Story of Everett, ghost who ‘hangs out’ at the Court­house Mu­seum

Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - Livingston Chronicle - BY SHAWN JANSEN sjansen@mer­ced­sun-star.com

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.

Ron Pir­tle

or­gan.

“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

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.

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