Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is Sanger's Brehler Square Park haunted?


Brehler Square Park in Sanger, California. Image courtesy of Google Street View.



While researching something in the area I came across a story that mentioned that the Brehler Square Park in downtown Sanger is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of local Native Americans. Curious to see if this was more than urban legend I started to dig around.

The park was once the location of the Brehler Building which was built sometime during the turn of the Twentieth Century and housed several business included a bank, a post office, a bakery, the local newspaper, and a general store and pharmacy that was ran by the building's owner Oscar Brehler. Mr. Brehler would often trade with some of the local Yokut tribes, trading them either supplies or outright buying the baskets the tribe was known for. Over the years he developed quite a collection which can now be seen at the Sanger Depot Museum a few miles away. The collection is quite extensive and is considered one of the best in the country.

Oscar Brehler, the original owner of the Brehler Building
Image courtesy of the Sanger Depot Museum.


The building itself was torn down in the late 80's and the area was turned into a park. Witnesses have heard drums and chanting and one even said they saw a figure in the trees one night while walking their dog. Upon getting closer they found the park empty with no one around.




Some of the baskets that Oscar bought over the years.
Image courtesy of the Sanger Depot Museum.


Could these be the spirits of the Native Americans that traded their goods over a century ago and now they want them back? But if that was the case wouldn't the museum exhibit itself be haunted and not the park? If the park is indeed haunted perhaps the land held some significance to the local natives. Another possibility is that it is a residual haunting of those that sold their wares so long ago and for whatever reason something was imprinted on the area. Or perhaps it's just another urban legend with its genesis in facts and has morphed over time and taken on a life of its own. Whatever the case may be it seems Sanger isn't short of its ghost stories.

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