Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Haunted Room in Calipat that reminded me of a Ship and Barbies and GI Joe

In the mid 1970's we lived on a ranch on the outskirts of a small town named Calipatria aka Calipat. When we first moved to this ranch we lived in a house that had a haunted room. The reason I know it was haunted was because my parents said it was haunted. My mom had feelings of unrest when she stepped into that room.

I really wanted my mom and dad to let me have that room as my bedroom, but they wouldn't. They just told me no because it was haunted and my mom didn't feel right letting me sleep there.

My sister and I would play in that room all the time. It was filled with boxes full of stuff that my mom had no room for and we would go in there often to play with our Barbies.

Only I didn't have a Barbie. For some reason my mom bought me the doll from the character Samantha on the TV show Bewitched.

Remember Samantha? She would wiggle her nose to make magic happen?

I loved Samantha and I'm sure that the doll my mom bought me was probably worth a pretty penny then and would be worth even more now...if I still had it.

I wish I did because I loved that doll and when my daughter April was little I used to lament that I hadn't saved it so my little girl could play with it!

This is the doll. Mine had the red sparkly dress just like this one. It was made out of some type of velvet material as was the hat and she had the beautiful red shoes. How I wish I still had this doll! I loved brushing her long blond hair, especially since mine was dark brown! My doll also had a little broom so she could fly...like a proper witch!

I don't remember exactly what doll my sister had, whether it was a regular Barbie or another TV character, I only remember mine. When we played we used to use washcloths as evening gowns. We would fold down one corner and wrap it around the dolls and secure it in the back by stabbing a straight pin into the dolls back. My poor Samantha's back must have been full of little holes!

My mom has always loved sewing so there were tons of straight pins around our house and we learned early on not to stab ourselves, as houses weren't baby proofed then, we just knew better!

We didn't have a Ken doll, but for some reason we had a GI Joe and we would have GI Joe take turns dating our Barbies. Sometimes they were sisters and sometimes they were just friends, but they never seemed to mind sharing GI Joe. GI Joe didn't mind much either!

I don't remember what we clothed GI Joe in, but I sure remember those black boots. Sometimes Samantha would wear them. 

A friend, whose mother became best friends with my mother, because we all lived on the same ranch and they lived just a few houses down from us; recently posted a photo of a house that he wants to fix up and flip. He shared the photo to see if anyone could give him ideas on how to make the room better. When I saw that photo it instantly brought me back memories of my childhood.

This is exactly what the walls in that room were like. For some reason when I was in that room I felt like I was on board a ship on the ocean. Maybe the spirit in that room that my mom felt had at one time been at sea? Or maybe the walls had been part of a ship and someone had moved them to the John Elmore Ranch in Calipatria to make one room in the house special? If there was something in that room, it wasn't bad, because I loved that room and always felt safe there.

When my friend posted this picture, it brought back memories of the smell of the walls of that room, the wood smell. The smell of the boxes filled with stuff that my mom stored there.  

I was filled with the memory of playing with my sister, of being the bossy big sister and telling my very obedient and loving little sister what our Barbies would be wearing that day and where they would be going and who GI Joe would go with. 

It's funny how something as simple as a picture of a room with knotty pine walls can stir up so many memories that have been buried for so many years and right now it feels like just yesterday that my sister and I played Barbies with GI Joe in a haunted room! If this were my house, I would not change a thing in this room!

Thanks mom and dad for such a wonderful childhood!

What was your favorite toy or doll? Have you ever experienced a haunted room or had weird feelings in a room like my mom probably did? 



  1. Who were your neighbors at the time? Maybe they knew something about the house.

    1. I didn't think about that. Actually the family that lived in the house north of us lives here in Bakersfield now and I see them all the time. I'm going to ask their dad. I think my mom just didn't like the all wood walls.

      Hey...nice to see you visiting my blog!

  2. Cool memories! It is amazing how a memory can be fired by one thing such as the photo of the knotty pine walls.

    I often think we were lucky to grow up back when kids were still kids and kind of run kid world without much interference from adults. Adults sort of assured our safety, and minded their own business. Now days, it seems to me that kids have so many obligations, school, homework, this class, that sport that they must make time for everything under the sun except being a kid. I feel sorry for them.

    1. I agree Sextant...not only that but they aren't even allowed out of their parents sight! I remember my mom would throw us out of the house in the morning after breakfast and tell us not to come back until we saw my dad's truck come home for lunch. We would ride bikes and play school and shoot marbles and just run around being kids. We weren't scare anyone would kidnap us or hurt us in any way. I had a wonderful childhood! Just wonderful!


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