With Fullerton being coined as Orange County’s most haunted city, it comes with no surprise that there’s a haunted tour dedicated to the stories and tales of strange events that have occurred around the city.
The Fullerton Museum Center kicked off their annual Haunted Walking Tours on Wednesday night, with things being a little different this year compared to others.
In compliance with the coronavirus pandemic and CDC health guidelines, the popular local attraction had to make a few changes to their lineup and cut their usual attendance immensely. Each tour group was limited to a maximum of 10 people and didn’t have as many hands-on experiences as usual.
Nevertheless, attendees that were able to get their hands on tickets this year were met with spooky real-life stories and historical context to some of their favorite local spots.
Just a couple of streets away from the museum is a small home and decor boutique called Le Potager. The shop is owned by a man named John Reed who has been in business for over 20 years. Before being transformed into the shop that it is today, it was a home that belonged to a woman by the name of Lillian Yeager in the 1900s.
Yeager has quite a historical background in the city. She was Fullerton’s very first female mechanic in 1914 and became one of the top car salespeople in Orange County. She built her own house in 1917 and died there in 1978.
The owner of the shop expressed that strange and unexplained events occurred inside the shop from time to time. The tour guide, who happened to be on the board of trustees for the museum, Susie Dittmar, also had her fair share of paranormal experiences.
Dittmar recounted one of her own experiences inside the shop a couple of years ago. On a Halloween tour, she and two other women on the tour were admiring some earrings on a rack when the unexplainable occurred.
“We were looking at some earrings in a cabinet and talking about how pretty they were when all of the sudden, one single dangly earring in the sea of dangly earrings started moving back and forth while the rest of them stood still,” Dittmar explained. “None of the other earrings were moving at all.”
One of the tour attendees then turned to Dittmar and asked in disbelief if she believed it to be Lillian’s doing. The earring then completely stopped and stood still.
Dittmar was convinced it had to be Lillian and proclaimed back to them that it must be. At which point, the earring began to rock back and forth once more.
One street light up from Le Potager is another landmark of great history and importance called The Fox Theatre. It was built in 1925 and many paranormal experiences inside of the currently vacant theatre have been observed throughout the years.
Sam Neill, the co-founder of the North Orange County Paranormal Society, retold one of his most unexplained instances in the theatre.
“We had been walking down the center walkway on the mezzanine with flashlights looking around and watching our step when we heard a loud noise,” Neill said. “We go back over to the walkway we had just walked by 20 minutes prior and there was a pocketknife that wasn’t there before.”
According to Neill, they placed the pocketknife on a table where the board would have their meeting the next night in case it happened to belong to any of them. The next day when the board gathered, the knife was no longer there or found anywhere else.
These were just a small smidgen of the paranormal and unexplained stories that were shared on this annual tour. Aside from the spook factor that comes with hearing these real-life scary stories, there were also so many historical contexts given on the city which makes it a great tour for any eager local or tourist to attend.