Would You Live In A ‘Murder House’ ?

If you ask people, most would think twice about living in a place in which a murder took place. Especially if it was a gruesome one. Some, pay no mind to their home’s horrid history and believe that what was the past, stays in the past. Unless you’re talking about ghosts.

I myself would feel a bit weary of living in a place where a murder took place, I believe in residual energy more than I believe that actual ghosts will haunt a location. I leave the stories of ghosts wanting vengeance to the Hollywood writers.

Most don’t really care as long as they personally anointed the place. People in New York find themselves specifically searching the daily obituary section of theshining-twins newspaper just to see what new vacancies have opened up in the area. Although not a home-owner, I do find myself researching the places that I’ve rented in the past. You know, just to be on the safe side. Last thing I want is to stumble out of bed at night heading towards the bathroom and run into twin girls in a blue dress asking me to “Come play with us“. Screw that.

A GhostTheory reader recently emailed me to ask if I knew anything about any Pasadena, CA, hauntings.  They’ve mentioned a few murder houses that I was not aware of. And you know me, I’m usually in the know about serial killers and murders. The email talked about a blog post at the LA Times website titled “Rampages revisited“.

The article mentions two of Pasadena’s most known murder sites. That of the Rawlings family and the Oilar family.

Harvey F. Rawling’s murderous spree started and ended in his home. A well-to-do lawyer, Harvey is said to have cracked under severe stress in his life due to an impaired child and massive debt.


Nov. 27, 1957
Los Angeles

Everybody says the Rawlings family are fine people. They have a big house at 307 Tamarac Drive in San Rafael, one of the finer neighborhoods in Pasadena.

Nice house, isn’t it? Four bedrooms, two baths, 2,300 square feet by the arroyo. Maybe you’d figure whoever lived here was happy. That’s what the neighbors thought about Harvey Francis Rawlings Jr. They were wrong.

It’s about 5 a.m. and still dark outside. This is a bloody, nasty crime scene that involves a couple of kids. If you don’t want to go in, that’s fine with me.

OK, keep your hands in your pockets and don’t touch anything.

Quite a place, isn’t it? The whole house is wired for the hi-fi system.

Harvey is a 43-year-old attorney with a legal practice in Pasadena. Has an office on East Green Street. Except for a round of golf now and then, Harvey’s life is his job.

His wife is named Marjorie Ruth but she goes by Ruth. She’s 43, a UCLA graduate, sorority girl–Gamma Phi Beta–and keeps busy with women’s clubs like the Lawyers Wives of Pasadena.

They have two boys. The older one is Robert. He’s 16. The younger one is Raymond. He’s 12. For a while they thought Raymond was mentally disabled, but it looks like he was just partially deaf and the doctors have been treating him for it.

Nice home, good family. You’d think Harvey would be grateful a few days before Thanksgiving. But underneath whatever looked like success, his life was a mess. He was worried about Raymond and deep in debt from some bad investments.

This is him, lying in the bathroom with a bullet between the eyes.

Let’s keep going.

This is Ruth, lying in the hallway. From the way it looks, Harvey attacked her first by beating her in the head with a brass ball peen hammer. Then he went into Raymond’s room and shot him as he was sleeping.

Looks like the gunshot woke up Robert because he’s lying next to his bed. Police will figure that Harvey shot him as he was getting up.

Ruth wasn’t dead though. You can see her trail of blood where she went into Raymond’s room and bent over him. Then she came out here to the hallway and Harvey shot her twice in the head.

These are their cats, Charcoal and Cinder. One of the neighbors heard screams and shots but “didn’t want to interfere.” He’ll get home from work tonight and wonder why the Rawlings home is so quiet except for the cats yowling because they are hungry. He’ll get a ladder and look in one of the windows.Then he’ll call the police.

We don’t know exactly what made Harvey go crazy. Before he killed everybody, he called a doctor and said he was under enormous strain. The doctor wanted him to come over to the office right away, but Harvey refused. Other attorneys say Harvey was having a hard time but seemed to be “over the hump.”

Source: LA Times Blog

And here is the home now.

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I don’t know if ghosts exist or not, but I can tell you that whenever I read about these types of ghastly murders, it sends shivers up and down my spine.  The idea of  sleeping in a room where someone was shot while in their sleep, terrifies me. I don’t think I would be able to comfortably sleep in such place, knowing that the prior occupant probably had the bed setup the way I would set it up. They probably slept in the same position as I would. Left their shoes in the same place as I would and went to bed thinking that tomorrow is just another day, just like I would.

Interesting enough, the article over at the LA Times blog, also mentioned another Pasadena murder that occurred awhile back. This time though, a reader who had spent his childhood in the house after the killings, left a spooky comment about his experiences in the home.

December 1954, Pasadena, Ca, 555 ave. 64 as the Oilar family is finishing off a Christmas party, compliments are exchanged, hands shake and kisses on the cheeks are given. A little girl, friend of the Oilar kids, stays behind for a slumber party. After singing Christmas carols, Harold, Husband and father of three, sends the little girl outside to the porch. Once outside, Harold bludgeons his wife and children to death. Some speculate that Harold was facing a heavy financial burden and wanted to find a way out. For himself and his family.


Here is the comment from a Derek Anthony, who said he grew up in the Oilar house:

Creepy house, I lived at 555 Ave 64 from 1964 to 1972. They never told my mother what happened until after she bought the house for around 21,000 which was cheap even in 1964. People in the neighborhood eventually started telling us what happened even though we could never pinpoint the exact date or circumstances. We just heard it was an axe murder. My grandmother who into the supernatural and psychic always saw a man walking through the house at night. In 2002 when the house was for sale I stopped by and talked to the owner who bought it from my mother in 1980. He said his daughter always saw a man walking through the house as well. Weird huh? Another weird thing, I developed a phobia of dark windows as I felt a man was watching me at night if a window had any part not covered by a shade. Come to find out Harold was arrested for being a peeping tom. I hated that house, I still do. Even though it looks less sinister now.

Whatever the case may have been, it’s a tragic way of trying in despair to solve such a insignificant issue in the grand scheme of life.

There was a previous post I had made about someone buying the Jeffrey Dahmer home. Owners of the Dahmer home never really reported anything supernatural. So what say you fellow GhostTheory enthusiasts, have you ever lived in a murder home? Did you experience any paranormal events? Would you even consider living in such sites?