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  Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts

Image credit: Paul Dale Roberts

A Haunting at The Cactus

Posted on Thursday, 20 May, 2010 | 0 comments
Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts

A big thank you to Mia Lane-Gomez for allowing us to have a scouting mission at her establishment and Chantal Apodaca for discovering this investigation and bringing it to our attention. The date is February 20, 2010 and I have a scouting mission lined up for this evening. A scouting mission is basically when we open up a paranormal investigation to the public. A scouting mission is more of a relaxed atmosphere as most of the people are learning the techniques of ghost hunting. A real investigation is for our experienced and most seasoned investigators. On this night, we have opened up this investigation to the public, making this a scouting mission. At scouting missions, sometimes we are very successful in obtaining paranormal evidence and sometimes not.

Let’s take a roll call on who showed up for this investigation. I must tell you, I was quite surprised, at least 75 people showed up for this scouting mission. I will list some of the people that have been identified for this article.

HPI Paranormal Investigators: Shannon ‘Ms. Macabre’ McCabe/HPI Owner/Lead Investigator; Paul Dale Roberts/Lead Investigator/HPI General Manager; Sherry Andersen/Scout; Stacey Tyas/Scout; Tammy Straling/Investigator; Tim H/Investigator; Yolanda Fowler/Scout; Chantal Apodaca/Investigator; Lou Samudio/Scout; Denny Frantom/Scout; John Demetro/Scout; Shaun Payne/Scout; Mandy Leach-Haines/Scout; Kathleen Hunt/Scout; Sandra Sorby/Scout; Gail Brager/Scout and perhaps about 59 more scouts that I was not able to identify, but they can be seen in my photos at the link above.

HPI Researcher Laurie Rutledge from London, England was able to find out all kinds of information about the Cactus and the surrounding area around the Cactus. Make sure to stop by the link to get a more detailed historical background about the Cactus, you will find that at the link above in Laurie’s own words.

But to summarize what Laurie found, she searched for information on the entity known as Frenchie and didn’t find anything significant about this one particular ghost. She relates that The Cactus was a one story general mercantile and before that, there was a log cabin on or near the site where the Cactus now stands.

Laurie states in her own words:
“The history is quite colorful. The place was first settled somewhere around the early 1840's by French Canadian trappers from the Hudson Bay Company. In 1850 the Sargent Brothers settled and harvested a crop of barley. Two years later a Jeremiah H. Woods settled there, camping with his family under a tree while the cabin was built. He and a partner purchased that site from the Sargent Brothers and built a successful business. Woods became the town's founder.

He was something else, tricked a ships captain, sold land lots without title (the government owned the land), built a toll bridge and made 10 grand his first year, etc.....

He was stabbed to death in 1864 over an argument involving the shooting death of his hunting hound.

His estate was in dispute for quite some time. His wife was appointed admin.

I found many deaths in that area, besides the crimes of passion and the founders fatal stabbing, quite a few were children due to accidental drowning, fires, etc.....I suppose much of that was common back then.

But I want to find Frenchie! Since the original settlers were French Canadians it does make sense. If you already have that info please let me know. I am kind of weird like that as for as not wanting to give up until I find what I am looking for! LOL

Hope this is not repeat info for you guys.


After receiving this information from Laurie, could it be that several of the French Canadian trappers have sported the name ‘Frenchie’? It would seem to be a reasonable theory. I am part French and my grandmother Sophie Roberts was known in Lehigh, Oklahoma as the ‘Angry French Woman’ or sometimes 'Frenchie', so who knows. If you have already clicked on the News 10 segment in which owner Mia talks about the paranormal activity that has been witnessed in her establishment, you pretty much are aware of what we will be looking for. One patron says that his friend has seen a full body apparition moving from the bar area and down the hallway and disappear into thin air. Another patron said that once while she was eating at this restaurant, that some unseen force stroked her hair 3 times.

