I am super excited that Halloween is just around the corner! I just love all aspects about the month. The fall colors, the leaves beginning to turn beautiful colors, the weather, pumpkin beer, Halloween decorations adoring the neighborhood. I know and understand that this not an actual holiday, however it definitely should be. However, it appears that Sacramento missed the memo that indeed Halloween is almost here.
One of the best aspects of Halloween? Haunted houses of course! I am not talking about the goblin type, walk through houses, I am talking about the yearlong haunted houses. You know the ones you read on the news. Stories of mass murders, mutilation, and torture. As morbid as it sounds, I have a liking to the dark side. I am sure you understand. On a recent episode of the hit podcast, My Favorite Murder, the hosts discussed a young lady you might know. Dorothea Helen Gray, also dubbed as the The Death House Landlady.
When I worked in downtown Sacramento, my friend and I happened to stumble [while looking] on Dorothea Puente’s house of horrors. This fine establishment resides on the corner of F and 14 Street in dear old Sac Town as we residents like to call it. Without realizing it, we both had walked right past a home that housed murderous crime scenes! Call my bluff, without realizing it I had glanced at the house numerous times and I felt a bit of a shudder. Later, when I discovered it was the actual house where mass murders occurred, I briefly shuddered a little more. I mean this house just resonates an aura of evil.
So the story goes, Dorothea was an absolutely sick beezy who ran a care home for the elderly. In her care, were these defenseless senior citizens who counted on her to take care of them on a daily basis. So she took care of them alright, straight to the dome and then to the grave. She would go into bars looking for elderly men she can hook up with and then eventually starting stealing their checks. She was was a mass murderer and killed her victims for the mere reason of collecting their social security money. Her motto basically was, if you complained, you died. This sick lady played the part well too. She literally poisoned her victims and then hired convicts to dig holes in her backyard so she can bury them.
I believe at one time, she had hired a well-known homeless man to take care of her place and help her dig the holes that she was going to use for the bodies and then one day he disappeared. Perhaps the split pea soup wasn’t tasty enough?
And, she was smart too. When things started to get fishy, the police came to investigate. Here was this this little old lady, nearly fragile to the touch. What harm could she do? Dorothea asked to go get a cup of coffee and straight booked it Los Angeles. Like who can do that? And then she tried to befriend another convict, but he turned her ass in. Police uncovered 7 bodies in the backyard, all in various states of decomposition. She was fifty nine years old at the time of her arrest.
At one point Dorothea actually ran a brothel. I guess you can call her Madame for obvious other reasons as well.
Fast forwarding to present day, some people actually bought this house, and made it into a little joke. I am not exactly sure how many times this fine establishment has been purchased and I took these photos a couple of years ago. The signs were okay, but if you look closely behind the gates at the figure standing in the left hand corner you might just see Miss Puente herself. Not really though, because, she died in jail at the age of 82 in 2011.
Now here is the challenge. Who is willing to go with me at night? Okay, who just complained?!