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March 10, 2007

Mary Pope-Handy's Los Gatos, CA, Ghost Tour

One of Los Gatos’s More Haunted Haunts

Yesterday, an article I wrote about Haunted Real Estate was published on Real Town. I have received a ton of emails about ghosts and people’s experiences with them in the last 24 hours!  I have never had so much fun reading email.

So I thought you folks might like to know about some of our haunted spots, right here in beautiful, charming, upscale Los Gatos.  There are so many stories that it’s hard to know where to begin!!  Today I will address just one of these interesting locations. More to follow in later entries, I promise!  This will be “Mary Pope-Handy’s Los Gatos Ghost Tour”. 

Cemeteries tend to give people the creeps, so let’s start there. If you are local to Los Gatos, you probably know that the Los Gatos Memorial Park is actually in San Jose, with a Cambrian Park zip code, out on Los Gatos-Almaden Road.   How did that happen?  Well, usually you want the burial grounds to be a little bit out of town, right?  The Los Gatos Memorial Park began in 1888 (first burials in 1890) and was initially called the Los Gatos Cemetary.  By the late 1800’s, Los Gatos had expanded such that the in-town graveyard was just too close, so it was decided to move folks from their final resting place to a “more final resting place” out in the country. (It has no website, amazingly, but you can see great photos of this park by visiting an “unofficial” site at www.LGMP.com.) 

Where was this old cemetery?  It was located at the corner of Highway 9 and North Santa Cruz Avenue and bordered roughly by Village Lane and the old train tracks.  (The land for the train is now the long parking lot parallel to University Avenue and North S. Cruz Avenue.  As an aside, North Santa Cruz Avenue was called Cemetery Lane easy of Hwy 9 then!)   

It should be noted, too, that not only were there people laid to rest at this location, but it’s also possible that someone was killed there in 1906 when an interurban trolly car jumped its tracks and crashed at the same location – approximately where Double D’s stands today.

The town’s leaders tried to move all the bodies, really they did. From 1890 through 1924, they did a relocation of the town’s dead to the new country location.  But some family members could not be located to obtain permission to move their deceased loved ones.  After the bodies were moved (or most of them), the land was converted to the Hunt Brothers Cannery and housing for cannery workers for awhile. Today it’s a bustling part of our downtown and houses many shops and some restaurants, the most visible of which is Double Ds.  Is it haunted? You’d be surprised if I said no. Several of the businesses there do, indeed, have paranormal experiences and it appears that some of the folks initially buried there still consider this their home.  Yes, it’s haunted. Very haunted.

Blog entry by Mary Pope-Handy,
Los Gatos Enthusiast,
Los Gatos & Silicon Valley (San Jose area) Residential Real Estate Specialist and
Realtor, CRS, ABR, SRES, ASP, CNHS, RECS, E-Pro,
www.PopeHandy.com
Do not use without permission, please.