"..As soon as he got about three feet inside and me not far behind, he said, “Holy Shit Joe! Do you see her very often?” I asked, “Do I see whom?” He said, “The lady in the white dress with the nursing thing on her head.” And he was looking at me in a strange way. It almost looked like he was saying, “Yeah you've seen her. I know you’ve seen her.”
The Ghost of 1512 E. Holt Blvd
If you have read my first essay about paranormal encounters titled, “Things That Go Bump" about our house in Corona, you might have come away with the idea that I just happened upon one of the few places I know of that have shall we say leftover energy from what must have been bad days gone by.
However, what are the odds that I would own such a gallery for the unsettled, and wind up working in one as well? I can tell you the answer to that. For me, the odds are 100%.
When I went to work for the Machinists Union in early 2003, my new boss had contacted me by phone and gave me an address to report to work. It was 1512 E. Holt Blvd. in Ontario, California. As the crow flies it was about a block from the south west corner of Ontario International Airport. A full one acre of land near an International airport is valuable no matter where it is located on the planet.
I had the address and drove past the place probably three or four times before I realized that it was the old haunted looking house sitting in the middle of so much overgrowth of plants that it looked like it had not been inhabited for a century. It did have a chain link fence around it though and a gate with an automatic opener.
I pulled in and Marie the financial secretary for District Lodge 725/Area 2 greeted me. I told her I had trouble finding it even though it was the only building around on that side of the street aside from a factory one side and a shotgun shaped office complex on the other. She said, “yeah I know, it looks like an abandoned house doesn’t it?” I told her she must have read my mind.
The Machinists had bought the property I believe from a member and I saw the deed on more than one occasion which showed the full purchase price of $10.00 American. The offices were toward the front of the property and were made up of a tiny little house and its garage turned office space and another part which was two bedrooms from another old farmhouse that they sewed together somehow.
Behind it was a building that had been a pretty nice and big office and hall for my local lodge 821 back in the day. But after the two week shutdown at the end of the year one year, Marie showed up for work and wondered why there was so much condensation on the windows of the hall. It turned out that it was full of water. A huge building full of water. Apparently an overhead water pipe had burst one day during the shutdown and it filled it with about 200,000 gallons of water.
Needless to say the building was condemned and the insurance company paid my local for whatever it was insured at and they bank rolled the money never to reopen a hall again for LL 821. By then the local has mostly moved to the upper desert in Palmdale when Lockheed Martin closed the Ontario plant and built a larger one up in the desert.
Well that concludes the history of the place, now let me go to the business of trying to outline some of the things that went bump in the old farm house at 1512 E. Holt Blvd.
No one had told me before I went to work there that strange things happened in that building. And it wasn’t too long before I found out first hand. I had been there for about two weeks and I was sitting at my desk in Office 1 with my office chair faced the doorway into the room and the door was about half open.(see floorplan below).
My First Encounter with The Lady in White
The first thing that popped into my head was that she was headed to the women’s room. I thought to myself, “Geez Marie, did you drink too much coffee this morning?”
After a few minutes I was going to get up and go into Marie’s office and tease her about going to the rest room so often. But when I stood in the doorway of her office I could see that Marie was not wearing a white dress or anything on her head. She was wearing print shorts and a top.
“Marie, you know the strangest thing just happened. I was sitting in my office and I thought I saw you walk by headed for the can and then I saw you again. The only thing is you were wearing a white apron type dress.” Marie said, “Oh I see you’ve met our lady. Did she have on a white head covering?” I said, “yes. Who is that?” She said, “I don’t know. But I’ve seen her a few times myself.”
Already feeling kind of spooked over the whole thing I walked back to my office and just before I got to the doorway I realized something. If she was walking from right to left, she would have had to come out of the linen drawers because the hallway ended at the doors to office 1 and office 2. Now I was really spooked. But I went about my business of setting up my working area and forgot about it for the time being.
Our Ghost Likes to Slam Doors
A week or so later I was standing in the foyer reading something and I heard a tremendous door slam. I not only heard it, but it shook the house as well. I knew no one was in the office so I walked around the corner to find both office doors wide open and nothing disturbed. I got a chill down my spine on that one because the noise was so loud I figured to find the door slammed shut. I mean I heard it slam shut. It was definitely a door.
Sometime soon after that, I guess Marie was talking to Dean, our district recording secretary and mentioned it. The next time I saw Marie, she said Dean suggested that I move into another office. Apparently many times over the years as reps and other staff from the district and the International Lodge had visited our old house for one reason or another and had mentioned that strange things happened there a lot and much of it was centered around office 1.
