On visiting Santa Barbara, CA., roughly October 2013, one of the attractions I visited was the Santa Barbara Mission. Having attended a Catholic High School that was next to a Catholic Mission (San Fernando Mission) with its own cemetery, I was intrigued not only with the religious elements, but the rich and often violent history particularly pertaining to the indigenous cultures. That, added in with my obsession with all things paranormal, the Santa Barbara Mission was a must visit.
In high school, I would hear stories from the Catholic Priests of pictures of Native Americans being consistently removed from the walls where the perpetrator was unknown. Given the history of colonization of the indigenous cultures, as well as our high schools use of "indians" as a mascot, it seems plausible that images of the Natives would evoke certain sentiments from remaining entities. Moreover, a classmate once disclosed being forcefully pushed within the hallways only to find no one behind her afterwards. Hence, a Catholic Mission, especially if associated with mortuaries, would be a good hot spot to witness paranormal activity.
I didn't know much about the Santa Barbara Mission nor was expecting anything out of the ordinary aside from a good history lesson. There's much to invoke the "awe" sensation from its architecture, landscape, and the antique sarcophagi with this Mission also being a mortuary. Research at the Mission as well as online resources have shown the the Mission's history to be rather intense with the Mission being named after Saint Barbara, who is believed to be executed by her non-Christian father for her Christian conversion. Moreover, the Santa Barbara Mission played a role during the violent Chumash Revolt against the Spanish in 1824. In addition to the current standing sarcophagi, the premises are also an Indian burial ground with the amount of bodies allegedly in the thousands. Lastly, there is also the story of an individual committing suicide by throwing himself off the tower bell of the Mission structure. Basically, the Santa Barbara Mission seems like an excellent setting for a paranormal horror flick.
Prior to entering the chapel, I was immediately drawn to the skull and crossbones above the entrance. Modern day interpretation would hint at some sort of danger, think pirates and poison. Especially with the amount of crows that were hanging around the premises, the setting was just ripe for something abnormal. The skull and crossbones was meant to signify a place for funerary services, and if my memory is correct, one of the plaques had stated that the Chapel originally used real skulls and crossbones to mark the Chapel. As expected with any Catholic chapel, the inside was intricate with beautiful artwork and craftsmanship. I attempted to take as many pictures as possible, but yet maintain a respectful ambiance. In the Chapel, you will find beautiful artwork telling Christ's story, intricate sculptures of the Christ figure, Mary Magdalene, and the Virgin Mother.
On exiting the Chapel, I took one last look towards the rear and noticed an upstairs room housing a pipe organ. I took one last shot prior to leaving the Chapel. It was not until I got to my b&b room where I took a closer look at that particular last Chapel photo. Out of all the pictures I had taken, I was drawn to this particular picture mainly because I was curious as to what was in the upstairs area given its limited lighting. What I had found was breathtaking where I have attempted my best not to jump to conclusions. Nonetheless, almost everyone that has seen this picture failed to ask "what is it?" but would rather ask "who is it?". Take a look at the upstairs area, towards the center, almost the center of the pipe organ area.
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Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions