In 1856, Gold Rush businessman Sheldon Fogus settled in Sacramento and built what is now known as the Leland Stanford Mansion. A few short years later, Leland and Jane Stanford purchased the property and had it extensively remodeled. The mansion first grew in the public eye when Leland served as Governor of California in 1862.
A Beautiful and Historic Addition to Sacramento
During his time, and for the two governors that followed, Leland Mansion served as their primary office during the 1860s. Leland was for the abolishment of slavery during the Civil War. He helped complete the transcontinental railroad—many of which people believe is in part due to his stance during the war.
In 1868, Jane Stanford gave birth to their only offspring, Leland Jr. As their son grew up, Jane and Leland expanded the mansion, as it is seen to this day. Leland Jr. was fifteen when he came down with typhoid fever, and passed away.
Today, Leland Stanford Mansion is considered a historic park. It is primarily used for large scale legislative functions now. Over the years, many have started to believe that the mansion is haunted by the ghost of Leland Jr.
Is Leland Junior still there?
One former State Senator, who wished to remain anonymous, was quite skeptical of these rumors when they first reached his ears. “The moment somebody hears a building is historic, they automatically assume the place is riddled with ghosts,” he chuckled softly. “While it’s a fairly romantic view, it by no means is an accurate one.”
But the Senator changed his viewpoint after a few legislative meetings at the mansion. The group was gathered in a large hall when the Senator began to feel the hair on his arms rise up. “It started as a physical reaction, but after I noticed it I felt a strange, almost turbulent mood shift in everyone around me… it’s hard to articulate.
“I walked around the group, uneasy. With each step I began to notice that I heard the echo of someone else’s dress shoes echoing on the floor beside mine. But nobody was there,” he shrugged.
“Our meeting was done shortly after, and I wasted no time in leaving that strange house. I wasn’t convinced it was haunted at that point, but I could see how someone could come to that conclusion.
“Several months later and we had a Senators function at the mansion. By this time, I still recalled the previous events, but time had softened the experience considerably. I traveled to Leland Stanford without a hint of anxiety.
“We were gathered round, eating a scrumptious meal when I felt somebody bump into my dining chair,” he gestured. “I looked around but nobody had walked past me, and my dining companions were both immersed in conversations, and seemed quite still in their seats. I resumed eating, but grew weary.
“About twenty minutes later, I thought I felt the distinct sensation of somebody breathing into my ear. It was then accompanied by feeling like somebody ran their fingers across my shoulders. I was so started I stood up quickly, and my chair went careening to the floor.
“My fellow senators chalked it up to stress, as I am no longer a young man. But I think it was a spirit playing games with me. I did not enjoy when my final term ended, but I was relieved that I would never again have to visit that wretched house in Sacramento.”