THERE ARE THINGS that happen to us every now and then which make us realize just how quirky and delightful this town really is.
My daughter and I are inveterate shoppers of Ventura's Downtown boutiques. Our favorite is Le Monde Emporium on Main Street, home to great fashion and equally great prices. It's located in an old building which has housed many businesses over the years.
Several months ago, while picking through the sales racks in the very upper reaches of the second story of the store, we heard an eerie noise coming from the wall. It was an odd kind of sound, sort of like somebody screaming at us from down a hall.
Returning to the bottom floor of the store, I mentioned the noise to the saleswoman. "I think you have a ghost up there," I joked.
"I know," she said, and proceeded to tell us about purses that fell off racks by themselves, merchandise which was found out of place overnight and a carpenter who "felt something pass right through him" when he was working on the upper floor.
In fun, I mentioned to the woman that I knew of a ghost hunter who lived in town and that maybe I could convince him to check the place out. Giggling, we walked out into the sunshine and ran smack into our local ghost hunter, Richard Senate, coming out of Tipps Thai Cuisine.
IT WAS FATE.
Now I know Richard a bit from the various local historical groups I am involved with. He's a delight and one of those folks who just makes life more interesting for the rest of us. If you haven't taken one of his ghost tours arranged through the City of Ventura, do it. He weaves interesting local historical tidbits in with the ghostliness and it's fascinating.
Richard, always amenable to a ghostly adventure, agreed to accompany us back to Le Monde. Once entering the door, he told us of the history of the building and of a certain spirit who has been making appearances in that very spot for years.
Now I'm not sure I really believe in all this stuff, but it's fun nonetheless. Where else but in Downtown Ventura would you get a ghost story thrown in with your shopping?
And it's just one more reason why I love this town.
On Saturday at 8 p.m., Richard Senate will be giving a special ghost tour of City Hall. Tickets can be purchased by calling Community Services at 658-4726. The tour will start promptly at 8 p.m.