The Foxfire Restaurant
Anaheim Hills, CA
This 2017 New Year rang in our one year anniversary of the classified case of the Foxfire Restaurant that has been sealed ¬for more than a year. We have some interesting memories of our investigation of this location, so we felt that it was time to pull this case from the archive and dig deeper into the mystery of the Foxfire Restaurant and murderous Larry Burgoon.
If you have lived in Southern California within the past 35 to 40 years, it is likely that you have heard of the Anaheim Hills staple, the Foxfire, commonly known as the “cougar den,” and for those who love said “cougars.” As of February 2016, the Foxfire officially closed its doors after over 35 years of business. The Foxfire did not shut its doors due to lack of patronage. Unfortunately, the shopping center in which it was located was going to be adding new business establishments – specifically a BevMo now stands in the location where the Foxfire once stood, and presumably the cougars now must find another den. Fortunately, Orange County Ghosts and Legends had the great honor of investigating this legendary establishment prior to the closure.
We are going to share the history, legends and occurrences during our investigation. It is safe to say that most people have no idea of the local legends and haunted history of the Foxfire.
The Foxfire was never investigated for paranormal activity and never will be again due to its closure and demolition. Orange County Ghosts and Legends are honored to have had this opportunity and we couldn’t have been met with more gracious and hospitable hosts, notably the Foxfire’s manager Michelle Valencia. At the time of our investigation, the restaurant was in its final month of operation and the last thing we wanted to do was take any attention away from its final glorious moments. So, we stepped in quietly and discreetly and went to work on January 3, 2016. Client confidentiality is critical in our business and it just wasn’t the right time to reveal the findings of our investigation… until now!
Before our investigation took place, we conducted a briefing and walkthrough with the manager Michelle. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to work with. It’s no surprise why the Foxfire had remained open all those years when you have people who genuinely loved the establishment, and welcomed patrons (and paranormal investigators!) with open arms.
Michelle reviewed with us some of the staff reports as well as any personal unexplained encounters she had in the restaurant. Some reported cases of potential paranormal activity ranged from your typical shadow apparitions, doors closing on their own, strange movement and sound coming from a vacant and empty bar after closing, and feelings of dread and discomfort in one of the dining halls.
Michelle admitted to having significant discomfort in a particular dining hall. She often felt that something or someone did not want her there. She avoided walking down that hall at all costs – especially when alone in the building after hours. Naturally, we had compassion and concern for her discomfort. She brought us to said hall, and there was indeed something very off about it…Very unsettling to say the least! We knew we would need to address this during the investigation.
There were two sides to the building. When you walk in the front door, you have your bar area with pool tables, dining tables, a dance floor, stage and two bars on opposite ends of each other. On the right hand side of the entrance was where folks could dine quietly. Admittedly, the dining room on the right hand side felt a lot heavier and brought forth many situations of discomfort. The dining area had been closed as the final days of the Foxfire were upon us. If you didn’t know any better, the building itself from the front didn’t look or appear that large. However, when you walk inside the place is huge. Rooms are large, with a vast kitchen and huge patio. We knew we had a lot of ground to cover!
WHAT WE KNOW
According to county records, the land itself until 1979 was citrus groves with no visible structures. Anaheim City records tell us that in 1979 the building was constructed and operated under the name of “Griswold’s Smorgasbord.” For any long time locals, this may ring a bell for you. We discovered old Griswold’s signage and other items in the attic as well, confirming the location’s history. In 1981 – 1982, a new listed owner took out permits to remodel the interior and exterior of the existing building, which then evolved into the Foxfire Restaurant.
The Foxfire had a dark past due to a tragic incident of murder and attempted suicide on October 27, 1989. Details of the event were understandably not clear as it took place more than 25 years ago. Needless to say, it was imperative to dig up old records and articles on this homicide to get a clear picture of what really occurred. At the time of our initial walkthrough and briefing, we only had a ballpark timeframe in reference to when the homicide took place. The best guess that was provided was that it was believed to have taken place around the time of the Nicole Brown Simpson murder and/or trial with O.J. Simpson. We knew this infamous case took place in 1994. So, with this lead to run on, we went to the Anaheim Heritage Society and did some digging. Looking through archives of 1994 uncovered thousands of articles! It was suggested that we broaden our search and look within a five year time frame – Talk about a needle in a haystack! We couldn’t be more grateful to Jane at the Heritage Society who worked some magic and miraculously identified the case in question. We don’t know how she did it, but we didn’t ask questions. She was a miracle worker, and really good at her job!
