Legends of Turlock’s Mystery House Untrue, Owner Says

Jonathan McCorkell/TurlockCityNews.com|

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.

Comments 9

  1. Devin says:

    I’ve wondered about that house since I was a kid. Thanks for clearing that up. Your next mission, should you choose to accept, is to find out the scoop on the vacant lot on the corner of Monte Vista and Geer. It’s been empty as long as I can remember with just that one house on it. Hard to believe with that location it hasn’t been sold to the college or a commercial investor.

  2. Robert Jackson says:

    I enjoyed reading this article very much. I can remember several houses in Turlock, especially the really old ones on West Main that we were sure were haunted when I was a child. I would like to see an article in this series on the windmill at the old Windmill Motel and whether the legend associated with the windmill was actually true.

  3. Ashlee says:

    That’s over priced… especially for the direction of the traffic and location… It could possibly be worth the price if you looked into making that area a five point intersection… but its practically impossible to get that location… no foot traffic or car, just drive by… your better off putting up a billboard… there are a lot more cons then pros here… I am sorry to be so frank, but just trying to see everyone move forward here… Its a bad investment for the buyer and that is why it will continue to sit there… consider the buyer and the seller and turlock… its no good for turlock if another place goes out of business and people lose jobs and money is wasted.

  4. Ashlee says:

    The house is beautiful if it can be made into a four plex and liveable… then the house would make its money back if it was the one being priced at 607 … that wouldn’t be a bad deal at all. The commercial is the issue… don’t see that working out with out a 5 point intersection…

  5. Karen Land says:

    Per the Goldenstate house. My Aunt & uncle lived next door for many year and as kids we loved peeking through the fence at the “haunted house”. I’m wondering if Mr. Roach might concider allowing people to come in & salvage pieces of architecture from the home. Due to its age I’d bet there some wonderful salvage pieces.

  6. Patty Ducheneaux says:

    Years ago I called about possibly just buying the house and was told the owner did not want to sell them separately. What a shame that all the damage has been done to a beautiful house when someone could have bought it or just given it to someone to save. He says there is no value in the house, just the land. I would love to have it and save it. I hope someone can bring it back to life, it is so beautiful.

  7. Michelle says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the house? It’s gone.

  8. Josh says:

    The house was tore down as it was a danger to the public’s safety.

  9. Michelle says:

    Wasn’t this house torn down?

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