I find the concept of ghosts to be utterly fascinating. As far as horror movies go, ghost related flicks are the only ones I’ll watch over and over again. I can kill an entire day watching Ghost Adventures and The Dead Files. I have an app on my iPhone called Ghost Radar that lets me record EVPs, see ghosts using a radar sweep, detect EMF spikes, etc. You could say I’m obsessed with the paranormal. I don’t know if it’s because the idea of life after death is intriguing, or if it’s because there’s something about the paranormal that draws out my dark, morbid curiosity of the eerie and unexplained.
Why do some people, some spirits, remain among the living after death? Can they really communicate with us? What is it like to be in their strange realm, walking beside us and yet not really with us? Do they see the sun the way we do? Or do they dwell in perpetual darkness, hovering on that thin line between life and what awaits us beyond?
I took my obsession with these ghostly questions and I wrote a book about it. Okay, it’s also a total romance, but the plot of the story centers on a haunted house and ghost hunting (for those who know me, I can never write something without including romance. And just to be clear, the ghosts are NOT the ones who fall in love. I saved the romance for the living). The book, So Fell the Sparrow, releases in November. Until then, I want to do a blog series about all things paranormal. They will debut every Friday from now until November 21st (release day). I hope you’ll tune in for each one, as I promise to divulge a ton of spooky and ghostly information I picked up during my research for the book. Also, on September 21st, be sure to pick up the prequel short story, Gypsy of Spirits!
So sit back, grab a ghostly drink (Bloody Mary, anyone?) and turn out the lights because it’s about to get spooky up in here!
I wanted to go into some background on paranormal happenings in my hometown, because my love of ghosts stems from these places. I was born and raised just north of Los Angeles in a city called Santa Clarita. SoCal is not what you normally picture when you talk about haunted locations, but we have our fair share of town folklore that’s highly paranormal. We’re no Salem, but you can bet there are ghosts here.
One of the more famous haunted locations here in SCV is the Heritage Junction located in Old Town Newhall. The oldest buildings in town are located there, and they celebrate the location’s haunted-ness every Halloween with the Heritage Haunt! Watch the video below to learn about the history and some of the eerie sightings that have occurred there.
Another fun location in SCV is a little ghost town called Mentryville. Located on the west side of the city back in the hills, this once booming oil town is filled with run down buildings, mangled oil equipment, and a lot of history. Most people claim it’s haunted (which hey, it’s a ghost town, how could it not be?) but for the most part it’s a fun place to hike and experience what made California the richest state in the country. My husband claims he and his friends saw strange shadows while hiking back there one night, but they could have just been scared 😉 I know I would be if I were there at night!
My favorite spooky location here in SCV is the infamous “Baby Graveyard.” Yes, you read that right. Its formal name is the Mitchell Cemetery, but everyone who grew up out here simply refers to it as the Baby Graveyard. The reason it’s earned this disturbing name is that several of the small graveyard’s twenty headstones label their occupants as being nameless babies. Helvey baby, Dyer baby, Mexican baby. It’s really, really creepy. Some of the city’s original occupants are buried there, dating back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The cemetery sits on top of this hill that overlooks the entire valley. It’s fenced off and has been vandalized a lot over the years, but I have visited it during the day and checked it out. By far one of the coolest and creepiest places in SCV!
ABANDONED PIG FARM
I couldn’t find any pictures of this one (probably because it’s not that well known) and unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my own, but this location is VERY creepy. I grew up just down the street from this pig farm, which hasn’t been in operation since I think the 1970’s if not even earlier. When a brush fire swept through in 2007, it took out most of the remaining abandoned wooden barns and shacks that were there, so there’s not much to see now. But a few years back it was cluttered with old buildings, remnants of cars, farming equipment, broken bottles, rusted nails, and lots and lots of pig bones. Apparently, it was a really eerie place to visit at night. I never had the courage to go down there after dark, but just imagine coyotes yipping too close for comfort, celebrating a fresh kill. The soft glow of the moon highlighting all the rusted metal lying in dead brush, making the whole place look like a battlefield. It’s out in the middle of the boonies, guys. Hubby says he and his friends once found a toe tag there! Spooky stuff. I’d love to go shoot some photos of it at night and do an EVP session, but unfortunately the land was sold and it’s now trespassing to hike back there 😦 Oh well.
ABANDONED SATANIC HOUSE
Over on the east side of town off of Soledad Canyon rd, there used to be this old abandoned house sitting in this field slightly up on a ridge. It faced the open valley, while the 14 freeway ran up the hill behind it. At some point in the last couple years, the house was torn down and all that is left is the cement foundation, but this was a very, very awesome haunted place. The house itself dated back to probably the early 1960’s, and was abandoned sometime not long after and left to rot. While it was still standing, there were numerous satanic ritualistic markings spray painted onto the concrete and walls, along with candle wax, countless beer bottles, grungy mattresses, and signs of vandalism. Hubby visited there and took the above photograph (click to enlarge it). I’m no ghost expert, but I swear that’s a ghostly figure crouched down behind the guy in the photograph. Creepy, huh?
WARMSPRINGS RD & SAND CANYON RD
The Nike base up Sand Canyon is a notorious drinking spot for those of us in the SCV, going back a few generations. Supposedly, along Sand Canyon rd where it crosses with Warmsprings rd, a woman in white has been seen running toward the road at night screaming for help. It’s believed she’s one of the teenagers killed in a car crash on Prom night in the 1980’s. Apparently they were heading up to the Nike base when they crashed their car. Sadly, there’s a lot of stories like this one. There was another car that crashed in the 1970’s off of Soledad Canyon rd. They took a turn too fast and went over the side of the canyon and plowed straight into the concrete support holding up the railroad bridge. It wouldn’t surprise me if, driving along Soledad at night near that spot, you could spot a spirit or two.
MURDER/SUICIDE AT SAUGUS RESIDENCE
I can’t disclose the exact location of this house for privacy reasons, but it is an actual house on a quiet suburb street in the heart of Saugus in the SCV. From the outside, you would never think anything bad happened there. It’s been empty for some time now, bank-owned. Apparently the last owners of the house randomly up and left one day, even leaving food in pots and pans on the stove. They simply disappeared. Makes me wonder what they ran from. Supposedly, the residents who lived in the house prior to these people were involved in a murder/suicide. If I remember right, it was the husband who killed the wife and then himself. Anyway, the house has had a violent stain on it ever since. I knew someone who lived right across the street from this house, and he actually knew the woman who died. Not too long ago, he went inside the vacant house with some friends and witnessed some truly shocking things, including menacing shadow figures. They also picked up intelligent responses on their Ghost Radar app that included the mention of his name. One night, he and I wandered over to the house with our digital recorder and what we captured was so disturbing I will never, ever forget it. We peeked in all the windows as we walked around the house, convinced we’d see a face pressed up against the glass or see strange shadows, especially when we got to the bathroom where he had witnessed the hulking shadow figure. However, when we were by the front door and he was calling out to the woman who had died, we got two incredible EVPs (spirit voices). The first was a frightening yet subtle growling noise right after I said something. Demonic, maybe? The second was a woman’s voice, saying my friend’s name, clear as day (we know it wasn’t me because on the recorder, my voice is much louder than this voice was. It was very subtle, a light whisper). Needless to say, that place definitely has some dark and violent history so it makes sense that spirits may be residing there. *shivers*
There are dozens of other haunted places here in the SCV, too many for me to honestly name in one blog post. A few other notable ones are William S. Hart Mansion, Ruiz Cemetery, Egg Plantation on Walnut Street in Newhall, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Plus, apparently a lot of places in town are built over Native American burial grounds. Even creepier, right?
What are some haunted locations in your hometown? Or, if not in your hometown, what’s your favorite haunted place in the world?
That’s it for this week, but I’d love to hear from you! Share your ghost experiences in the comments! 🙂 And come back next Friday for more ghostly shenanigans!
Over and out!