Paranormal researcher from U.K. investigates, films at Tuttle Mansion

Paranormal researcher Don Philips (second from right) sets up his camera on the second floor of the Tuttle Mansion, preparing to interview Erika Boyd and her son Kaden Boyd of Watsonville about their paranormal experience inside the mansion seven years ago. — Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—When paranormal researcher Don Philips scheduled a visit to Watsonville’s historic and supposedly haunted Tuttle Mansion, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

After learning about the location from Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters co-founder Maryanne Porter he was intrigued, but not certain he’d conduct a full investigation.

“I don’t go on assumptions—only facts,” Philips said. “If people say, ‘This place is haunted,’ I don’t automatically walk into it thinking it will be. I warned everyone that if things felt flat at the mansion, we probably wouldn’t investigate.”

But when Philips pulled up to the Watsonville landmark on East Lake Avenue Tuesday evening, he said he was immediately hit with a strong energy.

“I parked the car, got out and bang! I felt it,” he said. “Right away I knew there was something here.”

Kathy Oliver, who owns the mansion with her twin sister Jeniffer, met Philips on Sunday in Brookdale, where the U.K.-based researcher premiered his new documentary about the famous Brookdale Lodge. Oliver, Philips and Porter organized to meet at the mansion to possibly work on another film.

Oliver said it was great to have someone with a fresh perspective visit the mansion.

“Don is amazing,” she said. “He would walk into a room, point to an area and ask me about it—and it was the exact spot where someone else previously had an encounter.”

Cameras, lights and microphones were set up on the second floor of the mansion Tuesday night. Watsonville resident Erika Boyd and her son Kaden, 10, settled onto a couch in front of a large window—where the family claims to have interacted with the ghost of Morris Tuttle seven years ago.

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The historic Tuttle Mansion in Watsonville was visited this week by a UK-based paranormal researcher Don Philips. The Victorian house, built in 1899, was designed by architect William Henry Weeks. — Johanna Miller Register-Pajaronian

Philips and the rest of the group went on to conduct a full investigation following the interviews. On Tuesday they stayed at the house until 3 a.m., and according to all who were present, some interesting things occurred in that time. Particularly, voices that were caught on recording devices—responding clearly to questions. Oliver, who admits she had never had an experience of her own, said she was blown away by the results.

“I think it’s fair to say that so far, Kathy’s been quite surprised,” Philips stated.

“Oh, absolutely,” Oliver laughed. “I might just be a believer now.”

Philips will be leaving Watsonville today, but he plans to return when he can to continue filming at the Tuttle Mansion.

“We’re a lot deeper into this than I envisioned,” he said. “It’s a fabulous place. I think we can put together something really nice.”


To keep up to date with Philips and his projects go to For information on the Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters visit


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