know no one is there. Some one needs to investigate, because I know, and several other docents know it is haunted. But they wont say nothing. I will post every time I have any experience.