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Community Vista

Paranormal society offers monthly tours at the historic adobe

VISTA — San Diegans interested in a blend of history and paranormal activity may find a hidden gem at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe in Vista.

On the third Friday of every month, Nicole Strickland, the founder of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society, is one of the Spirits of the Adobe Tour hosts.

Strickland, along with her San Diego Paranormal Research Society team, began hosting the Spirits of the Adobe Tour in 2011. It started as a seasonal fundraising tour with proceeds going to benefit the Friends of the Rancho Buena Vista. The concept quickly grew in popularity.

A year later, the city of Vista, along with Strickland, decided to make the Spirits of the Adobe Tour a monthly event.

“The tours are designed to be a historical-paranormal research look at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe,” Strickland said. “The tours are designed to educate people on how history and the paranormal are so intertwined — you really can’t have one without the other.”

She went on to say that the San Diego Paranormal Research Society conducted its own independent research and learned not only about the history, but got a grasp on what was going on there spiritually.

Since her team has frequented the Adobe, Strickland said they have built a rapport with the energies there that communicate with the living. 

According to Strickland, people they have communicated with include the Couts family members, the Pollard family, Juan Gonzalez and more.

As Strickland and her team guide guests, they talk about the history, point out some artifacts and discuss some of the exciting paranormal personal experiences they have encountered.

Strickland’s team also has technology and equipment on hand, such as electronic voice phenomena, electromagnetic field detectors, motion sensors and laser grids.

While some may argue that paranormal research is not a science, others will say it is a science, or a pseudoscience.

“I think that the field is advancing, and it is becoming more of a science in its own right,” she said.

One room guests visit is the “original room,” also known as the original adobe.

“We do a little psychometry session in the original room. This was actually the first building or structure that was built on the land — inside there are original 1850s bricks,” she said. “So, we talk about psychometry in the field of supernatural research, and how a lot of intuitively inclined individuals will hold an object for a while and see if they can get impressions or emotions from certain time periods.”

The tour lasts two hours, and Strickland says it goes very quickly.

Strickland said the common thread of feedback she hears is that guests appreciate how her team approaches the tour with a very humble reverence and respect.

“This isn’t the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland,” she said. “We approach each tour as we would any paranormal research project that we would do privately.”

To learn more about the monthly Spirits of the Adobe Tour, visit

To learn more about the San Diego Paranormal Research Society, visit

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