By: Yesenia Varela
From time to time, Ava Royer has been seen pacing back and forth on the balcony outside her bedroom in Old Towne Orange. Though the teenager died almost 100 years ago, her roaming spirit has made the Royer Mansion a seasonal tourist attraction.
Built in 1903, the mansion, along with about 10 nearby homes and businesses, has given rise to paranormal adventurers for the past four years, under the auspices of Old Towne Orange Haunted History Ghost Walks.
The 90-minute ghost walks during the weeks before Halloween season was the brainchild of Orange local Ernie Alonzo.
Alonzo, who developed a passion for ghosts after experiencing tours in San Diego, realized he lived in a historic district with structures dating to the 1880s.
After talking to locals and doing extensive research, he found that his neighborhood was just as haunted.
Alonzo founded the Ghost Walks in 2009.
Earlier this month some ghost tourists in the Royer Mansion reported feeling a chilling sensation coursing through their bodies.
“I just felt very weird, like kind of cold inside,” Santa Ana College student
Rebecca Soto said, as she walked out of the gate of the Royer Mansion.
“We have antiques that have been around a long time, so if spirits attach themselves to it, there is a good possibility they come with it,” said Dennis Caldwell, co-owner of Chapman Antique Mall.
[img_reflect_left src=”http://www.eldonnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/matoskatc.jpg”] Coffins “Dolly” the ghost roams Matoska Trading Company. At times, workers hear loud bangs throughout the store, sounding like the elevator is crashing through the wall. Years ago, the trading company was used to construct coffins.
[img_reflect_left src=”http://www.eldonnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ghoststophouse.jpg”] Asylum The Chapman Alumni House used to be a safe haven for the mentally ill in the early ‘90s. Every now and then reports are heard of a woman appearing in the balcony and crying over the infant she drowned in the bathtub, locals say.
Whispers Unusual happenings occur at the Antique Depot where a deceased employee, Steve, still haunts the grounds. He is said to walk around the business and whistle in people’s ears. The manager says he has seen tossed records scattered on the floor.