What do you do with a mansion you used to rent out for $7,000 a month – in the 90’s, no less – when thirty-nine people committed suicide in it?
Ask Sam Koutchesfahani.
Updated 2/10/2020 – He made the mistake in 1997 of renting his McMansion to the doomed suicide cult Heaven’s Gate, whose poison-taking and plastic bag-wearing antics turned up on every television in the world once all the bodies were discovered.
The Dark Side of Rancho Santa Fe
Marshall Applewhite – the leader of the cult (his partner in crime Bonnie Nettles died years before of cancer) – was, somewhat surprisingly among the dead.
But maybe it’s less surprising when you find out that he had, sometime before, undergone castration with other male members of the group, ostensibly to drive away sexual urges.
Nothing says I’m right about all of this like a cult leader being genuinely committed to his own ideas.
But strange things are afoot in in the city of Rancho Santa Fe, California, where the lot of the former mansion resides.
Things To Do In Rancho Santa Fe: Meet Extraterrestrials and Ghosts
Understandably, a spooky feeling descends on most people who get near the lot, but according to some witnesses, there is more than meets just the feelies.
“You have to understand, the Heaven’s Gate people believed in aliens,” says one paranormal expert, who has studied the house off and on in the years since the mass suicide.
“They bought into the idea of alien beings coming to Earth and inhabiting their bodies – a kind of weird possession, if you will.”
And indeed, some of the things people see in the vicinity of this house are very questionable.
Some have seen what appear to be ghosts, but not always of beings which are clearly human.
One person claimed to have seen the ghost of a young girl who had no eyes, but that there were eyes floating near her body, as if they were detached and could be moved around.
Some have seen shapes which look much like the famed “greys”, but which are translucent and disappear into thin air.
Still others have witnessed craft in the sky above the house – strange little crafts that will dart around back and forth, almost as if they are looking for something.
Could alien life forms be counted among the many famous Rancho Santa Fe residents?
“It’s possible,” says the expert, “that they really were in communication with some form of extraterrestrial life, although it seems more likely that what they were in contact with was something paranormal.
My money is on spirits of some sort, but of course I can’t prove that.”
Meanwhile, the thing that most people notice about the former location of the suicide mansion in Rancho Santa Fe is that it leaves one with a feeling of cold, sad horror.
All those lives cut short, many in the midst of their prime, all in the hopes of catching a ride to the next solar system aboard a ship trailing the Hale Bopp comet.
“One thing is for sure,” says the expert in closing.
“Whoever these apparitions are – whatever their story might be – it’s pretty clear from all the eyewitness accounts that they’re not happy.
“Whatever other merits the Heaven’s Gate cult might have had, it didn’t work out for them in the long run.
“In the long run, they got shortchanged.”