23 Haunted Houses in CALIFORNIA (Eerie, Spooky, & Scary) (2024)

Visiting a haunted house should be on everyone’s list of things to do before 30.

California is home to many spooky attractions that will get your heart racing.

There are old abandoned asylums and historic mansions; the Golden State boasts of the scariest haunted houses in the country.

If you are a thrill seeker, visiting one of these haunted houses should be your next adventure.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the eerie atmosphere of these attractions is sure to send chills down the spine of even the bravest of people.

California’s long history, diverse cultures, and legends provide an ideal background for haunted house experiences.

This article examines some of California’s most famous haunted houses worth visiting.

Get ready to scream and feel your heart race as you delve into the world of haunted houses.

And by the way, you may also want to check out some legendary ghost towns in California.

Haunted Houses in San Diego, California

1.Whaley House (Ghostly Apparitions)

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Whaley House is an ancient house built using the Greek style prominent at that time.

Before construction began, the execution of a horse thief took place on that property.

These gory details did not deter Thomas Whaley, who decided to build his dream house on the property.

Shortly after the family moved in, they reported hearing heavy footsteps.

Many believe the ghost of the horse thief was back to haunt the grounds.

This haunting is said to have caused the death of Mr. Whaley’s toddler a few months after.

Visitors to the property have reported sightings of the ghost of Thomas Whaley and Anna Whaley, both lurking on the grounds they died on.

Others believe there must be an ancient curse of the property that condemns all who die on the property to a restless death.

You would think this is reason enough not to step into the place.

Well, many thrill seekers still visit the house to this day.

Address: 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110, United States

2.Villa Montezuma (Sorcery Residue)

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Villa Montezuma is a beautiful Renaissance-style mansion built by the great musician and composer J. Shepard.

On the outside, this would look like any old historic home.

However, any who knows the real story behind the house knows better than to be fooled by this.

The house was known as the grounds for all sorts of sorcery and necromancy.

All who have occupied the house since it opened were into acts of witchcraft.

Visitors and passersby have reported that they still hear the enchantments and spells cast by former occupants as though they were still there.

The Villa is known to have sudden drops in temperature in specific rooms.

Visitors also experience strange sensations like tugging their clothes, pulling their hair, or slightly brushing of fingers against their own.

Only those who are brave or daring enough have ever set foot in Villa Montezuma.

Address: 1925 K St, San Diego, CA 92102, United States

3. Hotel Del Coronado (Tragic Ghosts)

Hotel Del Colorado is a luxurious hotel on the beach built in San Diego, California.

Asides from the luxuries it offers, it is also known as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States.

Since its opening, guests at the resort have had unusual bone-chilling experiences like strange sounds and instances of lights turning on and off on their own.

These hauntings took a turn for the worst when a young woman died in the hotel a few days after she checked in.

Guests have said they saw her ghostly figure roaming to and fro the hotel halls.

Some have even claimed to have seen her in their rooms.

A little girl also died in the hotel a few years later; guests say they still hear her laughter and the pitter-patter of her feet around the pool.

Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, San Diego, CA 92118, United States

4. Marston House (Mysterious Deaths)

The Marston House name drew inspiration from the owner, G. Marston.

He was a prominent businessman and philanthropist who died a mysterious death after living in the house.

Some locals Marston loved his house so much that he wasn’t willing to leave it, even in death.

Others say the ghost of a young lady in a white gown haunts the house.

It is unclear how this lady ghost came to haunt the house, but psychics say she is more protective of the property than G. Marston is.

Some people believe this lady ghost is that of G. Marston’s daughter; she fell down the stairs and snapped her neck.

Many believe that her death at such a young age makes her unable to find rest.

Therefore, she roams the halls of the only place she calls home.

Address: 3525 Seventh Ave, San Diego, CA 92103, United States

5. Whistle Stop Inn (Tragic Past)

Whistle Stop Inn is a lively bar and restaurant in San Diego’s heart.

It has a long history that dates back over a century.

Whistle Stop Inn started as a boarding house for railroad workers.

In the 1920s, a young woman called Amy died in the building.

There is, to this day, no straightforward take on how she died.

Many believe a vengeful ex-lover murdered her.

Visitors and employees of the Whistle Stop Inn have reported seeing a young woman in the building, watching them.

Other visitors claim they heard distorted voices, particularly in the women’s restroom, where one can most definitely feel an unseen presence.

People speculate that Amy and the spirit of a railroad worker who met an untimely end haunt the Whistle Stop Inn.

Address: 2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104, United States

6. McKamey Manor (Extreme Horror)

McKamey Manor is not like your usual haunted house attractions in San Diego.

No costumed actors are popping out of corners to scare visitors, no fake ghosts or fake hauntings.

All who visit the Manor will be tied down, gagged, locked in cages, or force-fed for several hours.

