Disclaimer: Please do not enter any of the locations mentioned in this article without permission from the owners. These places and those like them are considered private property and entering them without the owner's permission is trespassing. You will be arrested for this and will make it harder for serious investigators to do their job.
Is this old abandoned house haunted? Given it's
appearance it has to be right?
See this house? Would you believe me if I told you it's haunted? Why wouldn't you, look how creepy it is. And it's abandoned so it has to be haunted right? Wrong.
The house in the photo is th Craycroft house on Palm Avenue, just south of Herndon. It was built in 1927 by a Frank J. Craycroft who invented a brick that had great insulationg properties that were perfect for the summers and winters here and decided to build his home from this material. Unfortunately tragedy struck two years later when a disgruntled brick mason shot Craycroft who then died from his injuries several months later. This part is known to be true as the story was retold in Valley's Legends and Legacies Vol. III.
Given the story of the death and the appearance of the house (fenced off and in a state of decay) it's easy for an urban legend to take seed and grow. People passing by the house and not knowing the history of it might assume it's haunted. They then mention it to someone else and that person may say they heard it was haunted from someone else. These are how urban legends get started. Same with Kearney Mansion. People assume since it's an old historic building that it HAS to be haunted. And somehow a story like the one where anyone who sees the ghost of Mrs. Kearny dies gets started and is perpuated through the years. Hell even I've been guilty of believing this. When I was in high school I was told there was this cemetery out in the country in Madera that the church had been burned to the ground by satanist and they performed ceromies in the now abandoned cemetery. Of course I believed this as a friend of a friend who in turn had heard it from someone else. Of course none of this was true, but given the nature of the cemetery and the stories I was told it was easy to believe it was.
My point in all this is don't always believe what your told. But that doesn't mean the story still shouldn't be told. Urban legends are just part of our area's folklore. And that's what I've been doing with Weird Fresno lately, telling the folklore stories and urban legends of the area. I'm not trying to prove anything (I'm not that arrogant to think I can where others haven't). I used to love the story but got so caught up in being an investigator and in trying to prove ghosts exist that I forgot what orginally interested me in the paranormal. It was the stories.
So next time you hear a place is haunted or a monster was seen in those trees behind the park or that a UFO laned in a pasture and killed a few cows, don't automatically assume it's true. Just take the story with a grain of salt and look into the story to see if the claims can be verified. And of course pass it on to me so I can add it to the ever growing list of stories in Fresno.