Ghost stories are staples of our culture. According to a recent survey of Americans 21 and over, 57% of people believe in ghosts. For those of us who have never encountered ghosts ourselves, it is hard to decipher what’s true and what’s not when it comes to stories of the paranormal. The story of Jackie Hernandez is one peculiar example. Claiming to have moved into a haunted house, her tale is often used by believers as undeniable proof of the existence of ghosts.
Who Was Jackie Hernandez?
In November of 1988, Jackie Hernandez moved into a bungalow at 593 West 11th Street, San Pedro, California. At the time, she was a single mother with a second child on the way. She was juggling multiple jobs with part-time school and the negotiating of a messy divorce. And unfortunately for her, things were only about to get worse.
From the moment she moved into the bungalow, things felt off. She told friends and neighbors that she constantly felt like she was being followed, but when she would turn around, there’d be no one there. There were unexplained knocks and bangs throughout the house, and worst of all, there was a strange putrid smell. One evening she even saw a pencil holder levitate and fly towards her, as if thrown by an invisible hand.
A Friend of Jackie Hernandez Corroborates Her Story
Susan Castaneda, a neighbor of Jackie’s, claimed that while the two were having dinner together, they heard a painting fall in the next room. When they went to investigate, it had moved five feet from where it originally hung. Susan also claimed to have seen a lamp float across a room before dropping to the floor in front of her.
Susan’s confirmation of paranormal activity lent some validity to Jackie’s claims, though many understandably remained skeptical.
The Paranormal Activity Continues
Following the birth of Jackie’s second child, paranormal activity didn’t cease. If anything, it only became more severe. One night, Jackie discovered a blood-like ooze seeping from the cracks in the ceiling and running down the walls. In an effort to find the source of the leak, she climbed atop her washing machine to reach the attic opening.
She poked her head through the hatch and witnessed something horrifying: the severed head of an old man, floating and flying in her direction. She fell backwards and refused to enter the attic again.
Enter Barry Taff
Jackie’s friends told her to contact parapsychologist Barry Taff, as he and his team allegedly had experience with cleansing homes of ghostly presences. He showed immediate interest in Jackie’s case, and in August of 1989, he visited the San Pedro bungalow.
Barry and his team contested that the house had an unexplainable putrid odor; they claimed that when investigating the attic, their camera was grabbed from their photographer’s hands and thrown across the room. They took a sample of the blood-like ooze and passed it to an unnamed scientist who supposedly found it to have traces of male blood, as well as iodine and copper.
While Barry and his team confirmed that there was indeed a ghostly presence in the house, their best suggestion to Jackie was to simply move.
The Spirit Remains
In September of 1989, Jackie moved 380 miles north to a trailer park in Weldon, California. And for a few months, she dealt with no paranormal activity. However, in April of 1990, she began to hear strange scratching sounds throughout her trailer.
Her neighbors Jim and Janice Sobert confirmed the presence of a ghost: one evening, when they were helping her move a television into her trailer, they claimed to have both seen the reflection of an old man’s face on the screen.
It was clear that the same ghost had returned, and again Jackie contacted Barry Taff. Taff suggested using a ouija board to figure out what the ghost wanted. He and his team attempted to record the seance, but, as one might expect, their cameras would, some may say conveniently, not work. However, the conversation with the ghost was written down:
Taff: How many ghosts are there in here?
Spirit: Phantoms fill the skies around you.
Taff: Why do you choose to haunt and torment Jackie?
Taff: What kind of energy?
Furthermore, they were able to ascertain that the ghost was of a man who was murdered by Charles Pierson, a criminal who later research found to be an actual person who murdered two men, Herman Hendrickson and John Damon, either of whom may have become the ghost.
Jackie Hernandez Moves a Second Time
Unfortunately, the story basically stops there. Jackie moved again and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she says she deals with no paranormal activity. Other residents of 593 West 11th Street, however, have reported similar instances to those reported by Jackie (i.e. strange thumps, bangs, etc…)
So is Jackie Hernandez’s story true? Well, that’s up to you. There isn’t any concrete evidence to suggest that she was actually being haunted. However, considering the amount of confirmations her story had garnered from neighbors, it is certainly one of the more believable ghost stories.
Do you believe that Jackie Hernandez was actually being haunted? Do you have any experiences with the paranormal yourself? Let us know in the comments!