California. The most populated state in the United States. Home of the celebrated Hollywood stars. The global trendsetter in entertainment, economics, politics, and technology. The Golden State.
With so many things to laud about California, it is no wonder that it is in the front line of tourism in the US. Even paranormal experts would agree to it. The state is also known for its many mysterious places for people who love spooky adventures.
Curious where in California you can create memories with… ghosts and supernatural creatures? Here are the top 10 most haunted places in California:
Bodie is the most well-preserved ghost town in California and the “ghost” is not just a moniker, it truly is a haunted place. Located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Mono County, Bodie towers above 8379 ft above sea level. Founded during the California Gold Rush, Bodie became a thriving boomtown in 1879 and reached a population of almost 7,000 inhabitants.
Today, Bodie is in a state of arrested decay and a real Wild West ghost town. Tales of real ghost encounters dominate the backdrop as apparitions wander the alleyways and hallways in well-preserved 18th-century homes. The town’s nefarious past doesn’t help with things either as it was once home to various outlaws and gunslingers.
10. Battery Point Lighthouse
Located in Crescent City, California, this lighthouse was built in 1856. Various spookish stories have been reported hereafter it surpassed the big tsunami that hit Northern California in 1964.
Paranormal investigators say resident ghosts are living in the lighthouse – two adults and one child ghost. Some workers and guests inside the lighthouse also say that they have heard stomping sounds around the area, as well as reports of items mysteriously moving to a new location such as slippers, rocking chairs moving on their own, and feeling that someone simultaneously touching them even when no one was around.
9. Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado is a historic hotel located at the beachfront of Coronado City in San Diego, California. Known as the second-largest wooden structure in the United States (next to the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon), it was opened in 1888 and was declared a California Historical Landmark in 1970. In 1977, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark, too.
Aside from its historic reputation, Hotel del Coronado is also famous for being a haunted place. According to some ghost hunters, they have had spooky experiences when they checked in room 3312. This is the room where a young bride named Kate Morgan checked into back in 1892. Kate was found dead on the hotel steps a few days after she checked in. Eerie reports about the room 3312 include curtains blowing despite closed windows, objects mysteriously moving on their own, murmur sounds, and some have also seen Kate’s ghost walking in the hallways.
8. Hollywood Sign
The Hollywood Sign, formerly known as the Hollywoodland Sign, is an of the most prominent landmark and cultural icons in the United States. HOLLYWOOD is spelled out in white capital letters in 45-foot (*13.7 m) tall and 350 feet (106.7 m) long.
Similar to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the famous Hollywood Sign is also known for its famous ghost, Peg Entwistle. Peg Entwistle was an actress who jumped from the letter H of the Hollywood Sign and died due to depression and career failure in September 1932. Peg’s body was only found the next day by a Mount Lee hiker. However, it was not the last time she was seen in the area. Her ghost is known to wander around the vicinity of the famous landmark.
7. Groveland Hotel Near Yosemite
The Groveland Hotel was built in 1849 and was known as “the best house” on the hill during the Gold Rush.
Haunted reports say there is a resident ghost at this hotel. He is Lyle who died in his sleep back in the 1900s. People assume that Lyle may have had some unfinished business that is why his spirit can still be felt inside the hotel.
Some odd events in the hotel’s most popular room, also known as ‘Lyle’s Room’, include guests seeing a tall, thin guy with a bearded face and a straw hat that resembles Lyle’s features. He is known to dislike ladies’ cosmetics under his dresser, so some guests’ makeups either gets knocked down to the floor or gets carried to the bathroom, mysteriously. Some have also seen water faucets turning on and off in the room.
According to some paranormal experts, Lyle has two ghost buddies inside the Groveland Hotel. One is a man who died in a violent card game event, while the other one is a young ride wandering around the courtyard while looking for her groom.
6. Winchester Mystery House
If you have watched the Winchester movie, you will not doubt the fact that the Winchester House in San Jose is a popular destination of people seeking high-strung experiences.
The Winchester Mystery House is a personal residence-turned-mansion owned by Sarah Winchester, wife of the late renowned firearm manufacturer William Wirt Winchester. A seer told Sarah that the ghosts of gunshot victims had killed both her husband and child. She had to build a house, known today as the Winchester House, to keep away the spirits of the ghosts.
The house has odd features including staircases that are directly connected to the ceilings, doors with nowhere to go, and windows that take you to secret passages.
Some say Sarah did not hire an architect to build the house and that she peculiarly designed the house to confuse the ghosts.
5. The Whaley House
With its mid-nineteenth century Greek Revival architecture, the Whaley House has been open to the public as a historic house museum since 1960. The house attracts over 125,000 tourists annually, making it one of southern California’s top tourist destinations.
The reason for its thousands of visitors? Its eccentric story.
The house is said to have witnessed more history than any other buildings in San Diego. This town courthouse turned museum was also the home of Thomas Whaley and his family. The death of his infant son, Thomas, Jr., the suicide of his daughter, Violeta, and the death of his wife and their remaining children a few years later, have brought the house its identity as the most haunted house in the United States.
4. RMS Queen Mary
Known as the ‘Grey Ghost’ troopship during World War II, the RMS Queen Mary was built in 1936. It made its last voyage in 1967 before docking in the Long Beach harbor in California. Ever since its final cruise at the harbor, Queen Mary has remained as a floating luxury hotel, museum, and tourist attraction.
Before serving as a warship and transporting the members of the army during World War II, the Queen Mary used to be a luxury ship. During its first three years on the ocean, it used to carry various notable persons such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and General Dwight Eisenhower.
Haunted stories inside the Queen Mary began due to the number of deaths during its tenure in the ocean. Around 47 people died here when it was still a luxury cruise liner, while countless military personnel and children died during the war.
Currently, the retired ship turned luxury hotel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole United States. Since it is considered as the most paranormal ship among other cruises in America (beating the Titanic, the USS Olympia, and the Star of India), the hotel ship also offers “Ghosts and Legends Tour”.
Its most haunted room, the Suite B-340, is known to have the majority of the spookiest events reported. Reports claim that a crew member was killed inside this room. Some guests report that faucets inside the room keep turning on and off. The toilet flushes on its own and unknown strange steps can be heard.
3. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The 12-story historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was opened in 1927 at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. This star-studded hotel was often used for movie premiere after-parties, as well as the venue for the first Oscars.
The hotel is also famous for its glamorous ghost, Marilyn Monroe. According to reports, Monroe is still haunting in her old suite, room 1200; where she used to live during her fame. According to a maintenance worker of the hotel, some guests in that room have seen Marilyn in the mirror.
Also, the four-time Academy Award actor Montgomery Clift, who died in 1966, is believed to be actively staying in his former room, Room 928, as well as in the hallway of the hotel. Clift’s ghost is known to brush up against people. Some guests have seen his shadow in the hallways and have heard him practicing trumpet.
Known as the “supermax” federal prison, Alcatraz (which means “strange birds” or pelicans), is a famous security prison in San Francisco Bay.
Many tourists today visit the prison because of its haunted history. It is known as one of the cruelest and most inhumane prisons in the United States during its prime.
Alcatraz was initially a fort in 1850 but later became an official U.S. military prison in 1907 until 1933. Paranormal investigators believe that the spirits of the tortured prisoners in Alcatraz are seeking revenge.
Some reports of inexplicable events say they have heard the sound of someone playing banjo inside the prison. They believe that it is the spirit of Al Capone (also known as Scarface) who is one of the most famous American gangsters. He was a prisoner of Alcatraz, who tried to avoid getting killed by playing banjo inside the shower room.
1. “Suicide Bridge”
The beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California, soon became known as the “Suicide Bridge” because of the dozens of people who jumped to death here since the early part of the 20th century. In 2016, there were temporary anti-suicide barriers installed on the sidewalk and inside the balustrade, blocking the seating alcoves which are the primary expressway of suicide victims. However, numerous suicide deaths were still reported in 2017 and 2018, despite these anti-suicide barriers.
With more than a hundred suicide victims on this bridge, it is not surprising to know about ghosts constantly haunting in its vicinity. Some have heard inexplicable cries from the canyon, while others have seen a man wearing wire-rimmed glasses wandering the bridge. Other visitors have reported seeing a woman in a long flowing robe, standing at the top of the ramparts.