When I first entered this restaurant, I was simply amazed by its elegant beauty. The décor and atmosphere is what I call ‘romantic’. The restaurant reminds me of an Italian restaurant that I frequented in Bologna, Italy. If I ever had time to settle down from my paranormal investigating, this would be the perfect place I would want to bring a love interest, but I doubt if I will ever slow down from paranormal investigating and will just bring a love interest for a quick eat at In and Out and move onto my next investigation. Such is life.

The Mexican cuisine was to die for, the food was absolutely scrumptious and the waitress that waited on us was personable, friendly and concerned for our needs. But, I am not here to talk about the food and just how fantastic this restaurant is, I am here to let you know how this investigation went. So let’s get to it. Since Shannon and I were dealing with so many scouts, it was almost impossible to break people up into teams, so we conducted a séance to start this night off. The very first séance went extremely well. One scout felt a presence and a few other scouts felt cold spots in one area of the 2nd floor dining area. One scout said that chairs were set in certain positions and when he looked again, they had seemed to move towards each other.

Other scouts were taking pictures and discovered ‘orbs’ in their photos. Orbs are not evidence of paranormal activity, unless you can prove that the orb displays intelligence via a video camera. Example: I tell the entity to sit on my lap and as I look on the monitor, an orb moves towards my lap and hovers for a few minutes. One orb photograph was what I call a designer orb. A designer orb has intricate designs (like a snowflake) and when you enlarge and enhance the photo you may see a face. The designer orb photo taken by a scout looked like it had a distinct face with eyes, nose and mouth.

So with everything I mention above, is that conclusive evidence that The Cactus is haunted? My answer is no.

Did we obtain any evidence indicating that the Cactus is haunted? My answer is a definite maybe. We conducted several EVP sessions. With 75 people in the room witnessing the EVP session, it appears that we obtained a total of 7 EVPs. The EVPs that I was able to understand, words were interpreted as: “I’m here”, “wait”, “why” and then some unintelligible whispering and voices talking over my talking or Shannon’s talking. These EVPs will be fully analyzed by Audacity at a later time. We played back the EVPs to our scouting audience and everyone had the chance to hear our EVP recordings.

After the séance, we conducted investigations in the basement and the 2nd floor balcony. We conducted a second séance and tried to entice the entity or entities to move a tortilla chip off the table or to knock on the wall. We were unsuccessful with the 2nd séance. In the first séance, I said can you tap on the wall and we all thought we heard one tap, but that is inconclusive.

With the many employees and customers that have seen paranormal activity in this restaurant, I would have to say that these employees and customers are witnessing something unusual. Some of the haunting activity could be residual. Their seems to be some intelligent haunting activity going on at the restaurant as intelligent responses were recorded during our EVP session. When someone asked “Tell us who you are”, the EVP answer was “why?” I do believe with all of the EVPs that we obtained tonight in a controlled atmosphere, that this restaurant seems to be deemed as ‘haunted’. A further investigation is warranted.

Always remember, when paranormal investigating, ghosts are not performers and will not perform on demand, but when they do, you will never forget. To see pictures from The Cactus Investigation, stop by here:

Article Copyright© Paul Dale Roberts - reproduced with permission.

  Other articles by Paul Dale Roberts

An interview with Eddie Munster
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Columbia is an incredible historic town. The original indigenous people were the Miwok. Rev. John Steele wrote a memoir of his life in the gold rush town and ta...

A look at Spring-heeled Jack
Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts | Posted on 12-31-2014 | 9 comments
Before I was even a ghosthunter, I was doing investigations on my own. In 1994, I went to London, England and went to the sites where the infamous Spring-heeled...

An interview with Paul Dale Roberts
Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts | Posted on 12-17-2014 | 0 comments
Brett L. Byrd recently caught up with veteran paranormal investigator and researcher Paul Dale Roberts to ask him about his life, his beliefs and about the ghos...

Facing death at the Skinwalker Ranch.
Columnist: Paul Dale Roberts | Posted on 1-16-2014 | 2 comments
Chantal Apodaca looks at me and asks…”are you scared?” I look at her and calmly said…”yes.” What is there to be scared about at the Skinwalker Ranch? Lots of th...

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