to one of the oldest standing building in Pasadena's Old Town. It was built in the 1880s,
but the history of the land goes back even longer than that!”
.....California was claimed from Mexico in 1846,
during the Bear Flag Revolt, and actually ceded to the US by the treaty of Guadeloupe
Hildalgo in 1848, after the Mexican War. California became the 31st state in 1850.
When the earliest settlers arrived in this area, they found an old abandon Spanish
mission on this site, and even then, it was avoided by the locals. There were
rumors that prisoners were kept in the missions catacombs, being used as jails
during the war, and that the prisoners mysteriously disappeared or worse, were
found literally, crazed, frightened into insanity. The superstitious locals thought
evil lived there.
the desirable Pasadena area didn't stop progress, and eventually, the mission
was leveled, and this building was constructed. It became the 1st National Bank
of Pasadena in the late 1890s, but they only stayed until 1904, where they moved
a block away to Fair Oaks and Colorado. It was a costly move, but the bank president
claimed “This move was necessary to continue a successful business and to properly
serve the citizens of Pasadena”. But most residents knew the bank was trying get
away from the stigma of mystery of the “Ghosts of the Bank Robbers”. Story has
it, in 1901, 3 bank robbers successfully entered the bank, blew open 2 of the
bank’s basement vault safes, but failed to get away. The building was surrounded
by local sheriffs, and then ... they just disappeared. Legend has it that their
dynamite explosions, not only open the vaults, but they opened the sealed off
catacombs, which apparently, they tried to flee thru ... never to be heard of
again ... even though every gold piece stolen was recovered! Soon after, the bank
experienced strange things. Strange sounds, empty screams, and finally the disappearance
of 2 bank employees and a bank customer that started rumors flying about the “Ghosts
of the Bank Robbers” getting revenge on the living. This of course was later dismissed
as a local myth.
13, 1919- Union Savings Bank is unable to keep customers coming into the bank
1923 First Trust and Savings Bank of Pasadena opens in the infamous building.
1929 Pasadena is growing and Colorado Blvd. must endure a massive street widening
project. All buidings are to lose approximately 15 feet and the new fronts of
the buildings must be redecorated. During the excavation the basement and catacombs
must be opened to allow construction workers access. Panic ensues when the remains
of 12 Pasadena citizens are found in the catacombs. The bank immediately ceases
operation and an investigation finds that the bodies of the deceased were hideously
1937- the First National Bank opens on the site. Customers and employees continuously
report of a foul odor coming from the basment. The catacombs are not opened, however
and the bank operates successfully until 1943.
in 1946, after the end of World War 2, when Pasadena started to expand, a new
sewer system was needed to handle the growing population. But right at the intersection
of Raymond and Colorado, the sewer workers broke into what was later determined
to be the old Spanish catacombs, yes, the discovery of human remains of what appeared
to be the missing bank robbers. The only thing not explained is that the body
parts where found “scattered about, and found spread out over several different
areas of the underground”. Then, after several mishaps, collapsing caverns, and
even disappearing sewer workers, the city abandoned the sewer plans. They moved
to another location, amongst whispers of ancient curses, and the catacombs were
again sealed up.
1955 -The United California Bank opens in the building and once again uses the
vaults first used in 1898.
then, various reports of hideous screams, and odors of decay were found reported
since then, especially in the 60's. Then, investigations lead to finding an enormous
amounts of dead animals; cats, dogs, rats, etc., found in various states of decay.
No other information is found, but the basement was sealed shut, no trespassing
signs posted, and only rumors remained. The upstairs office and street level spaces
are rented out ... for a discount!!
2005 An old grate is discovered under a trash can on the sidewalk at 85 E. Colorado
at the corner of 20 N. Raymond in front of a Subway restaurant. The grate is over
the basement and catacomb area of this troubled bank building. Now that the trash
can is removed, a hideous odor is coming from this grate. Stop by and have a smell.
Sometimes reports of sounds and distant cries can be heard. Currently, police
are trying to get a warrant to gain access to the underground section of the building
for an investigation. In Pasadena warrants can take up to 90 days by the time
the court grants the request.
5, 2005 The basement and catacombs have been purchased by an unknown Kansas resident
by the name of Ned Lamper. The new owner has strangely denied access for the police.
The Star News reports that his plans are to allow the general public to explore
the underground vaults and catacombs, with the high, fast rising real estate prices,
with commercial space at a premium, a business tries to rent the basement space
for office space, but upon opening of the basement, new areas were discovered,
including no fewer than 36 bodily remains were found in various parts of the basement,
begin September 25, 2009