My Friend Sees the Lady in the White Apron Dress
We had made arrangements for him to be deposed at the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB tries to accommodate the schedules of witnesses being deposed since they know it’s a couple hours of freeway traffic from our area to the NLRB offices in Los Angeles. So the board agent for the NLRB had set up an appointment to meet with Joel at our offices which are not far from Citrus Motors.
Marie, myself and a business representative named Al Rosales were the only people who worked in the offices and Al normally would drop by in the morning for half an hour or so and then head off to do shop visits to service the members. Marie used to come in at 6:00 am and leave at 2:00 to pick her daughter up from school to drive her home. So it was not unusual for one of us to be there alone during the day. As for me, I didn’t have a set schedule since organizing is different with every campaign.
The day Joel came to the office, he got there about ten minutes ahead of the board agent and I went out to greet him and take him inside the offices. We went through the foyer door and I held it so Joel could go ahead of me. As soon as he got about three feet inside and me not far behind, he said, “Holy Shit Joe! Do you see her very often?” I asked, “Do I see whom?” He said, “The lady in the white dress with the nursing thing on her head.” And he was looking at me in a strange way. It almost looked like he was saying, “Yeah you've seen her . I know you’ve seen her.”
I told him indeed I had seen her twice and Marie had seen her several times over the years. He said, “whoa, that was weird!” Mind you Joel had never been to our office, didn’t even know it was there and no one had told him anything. I was the only person he had talked to about the appointment and he didn’t know anyone there nor had he ever talked to anyone. Explain that.
I remember talking to Al Rosales about it and he said, “I’ve been working here for 14 years and I’ve never seen anything.” Which doesn’t mean anything but it was another side of the tale. Also I used to share my office with Jose Rodriguez who was a Grand Lodge Rep. They are the business reps for our International Lodge with is the main administration of the Machinists Union. He also told me he’d never seen anything and he’d been there sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. Again, maybe he just didn’t notice or maybe it wasn’t happening at that time but I know what I saw and so does Marie and so did Joel who knew nothing whatsoever about our office.
The Strange Events Ebb and Flow
Suddenly I heard what sounded like someone had either slammed the security screen door on the foyer door or maybe had thrown it. It was loud crashing sound. But I had heard that metal door close too many times, so I knew it sounded like the door. I went through the hallway to the foyer and didn’t see anything. The door was open and the security screen door was closed. But as I looked out I saw a vehicle parked on our lot facing E. Holt Blvd. About fifty feet away.
I walked out to greet the early arrival and he jumped from his car and said, “did you hear that?” I asked him what he heard. He said, “a loud metallic banging like someone threw that screen door on my car.” I told him indeed I did hear that same noise but it couldn’t have been the same because I could distinctly hear it inside our office.
Over the next several years I had heard the door slamming from office 1 many times. Once I was even standing in the doorway of the women’s room because I was remodeling it and I was facing the door of office 1. I heard and felt a huge slamming door noise but was looking right at it and nothing ever moved an inch.
I came to accept that fact that there was something strange at this location. I have to say that over time I had the occasion to be there sometimes after midnight and even though it was spooky because there were no lights outside the building and no lighted buildings nearby which made it all the more spooky. But I have been there alone during the day and been as frightened as I might be at night.
Because of my religion, I don’t believe in ghosts. Or should I say I never believed in them before moving into my home in Corona where we had experienced a number of unexplainable events. Even still, I had never seen anything at my house like I did here. By now I was convinced that there was something there at our offices and strange things kept on happening.
My New Office Seems to be a Safe Spot
Many, many times I have sat in my office and listened to some kind of conversation between a man and a woman. It was not an angry conversation. Just a lot of back and forth talk. It was very maddening because I could almost make out what they were saying but never could actually hear a clear word. No mistake though, it was definitely a man and a woman talking. Several times when I heard them, I also heard what sounded like someone’s shoe kicking the baseboard in the hallway. Like if someone got too close to the wall and accidentally scuffed the baseboard.
This was so obvious when it happened that the first few times I heard it, not thinking, I assumed it was Marie outside talking to a man. I was so sure of that one time I walked out of my office to hers about half an hour later and I said, “who were you talking to earlier?” She asked, “what earlier? I got here about a minute ago.” I told her what I had been experiencing and she said something like, “and you’re surprised?”
Apparently The Ghost is Playful At Times
I set the time on the clock which was a very basic clock. I remember it was 2:00 in the afternoon. So I set it accordingly and walked away. A few minutes later, I looked at the clock and it was 2 hours back of book. It showed 12:02 or something like that. I figured maybe I inadvertently set it wrong, so I reset it and walked away. My son called me in and said, “dad, look at the clock.” It was 2 hours ahead this time. I can remember the look on his face and it was one of “hey dad, let’s get out of here. That is weird.” I reset it one more time and so far as I know, it kept the time okay.
One thing I forgot to mention is that whenever I heard the man and woman talking, I always smelled roast beef cooking. Huh? I can’t explain it either but there was definitely a distinct aroma of roast beef cooking. But only when I heard the man and woman talking.
Our Resident Ghost Scares My Sister
Nothing did while she was back there, but she came out and I was standing in the East hallway under the old fan in the ceiling and she walked up to me and just after she reached me, we both saw what could best be described as a whisp of fog. It was about 18 inches long and it flew between us. In an instant Judy almost screamed, “what the fuck was that?!”
I told her, “I don’t know but let’s get out of here. And it wasn’t until we were on the road driving up to Apple Valley where she was going to stay with her son that I told her about some of the things that went on there. I said, “you know the funny thing about what just happened is that we had a stray cat that used to hang around there like a mascot. A big red tabby type cat. Very mellow and easy going. But whenever the cat walked through the East hallway he would get on his belly and scurry along looking upward towards that fan. I even thought at one time maybe there were mice up there and they scared him or something. But I never saw any evidence of rodents while I was there.
Marie also would bring her dog Dodger once in a while to the office with her. It was a small dog and a little hyper but friendly. I can remember the dog going back towards office 1 once or maybe even twice and stopping short of the West hallway doorway and doing a low growl and would not enter the hallway. Got spooked and ran back into Marie’s office.
We Finally Sell The Property
Of course the real estate market in California tanked like it did everywhere else and instead of the $750,000.00 we had been offered for the property a scant year before we sold it at nearly half a million. But considering the market, we felt we had done okay.
The new owners were three brothers who originally were from Iraq I believe. They had only a trace of an accent but I heard one of them talking on his cell one day and I asked him what language it was and he said Arabic. He told me that all middle East countries speak Arabic in one dialect or another except for Iran which uses Farsi and Israel who speak their own language.
The brothers had a very successful business. They owned 10 gas stations at the time and at least three of them I knew where they were and they were gold mines. They had a lot of money and heavy equipment so they could make improvements to their properties without the high cost of renting Earth movers etc. They seemed to me to be intelligent, motivated and very capable business men. They were also not afraid to get their hands dirty. I watched them gut the building in the back and it was a filthy, nasty job that took a week of ass busting work to finish.
I got to where I talked to the one I saw there the most quite a bit. I told him about the weird things going on and he kind of nodded like, “yeah whatever.”
Enter The Ghost Hunters
He arranged for their team to come in one night when there wouldn’t be anyone there to disturb them. They got there about 7:00 pm. I was there and the two of the brothers who bought the property were there too. They knew what was going to happen and were kind of curious.
There were about seven people in the ghost hunters’ group and two of them were female. They all came in when they arrived to look the place over and see what kind of equipment they would be needing. They had all of the latest high tech gear for recording voices that our ears normally cannot hear. They have infrared cameras and everything you see on those TV shows.
Three of them got there a few minutes ahead and came in and talked to me a little bit, then the other four arrived and came in through the foyer. As soon as the last person was in, which was a female, all of the lights went out of the building instantly. You could smell some kind of ozone directly afterward. The girl who came in last had her mag light and was shaking it because it would not light up. She said over and over, “I’ve had this for more than seven years and it has never failed to light. What the hell is happening?”
The lights came back on quickly and the two brothers that were there had been in office 1 when it happened. They were visibly shaken by the event. They also claimed to smell some kind of ozone air or something.
But as previously arranged, I left shortly thereafter to leave them to their investigations. They did pick up someone talking about a dog and it was recorded in office 1. They wound up coming back one more time but we were already in our new offices so I never got to hear the whole story although Brian did tell me that they had put their recordings from the Electronic Voice Recorder on their web site. They picked up enough significant activity that they wanted to share it with anyone who was interested.
Aftermath of Our Association with the Ghost of 1512 E. Holt Blvd
That makes sense because over the years I noticed that the events would manifest themselves whenever there was someone there that normally didn’t come there. Basically strangers. I felt that no one could win a lawsuit like that because they would have to offer proof of ghosts. It turned out that they didn’t have to have proof because the Machinists Union district 725 settled with them out of court. Apparently they took the settlement and put their offices somewhere else because the last time I saw the building it was for sale and even though there were some trucks parked around the lot, looked like it had not been inhabited for a long, long time. See the image below.
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