20 Haunted Places in California That You Dare to Visit (2024)


Embark on a spine-tingling journey through the Golden State as we unveil California’s 20 most haunted places, where history and the supernatural collide. Beyond the glitter of Hollywood and the golden beaches, California has a darker side that pulls adventurers in with its haunting apparitions, enigmatic footsteps and tormented past.

Every place on this list promises a terrifying experience with the unknown, from the notorious Alcatraz Island, where ghosts of previous prisoners may still walk, to the spooky hallways of the Winchester Mystery House, which are meant to mislead hostile spirits.

These haunted locations encourage the brave to explore a world where the past refuses to go to sleep, whether it’s the eerie tales that reverberate through the abandoned hallways of Linda Vista Hospital or the enigmatic Lady in White haunting the sands of Manresa Beach.

Come along with us as we investigate California’s spectral side—a region brimming with legends that will prompt even the most courageous minds to wonder what lies beyond the curtain of death.

1. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Photo by Rythik on Unsplash

With a past marked in despair, Alcatraz Island, the famous old prison in San Francisco Bay, looms like a spectral sentinel. Visitors have reported hearing eerie whispers lingering in the sea wind and hearing strange footsteps echoing in the chilly hallways, which are said to be haunted by the specters of its legendary inmates.

You feel the weight of Alcatraz’s haunting past as you explore the deteriorating cells and empty hallways. Even the most cynical tourists are prompted to wonder about the lines dividing the living from the dead on this remote island of ghosts by the ghostly presence of long-gone prisoners who appear to linger.

2. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

Whispering mysteries from a bygone era is the architecturally mysterious Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. This home, built by gun mogul Winchester’s wife Sarah, is rumored to be haunted by the vengeful ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles. The home is built to confuse and elude vengeful apparitions, with doors opening into walls and stairs leading nowhere.

The creepy mood is created by visitors’ accounts of paranormal experiences, such as ghostly footsteps and mysterious cold spots. The Winchester Mystery House is a tribute to a widow’s eerie journey to free herself from the spirits of her husband’s fatal invention as you make your way through its maze-like halls.

Practical information:
address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States
Contact: +1 408-247-2000

3. Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

Beneath its opulent exterior, the Hotel del Coronado, a charming beachside resort in San Diego, hides an unsettling truth. Exuding a sense of Victorian grandeur, the hotel is said to be haunted by the spirit of Kate Morgan, a woman who mysteriously died in 1892.

Particularly in the notorious Room 3327 where Kate slept, guests have reported hearing strange noises, flickering lights, and eerie apparitions. A haunting experience with the ghostly remains of a past tragedy along the sun-drenched coasts of Southern California awaits those who dare at Hotel del Coronado, an interesting location because of its unique combination of elegance and the paranormal.

Practical information:
address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, United States
contact: +1 619-435-6611

4. Queen Mary, Long Beach

The Queen Mary, a once-grand ocean liner that is currently berthed at Long Beach, reveals a sinister side of maritime history. Beneath its graceful façade is a ship that is supposedly alive with ghostly activity. Its reputation as a paranormal hotspot has been enhanced by reports of ghostly apparitions, phantom footsteps, and unsettling whispering.

Daring spirits are invited to cross the thin barrier that separates the living from the dead in the Queen Mary’s eerie engine room and infamous Room B340, where visitors have reported seeing unexplained events. This floating hotel promises an unearthly journey into the heart of marine secrets. It is a nautical relic with a spectral history.

Practical information:
address: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802, United States
Contact: +1 562-435-3510

5. The Whaley House, San Diego

Within its ancient walls lies a tapestry of ghost stories that make the Whaley House in San Diego, one of the most haunted houses in the country. Constructed on the location of a past hanging, the home is a paranormal hotspot. Witness accounts of phantom sightings and unexplained noises give the Victorian charm a sinister touch.

This historic site has the haunting legacy of past events combined with the terrible history of the Whaley family. The Whaley House invites the intrepid to explore its eerie hallways and experience a terrifying encounter with the paranormal as night falls.

Practical information:
address: 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110, United States
Contact: +1 619-786-1143

6. Preston Castle, Ione

Nestled in Ione, Preston Castle reverberates with the eerie whispers of its illustrious history. Its deserted halls, once a reform school, are rumored to be a haunting sanctuary for ghosts. Witnesses describe mysterious chilly areas and ghostly figures that appear to be the remains of the previous agony.

This crumbling castle-style building adds to its spooky charm and lures paranormal aficionados to investigate its creepy hallways. When the sun goes down, Preston Castle’s crumbling walls seem to be alive with the spirits of its former prisoners, calling out to those who have the courage to solve its terrible riddles and hear the ghostly resonance of times past.

7. Moss Beach Distillery, Moss Beach

Located on the coastal cliffs of Moss Beach, the Moss Beach Distillery is a charming restaurant that also functions as a haunted haven. The ghostly Blue Lady is said to haunt this former speakeasy during the Prohibition era. Dining by the sea has become more enigmatic as patrons report encountering ghostly presences and paranormal activities.

A haunting blend of ethereal mystery and seaside beauty is created by the rhythmic crashing of waves, providing a setting for ghost stories. Whether you’re looking for the paranormal or just enjoying some seafood, the Moss Beach Distillery offers a unique dining experience in the company of the unknown.

Practical information:
address: 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, CA 94038, United States
Contact: +1 650-728-5595

8. Linda Vista Hospital, Los Angeles

The dilapidated Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles echoes the spectral remains of its past. It is a monument to medical history. It has gained a reputation as a paranormal hotspot despite being abandoned since 1991.

Witnesses report seeing the ghosts of deceased patients, hearing strange footsteps reverberating down deserted hallways, and seeing unexplainable events that paranormal investigators manage to record.

The haunting hallways of Linda Vista Hospital are a bleak, decaying canvas for the ghosts of its medical past. Those daring enough to enter the shuttered hospital may encounter the ghostly whispers of a bygone era of healthcare as it lies trapped in time.

Practical information:
address: 610-30St. Louis Street,Los Angeles,California

9. The Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles

Within its confines, the Los Angeles Cecil Hotel, known for its sinister past, carries stories of mysterious happenings. This downtown location, well-known for Elisa Lam’s unexplained death, has developed a reputation as a paranormal hotspot. Strange happenings have been reported by visitors, ranging from strange noises to disturbing experiences with ghostly presences.

The eerie history of the Cecil, entwined with tragedy and crime, hangs over its hallways like a ghost. The Cecil Hotel welcomes the daring to explore its eerie past, where the distinction between the living and the otherworldly becomes increasingly hazy, with a past that remains like an unsolved riddle.

Practical information:
address: 640 Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, United States

10. Manresa Beach State Park, Watsonville

Watsonville’s Manresa Beach State Park hides a ghostly mystery along its enthralling shoreline. A mysterious and spectral apparition known as the Lady in White is said to haunt the shoreline. Both locals and tourists have experienced paranormal encounters with this mysterious woman as she strolls around the sandy plains.

The Lady in White is reduced to a ghostly figure against the moonlight sea as the waves smash against the coast. Manresa Beach State Park is renowned for its natural beauty. It combines this beauty with a spooky story to entice brave souls to go into the paranormal.

11. Old Town San Diego

With its charming old-world beauty, Old Town San Diego also hides the rumors of a ghostly past. This historic neighborhood, one of the oldest towns in California, offers more than simply quaint cobblestone alleys and adobe buildings. Beneath the Spanish architecture, a ghostly undercurrent is created by lingering legends of early settlers and troops.

Hidden beneath the bright lights and busy marketplaces of Old Town San Diego are remnants of a bygone period. Enticed by the eerie Whaley House or the lingering aura of bygone eras, Old Town allows adventurers to delve into a shadowy past that lies beyond the picturesque facade of this classic California destination.

12. Stanley Hotel, Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is outside California, yet it has a ghostly charm that cuts over state lines. Hailed as the model for Stephen King’s “The Shining,” this old hotel is a favorite among aficionados of the paranormal. Stories of unexplained experiences are revealed on ghost tours, and the notorious Room 217 is haunted by murmurs of the dead.

The Stanley Hotel, with the breathtaking Rocky Mountains as a background, invites brave souls to explore its eerie corridors, where the boundaries between fact and imagination become hazy. It is a stronghold of spooky stories and evidence of the continued appeal of haunted places outside of California.

Practical information:
address: 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517, United States
Contact: +1 970-577-4000

13. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles

Amid the flash and splendor of Tinseltown, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, a beacon of glamour in Los Angeles, hides a ghostly secret. Reportedly haunted by the ghosts of renowned actors, it has a storied history of housing Hollywood’s elite. Within its sacred corridors, visitors claim seeing ghosts, hearing strange noises, and experiencing unexplainable events.

The Roosevelt Hotel embraces the haunting whispers of a phantom cast that lend an added dimension of fascination to the hotel’s ageless attractiveness, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the mystique of a bygone period while the neon lights of Hollywood Boulevard sparkle outside.

Practical information:
address: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States
Contact: +1 323-856-1970

14. Bodie State Historic Park, Bodie

Bodie State Historic Park is a historic village in the Californian hills that is rumored to be haunted! This abandoned location is now a maintained ghost town after formerly being a thriving gold mining town. Visitors report hearing weird noises and seeing ghosts.

It is thought that the ghosts of the miners and their families who once called it home still exist. For those who wish to get a look into the eerie past of California’s Gold Rush era, Bodie State Historic Park is a must-visit with its haunting architecture and ghost stories.

Practical information:
address: CA-270, Bridgeport, CA 93517, United States
Contact: +1 760-616-5040

15. Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano

A historic Californian mission known as Mission San Juan Capistrano is rumored to be haunted! This 1700s-era mission is said to be haunted by the spirits of Native Americans and Spanish missionaries. Visitors have reported seeing ghostly figures and hearing odd noises.

It appears as though the past is still present, around the mission’s perimeter. It seems a little bit like going back in time as you stroll about the ancient property. Not only is Mission San Juan Capistrano rich in historical significance, but it’s also a fascinating, paranormal experience due to the possibility of spirits roaming the grounds.

Practical information:
address: 26801 Old Mission Rd, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, United States
Contact: +1 949-234-1300

16. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Antioch

Near Antioch, California, the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve has a sinister history from its days as a coal mining area. There were hardworking miners there in the past, but some had bad luck. They now claim that their ghosts haunt the location! There have been reports of eerie noises and icy places from hikers.

Stories of the past are told by the ancient mining structures, and some people think ghosts of the miners still haunt the area. In the peaceful, eerie nooks of this protected region, visitors to the Black Diamond Mines may feel a little bit like they are in a real-life ghost story.

17. The Old Spaghetti Factory, San Diego

Not only does San Diego’s Old Spaghetti Factory provide delicious pasta, but it also has an air of mystery! There are rumors that the old police station where it is located is haunted. Strange sensations, such as flickering lights and inexplicable footsteps, have been reported by diners.

It appears that some of the officers who had worked there may still be there in the form of ghosts. Thus, while savoring a dish of spaghetti at the Old Spaghetti Factory, you may also be eating with the invisible—a delightful blend of noodles and a tinge of spookiness.

Practical information:
address: 275 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
Contact: +1 619-233-4323

18. Mentryville, Santa Clarita

Mentryville, near Santa Clarita, used to be a thriving oil town; these days, it’s more or less abandoned. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of the town’s founder, Charles Mentry. His spectral form has been spotted by explorers close to the abandoned, dilapidated structures.

As if he had never left. The town appears to be stuck in the past, with its rusting appliances and deserted houses. Mentryville takes on a ghostly quality when the sun sets, with whispers and shadows from bygone days. Entering Mentryville seems like entering a true ghost story, with the founder’s spirit still present in the sleepy, empty streets.

Practical information:
address: 27201 Pico Canyon Rd #1804, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381, United States
contact: +1 323-221-9944

19. Hotel Leger, Mokelumne Hill

Mokelumne Hill’s Hotel Leger is reputed to be haunted in addition to being a historic location to stay. There have been reports of ghost sightings from overnight guests. Perhaps it is because the hotel is quite ancient, having been built during the Gold Rush era.

Visitors have claimed to have encountered ghosts, and paranormal investigators have even discovered odd objects. With its vintage charm and creaking flooring, Hotel Leger is a quaint place with a tinge of spookiness. Thus, Hotel Leger on Mokelumne Hill welcomes you with its eerie tales if you’re eager for a night of history and perhaps a paranormal experience.

Practical information:
address: 8304 Main St, Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245, United States
Contact: +1 209-286-1401

20. El Adobe de Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano

In San Juan Capistrano, El Adobe de Capistrano is more than simply a restaurant—it also has a paranormal aspect! It’s said to be haunted by the ghosts of those who formerly lived there. Strange sensations and a ghostly woman dressed in blue have been reported by both diners and workers.

This historic adobe structure gives off the impression that the past is still here. It’s possible that invisible guests are occupying the area while you dine. El Adobe de Capistrano combines flavorful cuisine with a hint of mystery, allowing the past and current to dwell in eerie harmony.

Practical information:
address: 31891 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, United States
contact: +1 949-493-1163
reservations: opentable.com

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20 Haunted Places in California That You Dare to Visit (2024)

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