The McKamey Manor might be more of a torture chamber than a haunted house

It is known as the most extreme haunted house in the world and is not for the faint-hearted.

Guests go through experiences of sheer horror.

They stretch to the limits of their psychological and physical abilities.

All who want to experience the McKamey Manor undergo a screening process where the organizers decide if they can visit the attraction.

Visitors sign a disclaimer form after warnings of all the possible psychological and body traumas they may experience.

You may think this is sick and that nobody would want to go through this.

Tell that to the over twenty thousand people waiting for a callback from McKamey Manor.

Address: 11263 Almazon St, San Diego, California, United States

Also see our article on Escape Rooms in California.

Haunted Houses in Anaheim, California

1. The Anaheim White House Restaurant (Ghostly Diners)

Anaheim White House Restaurant was originally a private residence built in 1909 by a French farmer, Gervais.

The property changed hands several times and became a restaurant.

Anaheim White House Restaurant is a popular destination for fine dining.

There have been numerous reports of paranormal activities within the restaurant.

Many believe that the spirit of Gervais haunts the property.

A waiter at the restaurant once saw a ghost of Gervais sitting at one of the tables during her rounds.

She approached him, thinking he was a customer, and he disappeared into thin air.

The waiter was so scared that she never went back to the restaurant.

This occurrence makes you wonder why Gervais would be haunting the premises.

If perhaps, there is an unearthed mystery behind his death, or he was checking in on his property.

There have also been reports of apportions of young children and an older woman who lurks around the premises.

Address: 887 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805, United States

2. Shady Pines Asylum (Disturbed Spirits)

Shady Pines Asylum is a haunted house in Anaheim.

It is not home to ghosts and spirits.

Whatever ghosts are on the premises are costumed actors whose job is to scare visitors.

The haunted house tells the story of an asylum that housed some of the most violent and disturbed patients.

Visitors to Shady Pines Asylum will see a team of scare actors in spooky hospital gowns and covered in fake blood.

Each room and hallway has its scare that will knock your heart through the roof.

You can expect a variety of thrilling experiences like jump scares, eerie sound effects, and disturbing visuals.

Shady Pines Asylum is a must-visit destination for fans of horror movies or those who are into scary thrills.

Address: 5702 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807, United States

3. The Fleshyard (Vengeful Spirits)

The Fleshyard haunted house started as a farm that belonged to the Kearny family.

One of the other farmers in the area, Jones, saw a terrifying scene when he went to buy some meat from this farm.

There was the foul smell of rotting flesh and decay everywhere

An unknown person terribly slaughtered all the farm animals.

The Kearny family was dismembered and killed.

It was a terrifying murder scene,

Jones never remained the same after this.

Many say the Kearny family still haunts these grounds seeking revenge for their death.

It seems like the perfect backstory because a haunted house attraction now occupies the Kearny lands.

The attraction features a tour through the farmhouse where the dismembered bodies of the Kearny family lay.

Address: 5702 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807, United States

Also see our article on Attractions in California.

Haunted Houses in San Jose, California

1. Winchester Mystery House (Architectural Mystery)

Winchester Mystery House is the most famous haunted house in San Jose.

Sarah Lockwood Winchester, the widow of gun magnate W.M. Winchester, built it.

Before she started building the house, Sarah had lost her husband and infant child within a few years.

She believed the ghosts of all who died by the Winchester rifles killed her family and that they were coming for her next.

Sarah moved to San Jose not long after and bought the property.

It started as a farmhouse; she renovated it into a mansion.

The Winchester House is a strange mansion.

It has several doors that lead nowhere and staircases leading to walls.

Some say she was trying to confuse these ghosts so they would not get to her.

Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, United States

2. Hayes Mansion (Psychic Presence)

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The Hayes Mansion is a building that is over 120 years old.

It is operated by Hilton as a hotel, giving guests a luxurious 4-star stay.

The story of the Hayes Mansion began in Wisconsin in the mid-19th century.

M. C. Hayes was a famous psychic who moved to San Jose with her two sons.

She bought the property; it had a Renaissance-era house on it.

Unfortunately, the house burned down a few years later, and M. C. Hayes commissioned the reconstruction.

She died before they finished rebuilding the house.

Many believe that M.C. Hayes roams the halls of the property.

Other Hayes family members have died on the property over the years and always return to haunt the house.

People say M.C Hayes used her psychic abilities to cast a spell to ensure there would always be a member of the family watching over the property.

Address: 200 Edenvale Ave, San Jose, CA 95136, United States

3. Villa Montalvo (Murdered Ghost)

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Villa Montalvo is a historic mansion with an intriguing past.

The family of Senator James Duval Phelan donated it to the State of California.

Many people wonder what is so creepy about this sprawling mansion that even the family did not want to keep it but chose to donate it to the state.

