Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Mystery House is ‘Bad-News House,’ Owner Says

What is considered by many people to be a mysterious, if not downright creepy, old house, is actually nothing more than a massive annoyance and headache for owner Dennis Roach, 74.

Roach said the house has been ransacked and broken into a half-dozen times since March, and during the latest break-in burglars stole thousands of dollars in lawn care equipment, including his Craftsman riding lawn mower and weed trimmer. The thieves also cut the power to the house, which was meant as a deterrent to would-be intruders.

For years rumors circulated that the house was inhabited by ghost and that several people had been killed in the house, leading to its current abandoned appearance.

Roach said the house, located parallel to Golden State Blvd at 1810 Divanian Drive, is anything but haunted.

“Its not a ghost house, it’s a bad-news house,” said Roach. “The house is not haunted and no one has ever died in there. The only thing haunting that house is the kids who break in and destroy it. There is nothing to the stories, it’s all bull.”

Roach said the last time anyone lived in the house was in 1997, when he briefly stayed there for about 6 months. The house was originally built in 1905 and later purchased by his family, the Divanian Family, in 1922.

Since 1997 the house has been used for storage and has been an ongoing target for vandals and thieves. Roach said since 1997 the house has been broken approximately 30 times.

“The Turlock Police have never recovered a single item stolen,” said Roach.

The house sits on nearly two acres of zoned commercial property and Roach said it is his priority to rid himself of the headache he has assumed with the house and property.

“Right now its $599,000 and I’m willing to drop it another $20,000,” said Roach. “I’m done with it.”

In March the house was for sale at $670,000.

“The value in this property is not the house, it’s the commercial land,” said EXIT Realty Chief Executive Officer Kris Klair. “A developer can come in there and it’s a prime spot.”

Klair added that he often gets calls about the house and the property.

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. Roach said the house is built of solid redwood. Whoever decides to make the investment may need to look into Rising Damp Treatment as houses of this age can sometimes need some maintenance to bring up to standard, but it is well worth the time and money to preserve a house of this type should it need it. 

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