Ghosts don't like crowds. They're not big party-goers.
That's one of the reasons the “Pink Lady” probably won't be making her legendary appearance at the Yorba Family Cemetary early Sunday morning. What most likely will materialize, though, will be the crowd of mortal souls intent on catching a glimpse of this community's most celebrated apparition.
While a Pink Lady is a term for a cocktail comprised of gin, grenadine and cream, in this case the name is given to a spirit of a different nature. She is the ghost of a young woman, Alvina Yorba de Los Reyes, who was killed in 1910 when she was thrown from a buggy on Kellog Road as she returned from a ball with her husband. She was buried in the 128-year-old cemetary, the oldest one in California.
According to the story, she walks the cemetary sometime between midnight and 4 a.m. on June 15 during even numbered years. She is said to trace a triangular route between grave markers of her family members and then disappear for another two years.
No one knows why she supposedly returns with such regularity. Some say she comes to mourn the death of her children and mother. A spicier version suggests that she appears to haunt her relatives because she was prevented from burying her lover in the family plot.
She was said to have been a beautiful woman, slender, 5 feet 4 inches tall with jet-black hair cascading down her back. She was 31 when she died.
But there's one stumbling block in the legend, which seems to have sprung up about a dozen years ago or so. There are no records of anyone having actually seen the woman, dressed in the pink gown she wore on the night of her death.
“All of the early residents I interviewed, they'd never heard of the Pink Lady,” said Barbara Soblewski, a psychic investigator from Anaheim who several years ago ventured to the cemetary on the appointed time of arrival for the ghost. The Pink Lady never showed, Soblewski said.
She did, however, make contact with a woman who had died in the 1930s, Soblewski said. Her name was Eloedia De Los Reys, and Soblewski described her as a frail, young blonde with hazel eyes and wearing a cream-colored dress. This was obviously the wrong ghost.
Soblewski said her repeated contacts with the ghost, made during and after the night reserved for the Pink Lady's arrival, released the entity from its haunting state.
“The entity was apparently released during the process of investigation,” wrote Soblewski shortly after making contact with the tortured spirit, who wandered the graveyard in search of her family members. “Thus, the Yorba cemetary hauntings may be gone forever.”
Yet the believers, skeptics and curious will probably show up, chaise lounges, blankets and beer in hand. And if the Pink Lady stands them up again, only beer bottles and food wrappers will remain, as in past years, scattered across the historic site as testament to the tale of the Pink Lady.
GHOSTLY TRADITION—Every two years, tradition has it, the `Pink Lady' floats through the Yorba Family Cemetery.
Photo by Mike Kitada
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