Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Legendary Haunted places in California #1-10

1. ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK: Vallecito Station

Once a stop on the Butterfield State Line (which boasted to take passengers from St. Louis to San Francisco in less than twenty-four days), the adobe lodge is now the home to two Texans who killed each other in a gunfight. Also, a spectral white horse appears on moonlit nights, but perhaps most famous of all is the White Lady of Vallecito. It is believed that the White Lady is Eileen O'Connor who was on her way to marry a wealthy man in Sacramento. The trip, however, was too much for her, and she died at Vallecito. She was buried in her bridal gown in the small graveyard on the site. According to local legend, she is sometimes seen rising from her grave and floating next to the stage stop, as if waiting for the next coach to arrive. One man even claims to have received a shock when he touched the White Lady. A laughing cowboy has appeared in a camper's tent and when the foundations of the restrooms were being dug, workers were surprised to discover a woman's ghost hovering above them. Current custodians at the park track the mysterious movement of rocks at the site. Frequently, large rocks are found placed in tree branches or on the corners of picnic tables. No explanation has been given for the phenomenon.

2. BARSTOW: Calico Ghost Town

Tours though an underground mine and Iron Horse train rides to the Old Workings mine in the north are just some of the attractions in Calico, an 1880s silver mining town. The spirit of Wyatt Earp, who once lived here, is said to roam the old wooden sidewalks, and the ghost of a woman named Esmeralda haunts the old Playhouse. Calico is located off I-15 about ten miles northeast of Barstow.

3. BODIE: Bodie State Historic Park

In its heyday, in the late 1870s, Bodie was a booming mining town. It had a population of ten thousand and had seventy saloons, thirty mines, three breweries, three newspapers, a school and more than a handful of whorehouses. Now, however, the only residents left in Bodie are a handful of ghosts. A former Asian maid reportedly still walks the halls of the J.S. Cain House.

Reportedly, she likes to sit on people's legs while they sleep and pin them down. In the upstairs window of the Dechambeau House, the ghost of the town busybody can still be seen peeking from the window on occasion. In the museum people have reported hearing a phantom player piano and disembodied voices have been heard in and around the Seiler House. An elderly woman still sits in her rocking chair in the Gregory House and a mother and her child haunt visitors to the Mendocini House. Guests to the Order of Odd Fellows building have heard the stomping of phantom feet on the floors. Around 4:00 P.M., in the Bodie Graveyard to the northwest of the town, a woman wearing a white dress and knitting has is often seen floating over a man's grave. Perhaps, though, the most famous ghost in the Bodie Graveyard is the "Angel of Bodie" who has been seen on numerous occasions by a variety of people. She is the spirit of a little girl who accidentally strayed too close behind a miner and was struck in the head with his pickax.

The abandoned mines in Bodie are also reported to be haunted. In 1902 a pack mule was killed by a mine car at the five-hundred-foot level in the Standard Mine. With its back broken, the miners shot the animal in pity and buried it in a depleted shaft. Soon, the sound of the dead mule's pack chains was being heard by miners and some were overwhelmed by the smell of fresh mule droppings, and yet others, working at the five-hundred-foot level, where the mule was killed - reported seeing the white animal's ghost and refused to work on that level. According to local legend, the mule still haunts the site of the Standard Mine. Also in the Standard Mine, rocks tossed down the Lent Shaft (which is 1,200-feet deep) are answered with the ghostly echo of "Hey, you!"

Lucky Boy Mine was one of the last places where gold was dug out at Bodie. It shut down after World War II and there were only six people left in the town. Shortly there after, in a drunken fight, one of the last remaining residents, by the name of Ed, shot his Native American wife with his shotgun. Her right breast was blown off by the shot and she later died in a hospital in Reno. Three of the remaining Bodie residents decided to mete out their own brand of justice against Ed. They tied him up, threw him in a local creek and kicked him in the head until he passed out and drowned. Two months later, the men started seeing the apparition of Ed's vengeful ghost, and three weeks after the first appearance, each of the vigilantes did under mysterious circumstances. One was found with a large gash in his head. Another had a hemorrhage that grossly inflated his head. The body of the third man ... was never found. Ed's ghost is still said to haunt the landscape surrounding Bodie.

Bodie is twenty-six miles southeast of Bridgeport. In Mono County, follow Highway 395 north and exit east on Highway 270, fifteen miles to the ghost town. A total of 168 structures remain standing, some dating back to 1849.

4. BRENTWOOD: Monroe House

Psychic Anton LaVey and Bob Slatzer, one of Marilyn Monroe's former husbands, claim that - on the eleventh anniversary of her death in 1973 - Marilyn's ghost appeared to them in front of the house where she died of a sleeping pill overdose on August 4, 1962. Even though she died that night in the ambulance, her body was returned to her bedroom in order to give Peter Lawford time to clean up any evidence of Monroe's affairs with the Kennedy family. Numerous psychics have claimed to have been able to contact Monroe, and all agree that she wants to send a specific message: she did not commit suicide, her death was an accidental overdose. But that's not all. According to Kenny Kingston, her psychic advisor, she contacted him while he was driving on the Pacific Palisades. She told Kingston in a psychic message that she would be reborn in December 1980 on the Isle of Capri as a boy. Also, according to a séance held in her bedroom in 1982, Monroe told those present that in a past life she had been an Aztec maiden who had been offered up as a sacrifice to the Aztec gods.

