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The Angry Cowboy

October 2022

In 1988, my now ex-husband Steve and I bought a brand-new condo in what had been Rancho Mission Viejo, a large cattle ranch. At first, things were fine and normal. In 1990, I became pregnant with our first child, and that’s when things were no longer normal!

I started noticing things weren’t in the places I put them, but moved a few feet in one direction or another, or switched positions with other things. Initially, you believe you might be going crazy and start second-guessing everything (“Maybe I DIDN’T leave my keys on that counter” or “Maybe I just THOUGHT I filled my water glass”). These experiences were happening more frequently the closer my son was to being born.

We tried to ignore the obviously strange things going on, but then this “cowboy” upped the ante. About a month after my son was born I was changing his diaper when a teddy bear that had been on a top shelf raised straight up about 6” and slowly started to float across the room! My heart racing and body shaking at what I was seeing, I grabbed my baby and ran into the other room to tell Steve. Even after months of experiencing things being moved around, glasses being emptied, etc., he didn’t believe me. This started an argument and hurt feelings that lasted years. I didn’t witness any more items floating in mid-air, but the other things continued.

In 1992, we went to my folks’ house out of state and had Steve’s brother and nephew stay there to watch our dogs. We never told anyone about this ghost we had. When we returned, my brother-in-law (Terry) asked if we ever experienced anything weird in the condo. We asked him why he would ask that and he told us about things being moved, a window being opened after he had closed and locked it, a glass being empty after he had just filled it, etc. Of course, we told him about our own experiences, and of the teddy bear floating across the room (Steve came to believe me).

In 1993, we decided to rent the condo out and move to a house, as we were expecting another child. We didn’t tell the new renter anything about our ghost, of course.

About 3 months into the lease, our renter called and said she was moving out. When we asked her why, she said, “This place is haunted!” We pressed her for details, and she went on to talk about the same experiences we had had, but that additionally she was seeing some shadowy figure out of the corner of her eye once in a while. She said she knew it was crazy, but felt she couldn’t stay any longer.

After she moved out we contacted the Parapsychology Dept at either UCLA or USC (sorry, I can’t remember which one) to come and investigate. It was like on tv…they brought all sorts of technical equipment along with a few simple candles. After walking around the place, including the garage), they told us they figured some things out. They said he had been a cowboy on the previous cattle ranch and had died right where our garage was. They didn’t mention if it was a violent death, only that he died there. They all started walking around again trying to tell him he needs to move on, that he wasn’t alive anymore. Honestly, it really seemed like a movie, but they kept this up for about 30 minutes. After everything was done, they said it doesn’t always work, you can’t make them leave. They said he was angry that we were living in “his area” and that it was US that need to leave. They also made sure to tell us he wasn’t dangerous, and wouldn’t/couldn’t hurt us.

Well, we decided to try and rent it out again. 6 months into the lease, the tenant called to tell us he was leaving and for the same reasons the previous tenant had given. Apparently, this cowboy had no intention of leaving, and we couldn’t afford to keep losing tenants, so we just sold it. I’m sure he’s still stirring up trouble, but thankfully with someone else!

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