If you’ve driven down Golden State Boulevard north of Hawkeye Avenue you’ve undoubtedly noticed a somewhat creepy, old, two-story house sitting tucked in the corner of several acres of land.
Anyone can see that the house looks out of place, surrounded by apartments and retail establishments.
In recent years local legend has grown to suggest the house is haunted. Rumors indicate numerous people have died inside.
TurlockCityNews.com decided to look into Turlock’s mystery house.
First we contacted EXIT Realty Chief Executive Officer Kris Klair, who says he often gets calls on the house and property.
“The house is not livable, I can’t even take anyone inside to look at it because it is too unsafe. People have called about moving it to another location and fixing it up, but the problem is the house’s height. It can’t be moved easily with utility lines and freeway overpasses. You could probably get the electric working again with the help of professionals like In Phase Electrical and Air (check it out) but the rest of the building poses more issues,” he said.
Klair connected TurlockCityNews.com with the owner of the property, Dennis Roach, 74, a long-time Turlock resident and 1956 Turlock High graduate.
Roach was very frank about the house.
“The house is not haunted and no one has ever died in there,” he said. “The only thing haunting that house is the kids who break in and destroy it. There is nothing to the stories, its all bull.”
Roach says he was the last one to live in the house in 1997. He says the house was originally built in 1905 and his family, the Divanian family, purchased it in 1922.
Between 1922 and the 1980 the family owned numerous businesses in the immediate area around the house, including a motel, a restaurant, a bowling alley and a driving range. Roach says the property was used as roadhouse during World War II.
“By 1980 it was all sold and gone. My parents lived in that house from 1963 to 1974 and then rented it out to a family until I took possession of the house in 1995. I lived there for about six months in 1997 when I was in-between houses,” he explained.
Since then, Roach says the house has been used at times for storage. But mostly, it’s been a target for vandals.
“The house has been broken into or robbed 24 times since 1997. The garage has been broken into five times and every single window has been broken. I put plywood up and nailed the doors shut and there is nothing in there now,” said Roach. “The police have never once caught the juveniles who are doing this stuff.”
Roach maintains the land around the house, occasionally mowing the grass. The only sign of life left on the property is electricity to keep lights on in order to discourage vandals.
When asked what would he like to see done with the house Roach replied, “Torn down, destroyed, moved, I don’t care, I don’t want it.”
He says the house is made entirely of redwood and even the floorboards are 1-inch by 12-inch.
While the house remains dead there is hope for life on the property. Roach says the 2.5 acres of land, zoned for commercial development, is for sale at $670,000.
“The value in this property is not the house, it’s the commercial land. A developer can come in there and it’s a prime spot,” said Klair.
While Roach may not care what happens to the house, the best-case scenario is that the house is saved and moved to another location. Architecturally speaking the house is rare for the region, with its impressive southern style.