Decades Later, Leona Gibson Tells Haunting Secret of Mount Nebo Stairs

Former resident tells of “weird energy” and seeing the ghost of her grandma—long before it was time.

Having lived in the same house on Mount Nebo until she was 17, Leona Gibson is very familiar with the public stairway system there. And while the now-historic “Secret Stairs” may not be so secret, only a few people know about the ghostly experience she had on them.

“There was some kind of weird energy,” said Gibson, who was 8 at the time and walking with a friend. “The first time, we just felt it and kept walking. The second time, my friend asked me, ‘Did you feel that?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ ”

Gibson, a Serra Mesa resident now in her 60s, says she felt it on the pathway that intersects Sheldon Drive, where a man who used to grow sunflowers lived.

But she had another experience that year, too. During a trip to the bathroom one night, she says she saw the ghost of her grandmother.

“It was a little transparent, and hovering about a foot off the ground,” Gibson said. “Her feet were moving, but she wasn’t.”

The odd thing about that vision? Her grandmother was still alive at the time—something Gibson’s mother pointed out when she first heard the story years later.

“I told her Grandma was trying to make a good escape!” Gibson said.

Warren Ovadia June 07, 2011 at 03:57 PM
I haven't had any ghost experiences on the secret stairs but I've had a few here in my home. My wife and I have live here for over 12 years. When we first moved in I came home from work at 2:30 am. Mt wife was visiting her sister up in Orange Co. While I was sitting at my computer desk in our home office I heard two children giggling in the bathroom off of the office. I got up to look but of course, there was nothing. About a year later we were sitting in the living room watching TV when we heard a chair in the kitchen scoot back from the table. My wife said "It's probably one of the cats" I looked around the living room and all three cats were scattered about but they were all looking toward the kitchen. I got up and took a look and sure enough a chair was slid back from the table. There has also been numerous times where we've seen things out of the corner of our eyes. My brother swore he saw my black cat walk into my closet. The only problem with that was my cat was sitting on my lap. There was another time when my wife said all the cupboard doors in the kitchen were slamming. She walked in the kitchen to yell at me but I wasn't there and all the cupboard doors were open. I came walking in the door and she yelled at me for scaring her. I wasn't in the house when that happened. I've talk to the ghosts telling them they are OK here, Just no appearing in the middle of the night and watching us in bed. Very strange indeed.
Annie Lane June 07, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Those are great stories, Warren. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you own a pretty interesting house. Do you know much about its history or former occupants? Maybe I could feature it in Town Pulse? Let me know if you have the time or interest! townpulse@gmail.com


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