Leonis Adobe - Ghost Stories and Reports of Paranormal Events

Ghost Stories and Reports of Paranormal Events

Though Miguel Leonis died in 1889, there have been numerous reports over the years that his ghost lives on at the adobe. The reports have been so numerous and over such a long period of time that the adobe has been called "one of the most haunted sites in Los Angeles County." The first accounts of Leonis' ghost appearing at the adobe came in the 1920s when the first people outside the Leonis family moved into the adobe and began to remodel. According to Leonis biographer, Lora B. Gaye, the new residents heard footsteps on the stairs followed by two loud thuds from the upstairs bedroom resembling the sound of boots dropping to the floor. When the new residents went upstairs to investigate, the room was filled with a strong soap aroma, a smell associated with Leonis who always appeared impeccably clean and smelled of soap. The noises continued, and the new owners learned to live with what they concluded was the prior owner's ghost. A sampling of other reports include the following:

  • A young visitor to the adobe ran from the upstairs bedroom, screaming that she had seen a man with a black beard covered with bloody bandages, moaning while lying on the bed. It was in that room where the injured Miguel Leonis was brought, bandaged and bloodied, after the wagon accident that killed him.
  • In the 1930s, a family named Gregg owned the adobe. One evening, a woman who lived there was leaning against the railing on the upstairs veranda. The old rail cracked and was about to give away when a pair of strong hands pulled the woman back, saving her from serious injury. When she turned to look at who saved her, she was amazed to find nobody there.
  • A guest at the adobe reported seeing an image in the upstairs hallway that spoke in a female voice, "Chichita, Chichita." Espirtu's granddaughter, Maria Orsua, reported that was the name by which her grandmother called her.
  • A young Calabasas resident reported seeing the ghost of Leonis dressed in an old-fashioned coat walking his sheep dog down the street near the adobe.
  • Dozens of people have reported hearing digging sounds coming from the adobe; Leonis reportedly had a dug-out dirt chamber under the adobe where he kept his fortune.
  • Others have reported driving past the adobe late at night, and seeing the image of a lady in a long black dress standing on the balcony. Espiritu regularly dressed in black dresses, and a picture of her in such a dress is on display at the adobe.

In 2002, the San Diego Paranormal Research Project published a book on the unusual events at Leonis Adobe titled, "Spirits of the Leonis Adobe."

In 2005, the British paranormal television series "Most Haunted" devoted an entire episode to Leonis Adobe. A team of paranormal investigators spent the night at the adobe and reported connections with the spirits of both Espiritu and Miguel. During a vigil in the living room, female members of the team claimed to be touched by unseen hands, and lights were reported to be seen both in Espiritu's bedroom and in the barn outside the building.

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