On the whole, if you want to visit a haunted house – in California or anywhere else for that matter – you’re going to probably need to find some place old.
Haunted houses exist from the nineteenth and even eighteenth centuries all over the country, and many of them have open access to the public.
Updated 6/4/2021 – Once in a while, though, you will run across a haunted house which doesn’t have the same amount of history to it.
Or – as in the case of the Roberts Ranch House in Malibu, California (also known as Tropical Terrace) – a house which has a lot of history packed into a very short period of time.
Although the planning of the house began way back in the early 1950s, the home burned to the ground in 1982.
Fred Roberts, the owner, did not live to see the dream home he had designed over two decades before be destroyed by fire, however, as he died in 1976.
In that short space of time – if local sources are to be believed – a haunting was created.
Many people searching for things to do in Malibu who have visited the site of the destroyed house claim that Fred is still there.
One such person is a young woman named Olivia B. Olivia plays stand-up bass in a nightclub piano bar, and her free time she seeks out paranormal activities as a hobby.
“I’m not a ghost hunter,” she is quick to add.
“In no way do I do I have any professional qualities when it comes to this stuff.
“In fact, every time I actually encounter a ghost, I just run away.
“I think I must be an adrenaline junkie.”
I asked Olivia about encountering the spirit of Fred Roberts in Malibu’s Solstice Canyon
“It was freaky,” she says.
“I mean, the poor guy worked really hard to build this dream house, and then after he died, it just went up in flames a few years later.
“When I visited that site, I remember that it was close to dusk.” She laughs.
“I remember that because I was thinking about how I was going to need to get out of there soon, in case something scary happened.
“Sure enough, I no more than got halfway from the car to where the house used to stand, when I look off a little ways, and there’s this sudden burst of flames that just comes up out of nowhere.
“I was so frightened and startled I was rooted to the spot.
“And out of the flames walks this ghost – there really is no other way to describe it.
“First of all, it couldn’t have been alive and survived that much fire, and second of all, I remember being able to see the flames through the ghost.”
Did this ghost approach you?
“It did. It walked – or floated, maybe – right up towards me.
“And the whole time, it was starting to fade away from the inside out, until by the time the ghost reached me, it just sort of disappeared into a puff of wind.
“But before he did, I heard the ghost groan.
“I still hear it, sometimes, in my dreams.”