What evil lurks in the SCV Historical Society’s Newhall Ranch House?
For years, believers have talked about a mysterious “blue lady” named Martha and maybe an 8-year-old boy named Timothy in an upstairs corner of the 150-year-old ranch house in the Heritage Junction section of William S. Hart Park. Nothing sinister there.
But in Saturday night’s debut airing of “Heritage Junction” – the latest episode of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” series – paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin are spooked by a “dominant male spirit” that they link to a possible murder.
This is, after all, TV.
Cast and crew of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” show at Heritage Junction in Newhall. Photo courtesy of Ed Marg.
If you missed the debut, you can catch what they’re calling an “enhanced episode” Saturday, March 29, at 5 p.m. on the Travel Channel.
Front and center in the episode is the real-life Historical Society board member Ed Marg, who stages the “Heritage Haunt” every October at the historic park. Marg thinks it’s all good fun, so the TV ghost hunters quickly tag him as the “NASA skeptic.” (Marg is an engineer who specializes in fiber optics and has worked on numerous aerospace projects over the past 27 years, including a few space shuttle programs.)
Go figure. The guy who runs the annual Halloween haunted house is the skeptic.
Helping Marg with the setup of the show were two members of his SCV Ghost Hunt Group, Bridget Odien and Linda Casebolt, who organize paranormal investigations at the park.
Newhall Ranch House
The episode opens with volunteer groundskeeper Glenn Terry telling the cast he’s just seen something upstairs in the Newhall Ranch House. The crew sets up sound and video equipment downstairs, and the cast decides to stake out the place overnight.
After stopping to pay homage at actor Paul Walker’s crash scene in Valencia (like we said, this is TV), Bagans and his pals arrive to find – what they were looking for, of course.
Ed Marg (left) with younger brother Travis Marg at this weekend’s air show in Lancaster.
Or more precisely, what they were listening for. They don’t see a ghost, but they hear what they describe as voices and shuffling around the old floorboards.
Pretty strange that a house built in the 1860s and expanded to its current form in the 1890s would make creaking noises in the night, don’t you think?
The ghost hunters engage the services of a pair of psychics, Michael and Marti Parry, who visit old homes and describe their other-worldly inhabitants. Marti sketches a picture of a man who doesn’t look like any known figure from the past.
But we don’t know what Stanley Routledge looked like.
Sketch of the “ghost” occupying the Newhall Ranch House, by Marti Parry.
Turns out, there actually was a mysterious death in the house.
It happened back in 1916 when the Ranch House was located to the north of present-day Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The building was the headquarters of The Newhall Land and Farming Co., and Stanley Routledge was the ranch manager.
Thanks to local historian Pat Saletore, we know (and the TV folks knew ahead of time) that Routledge’s wife, Margaret, died inside the house from a rifle shot to the left breast.
According to a newspaper report of the day, “After a close investigation, Coroner Hartwell was unable to lift the veil of mystery surrounding the woman’s death, and it is not known whether she ended her own life, was accidentally shot, or was the victim of an assassin.”
Her husband was reportedly the last to see her alive, eating breakfast in bed. A servant later discovered her body.
Margaret Routledge’s grave marker. She’s buried in Jolon, Monterey County, where her relatives lived.
“The absence of a note or other message, and the fact that the woman led a beautiful Christian life, placid and without worry, was in good health and not despondent, would indicate that her death was not self-sought,” the 1916 news report states. “She never handled a rifle and did not know how to use it. There were servants near by, but they knew nothing of the tragedy until the body was found.”
Perhaps the bigger mystery is how one shoots herself in the chest with a rifle.
The TV ghost hunters conclude something sinister still inhabits the home because they report feeling something or someone trying to block their ascent up the stairs where they believe the woman was shot in her bed.
If all this isn’t too much for you, you can check out Heritage Junction yourself on weekends from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There’s no promise you’ll see or hear a ghost, but if you think you do, be sure to run it by the newly anointed “NASA skeptic.”
The Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark is hosting a series of special activities at “Last Sundays at the Landmark” with a special tribute in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month of the songs of Early California from the del Valle Family of Camulos, set for Sept. 26, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 32 new deaths and 1,238 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,524 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Additionally, Public Health announced that eligible Los Angeles County residents can begin receiving their booster doses at any of the hundreds of sites offering the Pfizer vaccine.
Los Angeles County announced it is now administering Pfizer booster third doses after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle P. Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation for a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in several population groups. The CDC also recommended a booster dose for those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital are once again urging those eligible to get vaccinated, as the hospital is experiencing a marked influx of COVID-19 patients, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said Thursday.
A “significant amount of smoke” from the Windy and KNP Complex fires northeast of Bakersfield in the Sequoia National Forest have entered the Los Angeles area, according to a Thursday morning tweet from the U.S. National Weather Service Los Angeles.
College of the Canyons is continuing its tradition of inviting community groups to experience Cougar football during the 2021 season, with all healthcare workers and first responders invited to attend Saturday’s game vs. Palomar College free of charge.
The Santa Clarita chapter of the American Cancer Society is excited to announce its annual leading fundraiser of the year — Relay For Life - will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Westfield Town Center Mall, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond proudly recognized Betty Reid Soskin, a pioneering Bay Area civil rights activist and the oldest living National Park Ranger serving in the United States, as an Ambassador to California Education on her 100th birthday.