When most people think of The Golden State, they think of golden beaches, sunshine and of course, Hollywood. What you may not know is that California is home to some of the most scary locations in the country.
We are going to go through the most haunted places in California that will give you the chills. For all you paranormal hunters and enthusiasts, you can visit some of these places. In case you decide to do so, always keep the trespassing laws in mind.
1. The Wonderland Massacre Site
The Wonderland Massacre Site is located in Los Angeles. This is among the haunted places with grizzly back-stories. Four murders took place at this spot back in July 1981. The murders came to be known as The Wonderland murders or the Four on the Floor Murders.
Nightclub owner and organized crime figure Eddie Nash is thought to have orchestrated the murders. Three members of the Wonderland Gang; Billy Deverell, Ron Launius, and Joy Miller, were killed in a known drug house The fourth victim was accomplice Barbara Richardson.
Although the police made some arrests, the murders have never been solved. The locals say that you can hear the voices of the murder victims who supposedly still linger in the area. This is one place I definitely wouldn’t want to be.
2. Queen Mary Hotel
You can find the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach. This unique hotel was once an ocean liner It is now permanently docked at Long Beach. It is widely recognized among the most haunted hotels not only in California but also in the entire world.
The Queen Mary Hotel is immensely popular with paranormal researchers and enthusiast. The ship has a long history going back to the 1930s. Strange events have occurred throughout this period. Two female spirits supposedly haunt the First Class swimming pool. The two women drown there in the 1930s and 1960s respectively.
Psychics who visit the spot note that they feel some negative presence emanating from the pool’s changing rooms. There are also reports of a lady spirit at the Queen’s Salon, a 1930s male haunting the First Class suites and children making sounds near the storage room.
These are just a few of the paranormal disturbances reported at the Queen Mary Hotel. There are numerous other stories that are associated with this spot. You can go check it out if you are brave enough. Maybe you will come back with the haunted story of your own.
3. Alcatraz Island
Just off California’s Pacific coastline, the Alcatraz Island housed some of the country’s most notorious and violent criminals. The Island prison was operational for nearly 30 years. Alcatraz prison locked up a number of infamous felons including Al Capone and Alvin Karpis as far away as possible from the general public.
The facility was said to be cold, damp and constantly foggy. Alcatraz Prison was closed back in 1963, but it still remains one of the most haunted locations in the country. Some ghosts still linger in the empty prison cells.
There have been reports of some strange phenomenon at the prison. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises such as slamming doors, sobbing, screams and marching footsteps. The weird thing is that the spot draws in throngs tourists from around the country.
4. Greystone Mansion
You can find the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. This 55-room mansion has an incredible history It was the scene of a tragic murder and suicide back in 1929. Ned Doheny and his family moved into the mansion in 1929.
A few months later, Doheny was killed by Hugh Plucket who was his secretary. The official story is that Hugh Plucket lost his mind and killed Ned since he wouldn’t give him a raise. Plucket then turned the gun on himself. Ned’s Widow Lucy later sold the property to Paul Troutsdale.
It eventually became the property of Chicago industrialist Henry Crown, who sold it to the city of Beverly Hills in 1965. In 1971, it was opened as a city park. It remains open to the public. To this day, the mansion is rumoured to be haunted.
A number of visitors have reported seeing the apparition of a man walking the mansion’s hallways. Could this man be Ned Doheny or even Hugh Plucket? Makes you wonder. You could go and try to confirm these reports.
Other visitors claim to have seen a pool of blood in the guest room. This is where the murder/suicide occurred. Apparently, the pool happens to disappear when you notice it
5. The Silent Movie Theatre
The Silent Movie Theatre is now home to Cinefamily and is located in Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles. The ghost of the property’s first two owners are said to haunt the theatre. John Hampton launched the theatre back in 1942.
He dedicated his life to the preservation of silent film. Unfortunately, he used some toxic chemicals that gave him cancer eventually. After Hampton died in the early 90s, Lawrence Austin reopened the silent movie theatre.
He too would have terrible luck as he was shot and died in the lobby. His lover, who was also his projectionist, supposedly orchestrated the murder People in the area say that Austin haunts the lobby area while Hampton covers the upstairs lounge. In any case, I have always found silent movies a little weird and creepy.
6. The Knickerbocker Hotel
The Knickerbocker Hotel is currently a senior living facility. It is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. This place is one of the most eerie places in Los Angeles. The Knickerbocker Hotel was originally constructed as an apartment back in 1925.
According to reports from visitors, Rudolph Valentino haunts the bar while you can find Marilyn Monroe’s ghost hanging out in the ladies’ room. There are several other sightings at the spot. There is plenty of fodder for these ghost sightings. Director OW Griffith died in the hotel lobby. Actress Frances Farmer was arrested at the location as she sank towards insanity.
Perhaps the most interesting story surrounding this hotel is that of Harry Houdini’s widow, Bess. Following Houdini’s death on Halloween in 1926, Bess tried to contact him each year through a seance on the Knickerbocker Hotel roof. She tried this unsuccessfully for ten years.
7. The Glen Tavern Inn
The Glen Tavern Inn is located in Santa Paula. This inn was constructed in 1911 and features the old English Tudor style. The building’s beauty may mask its ugly past. The Glen Tavern Inn has an eventful history with some dark moments.
The stars of the times once frequented this building. However, the inn experienced an economic downfall following prohibition. The third floor of the building was converted into a speakeasy, gambling den, and brothel.
The hypothesis is that the paranormal activities reported here are connected to these three establishments. The Glen Tavern Inn is said to house a number of different ghosts. The most well known are the ghosts in Room 307.
Supposedly, they are the ghosts of a cowboy named Calvin and an unknown prostitute. People describe Calving as a tall slender man with long hair and a goatee. He wears a white shirt. Visitors have seen him walking through well and even taking photographs.
8. Bangor Fire Station 55
Bangor Fire Station 55 is situated in Butte County Firefighters began reporting paranormal sightings at the station in early 2009. According to reports, the ghosts would pin down firefighters on their beds or pull ignition cords from the fire engine The ghosts are also implicated in several others mischievous deeds inflicted on the poor firefighters.
One of the ghosts could be heard wailing and screeching loudly in the station. Fire Station 55 was torn down and replaced in 2011. At this point, the unexplained phenomena around the station stopped. The demolition apparently freed the spirits. Urban legend has it that the spirits still haunt the hills of Bangor.
9. Lincoln Heights Jail
The Lincoln Heights Jail is located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is a former jail building and is reportedly haunted by seven inmates. Back in December 1951, members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPO) severely beat seven prisoners at the jail.
The unprovoked assault came to be known as 917Bloody Christmas’. The novel and subsequent film LA. Confidential are based on the incident. The Lincoln Heights Jail was closed in 1965. From 1979 up until 2014, the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts was housed in the building. Parts of the 1984 horror film Nightmare on Elm Street was filmed her. The seven inmates who were beaten 67 years ago are said to still haunt the building.
10. El Adobe de Capistrano
El Adobe de Capistrano is a restaurant situated in San Juan Capistrano. The building housing the restaurant has been operation since 1948. It also hosts another historic adobe. US President Richard Nixon who resided in the nearby San Clemente frequented the spot being one of his favorites. The southern portion of the restaurant was the Juzgado courts and jails from 1812 while the northern portion was the home of Miguel Yorba in 1797.
The Juzgado jail cell is currently the restaurant’s wine cellar This wine cellar is rumored to harbor a ghost. There have also been reports of headless friar (brother members of one of the mendicant orders) walking about at the front of the restaurant.
11. The Whaley House
The Whaley House is a historic National Landmark located in San Diego. The Thomas Whaley family built the house in 1857. The Whaley House has been host to the town courthouse, a theatre, a general store, a morgue and a granary. That is a pretty interesting combination of establishments for one building. The house was at one point a commercial hub in the early San Diego days.
The house is currently a museum, and the Thomas Whaley family members and an unknown man haunt the spot. The man was reportedly hanged at the location before the Whaley House was constructed. Life Magazine once called it the most haunted house in America. You can visit the museum to try to ascertain the truthfulness of that claim.
12. The Queen Anne Hotel
The Queen Anne Hotel is a unique Victorian building situated on Sutter Street, San Francisco. It began its life in 1890 as a girls boarding school called the Miss Mary Lake’s School for Girls. Over the next few decades, the building became the Cosmos Gentleman’s Club and then the Episcopal Dioceses’ Girls Friendly Society Lodge.
The building was not used for fifty years until 1980. It was renovated and reopened as the Queen Anne Hotel you know today. The headmaster of the girl’s boarding school, Mary Lake is believed to haunt the hotel to date. In 2003, the television show Haunted Hotels explored the paranormal history of the hotel in the episode Where Spirits Speak.
13. Calvary Cemetery
The Calvary Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery in the Hanford community of East Los Angeles. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles runs the cemetery. The land upon which the cemetery is built is open, flat and often appears peaceful. However, some horrors may lie inside.
Visitors have reported seeing a glowing wraith of an elderly woman near one of the cemetery’s mausoleums. The woman is always dressed in white. The visitors usually describe the woman’s eyes as bright yellow or bright green.
Another report is that one of the mausoleums opens itself during some of the nights (especially on Friday’s). The cemetery is also home to the Ghost on the Hill story. Motorists report seeing an apparition standing on top of a hill that overlooks the cemetery.
The locals suspect that it could be the ghost of Thomas Ceuta Reynolds. Reynolds allegedly committed suicide in 1887 after a bout of depression following the death of his wife five years earlier.
14. Juvenile Ranch Facility
You can locate The Juvenile Ranch Facility in Campo. Formerly the site of the old military base Camp Lockett, it is currently an abode for runaways. They receive training to develop skills through which they can have meaningful careers.
The spirit of a protective elderly man is said to accompany the smell of smoke at the location. The man prevents children from hurting themselves. Visitors can hear the old man moving about and sometimes he turns the lights off.
