The Sepulveda House: A Controversial EVP

Posted: June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda (with apologies for the lack of proper accents on Eloisa, Martinez and Sepulveda–WP doesn’t seem to allow it. How to drive a Spanish teacher crazy) is pictured below.

In June 2011, the Paranormal Housewives, along with members of the LAPD, investigated the Sepulveda House on Olvera Street.  The building clearly was beautiful; it is currently undergoing renovations and repairs, but one can still appreciate the era in which is was built and the very thick atmosphere of the house, which to us suggests that some people never left the building.  Before I discuss the investigation itself, I found an article by John Trausch that is so well written, I couldn’t have improved upon it in any way. His article is below, along with pictures from the web site. Please take a moment to read it, and then at the end we have a tantalizing and rather scandalous EVP for your listening pleasure:

“One of the wealthiest women in America had her dream house built on Olvera Street in 1887 with the hope that the area would become a Victorian era commercial center.  It didn’t happen, but we are left with her Sepulveda House, a remarkable building nonetheless.

Senora Eloisa Martinez de Sepulveda had come north from Senora, Mexico at age 11, and married Joaquin Sepulveda in 1857.  He died in 1880.  His widow had her dream house built on Olvera Street for $8,000 in the Eastlake Victorian style; popular in the Eastern U.S., but unusual in Southern California.  Senora Sepulveda believed the area would greatly prosper, and her building, with 22 rooms, two commercial businesses and three residences would be wildly popular.  But Main Street never materialized into a main drag, and by 1900 the area was better known for light industry, boarding houses and bustling bordellos.

Fast forward to 1929: Christine Sterling, founder of Olvera Street, cleaned up the Sepulveda House and brought in the Yale Puppeteers, a tea room and art studios.  World War II brought the Sepulveda House national recognition.  Union Station, opened across the street in 1939, and after a USO canteen was situated in the Sepulveda House, tens of thousands of servicemen dropped in for a little R&R.

American Women's Voluntary Services Canteen

House in the 1950s. Christine Sterling, Olvera Street’s founder, became very fond of Belle Tapia, the mother-in-law of the Olvera Street general manager. She invited her to live in the Sepulveda House with her family and also offered her a puesto which is now “Casa Belen,” currently run by her granddaughter, Ginette Rondeau. 

Four generations of the Tapia family lived in the Sepulveda House in the 1950s. Residents included:  Belle’s mother, Agapita Rubio, and her two daughters: Irma and Rebecca Tapia with their children.  Cruz Ledesma, the blacksmith of Olvera Street also lived there with his elderly mother Crucita. Christine asked Cruz to hang a string across from the Avila Adobe House to the Sepulveda House. Any time Christine needed assistance she would pull on the string and a bell would ring. Either Cruz or Belle would run to see how they could assist her. In 1971, the Sylmar Earthquake took a toll on the Sepulveda House, and the families had to permanently evacuate while funds were raised to restore the facade.

Children of the Sepulveda House: Ginette Rondeau, Estrellita Tapia, Irma, Rebecca and Domnic Herron.

The building has since been restored and now contains a visitors’ center, a museum and an 18-minute film on the history of El Pueblo de Los Angeles.  There is also a historical museum, period rooms, and the Senora original quarters as they looked in 1890, when Senora Sepulveda was waiting for the party to begin.” (John Trausch.

 Actually, the upstairs has NOT been restored, but is in a rather pitiful state at the moment. Walls have been removed, the stairs are downright perilous, and furniture, wall coverings–pretty much everything–is gone, leaving a shell of a home. While we were there, we decided to try an experiment to obtain the best possible recordings under difficult conditions. Kimberly took charge of the EVP session from what was the center hallway of the upstairs. The rest of us fanned out to different rooms and stayed quiet, recorders running.

Even though it seemed quiet upstairs, downstairs was a different story for some of our members. We were seated under the stairs, in view of Mrs. Sepulveda’s kitchen. We felt frigid breezes in response to questions, K-2 hits, a moving broom, interesting scents that drifted in and out of the area, and a general sense that someone was attempting to communicate. The audio from the downstairs area might have been contaminated by the upstairs sessions, so we do not include any files here from that part of the investigation.

As I mentioned before, we all thought that not much has happening upstairs; however, as often happens, when Kimberly reviewed her audio, she found something mighty impressive. Just to backtrack for a moment: as you read from John’s article, the home was–for an undetermined number of years–a brothel. So keep that in mind when you listen to this EVP, which I think speaks for itself. If you don’t understand the word that someone has spit out so vehemently, leave us a comment and we’ll tell you what the PHW hear quite clearly.


Olvera June 2011 EVP_1

  1. Stephanie says:

    Whoa, that’s crazy. It sounds like a woman to me. What do you think? Do you think this person was trying to communicate with your or someone was stuck in the past and saying this randomly?

    • parawife says:

      Hi Stephanie, to me it sounds like a guy, and yes–the question is, is he insulting someone from 70+ years ago, or is he referring to one of the ladies of the PHW? That house requires a few more visits to know what’s really going on here.

  2. Kimberly Demmary says:

    I really love this clip. You can tell the man was right near me. Considering what this home was once used for, I was really excited when I found this EVP. This was and will be the only time I’d be okay being called this word.

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