A friend recently emailed me about a paranormal encounter she’d had. She has never been the type to be spooked, but something so unexplainable happened to her that she thought the LAGP should check it out. From her email:

I’ve been dating this guy for a few weeks, and apparently he decided he needed to step up his game. We went out for dinner and had some wine, then he took me to an empty park next to a school in a suburban neighborhood. He told me his cousins grew up in the area, and the park was supposed to be haunted, and he thought investigating it would be fun.
It sounds silly (and yes, I had just had a couple drinks), but as soon as we stepped on the grass I felt this… anger. It just felt like we were in someone’s house, and we weren’t invited, and he was pissed. And I was just expecting a makeout spot. I said that we should leave. He asked why, and I said, “because that boy over there is staring at us and he wants us to leave,” and pointed to the top of the jungle gym. There were no apparitions or orbs or anything, but I could just feel where the boy was sitting.
My date talked me into walking around for a few minutes. Nothing happened, but I still felt that anger. Finally my date saw how scared I was and he agreed to take me home. We stepped off of the grass into the parking lot, and the feeling of anger immediately went away. I was so relieved that I actually started crying. We drove away, and my date asked where I had heard about the park before. I told him I hadn’t, which freaked him out. His cousins had told him that a little boy ghost had been seen in the park. The legend is that he lived on the farm that used to be there, and after he died in a farming accident he refused to give up his home. Kids have forgotten their toys in the park and gone back the next morning to find them smashed.

Some people believe that having a bit of alcohol can lower your inhibitions enough to make your more receptive to paranormal presences. I haven’t put this theory to the test, but I’ve never been one to try to block out the paranormal. After sharing this story with Tyler and Sam, we decided we’d check out the park, see if we could find anything.

I drove up to the Valley early to check out the local library for stories about the park or the boy, since none of us could turn up any info on the park on the Internet. An untapped local ghost legend is hard to come by and I was intrigued. After looking through the microfiche, I found out that the area used to be full of small farms. They were all bought up by a bigger company, and the park site became a fruit packing plant.

After getting lost, I still got to the park about 10-15 minutes earlier than the guys. I have to admit, it was sort of spooky to be in a park alone at night, despite the streetlights scattered around it. I decided to get out and get some footage before the fellas got there.

I didn’t feel anything odd when I walked into the park with my camera. I did jump a few dozen meters when I heard a flushing noise, but it was just a homeless man using the park’s toilet. Being alone with a strange man scared me more than any ghost, so I used that moment to get back to the safety of the car and get my trusty K2 meter.  Tyler and Sam arrived a few minutes later, and I’m happy to report that the parking lot of the park seems to be ghost free.

San Diego Park & Jungle Gym

The guys and I decided to start at the heart of the haunting and climbed up to the jungle gym. We asked many questions during an EVP session, including, “Is this your home?”, “Do you want us to leave?” and Tyler’s new favorite question for child-like apparitions, “Would you like some chocolates?” (He thinks it will draw them out. So far, it hasn’t worked.) None were answered, even when we reviewed the files. We walked slowly around the rest of the park, basically just trees, grass, and a paved path outside of the jungle gym, me with my meter while Sam videoed. Nothing. We decided we’d investigate the way that my friend had, and piled into Tyler’s car to find a liquor store.  I know, very unorthodox, but we’d driven this far and gotten nothing yet.

We came back about a half hour later, and had a few sips of a beer in the car (but legally, with the vehicle parked and turned off, kids). Tyler spread set several bottles on the ground, acting like a drunk as he tried to draw the boy out.  We climbed back up on the jungle gym for another EVP session. We still got no answers until Tyler asked, “Do you hate drunk people because they’re annoying?” We heard a squeak, and turned to see that a swing had started to move, like someone had pushed it. I turned and thought I saw a shadow under the big tree. I didn’t have my camera handy, but I ran over to catch a reading. It seemed to be colder there, but there wasn’t anything provable. The shadow could have been the wind shifting the tree branches under the street light.

We did another lap of the small park, this time separately. I had the KII, Tyler took the Mel, and Sam grabbed the night vision camera. We would periodically stop, look around, and ask questions. Nothing. Tyler had an idea, and grabbed the last beer out of the car. Sam and I hung back while Tyler chugged the beer and dropped the bottle under the big tree. I listened closely for any noise from the boy ghost, but heard nothing.

Tyler boldly decided to take things a step further, and leaned one hand up against the tree, undoing his zipper, pretending to relieve himself. Being a lady, I turned respectfully away, until Tyler hollered. I turned back and saw Tyler on the ground. The bottle had rolled from where he dropped it, and he had stumbled backward and tripped over it.  Tyler said he felt something push him and the next thing he knew he was on the ground.

Again, it could have been the beer, we don’t have any real evidence either way. But just in case, we decided to sit in the car while we watched the jungle gym for the next hour, looking for shadows of a little boy that Tyler had pissed off and making sure we were sober before we left. I have to admit I was a little spooked, and I made Sam ride back with me. As we drove away, I couldn’t help but keep turning back to look in the backseat of my car. It was probably just my imagination, but I kept feeling like someone was in the backseat, glaring at me.

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