One soldier committed suicide at the location. You can see his ghost looking out of a window near the dayroom. There have been several other paranormal sightings including former soldiers marching down the pathways and a child who fell to his death from a nearby cliff.
15. Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House is located in San Jose and has lived up to its name. Construction of the house began in 1884. The construction never actually stopped until the death of the owner, Sarah Winchester, in September 1922.
Current estimates reveal that Sarah spent more than $ 5 million constructing the huge house You may wonder why she would spend such an insane amount of money on the house The story goes that she was convinced that the victims killed by a Winchester Rifle haunted her house The Winchester Rifle is the famous line of rifles produced by Sarah’s husband.
According to Sarah, keeping on the building was the only way to stop the spirits. By some accounts, construction of the house proceeded around the clock. The Winchester Mystery House is a designated California historic landmark and is open to the public. For the paranormal hunters out there, you can proceed to investigate whether the Winchester Rifle victims still linger around the house.
16. Los Coches Adobe
The Los Coches Adobe in Soledad is undoubtedly one of the most eerie-looking places in California. It was formerly the site of a mine in the early days. A terrifying accident happened one day where more than 30 miners were trapped after the mine collapsed. The locals say the tragedy left a stain on the surrounding land.
Visitors and residents state that they have heard the screams of the miners coming from an old well on the premises. There are several sightings of a male phantom and a woman in black walking around the area. Some residents even claim to see an apparition of a man dangling from a tree on the outskirts of the property.
17. East 8 Mile Road
Sometimes, a haunted site is not a building or place. Stretches of the road can also be haunted. Among the most haunted roads in California is the East 8 Mile Road in Stockton.
A malevolent witch is rumored to appear on the road. A number of drivers have reported seeing a scary-looking woman wearing a tattered white dress. The woman always stands in the middle of the carriageway. Urban legend has it that if you turn to take a second look at the woman, she will be seated in your back seat.
Other reports detail the story of a Native American girl who wandered around the road. She always appears on the full moon nights and locals can hear her screaming into the night. Anyone up fore California road trip?
18. Griffith Park
Griffin Park is located in Crystal Springs, Los Angeles. This place is all kinds of haunted. Supposedly, the paranormal history of the park dates back to the 19th century. At the time, Don Antonio Feliz owned the park.
Don Feliz left the property to Don Antonio Coronal. The land was meant to go to his niece, Dona Petronilla Feliz. Industrialist Griffith J. Griffith after whom the park is named eventually bought the land. Rumor has it that Griffith donated the park to the city as a way of getting rid of the tainted property. One account reveals that Griffith’s priced Ostriches were stampeded at night.
The ghosts of Don Antonio Feliz, Griffith J. Griffith, Dona Petronilla Feliz, an unknown young girl and several other people haunt the park. There are also unsubstantiated reports of some humanoid creature that roams around the place.
19. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel competes with the Knickerbocker Hotel for the title of most celebrity hauntings. One notable story is that the ghost of Marilyn Monroe can be seen in Suite 1200. Apparently, she appears in a full-length mirror located in the suit. Monroe stayed at this suite when she initially started becoming famous.
When you visit Room 928, it is said that you may encounter the ghost of Montgomery Clift. Clift lived here while shooting the film From Here to Eternity According to one psychic the ghosts of Betty Grable, Humphrey Bogart and Carmen Miranda also haunt the hotel. Also, the hotel’s Blossom Room has a cold spot where a sharply dressed 1930s era man hangs around.
20. Colorado Street Bridge
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena was constructed back in 1912 The bridge spans the Arroyo Seco River and was once part of Route 66. Starting from the early 1930s, it has been referred to as the Suicide Bridge.
The first case of someone jumping to their death off the bridge was in 1919. There have been at least one hundred suicides committed at the bridge since then. Many of the suicides occurred during the Great Depression.
Currently, there are about ten deaths a year reported at the Colorado Street Bridge. Naturally, a number of ghosts are said to haunt the bridge. This includes the ghost of one worker who fell during its construction.
21. Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town is one of the many small mining towns that sprung up during the silver rush. Hundreds of miner lived in this old town. Suddenly, people started to leave the town, and it remains empty to this day. Researchers attribute the exodus to mysterious diseases and disappearances at the time.
You can join the many paranormal hunters who frequently visit the ghost town every year. The scariest part of the town is the Calico Ghost Town Cemetery. There is a campsite here if you are brave enough to spend the night. Some campers have reported waking up with bruises on their bodies that were not present the day before.
Visitors often see lights flickering although no one has lived there for years. One psychic from California visited the place to investigate the stories. She reported witnessing balls of light floating above the empty streets. It is said that some of the men who died in the mines still wander the town.
There are many other haunted places in California. They include Stevenson House, The Fallon Hotel, Hotel Leger, Vineyard House, Linda Vista Community Hospital, The Pierpont Inn, The Sonora Inn and the Stanly Ranch Museum among others.
Do you know of haunted hidden gems in California? You can let me know in the comments if you have had any paranormal experiences at certain spots around the Golden State.
Don’t forget to check out other states as well: