Spooky Canyons

Someone told me a story that occurred at Eaton Canyon. It was not paranormal, but I felt that it could’ve have some supernatural influences. So last night, I took the liberty to find haunted canyons in California. Just how many were there?

I could only name two, but Shadowlands has the complete directory: Trabuca, Morrison, Horsethief, Mays, Blackstar, Laurel, Niles, Rios, Sand, Tapo, Lopez and finally, Uvas. There’s at least a dozen of these canyons that are reputed to be haunted. And stories to back each up. So in my spare time, I’ll try to accumulate stories and encounters from the Internet.

Let me say one last thing before the stories: there are animals in the mountains. Dangerous ones that don’t exactly find people to be comforting. If it’s not ghosts lurking, it’s probably animals in the wild. Many of the strange occurrences could be an animal stalking its next prey. So if anyone is interested in venturing to any of these places, be prepared. A ghost might not kill you, but a mountain lion certainly will maul you.

Trabuca Canyon, California (near Mission Viejo)

A beheaded man was made out hovering in the air like a cloud in Trabuco Canyon. Shocked by onlookers, the ghost departed into darkness. Nevertheless, this ghost indisputably is frightening; one that any sensible person wouldn’t wish to run into.  – GhostsofAmerica

I didn’t find a lot of stories for this place except the stuff on the site listed above.

Morrison Canyon Road, Fremont, CA (People spell it as “Morison”, which is incorrect.)

When you go down The Canyon road you will find an off ramp that will lead you down to a creek… That is if you can drive all the way down the road… As you go down the road you begin to hear knocking and at about half way down the road you will start to hear a small boy laughing… Story tells that a young boy was killed in the basement of a cottage at the end of the road…he was found by his parents hanging from the rafters, when his parents called the cops they told them that there was no body in the house but mass amounts of blood washing up at the creek banks… Legend tells that if you make it down the canyon you can still see blood washing up on the creek banks and hear a young boy laughing…No Trespassing  – Shadowlands

No one ever mentions of the little boy. All they say happens here are overturned planes due to some military testing or something to that extent.

This one is overshadowed by the Niles Canyon ghost, which is just on the opposite side of the mountain. Some people say it’s not spirits but psychos that shouldn’t be distrubed. Few encouters except for eerie feelings.

Niles Canyon Road, Alameda, CA

A “White Witch” is said to appear trying to hitch a ride home. She supposedly died in a car crash on her Prom night back in the 20s? When she is picked up, she gives the address where she would like to go. When the driver gets there, she is gone. The driver asks the people who reside there if they know anything about it… She is related to them & has been dead for many years. –Unsolvedmysteries

It’s the common hitchhiker ghost. According to Shadowlands’ entry, it disproves any ghostly experiences on Morrison Canyon Road. The popular attraction here is the “Secret Sidewalk”, which is just an old aqueduct. Not as scary of a place as I initially thought.

Horsethief Canyon, Corona, CA

Reports of eyes burning, dizziness, and the feeling of being pulled to a wooded area where reports of black floating apparitions. A trail goes past water towers after an hour of walking a place for campfire is found a circle of trees is present when all lights are off black apparitions can be seen going from tree to tree. They do not like bright flashlights, those who possess the brightest are pushed, kicked, dust is kicked up, other noises are heard. Going in a small group is recommended due to long walk. on other parts of the trail a blonde woman can be seen run between the trails, it never happens in same place twice. Extremely cold breezes flow past you at certain points.  –Shadowlands

This one is a good story. Here’s the conclusion of an investigation done by a few that were trying to debunk the legends:

WE DID experience activity. No EVP, but phantom foot steps, definate movment, pressure, I felt the dizziness, though that may also be attributed to the dust, and a few times I felt someone tugging at my holster (I sometimes keep a piece on me. I’m registered. Its legal.). Overall it was a 70/30 success, enough for us to return later for more than a scout excavation. We, at the PRD, feel there may be a great deal of potential danger in this case, as there are mountain lions, drug use, alcohal use, and various activities of a nefarious nature going on around this area, in these hills. Be careful, be safe, and remember. Safety is paramount.

If there is trouble, drop all things and run. Cameras and recorders; devices and gadgets. They can all be replaced… but unless you want us investigating YOUR ghost, when there is trouble, hit the high road.  –Strangeusa

Logical explanations can attribute to everything. But something does go on. It seems that construction has gotten the best out of this place, as some people love to live in isolated canyons. People say it’s harder to get out there to hunt for anything. Here’s some more stories. Nothing quite convincing, but I’m convinced to not test my luck.

Blackstar Canyon, Orange County, CA

This one is one well-documented place. Not proven, but there’s a whole site dedicated to the canyon.

Blackstar Canyon is perhaps the most haunted land in all of California. Blackstar historically was the place where the last “free roaming” Indians were massacred by Spanish ranchers. Many speculate that the massacre of the native people is the reason the valley remains haunted to this day. Sightings of hooded figures and large dark figures are common in this strange valley. In 1878 the Black Star Mining Company was formed after coal was found near the head of the canyon. The canyon’s name came from this company. The mining operation was shortly discontinued reportedly because of poor coal quality. It is unknown if any died in the canyon during these later years.  –Blackstarcanyonadventures

Aside from the hostile locals, there is a decent amount of paranormal activity experienced by seekers.

Took some friends up to the canyon a week ago, late at night, to see what this thing is all about. One of my friends heard about Blackstar from a another friend of his who used to go hiking back there.

After hiking past all sorts of crazy stuff for what seemed like about an hour we were at the base of the hill just after the house. We stopped to take a short break here when we heard strange rustling noises higher up on the hill. It sounded like a person but it couldn’t have been this late at night. The next thing we know this large black thing comes running down the side of the hill. It came so fast and it was so dark we couldn’t even make out what it was. We tried to get our flashlights on it but we could not get them turned on in time. As it came down the hill it made no noise other than that of brush being crushed. It sounded like it kept going down into the squatter area. It was very strange.

On our way back we were scared we would run into it again. Thankfully we didn’t.

On the site, there is one really good encounter story. Check out the interactive map. So much effort went into the site and it shouldn’t be ignored.

The canyon is sort of public property, but some parts of it I guess veers into private. The local owners aren’t all too fond, and some do threaten with guns and other acts of intimidation. I wonder how many kids from the local colleges venture out here for fun each week.

That’s all for now.

Additional sources:


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