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Would You Rent Serial Killer Dorothea Puente’s Haunted House?

Dorothea Puente – Photo from Wikipedia

Yesterday my friend Jade Walker educated me about a serial killer named Dorothea Puente –which led me to learning her house may be haunted. It all started because of a picture I posted first on HJ’s Facebook page, then on Twitter.

Here’s the photo:

Here was the Tweet I sent out with it:

Are you normal or a ghost enthusiast/horror movie fan? What you see in the pic will determine your fate…

Here’s the Tweet Jade answered back with:

@HauntJaunts That house actually reminds me of Dorothea Puente – . Must be the 2nd floor balcony.

The link led to Dorothea Puente’s obituary on Jade’s Blog of Death. Jade is an accomplished obituary writer. I’m always amazed at the variety of people she covers in her blog. If she’s not introducing me to new people, she’s introducing me to new facts about people I thought I knew everything about.

Dorothea Puente was someone new she introduced me to. Her first paragraph instantly hooked me:

Folks looking for a cheap place to stay in Sacramento during the 1980s would often end up at Dorothea Montalvo Puente’s Victorian-style home on F Street. And when the front door opened, potential boarders were greeted by a bespectacled woman who looked like a kind grandmother. Little did they know that Puente was a serial killer who had a habit of murdering her tenants and burying their bodies in the yard.

This sentence also jumped out at me (mainly because of the “shadow people” reference, which in this case has nothing to do with paranormal entities):

Most of her boarders were “shadow people” — alcoholics, drug addicts, the elderly and the disabled — the kind that could go missing without causing much of a stir.

I wasn’t sure sure why the balcony reminded Jade of Dorothea. I had to see if I could find a pic of the boarding house. I did. Here’s a photo of it included in an article by Ryan Lundquist called “Would you buy Dorothea Puente’s House?” on the Sacramento Appraisal Blog.

The Victorian Dorothea Puente once ran as a boarding house. She buried some of her victims in the back yard. Some of their restless spirits may still be there today. Photo by Ryan Lundquist

Next thing I knew, Mystery Hunters (@_MysteryHunters) saw my RT of Jade’s Tweet and had a two cents Tweet to add:

@jadewalker @HauntJaunts I live nr Sacramento & heard from the owners that the [Dorothea Puente] house is haunted-Renters keep leaving!

Now that’s intriguing. And creepy.

I mean, I like the macabre. Duh. I’ve based this blog around it.

This tale is no more grim than, say, what was discovered going on in the LaLaurie Mansion in 1834. But it’s more recent. For some reason that makes it feel more real.

I’d of course take a jaunt to scope out Dorothea Puente’s former boarding house if I was ever in Sacramento, but would I ever rent a house to live in where I knew a serial killer had lived and killed? A house which may be haunted by…which? Her spirit or theirs? Or both?

I’m not sure. I think it’d be sad to share a home with souls whose lives were taken from them. And if she was there, too, well…I’m not sure I’d be cool with the ghost of a serial killer haunting my home. What about you?

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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