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Pacheco Pass' Ghost In Black Robes

 

Years ago driving back from Sacramento to Monterey I went over Pacheco Pass, and I saw a small car broken down on the side as I was coming down the hill. There were kids in the back seat playing under a sheet, and there was a lady on the passenger side with the door open.

I felt bad for not stopping and was giving myself a hard time telling myself if I saw anyone else (fat chance) that I would have to stop when suddenly I saw a priest walking down the right side of the road. He was wearing a black robe, and it reminded me of that character from SNL back in the 80s, Father Guido Sarducci. I figured since it was a priest there was no question that I had to pull over and help.

When I pulled up he looked old with his face all wrinkly and burnt like I remember the old homeless guys living under Monterey Wharf looked, his clothes (robe) looked tattered like he had gone through some serious roughness, and he looked very mad. When I asked him if he needed help he mumbled something, but I couldn't understand. I told him they might hassle him for walking along the road, and then he turned to look right at me and spoke clearly: "So you're trying to help me?"

I told him I had thought he might need a ride, and he asked me if I had seen a woman walking, but I told him no. I thought this was strange since it was an odd place to take a walk, but I wished him luck and started again onto the road. I looked back in the rear-view and didn't see him, though. I remember thinking that was a little strange because there was nowhere out there to hide, but I just kind of ignored it until years later when a friend posted an article about ghosts in Central California and it described the ghost in black robe up on Pacheco Pass and it hit me.

After a bunch of research, I found a forum where people were talking about experiences they had, and several of them described a small car on the side of the road with boys playing in the back seat under a sheet and a lady getting something out of the passenger side.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, ccmerlin, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+3
7 months ago (2020-04-23)
Manafon1 - thank you for your explanation of the telepathic impulses. It makes a lot of sense. I've realized now it has explained a few questions I had about several things that happened in my childhood, also. Thanks again.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+3
8 months ago (2020-04-03)
Hi ccmerlin--Your description of locking eyes with an unseen boy under a sheet is a great example of a percipient (you) picking up on telepathic impulses sent (directly or indirectly) from the spirit. If we assume the car, the woman and the two unseen boys under the sheet were apparitions, there is every reason to believe the mental hallucination that was brought to life, as it were, by the telepathic link between you and one of the boys, could also extend to "seeing" beneath the sheet.

I hope I'm making this rather complex theory of apparitions intelligible (it was loosely taken from Prof. Hornell Hart's 'Six Theories About Apparitions.') The main takeaway is that if you did share a telepathic communication with the spirit of one of the boy's under the sheet, it would explain how you could lock eyes with someone whose eyes would otherwise be concealed.

This telepathic link could also have been at play if he was flesh and blood as well. Hope this provides some food for thought.
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+3
8 months ago (2020-04-03)
Melda and Manafon1,
Thank you both for your kind comments. It can be difficult to make sense of some of these things. One of the first questions in my mind was whether the priest had grown so old and weathered before or after he passed on. I guess if he was growing old afterwards then that would lend argument to this "residual" idea that ghosts might fade after time. After pondering a few philosophical arguments for ghosts fading I'm now opening to that idea, but certainly don't have the answers. I feel like writing about it has helped, though.
I'm still confused with my feeling of looking into one of the kids' eyes that was in the small car and under a sheet. I've searched my memory and do not remember any holes in the sheet for eyes yet I felt like I locked eyes with a boy on the left and it really gave me the willies.

Hope you are all safe and well.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+6
8 months ago (2020-03-31)
ccmerlin--Speaking strictly only of my own paranormal encounters, each one has seemed to have had a consciousness behind it engaging my attention. There also does seem to be the possibility that an apparition seen multiple times repeating the same actions might be a mere fragment of a larger portion of a spirit's transmitted thought that, coming from a place (the afterlife) where time is no longer a consideration, simply seems like repetition when it might be part of a thought we are not able to fully comprehend.

I don't believe we are supposed to be able to fully unlock what lies on "the other side" and telepathic communications from the deceased might often not seem logical to us but very well could to the spirit transmitting it!