As it turned out, we uncovered news articles dating back to 1989, which was when the incident took place. See below:
Unfortunately, we have been unable to establish what has happened to Larry Burgoon. Is he still alive? Out on parole? Moved out of the state? Or deceased? Do you know Larry Burgoon or can you shed any light on the situation? We welcome all comments, input and leads in order to bring some closure to our investigation!
OUR INVESTIGATION RESULTS
The Foxfire manager, Michelle, she mentioned that she had an uneasy feeling while in the dining area of the restaurant. She described that she always felt as though she was being watched. Our goal was to address this and help Michelle feel more at ease during her last days at the restaurant. With the help of our medium, and Michelle in tow, we made sure to set some boundaries with what entities may be stalking Michelle and the dining room. According to Michelle, this did help, and at the conclusion of the investigation, she said she felt much better, lighter and at peace with this area of the restaurant.
The Balding Man
The medium that was present during this investigation had little to no knowledge of the location prior to her arrival. However, she described in great detail a man who was pacing the dance floor angrily. She described his attire down to his half balding head, and that he was pacing the dance floor in a flustered and territorial manner. He created a strong presence in this area, and unfortunately, we do not know what Larry Burgoon looks like, so we are unable to say whether it could be him.
The Kelly Lynne EVP
The most notable occurrence while investigating the Foxfire happened while we were preparing for our investigation. Our investigator, Kelly Lynne, was sitting along in the main bar area, patiently waiting for the investigation to begin. Fortunately, at that time she was near an audio recorder, and we had all audio/visual (AV) equipment in place – Prepared to capture any occurrences. Through our analysis of the audio/visual data at this precise time, we discovered a clear audio EVP saying Kelly Lynne’s name while she was sitting at the main bar area seemingly alone! This EVP was picked up not only on the audio recorder near Kelly Lynne, but also on nearby AV equipment as well. To have this EVP captured on not just one, but two devices, supplements our theory of potential supernatural activity at the Foxfire.
As we always do when we discover a potential EVP, we attempt to verify or debunk. We cross referenced the locations of our team through viewing video data at this time, and all team members were accounted for and none were near Kelly Lynne at the time we captured the EVP. We can confidently say that the voice we captured is not a member of the team or any other guest or individual, as proven by the video footage showing each person in their perspective rooms (away from the bar). Kelly Lynne has also reviewed the audio and video evidence and confirms that it is not her own voice.
We have this EVP for your review, and encourage you to take a listen – Please see the included video below of the EVP we captured saying “Kelly Lynne.”
What makes the situation even more interesting was that during the investigation we were using an ovilus. An ovilus is a device that converts environmental readings into words and can hypothetically be used to communicate with the other side. That night, the ovilus was throwing out key words that were very relatable to Kelly Lynne’s history. Kelly Lynne grew up on the East Coast, and several of the words coming from the ovilus were associated with that, such as “Philadelphia.” Now, the word “Philadelphia” is not a word that can be mistaken for any other word – It is a very distinct and clear word, and very specific – Specific to a location, a person, and perhaps a history. While a response from the ovilus device is hardly ‘proof’ of the supernatural, we felt it was important to note the interesting correlation in relation to this possible E.V.P singling out Kelly Lynne.
Unfortunately due to closure and demolition of the Foxfire, we were unable to conduct a second investigation to see if we could debunk or validate some of the audio clips we obtained. Our general consensus is that there were more personal feelings and sensations that people experienced on their own, rather than physical or visual apparitions. That is at least in reference to our investigation. However, our Kelly Lynne EVP does lend that there may be some intelligent entities that resided at the Foxfire. We cannot discount or ignore the multiple reports from the staff over the years. With that being said, just because we couldn’t validate specific supernatural claims from this historic location, does not mean they didn’t happen.
What are your thoughts on our investigation? Perhaps you were once a patron of the Foxfire and have some fond memories to share? Did you personally know Larry Burgoon? Have you ever had an uneasy feeling at the Foxfire? Did you ever have an encounter with the balding man? Or was your name ever whispered into your ear while sitting alone at the bar? We are open to hearing all theories and experiences that patrons of this beloved cougar den may have experienced!
Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any helpful information to help us close this case