Thursday, December 17, 2020

HGB Ep. 364 - Andres Pico Adobe

Moment in Oddity - Garry Hoy Falls to Death After Body Checking Window (Suggested by: Scott Booker)

A Canadian lawyer named Garry Hoy won a Darwin Award in 1996 for an bad decision that would be his final decision. Although Hoy was a respected senior partner at the Toronto law firm Harold Day Wilson, law had not been his first area of study. He had obtained a degree in engineering and he continued to be fascinated with the construction of buildings. The strength of windows was of particular interest to him. It became a regular practice for him to test how sturdy windows were by body checking them. One place where he tested windows was at the Toronto Dominion Center where he worked. This building was a high rise and the law firm had a conference room on the 24th floor. On July 9, 1993, a group of incoming law student summer interns were invited for a party in the conference room. Hoy told the students that the windows were unbreakable and he decided to show them, probably thinking about how many times he had done this and bounced back off the windows. A police detective described what happened as "At this Friday night party, Mr. Hoy did it again and bounced off the glass the first time. However, he did it a second time, and this time crashed right through the middle of the glass." The window was forced from its frame and was intact as it fell to the ground and Hoy fell with it to his death from 24 stories up. Testing the sturdiness of windows by body checking them with a 160 pound body, certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Colonel Thomas Pride's Purge

In the month of December, on the 6th, in 1648, Colonel Thomas Pride instigates Pride's Purge. Many countries have suffered the dramatic overthrow of the government by a military coup and Britain is one of them. Colonel Pride was the son of a yeoman, but he rose to prominence during this important moment. King Charles I had just been imprisoned after the Civil War was over and parliament was thinking they would give him a break. The army was not having any of that since the King had continuously broken his promises. Colonel Pride stood at the top of the stairs of Parliament on that December day with a list in his hand of politicains divided into two groups, one that could stay and one that had to go. Most MPs fled when they saw the army. Forty-five were arrested and 200 were removed. Charles I was executed for high treason shortly thereafter. Oliver Cromwell eventually became the lord protector and he gave Colonel Pride the title of lord with a seat in the new upper house. Lord Pride died in 1658. Not bad for a guy that was a drayman, basically an old time trucker, and a brewer of beer, which is what he did before joining the military.

Andres Pico Adobe 

The Andres Pico Adobe dates back to the early 1800s  and is the second oldest residence in Los Angeles. This was named for the man who once lived there, Andres Pico. The adobe part of the name refers to the material from which it is constructed. Today, it is the home of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society and is a museum that can be toured featuring artifacts and cultural relics. Maria Wessenauer is the Vice President of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society and creator of Hollywood Exhumed and she joins us to share the history and hauntings of the Andres Pico Adobe. 

Maria is the creator of Hollywood Exhumed on Facebook and Instagram. Diane has been a big fan of Hollywood Exhumed and followed it for a long time. Hollywood Exhumed features the history, lore and ghost stories about the Hollywood area and the thing that is really great about it is that Maria actually goes to the locations and shares the pictures she takes. Maria shares about her interest in the paranormal, which started with early ghost experiences and then why she started Hollywood Exhumed before we get into talking about the second oldest residence in Los Angeles.

Creepy AF: Paranormal made a documentary in 2017 featuring the house. They caught a couple of interesting EVP, one of which said "No" when asked for its name. Michael Arkush, writing for the Los Angeles Times in 1989, shared some of the experiences at the house, "Because of neglect, the adobe was in ruins until it was restored in 1930 by Mark Harrington, an anthropologist who purchased the property. According to Elva Meline, the adobe’s curator since 1976, every night when Harrington would go to bed, he’d hear heels clicking across the tile floor and up the staircase. Meline said Harrington told her the story soon before he died in 1970. She said he would wait until the sounds got closer to his upstairs bedroom, then sneak out of bed hoping to catch the ghost. Each time, he saw nothing. He lived in the adobe until 1945 and said he heard the sounds frequently. The ghost, according to Harrington’s account, is Catarino Pico, who lived in the adobe from 1874 to 1895. At 14, Catarino married Romulo Pico and helped modernize the adobe. Meline said she doesn’t know why Catarino would stick around, 'other than the fact that this was her home for so long.' In recent years, Meline said, there have been few sightings, or senses, of Catarino’s presence, although something strange happened just three weeks ago when two women toured the adobe. 'These two women both remarked that they felt a very strong presence in the adobe. One said she felt it on the patio, the other the living room. They both said it was a very peaceful feeling, which is what people have said about Catarino in the past.'"

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