The Zalud House is a nostalgic glimpse into the past. Built in 1891, it is one of the few houses of that era that has not undergone remodeling. It has the mansard roof construction, which makes the house unique in its style of architecture. Commissioned by John Zalud and built by John and Hugh Templeton.
From the time the house was built, only the Zalud family lived in the home. In fact, it is one of the few museums in the nation that is furnished entirely with the original owners’ possessions. The house was given to the City of Porterville [California] by the Zalud family’s youngest daughter, Pearle, when she died in 1970. The Zalud House is listed in the National Historical Registry of Old Houses and in the National Register of Historic Places.
This place was one of the first places that my wife and I ever investigated when we got started in the field of the paranormal. It was such a blast, that we’ve gone back again and again.
The house is furnished with approx. 90% of the original possessions of the Bohemian (today’s Czechoslovakia) immigrants who lived here. The fireplace is encircled with a beautiful, intricately carved wooden panel from China. From the time the house was built, only the Zalud family has lived in it. In fact, it is one of the few museums in the nation that is furnished almost entirely with the original owners’ possessions.
It is filled with clothing, linens, books, ceramic and porcelain collectibles, newspapers, records, personal belongings and other items solely owned by the Zaluds. Several of the items still have the original price tags on them.
The house is surrounded by a large variety of roses, decorative shrubbery and flowers. The rose garden has meandering brick paths, flower beds and archways. The original carriage house is on the property.
The Zalud House is listed in the National Historical Registry of Old Houses and is in the National Register of Historic Places. It was willed by Pearle Zalud to the City of Porterville upon her death in 1970.
The Zalud house is run by Docent Heather Huerta, which is a friend of mine and my wife Crissy. We were fortunate enough to be able to schedule many investigations with Benny and Heather Huerta of the Paranormal Movement. One of the great couples in the paranormal field. Both extremely professional, knowledgeable and very respectful to other paranormal teams coming into the Zalud House. And, just really nice people too. It was like we were stepping into their home.
The house itself is pristine. It really is a museum, it is so well preserved and maintained. There is a lot of care and time that Benny and Heather put into this home. When you step inside, you step back in time. Everything in that house is original from the Zalud family or from that era. With the exception of a few cars passing by, you are in a time warp bubble and feel immersed in what life must have been like in the early 1900’s
One of the reasons we might have been drawn to Annie’s bedroom is this bed. Every time we’re in this room the atmosphere is so light and airy, that not one time that we’ve done an EVP session that it doesn’t end up with the whole group starts laughing. Thus, the nickname for this room is called the “Laughing Room.”
The youngest of the family was Pearle. She never married, instead, became a matriarch of the town she loved until her death. She was involved in everything in town. Above and on the left, this was originally Pearle’s room before she became too fragile to climb the stairs anymore and was moved down to the Laughing Room until her death. An interesting thing about this room is that Pearle was an avid bird lover. She always had one or two canaries in the house. The last one she had and died just before she did, she had stuffed and encased in a square glass case. Now what is remarkable about this is, when we do an EVP session in this room, we always get a canary chirping in them. On the right is Pearle sitting in the main room (living room.) during the early 80’s right before she died.
These were very old fashioned style people and appearances were everything. During one investigation in the formal dining room, it was Ed’s birthday. So I decided to buy him a birthday card and use it as a trigger object. It worked perfectly. As soon as I was done reading the card, we got an EVP saying; “Thank you.”
We’ve investigated the living museum about a dozen time now and it’s never let us down on getting some great paranormal evidence. So if you’re ever looking for a place to have a fun and very active paranormal investigation and you’re on the West Coast, this is a must stop at this great spot. To get a hold of Heather to schedule your investigation, just go to Facebook or Official Site and tell them Chad sent you.