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California's Creepiest Urban Legends

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Written by   15
4 months ago

The state of California has been acquiring spooky ghost stories and dark myths throughout its past. Many urban legends that have been passed down for generations in the Golden State still survive to this day. These are some of California's spookiest urban legends.

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The Dark Watchers

This legend takes us to the Santa Lucia Mountains, which range from Avila Beach to Monterey. The Dark Watchers are said to be giant humanlike ghosts that hide within these mysterious mountains. According to legend, the Dark Watchers can only be seen after dark, as they are found on the tops of the Santa Lucia Mountains. They have only been seen as seen in the vast space below the mountains before disappearing completely.

These ghostly figures first appeared in the history and lore of the Chumash Indians. The cave walls were adorned with Chumash drawings depicting these ghosts. The Dark Watchers made their appearance in author John Steinbeck's story Flight, where these creatures were described as "dark shapes against the sky". The most recent sightings came in the 1960s by a Monterey high school principal. Now the legend of the Dark Watchers has evolved into human ghosts with dark hats and capes.

elizabeth lake monster

One of Elizabeth Lake's multiple locations in California is said to have an evil presence below the surface of the water. Lake Elizabeth, just outside of Lancaster in Los Angeles, is said to have been created by the devil himself to care for his infernal pets. The urban legend goes on to state that a passageway to hell can be found if you swim deep into the lake.

The first sighting of the Elizabeth Lake monster dates back to 1880. The monster is said to have the neck of a giraffe, the head of a bulldog, the wings of a bat, about 50 feet long, and smells of musty decay. For the next century, sightings of the Elizabeth Lake monster would continue to be reported and strike fear into the hearts of locals. The locals would be so scared that the landowners would sell or completely abandon their properties. Also, attempts to build on the lake land were unsuccessful. At night, residents could hear horrible screams from the lake and had terrible visions. The farm animals would disappear and the sighting of a winged flying creature could be seen overhead. Ranchers in the 1800s have even tried to capture the beast, with one legend saying that a group of them did in fact kill the monster. However, no proof of the creature's existence or death has yet been discovered.

Faces of Turnbull Canyon

Death is said to reside within this hiking canyon at Puente Hills Preserve near Whittier. Turnbull Canyon was once referred to by the Gabrielino Indians as "Hutukngna" or "The Devil's Place". The legend speaks that the entire region is persecuted by the Indians who were killed for not converting to Catholicism. Their spirits are believed to remain rioting in the canyon. Years later, Turnbull Canyon would be the site of numerous satanic rituals held by a cult that attempts to conjure up demons and Satan himself, often by sacrificing children from nearby orphanages. The sinister cult suddenly disappeared one night. What was left in their wake were sightings and paranormal occurrences reported by hikers and locals, who claimed to see hooded figures, hellish creatures and mutilated children.

More mysterious deaths have occurred in Turnbull Canyon since its dark history began. A teenager was electrocuted while exploring the ruins of an old asylum in the canyon and a plane also crashed here in 1978, claiming 29 lives.

The Ghost of Stow Loch

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is home to one of the city's most famous ghosts. Stow Lake is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who, after trying to save her child who fell into the water, drowned in the lake. Legend has it that this woman, known as the White Lady, wanders the edges of Stow Lake as she searches for her baby. She can even be summoned by visitors. The busiest area surrounding the lake is said to be near the Pioneer Women and Children statue. The brave ghost seekers can summon the woman by shouting, "White lady, white lady, I have your baby," three times. If she believes you, the woman will appear before you and ask you to return her baby to her. The legend prevents both skeptics and believers from doing this, because if you tell her that you have her baby, the woman will haunt you for the rest of your life. If you tell the woman you don't have her baby after calling her, legend has it that she will drag you to Stow Lake and she will give you the same watery death she suffered.

The Hollywood Sign Spirit

Probably one of California's most infamous urban legends, the sign is said to be haunted by early 1900s actress Peg Entwistle. When a possible review of one of her films was published, Entwistle climbed to the top of the H on the sign and jumped off it. She is now called the Lady in White and is said to haunt the sign and the surrounding area. The legend goes on to say that the Lady in White will appear to people walking towards the forbidden part of the sign where she committed suicide. Instead of the beautiful Hollywood actress, what she appears to these unfortunate people is a woman with a skeletal face and deep hollowed-out eyes. If those hikers are alone, the Lady in White somehow influences them to share her own cruel fate.

Many Hollywood Sign suicides have been reported in the century following Entwistle's suicide. And in 2012, a man's decapitated head and mutilated body parts were found right where Entwistle killed himself.

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Written by   15
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There might be some people who don’t believe in ghosts! But I do. The places you mentioned to be haunted I would really like to visit them one day.

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