Story of Everett, ghost who ‘hangs out’ at the Courthouse Museum
As a former Merced police officer of 18 years, Ron Pirtle knows how to give a good description. The way Pirtle describes “Everett,” the ghost of the Merced County Courthouse museum could be picked out of a lineup of suspects in seconds.
From the clothes to the sideburns to the boots, Pirtle, 61, got a good look the first time he encountered the ghost he named Everett shortly after he started working at the museum as a docent four years ago. Pirtle was sitting at his station, near the entrance of the main hallway on the second floor. Pirtle looked down the hallway and saw a figure standing by the organ.
“It was an adult male dressed in turn-of-thecentury type of clothes, maybe 1890 to 1910,” Pirtle said. “He had mutton chops, brushed back hair. He had a light complexion, he was dressed in a dark suit with a white ascot. He wore dark boots.
“I know there can be shadows and lighting, but I couldn’t explain it.”
Pirtle says he turned to get someone’s attention in the bookstore, but when he looked back down the hall, the figure was gone.
Pirtle has had other experiences with the ghost. There are times when things happen to move and nobody can explain it. Somebody will set down their cellphone and when they go to grab it, it’s in another location. Coffee mugs have been known to move with no explanation.
There have also been a few times when noises have come from the piano with nobody around.
“I’ve heard the piano one time when I didn’t know who did it,” Pirtle said. “I knew where the other docents were in the museum. Nobody was by the piano.”
Others haven’t seen or experienced the ghost. Museum director Sarah Lim is one who hasn’t had any run-ins with Everett. She has heard stories from others.
There was the time a woman who claimed to be a psychic was in the museum with her grandson. The psychic asked if the museum was haunted. Pirtle told the psychic that a ghost had been known to pop up from time to time.
He asked if the psychic would be able to sense Everett’s presence. Without hearing about any of the previous sightings, the psychic walked down the hallway and stopped within a few feet of the organ, where Pirtle had seen the ghost. The psychic told Pirtle that’s where she sensed a ghost or the most activity.
There was also a service dog that once stopped and wouldn’t walk near the
‘‘ HE’S NOT SCARY. HE KIND OF JUST HANGS OUT.
“The dog wouldn’t enter the area,” Pirtle said.
It was Pirtle who named the ghost Everett, saying the name just fits him.
“That’s the name that popped up,” Pirtle said. “He’s not scary. He kind of just hangs out.”
Pirtle says Everett was most active in the first six months he started working there. On one occasion he was doing a walk through the museum when he heard something behind him.
“I think I was checking on a display and I’m walking when I heard someone walking behind me,” Pirtle said. “They were walking in boots. When I stopped walking, they stopped walking. I heard it until I turned around.”
The way Pirtle sees it, how can there not be ghosts in a place like the museum?
“All the history stuff in here makes it so much fun,” he said. “We’ve had guests come in who are sensitive to ghosts and stuff like that. They sense activity on the second floor, mainly around that part of the hallway.”
Merced County Courthouse Museum docent Ron Pirtle claims to have seen a ghost he named “Everett” standing near the organ in the main hallway on the second floor of the museum.