As to your specific case, I definitely believe you projected a sympathetic vibe that might've attracted the spirit to you. This often seems to occur in many case studies I've read in psychical literature. Who knows, maybe simply that you communicated with this spirit was enough to "help" him.
Melda (10 stories) (1338 posts)
+4
8 months ago (2020-03-31)
ccmerlin - If you read my first comment to you, you will see that I said that this priest was obviously not residual as he spoke to you. Believe it or not, there are residual apparitions.

I do believe that your kind gesture caused him to react to you. You say you couldn't help this priest. Well no, you absolutely couldn't help him because he's on his own mission and probably doesn't want people to confront him.

It was very brave and kind of you to stop and offer assistance.

Regards, Melda
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+4
8 months ago (2020-03-31)
Manafon1 and Melda -
I've been thinking about this "residual" stuff a lot, and I feel pretty strongly that there is no such thing. I believe if they are showing themselves at all that they are still active in this world but won't waste their energy to communicate with most even if they can.
I'm not sure but I'm thinking the compassionate and empathetic energy I was putting out might have energized the conversation.
Because of other experiences I'm realizing I have some sort of ability to communicate but not sure how useful it is - I didn't seem to help this priest.
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-03-02)
I don't really know about the "residual" stuff, but I do know I probably approached him in a way that not many would. I've gone through some rough times myself and had some of those homeless guys I referred to that lived under Monterey Wharf actually look out for me and protect me when I was a teen on the streets of Monterey so I felt a lot of empathy and understanding towards him and his plight. When he mumbled I figured he was stand-offish of me with my clean cut look and probably had a screw or two loose until he spoke clearly, and then I thought he might be a really eccentric local when I left. I guess he kind of is.
MrsRamsay (8 stories) (151 posts)
+3
9 months ago (2020-03-01)
ccmerlin, thank you for the Finda the Pope in the Pizza video! Watched the whole thing, quite a relief from the corona virus stuff on tv! You rock.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
Melda (and anyone else interested) --For a great, in depth summation of the Cheltenham Ghost, I suggest reading "Hauntings and Apparitions: An Investigation of the Evidence" by the late Andrew Mackenzie. It's a book that was published as part of a superb series of books through the Society of Psychical Research.

You can find reasonably priced copies online quite easily. For anyone on this site I would say it's truly essential reading.
Melda (10 stories) (1338 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
Manafon - I was hoping that we would have a response from you and lo and behold! I'd like to hear from a few others as well but won't mention names.

I find this topic very interesting and I think that ccmerlin does too, being the OP. I'm off to research the Cheltenham Ghost!

Regards, Melda
Manafon1 (5 stories) (677 posts)
+7
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
Hi Melda and ccmerlin--I've commented several times over the years here on YGS about the problems in giving cut and dry definitions to the various types of apparitions people encounter. When you pick up a copy of a reference book, for instance the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, you can expect the information within concerning descriptions, behavior and habitat (among other things) to be quite accurate but even though there are terms like "residual apparitions" in psychical literature, the lines differentiating the types of apparitions people encounter are much more fluid.

An example I've brought up many times in reference to this, as a good case in point, is the Cheltenham Ghost. She was seen by many people over multiple decades and to most of them appeared to be "residual," merely walking a predetermined course over and over again, something like a film being replayed, until on one occasion an inquisitive young woman asked it a question whereupon it stopped, hesitated as if about to speak and then continued on its course.

That it broke from its routine and reacted to a question being put to it does suggest that at least some "residual" apparitions are not so easily classified.

It does seem quite possible that ccmerlin encountered a spirit many might have assumed to be residual but then spoke to it and discovered some spirits don't like easy classification!
Melda (10 stories) (1338 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
ccmerlin - I know people have conversations with spirits. It has been proven too many times for anybody to gainsay it. I also accept that your grandfather called you and I'm sure you feel blessed despite the fact that your family asked you not to talk about it. I'd have spoken about it too and taken the risk of being called crazy! (I'm used to the "crazy" title by the way)

What I meant in my previous comment was that if you encountered the same spirit, seen by many people in the past, spanning how many years, I'm surprised that the spirit is intelligent whereas by now I would have expected him to be residual. In other words all you see is a figure that walked that path so often that people actually see him although his spirit has gone to wherever it belongs.

