SANTA FE SPRINGS – Michael J. Kouri entered Heritage Park and immediately spotted a woman in a black, Victorian-style dress. “That’s one of the spirits that’s known to haunt the area,” he said of the woman only he could see as she dismounted a spectral horse near a barn at Santa Fe Springs’ historic Heritage Park, a restored ranch that prospered in the area until the late 1800s. Kouri tried to communicate with her, but the phantom wanted nothing to do with him. No matter. “Where there’s one spirit, there’s usually more,” he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system Kouri, you see, sees dead people. Or so the 42-year-old self-proclaimed spirit communicator has claimed in such TV show appearances as the History Channel’s “America’s Most Haunted Places – Haunted Alcatraz Island,” and the daytime talk show “The View.” He also has published books on the paranormal in which he points out haunted places in Pasadena, Monrovia, Orange County and Santa Fe Springs. Kouri says he is producing a special, “Investigating the Unknown With Michael J. Kouri,” in which he highlights ghostly spots in Santa Fe Springs. “I’m like a magnetized antenna. When I go to places that are haunted, the spirits come to me. I don’t have to go to them,” the Pasadena resident said. On Sunday, the psychic-medium led 15 people on a tour of Santa Fe Springs’ most-haunted places. He claims 75 percent of Santa Fe Springs, with its rich history as a former oil boomtown, is haunted. Among the local ghost hangouts are the small cemetery on Painter Avenue, the former oil fields along Telegraph Road, Santa Fe Springs City Hall, the Clarke Estate and Heritage Park. Tragedy, he says, is not necessary for spawning ghosts. Mostly, the spirits tend to stay in familiar places, like the woman he says he has frequently seen inside the Santa Fe Springs Library. Carrying a stack of books in her arms, the spirit seems frustrated, he says. “A lot of people have told me they’ve heard a woman screaming. If she’s angry, I think it’s because things have been changed and she can’t find her way around,” Kouri said. Librarian Joyce Ryan has never heard a ghost, but she says some of her co-workers have. “People have always been interested in the unknown,” she said. “But I also think people like to scare themselves. That’s why we go to scary movies, isn’t it?” Kouri said ghost hunting has been a pastime for more than 100 years. “People are really enamored with it because it’s interesting and different. It’s something we don’t understand fully, but we want to understand,” he said. Pat Linse, co-founder of the Skeptic Society in Altadena, is, well, skeptical. “It is fun to be scared and all that. But no one has ever come up with evidence on \.” Kouri insists his special ability began after he was hit by a car at age 8. After that, he saw an elderly woman at his Sun Valley church. The woman quickly disappeared, Kouri said. Since then, Kouri has made it his mission to help the spirits he encounters. He believes most ghosts are not malevolent, but are people who have died and not come to terms with their death. “People do what they did when they were alive, but in ghostly form. Most times they go back to a place looking for answers,” he said. “If they can’t find that, they go to a place that’s most familiar to them.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!