Former Los Angeles county prison in Lincoln Heights – currently a city owned preserved historic landmark, shares its space with a non-profit center, Bilingual Foundation of the Arts – also houses its yester-years residents who continues to roam its halls and rooms.
Inside the facility’s old walls and behind faded dark glass windows, one can only imagine what the people working in the prison were like in the old venue.
As Cecilia, my colleague Kimberly and I went from one room to another, the place seemed to whisper a tale of its own about the many untold history and business deals that were done between authorized prison officials behind closed doors in many of its vast rooms of the facility.
In one of these rooms, a man was believed to have committed suicide. And in the same room, it was believed that the person who killed himself continued to re-visit and haunt it.
Standing in the same room, Kimberly and I listened to Cecilia’s encounter experience with this haunting as she pointed out where she and her friend Bobby were when it happened.
She remembered clearly having to sleep over in the old venue because she had to get a project ready on the next day. Bobby, who was with her stayed in the same room, slept in a bag on the floor next to her. Cecilia remembered waking up in the middle of the night and feeling an intense temperature drop in the room.
Despite the room’s dramatic temperature change, Cecilia noticed something else in the room has changed too. The person who was sleeping next to her wasn’t the same person she remembered. Bobby wasn’t the friendly person she recognized as he was sitting half way up and was staring directly and silently down at her with his dark and unflinching eyes.
She remember calling his name, and the person replying before her with a vigor voice claims there’s no Bobby.
Seeing how this person had changed too, she demanded to know who it was speaking to her. The spirit who was inside Bobby’s body suddenly became impatient and barked vigorously at her.
Once she heard the spirit inside Bobby speaking to her, and also not withstanding its vigor harsh tone of voice, Cecilia reasoned with the spirit and demanded that it leave the body of her friend.
After the intense episode, Bobby’s body suddenly soften and landed back onto the floor. Unsure if Bobby was back to normal, Cecilia called out to him and found that he responded in a confused dazed as he slowly awoke from his sleep. It was only then that she knew he was back to normal.
On the bright note – however, to say the least, is that not all ghosts in the former prison were out to posses or scare the living day lights out of its visitors. Most of the time, they were just out to have a little fun by dropping in on their unexpected visitors – at least that’s what Cecilia told me.
One of the ghost who was known to do just that – especially when there was music around would appear. Although she was heard more than she was seen, she had been described to wear a white bride’s dress, however, only the top half would be visible while the other half isn’t. There had been no background story on the White Bride and it was not quite clear why she enjoy attending the old prison’s venue other than her share of amusement with music. It was, however, clear that she and other of her ghost gang would not be leaving the old prison any time soon.
Whether one believes in ghost or not, the chance to experience the guided tour of the old prison and to learn a piece of history in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood has been more of a treat than a trick to say the least.
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