So perhaps you encountered somebody different or spirits have the ability to remain intelligent for centuries. I don't know, which is why I put the question out there generally. I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous but I'm assuming that you would be interested as well.

I am by no means insinuating that you are being untruthful.

Regards, Melda
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+3
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
Hi Melda,
I'm still looking for that forum I referred to. There were a few different people describing the car and I wondered how they (or I) knew they were boys in the back seat without being able to see them through the sheet.
I've interacted with a few in my past. I had a bunch of family get mad when I talked at my grandfather's wake about how he had called the afternoon of his death and sounded very healthy and energetic and wanting directions to my house. I got to tell him my son was to be named after him, but they said he passed in the morning, and to not talk about it.
Melda (10 stories) (1338 posts)
+3
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
I like Dreyk's comment, it makes sense.

Perhaps I'm stuck on one issue here and that is I wonder why this apparition was interacting when I would have expected him to be residual. No matter how many supernatural experiences I might have had I by no means consider myself an expert. I get the impression that this spirit could have been walking that highway for many, many years. I hope somebody could assist me and the OP on that aspect.

Regards, Melda
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-29)
Hi MrsRamsay, I'm glad you enjoyed my story.
I remember family members complaining about Pacheco Pass when I was little wanting to avoid it because it's so dangerous.
There is a reservoir on the East side of the ridge but this area where I talked to him is on the West side as you're coming down the hill almost to Casa De Fruta.
I loved Father Guido Sarducci's skits.:) https://vimeo.com/59509411
Dreyk (8 stories) (22 posts)
+6
9 months ago (2020-02-28)
Hey! I grew up in Northern California and have passed through Pacheco I don't even know how many times. There are always a few vehicles along the side of the road due to the steep grade and vehicles breaking down, or overheating... Etc. Honestly I'd never given them a second thought, now I kind of wish I had...

Tweed: Pacheco Pass is on Hwy 152, a route that has existed all the way back to the Spanish colonial days. The pass was used extensively for travel between the coast and the Central Valley and almost certainly there would have been priests traveling back and forth between the villages inland and the Missions on the coast. The route was also heavily used by the Spanish/Mexican army. During the California Gold Rush it was expanded and improved to allow heavy wagons to travel.

It might not have been an old style Catholic vestment the ghost was wearing though. The Greek and Russian Orthodox religions still use those long black robes as their daily attire. Would make a little more sense if the car and kids playing in it were connected to the event...
MrsRamsay (8 stories) (151 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-25)
CCmerlin, this story was great. I spent way too much time googling the area, went to the websites suggested, etc. Coming from the deep South, where roads take you through heavily wooded and foreboding areas, it's somewhat hard for me to see in the photos how this pass could seem creepy. It's just wide open with that big reservoir or lake in view sometimes. So that makes it especially interesting to me... That so many people say it makes them feel awful when they drive through. It's compelling! That said, I remember Father Guido Sarducci... We still every now and then say we're "finding the Pope-a in the pizza!" Many thanks!
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+5
9 months ago (2020-02-25)
silverthane61 - I still haven't found anybody else saying they talked to him, but some of the stories I've read and heard seem to have only been able to come directly from the source. I had read once that the lady he's looking for was kidnapped by bandits and taken further up towards the top of the ridge. I've also read about a lady in white that appears further up from where he is seen so I keep thinking of going back and asking him if she was wearing white, and if so let him know she's further up the hill.

It was the end of the day but still light out when I talked to him.
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-25)
AugustaM - that wasn't the vibe I got at all. I felt like we were both nervous when I first pulled up, but he seemed surprised and even a little relieved when he realized I was trying to help.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
+5
9 months ago (2020-02-24)
I enjoyed reading this story, especially the part mentioning the various ghosts reported in the Pass. I marvel at the fact that you not only reported seeing 2 separate ghosts, but that you (apparently) saw both of them during the light of day. It is rare to have any kind of back-and-forth communication with a ghost.
AugustaM (6 stories) (982 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-24)
Maybe I'm reading the vibe wrong but
I'm getting sort of a "Good Samaritan" feel from this. As though the priest was scolding the OP for not having helped the mother and her kids with his retort.
LFrog1386 (1 stories) (46 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-20)
I remember driving north through Pacheco Pass back when my ex-husband was a trucker in the 90s. I remember it being pretty desolate but nothing out of the ordinary happened. At least, not that I know of! I am thoroughly enjoying all the stories on that website you posted, ccmerlin, as well as your own weird experience. Seriously creepy stuff!
ccmerlin (2 stories) (16 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-19)
I looked into the eyes of one of the kids in the back seat, and I remember it creeped me out which is probably why I was giving myself a hard time. I think the forum I was talking about might have been comments on a story here at this site, but having trouble finding it now. I'll look more later. Here's a link to a reference to the kids in the car - it is the last comment in the comments section https://www.weirdfresno.com/2011/03/haunted-pacheco-pass.html

Lealeigh Maria - He looked really pissed off.

Tweed, there are many references to Vikings as the serpent people, and there are references to a massive super tribe in America that ended up splitting into other tribes like the apache (with legends of men with red beards,) but the super tribe was known as the serpent people. Then there's the whole Saint Patrick thing driving the serpents out of Ireland. So I have a theory that the Apache might be descendants of the Vikings.
Oh, and I don't remember the priest having any accent.
Tweed (28 stories) (2327 posts)
+3
9 months ago (2020-02-18)
I've spent the last hour annoying the heck out of myself on whether I should amend my last comment. So here goes.

I said Vikings didn't show up in America in a significant way. I should have said in the pillaging sense. They did show up in a significant way. One Norse Viking discovered America hundreds of years before anyone else did, especially blundering, directionless Columbus. But that's a whole other topic.

No doubt off topic, hence the apprehension... And now we return to regular programming...

I too would like to read those forum posts.
Melda (10 stories) (1338 posts)
+5
9 months ago (2020-02-18)
ccmerlin - The ghostly priest, or monk, you saw was obviously not residual as he reacted to your questions and even spoke to you. Fortunately he didn't disappear in front of you. That would have been scary indeed.

Thanks to Tweed for posting the link. There are a few other interesting articles on that link!

Would you be able to post the link to the forum where you read about the car, boys and woman? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would be interesting in taking a look at that.

Regards, Melda
Tweed (28 stories) (2327 posts)
+7
9 months ago (2020-02-18)
Hi Ccmerlin,

I did some digging and found this ghost is pretty famous. This article has a footnote which sounds like your weathered dude

"Many people have seen the spirit believed to be a Franciscan Monk and described him wearing a black robe and standing on the side of the road, between Casa De Fruta and Bell's Station."
Https://santacruzghostdirectory.com/haunted-surroundings

There's even a previous account on here
Https://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=16398

The monk idea sounds feasible but I don't know if the dates match up. Did these monks reside in California during a time when this road existed? Was he attacked by Vikings, might explain his question to you. But then Vikings didn't show up in America, at least not in a significant way. Also he spoke English, did he have an accent? I'm full of questions today.
Monk or no, it's clear someone in a robe haunts that stretch.
Thanks for sharing.
Lealeigh (5 stories) (502 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-17)
Hello ccmerlin and welcome to YGS,

That is unnerving! When you say that he looked "mad", did you mean that he was angry or did he look mentally imbalanced?

The most unnerving part to me was the way he asked: "So you're trying to help me?"

It is almost as if he has been through so much that, at that point, he was not expecting anyone to help... I hope he finds it.

Thank you for sharing your story!

- Maria
Rajine (13 stories) (58 posts)
+4
9 months ago (2020-02-17)
Yikes! Creepy indeed 😳 imagine if you had stopped to help the lady in the car, I do however wonder if the man in the robes and the lady in the car with the kids are somehow connected 🤔, where I come from we were always told not to stop for anyone especially at odd hours of the day for it could be either some spirit or a potential hijacker.

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