5. CALABASAS: Los Angeles Pet Cemetery

Many Hollywood pets are buried in this pet cemetery including Mary Pickford's dog, the Little Rascal's dog and Hopalong Cassidy's horse. However, the most famous ghost in this pet cemetery is Rudolph Valentino's Great Dane, Kabar. The dog passed away in 1929 and was buried here, but visitors to the cemetery report that the dog's playful phantom still haunts the area around his grave, panting and licking people who come close to his grave.

6. COLOMA: Vineyard House

In 1879, Robert Chalmers went mad. His mansion - Vineyard House - had just been completed, but he never really got to live in it. He became violent and for his own protection, as well as the protection of others, his wife Louise chained him in the basement. Robert Chalmers refused to eat and, eventually, starved to death. After Robert's death, the grapevines at the home withered away and Louise had to close the winery and turn the home into a boarding house in order to make money. Louise even went so far as to allow the basement - where her husband had been chained and died - to be rented for jail space and executions (by hanging) were performed on the front lawn. In 1913, Louise passed away and was buried next to Robert in the cemetery across from their home. Since that time, those who have owned the home have been so frightened by shining phantoms and the sounds chains rattling in the basement that they have all sold the house. In 1956, the home was turned into a hotel, but that did not stop the sightings. Guests and employees at Vineyard House have reported numerous poltergeist events; glasses move by themselves in the bar, and a Sacramento couple once left the hotel in the middle of the night, insisting they had heard someone being murdered in the next room. Sheriff's deputies, however, could find nothing wrong; recently, however, a guest reported seeing the spirit of a small boy being savagely beaten in Room 5 ... the same room that the Sacramento couple had reported hearing the bloodcurdling screaming.

7. HALF MOON BAY: Moss Beach Distillery
140 Beach Way, Moss Beach

This old speakeasy is now haunted by the specter of a woman in a blue, soaked in blood. Employees and customers have witnessed her next to the piano, outside the women's bathroom or dancing in the deserted rooms. A boy once ran from the restrooms screaming that a lady covered in blood had touched him. In February 1992, two waitresses witnessed a barstool turn somersaults across the room. The bloody woman in blue has even been seen standing in the middle of Highway 1 which runs in front of the Moss Beach Distillery. Her ghost has been sighted at the restaurant at least once or twice every year for the last fifty years. "In August 1992, all the settings in the restaurant's automatic thermostat system were mysteriously changed. The complicated reprogramming would have taken most people three or four hours to perform. 'The company told me that there was no way to could have been done except manually,' owner John Barber related, 'but I had the only access key!'" Local legend holds that the ghost that troubles the Moss Beach Distillery is that of a young woman who was stabbed to death by a jealous lover in front of the restaurant over seventy years ago.

8. HOLLYWOOD: Hollywood Roosevelt

One of the most haunted locations in Hollywood, former guests at the Hollywood Roosevelt have never really left. Hotel employees report catching glimpses of some of the stars who once stayed at the Roosevelt in the hallway mirrors.

Marilyn Monroe has been seen in the mirror that used to belong to her, which is on display in the foyer by the elevators.

Montgomery Clift has been seen on the ninth floor of the hotel, pacing the hallways and sometimes, people have reported hearing him practicing his trumpet.

The ghost of actress Carole Lombard has been seen in the suite that she once shared with Clark Gable on the top floor of the hotel.

9. HOLLYWOOD: Runyon Park

Behind the tennis court on this decrepit 148-acre estate is a pink concrete wall. On that wall is a piece of graffiti which reads "Welcome to Hell." You would be hard pressed to find a place where this epitaph would be more appropriate. The estate was originally built by singer John McCormack and later owned by Huntington Hartford (the A&P heir) and later still by Errol Flynn. However, in the 1960s, Runyon Park's most infamous residents moved in when the abandoned estate became home to Charles Manson and his "family." Today, a few brick foundations is all that stands on the site of the once glorious mansion, but neighbors say that on some summer nights, the old mansion still appears in all its glory complete with the sounds of a party and "multicolored lights" on the upper floors. In 1983, a malicious voice told psychic investigators on the property to "GET OUT!"

10. LAKE TAHOE: Emerald Bay

On the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe is Emerald Bay, and located in Emerald Bay is Fannette Island where the ghost of Dick Barter is still said to roam. By the mid-1800s, most of the land around Emerald Bay had been bought up by stagecoach magnate Ben Holladay. Dick Barter came to Lake Tahoe in 1863 to serve as Holladay's caretaker, and even though he was a sailor at heart, he soon took up the life of a hermit, only leaving Emerald Bay to buy whiskey and provisions on the South Shore of the lake. One night in January, Barter got caught in a winter storm and in order to survive the squall, tied himself to his boat. He did not make it home until the next morning, but by then it was too late for two of his toes, which had frozen. He amputated them himself when gangrene set in and kept them preserved in a jar to show people. After the storm, Barter dug a tomb and built a small chapel for himself on Fannette Island and let it be known that if he was ever found on his boat, drowned, he wanted to be buried on the island in the tomb he had made. Three years later, Barter's boat broke on the rocks at Rubicon Point. He and his boat sunk in 1,400 feet of water and he was never recovered. However, some say that Barter's ghost found its way back to Fannette Island and now haunts the tomb and chapel he built there.

No comments: