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5 Creepy Places to Visit in California

5 Creepy Places to Visit in California

When you think about California, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Hollywood? Movie stars? Beaches? Sun? Fun? All of those are fine, but let’s get into the darker side of the Golden State. Let’s get into the 5 Creepy Places to Visit in California.

1. Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles.

The Cecil Hotel in the Skid Row district of Downtown LA  is arguably the most haunted hotel in Los Angeles. The Cecil’s haunted legacy goes all the way back to the Great Depression. Opening in 1924, it was only a few years before the depression filled the hotel with transients, and suicides on the regular. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel Netflix documentary is out now.

The Black Dahlia was rumored to have had her last drink at the hotel bar. She turned up dead just a few miles away. Richard Ramirez, better know as “The Night Stalker”, convicted of a laundry list of heinous crimes, lived at the Cecil in 1985 during his spree.

The most recent head scratcher at the Cecil was the mysterious case of Elisa Lam. The Guardian explains: “an inspection of the cistern on the hotel’s roof, the naked body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Chinese-Canadian tourist who had been decomposing for roughly 19 days. Elevator security footage shows Lam, who suffered from bipolar disorder, acting erratically, alternately hiding in the corner of the elevator and dashing in and out. At one point, she gesticulates as if addressing an unseen figure. Police ruled her death an accidental drowning.” Accident? Or another victim of the Cecil Hotel? The hotel is currently being renovated and redeveloped into a mix of hotel rooms and residential units.

2. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose.

Construction on the Winchester Mystery House began in 1884 and it never stopped until the owner, Sarah Winchester died in 1922.

It is believed that she spent around $5 million on construction. Sarah was convinced that her home was haunted by all of the victims killed by Winchester rifles. There are an estimated 160 rooms. With stairs that lead nowhere and doors that open to nothing, it’s the perfect backdrop to the haunted.

Mental Floss reports  “a Winchester house tour guide confirmed that the house’s third floor—only a portion of which is accessible during house tours—is definitely the spookiest part of the house, “because that’s where the servants lived, so there’s been a lot of reported activity there. Also, when you are on that floor you can never really hear any of the other tours, so you feel pretty isolated.” the Winchester mystery house is open for business as a tourist attraction. Good luck!

3. The Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood.

The Knickerbocker Hotel was the was the “it” place in Hollywood for quite sometime. Now however the aforementioned “it” leaned heavy on the tragic and somewhat dramatic. In 1936 Harry Houdini’s widow held her tenth séance to contact the magician on the roof of the hotel in a very publicized event. Marylin Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met for drinks at the hotel bar. Elvis stayed there for some time. In 1962, Hollywood costume designer Irene Lentz, believed to be distraught over Gary Cooper’s death, committed suicide by jumping from her 11th floor room window.

4. The Haunted Forest/Cobb Estate, Altadena.

I was at the Haunted Forest/Cobb Estate in Altadena a few years ago…during the day. The hike takes you to the allegedly haunted Cobb Estate.

Charles Cobb built the estate in 1918, and lived on the property until 1939. No supernatural or hauntings reporting up to that point. Well, not until the Marx Brothers came into the picture. Accord to Atlas Obscura “it was when the Marx Brothers bought the estate in 1956 that the rumors of strange noises and eerie lights at the now vacant home began to circulate amongst the townsfolk. Whether or not that had to do with the squatters and teenagers who used the house for various nocturnal activities is an open question. Finally, the brothers Marx had the dilapidated home torn down in 1959 and the land sat unused until 1971.”

It’s a very popular hiking trail for those who love to both hike and seek out some scares.

5. Alcatraz, San Fransisco.

Alcatraz has all the ingredients for a good haunting: it’s on an island, and it was formerly a prison. I went on the standard tourist tour they give, and loved every minute of it. You can feel the years of what must have gone down in that place.

Alcatraz earned it’s a rep as one of the most brutal and inhumane prisons in the country. Inexplicable events like the sound of someone playing the banjo scared prison guards and visitors alike. Many believe this to be the spirit of Al Capone, who spent his last days at the prison playing the banjo in the shower room to avoid being killed in the yard. Reports of the smell of smoke, the sounds of cell doors slamming, and disembodied voices moaning and screams have all been reported. Did I mentioned it’s on an island? It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the us. Find out for yourself why!

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Weird and Strange History

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California

California is home to creepy abandoned places. Do you want to visit it but not sure what to expect? Here’s are some of the best abandoned historic places in California that are a must-see. Welcome to Abandoned California.

1. The Sunken City in San Pedro

 Image credits – waterandpower.org

Just like the sunken city of Atlantis, this one is visible to people looking from the California coast Southwest of Long Beach. It’s in close proximity to the lighthouse Fermin Park.

This landslide happened in 1929 when the water main beneath the hotel broke and a few days later had a gas line break. It was a clear indication to evacuate the area, but no one could protect the buildings.

The ground used to sleep 11 inches every day, and a huge area of 40000 square feet of land dropped in the Pacific Ocean. It took down a lot of homes, businesses, sidewalks, and streets.

2. Rock Haven Sanitarium

Image credits – www.nps.gov

It all started in 1923 when a psychiatric nurse decided to build her on sanitarium for mentally ill female patients. Within few years, the sanitarium turned into a refuge for models and actresses. And later on, it turned into a home for women with dementia and the elderly.

Later in 2006, it shut it down, and some developers purchased it to build condos. However, the community didn’t allow it and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It can turn into a public park; however, now the garden sanctuaries and 15 buildings inside it are all empty.


3. Ano Nuevo Island

Image Credits – www.parks.ca.gov

Situated between Santa Cruz and SF California coast, the light station got abandoned in 1948; however, it still holds quarters of the old lighthouse keepers. However, the lighthouse became a hazard to endangered sea lions and northern elephant seals. The island is home to animals. It is closed for public visits, and no one is allowed to explore the island just because a number of white sharks, sea lions, and seals are already wandering around its waters.

4. Bodie Ghost Town

Image Credits – www.kqed.org

The third most populous city of California in 1880 became a ghost town eventually. Today it has zero population. It turned into a ghost town in 1920 due to terrible weather of 100mph winds. However, it wasn’t all dead by then. By 1932 it had a massive fire and got deserted completely. Bodie is an iconic abandoned ghost town in California.

It still has hundreds of structures standing still like a Methodist church, an old general store, a cemetery, and a saloon. Today it’s abandoned, yet it’s a Historical Landmark and state park. You can even check out the town by paying $5 as it is preserved in it’s arrested decayed state.

5. Donner Pass Summit Tunnel

Image Credits – hiddenca.com

It was the first railroad line ever to reach the Sierra Nevada range. This 1700-foot-long Tunnel was finished in 1867. The first train to ever pass through it was in 1868, and the last one went in 1993. Unfortunately, the route was changed, and it wasn’t as beautiful as the old rail line.

Today people are allowed to hike through it and check out the petroglyphs. You be able to see lots of graffiti and a Chinese wall which is 75 foot tall and handmade.

6. Gates of Hell Hacienda Heights

Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com

These gates were rumored to have been situated in the sanatorium during the 1940s. However, then the hospital was shut as a lot of malpractices were reported.

The entire property is now fenced from a decade with barbed wires all fixed firmly inside the fence. No one is allowed to get inside, and the gate itself gives chills to anyone standing in front of it. Although it’s well fenced, no one has a clue as to why it is under close supervision. It’s common to hear subtle footsteps crunching and voices close to the property.

7. Elsinore Naval and Military School

 Image Credits – www.change.org

The building is in a state of rapid decay. The hunting exterior of the military academy and Elsinore Naval was built in 1920 to be a country club. Even after the construction, the club never got the chance to open due to the Great depression.

In 1933, it opened in the form of Elsinore naval academy. It had about 150 to 200 students from grades 1 to 12. The academy finally closed down in 1977. Many foreign dictators and wealthy people like Barbara Rush visited the school occasionally. Since 1977, the school has been empty.

The outbuildings burned down in 1980, and the rest of it faded away with age because of weather, squatters, and vandalism.

It does have effective chain-link security fans; however, it looks worn and tired like a wrecking ball. It requires restoration. There is a guard on watch on the RV on the location to keep an eye on the ground.

8. Kaiser Quarry Ruins

Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com

It is a preserve that was once used as a gravel quarry when the Caldecott Tunnel was being bored between 1929 and 1937.

The quarry was transformed into a top round park and the first three East Bay regional parks in 1936. It remained as the top park in 1958 and was then renamed as Sibley regional volcanic preserve.

Much later, the road turned into a rail and had bits of old concrete. It became at railway people can walk on. Much below the train, you’ll see wooden stable structure industrial debris, tin roofing, and pieces of past structures.

9. Stone Cats at Nike Missile Site

Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com

There is a place at Nike missile site, filled with a variety of stone cats put by a mysterious artist. You will find this sight in the hills of wildcat canyon park in Richmond, California. Many radars and cold war operators worked here long ago to monitor the skies of the bay area. They waited for Russian bombers during the night.

It’s still a mystery who and why put the cat structures there, but it is surely open today for people who dare to visit it.

10. Saltdale

Image Credits – backpackerverse.com

When all the miners in the 1900s were are looking for gold, one more thing precious was salt. A Salt dale called aptly was found in 1914 to get salt from Koehn Dry Lake.

These are popular in leaving behind the salt deposits after the evaporation of water. The salt business slowed down by 1940, and then it was finally shut down in 1975. It turned into a forgotten ghost town in American West. The exacerbating salt cause deterioration of buildings. As most of the structure was deserted, only rusting foundations of few buildings are left today.

In the End

However, California is filled with abandoned places; these are must-visit if you are interested in creepy locations. Visiting any of these places will surely give you the chills that you won’t soon forget!

For some abandoned Los Angeles heck out the abandoned zoo Los Angeles.