• The Ghost of Eliza Tash

    by Rachel Cope

    My parents lived on an old homestead out on Carmel Valley Road for about seventeen years through the 1970’s and the 1980’s. Many scary experiences – creaking noises, inexplicably displaced objects, and general spooks – occurred out on that homestead throughout those seventeen years but none as nerve-racking as the wildfire that my father refers to as the “asshole fire” that was started by their “city slicker” neighbors. The wildfire got so close to their house that they were forced to evacuate immediately. Once the firemen arrived at the property, they noticed that an old lady was hosing down the house, using water from a nearby water tank in attempts prevent the fire from overtaking the house. Multiple times the firemen on the scene told the old woman to leave immediately so that she wouldn’t be harmed by smoke inhalation or be burned by the fast moving flames. But the obstinate woman would not relent from her task of hosing down the house. Frustrated, the firemen eventually gave up their efforts to move the woman away from the house and continued on with the task of putting out the blaze.

    A week later, my mother went to turn on the press pump, which would fill up the water holding tank, and she discovered that the pump was disconnected. Not aware of the old woman and her protective actions, my mother quickly contacted the forestry department to see if the firemen had tapped into their water source during the emergency. The department proceeded to ask the firemen that were credited for putting out the flames if they knew anything about the disconnected pump, and they said no;  however, they did ask if the old lady that was hosing down the house when they arrived at the ranch was doing okay. That curious question led my mother to investigate further, and eventually she discovered that there were no water marks on the property windows or anywhere else where the firemen said that the woman was hosing down the house. My mother, already suspicious about ghostly occurrences around the property, and remembering the history of its original homestead (which was owned by the prominent Tash family) that burned down over a hundred years before the new house was built, concluded that the mysterious firefighter that helped to put out the “asshole” blaze must have been a ghost! To this day, my parents and the firemen on the scene still believe that the ghost of Eliza Tash was protecting the house at 43515 Carmel Valley Road on that day to prevent the same demise that claimed the once cherished Tash family home.

    And yes this is a true story.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 24, 2013

    Topics: Young Writers' Corner


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