Haunted Rancho de Cielo
Since the death of Ronald Reagan, it is rumored that many spooky occurrences are taking place up at the Reagan Ranch. Reagan's Rancho de Cielo (the Spanish word ‘cielo’ means heaven), nestled in the hills above Santa Barbara, was Reagan's ‘favorite place on Earth.’ The hacienda-style ranch (neighbor to Michael Jackson's blighted Neverland) is preserved in the exact condition as when the Reagans lived there, as if they just stepped out and will return at any moment. Even Ronald Reagan's favorite jelly bean jar is still there complete with a few uneaten beans.
During his lifetime, Reagan kept several horses in the stable. He made sure that the Secret Service horses ate from separate hay troughs, as he did want American taxpayers paying to feed his own horses. On the riding trails at the ranch, Reagan rode a white Arabian stallion named El Alamein (meaning ‘two flags’) given to him by Jose' Lopez Portillo, President of Mexico. A white horse is a symbol for conquest on the battlefield, likewise Christ returns on a white horse. Visitors to the ranch now report seeing a peculiar figure on horseback, dressed in a cowboy hat and jeans jacket, galloping near the perimeter of the rugged 688-acre property. When guests ask at the office, who is the historical reenactor is, the baffled ranch staff say ‘There in no one at the ranch matching that description.’ Has the spirit of Reagan (like the equestrian ghost of George Washington at Mt. Vernon) returned to the place on where he found the most peace? Sometimes when the 1500 square foot ranch house is unlocked in the mornings, inexplicably Reagan's leather Bible (given to the president by the Cowboy Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes) is found next to his bed, opened to chapter six of Revelation, ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.’ Could the ‘Gipper’ be sending a message from beyond the grave — a warning that the apocalypse is drawing nigh? It is as though the spirit of Reagan is linked to the Pale Rider of Revelation.
At the ranch Ronald Reagan's favorite form of relaxation was hard physical outdoor labor like building fences, clearing trails, removing overgrown bush, trimming trees, and chopping wood. Soon after Reagan's death, the ranch foreman reported hearing, in the early morning, the sound of an ax chopping wood. When he goes to check it out — nothing is there. At daybreak he occasionally finds a neat pile of newly split logs (although the ranch’s two fireplaces are no longer in use). Ronald Reagan once said, ‘When the Lord calls me home, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for the future.’ At the ranch, Reagan created a pet cemetery for his favorite dogs and other animals that includes headstones hand-carved by the President himself. Reagan Ranch Visitor Center pr states, ‘Rancho del Cielo conveys the true spirit of Reagan. The very essence of his character is found here at the ranch.’ Reagan often called his Santa Barbara ranch, ‘Heaven itself.’ Could it be that the ghost of Reagan has been drawn back to the place he considered the nearest thing to paradise on Earth? Perhaps for the spirit of Reagan, Rancho de Cielo is truly Heaven.
Reagan Ranch Center
217 State Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101