Seems there's a bit of a theme developing lately here at Weird Fresno. Last week I had written about how I had received some information regarding one of the ghosts of Roosevelt High School. As I was working on that, Ken Summers (who contributes to Who Forted?, one of my favorite paranormal sites) sent me some information which he believes might related to the tale of the Walnut Girl of Armona.
Scan of the June 16, 1942 post from the
San Jose Evening News.
According to the San Jose Evening News while driving along the Last Chance Ditch Canal, which is located about five miles northwest of Hanford, a car blew out a tire and ran off the road into the ditch and overturned. Four out of the seven in the car drowned, including 9 year old Gloria Castillo. Could this somehow be the Walnut Girl?
Ken was kind enough to send me both a copy of the article and a map of the area that shows the location of the canal and it's proximity to Armona. One could theorize that the ghost of the girl, for some reason, moved south until it reached Armona. And given that her and her family were fruit pickers, perhaps that is why she is said to have been seen in orchards and packing houses as she had hoped to find them there somehow.
Map of the Hanford/Armona area. The canal is in blue
and the red X is the presumed location of the accident.
Still this doesn't explain in the legend how it took place in the 19th Century (Armona was founded sometime in the 1880's), the fact that she always appear naked and only to girls around her own age. But the fact that in the news article a little girl drowned in a body of water that was nine years old can't be coincidence. Or can it?
The truth is, no one will ever know. There will be those out there that claim the 1942 crash to be the genesis for the story and someone added changed the date and details to make it more "romantic". Others will claim that it did originally occur sometime in the late 1800's and the setting is accurate. And then there will be those that say it's just complete bullshit. Honestly it doesn't matter. The more and more I research these stories the less I care about proving their factuality. For whatever reason stories compel us, everyone has one and they allow us to relate on a humanistic level. And that's why I share them.
I have to give credit where credit is due. If Ken hadn't sent me an e-mail, this bit of information would still be unknown to me. Like I said, he writes for Who Forted? (check out his latest article here on why ghosts are always seen nude) and you can find his website here and link to his blog here.