It is now an arts center.

May visitors to the center have reported that they hear strange sounds and have seen unexplained apparitions in the house.

Worse still, the grounds of the house witness the scene of the murder of a young girl names Kathy.

The serial killer, her classmate in school, had killed her.

She was stabbed several times in her back and chest.

Some believe that the ghost of Kathy Bilek still haunts the grounds.

Address: 15400 Montalvo Rd, Saratoga, CA 95071, United States

4. Hotel De Anza (Lingering Spirits)

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Hotel De Anza is a historic hotel that dates back to 1931.

It boasts a unique blend of art design and modern class.

However, this luxurious hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts.

The most famous ghost of Hotel De Anza is that of a woman called Annalisa.

Annalisa was lodged in the hotel when she was brutally murdered by her husband.

Guests of the hotel have reported hearing her spine-chilling screams, while others have reported seeing her crying while roaming the hallways.

Mainly, her presence is potent in the room where she died.

Many guests avoid lodging in this room, and some who want to have paranormal experiences request it.

Apart from Annalisa, there have been reports of sightings of another ghost, a faceless woman in a red dress who walks around the area, especially the hotel lobby.

Whenever guests approach her, she disappears into thin air.

If you would like to have a spooky yet luxurious adventure, be sure to check out Hotel De Anza.

Address: 233 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113, United States

Also see our article on Castles in California.

Haunted Houses in San Francisco, California

1. The Mayhem Manor (Annual Haunting)

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The Mayhem Manor is also known as the Haas-Lilienthal House.

It is a haunted house attraction in San Francisco.

The actual tale of how the house became haunted has yet to be discovered, adding to the mystery surrounding Mayhem Manor.

This property becomes a hunted house for Halloween.

Visitors can look forward to spooky experiences like a ghost swirling down from the air, a creepy atmosphere, and a mysterious figure popping out of nowhere.

The haunted house takes ten people for one tour around the Manor.

All actors and operators at the haunted house dress up in terrifying costumes.

Halloween guests are encouraged to visit the residence with their costumes.

Guests experience a twisted tour of terror and frightful encounters in unexpected places.

Proceeds from Mayhem Manor go to a charity that supports the mission to preserve and enhance San Francisco’s history.

Address: 2007 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States

2. Haskell House (Haunted History)

L. K. Haskell built Haskell House in the 1850s.

It is known as the last place a U.S. Senator stayed before he went for a gun duel and died.

Many psychics say that the Senator has been murdered so quickly and had to leave his body.

He went back to the last place he knew.

Several tenants have leased the house over the years and reported strange occurrences.

Some say they have felt an otherworldly presence following them around the house; others say they have had experiences of pictures flying off the walls whenever the ghosts were particularly upset.

Ghost hunters have also visited the house to document sightings of ghosts.

One, in particular, is remarked as saying L. K Haskell roams the halls of his house, along with the ghosts of several black people in the cellar.

Address: 3 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123, United States

3. The Atherton Mansion (Family Tragedy)

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The Atherton Mansion was built by a widow following the death of her husband.

She had a son, George, who was constantly insulted and disparaged by his family and wife.

He got tired of living like the black sheep of the family and decided to run away.

Unfortunately, he decided to travel by sea, and his health did not agree with this.

He died merely a few days into the voyage.

The captain sent his body to his family.

He was buried on the grounds of the mansion.

Family members have reported that George haunts them constantly.

They believe this was the result of their constant bullying and mistreatment.

Many family members have also said his ghost blames them for pushing him to death.

They felt sorry for all they had done, but it was too late.

Address: 1990 California St, San Francisco, CA 94109, United States

4. Curran Theatre (Theatre Ghosts)

The Curran Theatre is one of the most haunted places in San Francisco and is on the Haunted San Francisco Ghost Tour.

A young girl was killed by a street car outside the theatre.

Many believe she had been going into the theatre before the accident and that her ghosts haunt the premises by going into the theatre to see the plays she could not see on the day of her death.

There was also a shocking murder on the premises.

Hewlett Tarr, the ticket taker for the theatre, was shot by a bandit.

Some say the bandit was possessed when he killed the ticket taker.

Visitors to the theatre have reported hearing eerie sounds and seeing Tarr’s reflection in the lobby mirrors.

Many believe that Tarr is a friendly ghost watching over the theatre and protecting patrons from violence.

To see the ghost of Hewlett Tarr for yourself, you can visit the Curran Theatre if you dare.

Address: 445 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

5. Alcatraz Prison (Inescapable Spirits)

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Alcatraz prison is on a lone island known for housing some of America’s most notorious criminals.

Despite its secure location and reputation, several prisoners attempted to escape Alcatraz but lost their lives during the attempt.

Their spirits still roam the waters surrounding the island, and the prison grounds.

The prison is now a tourist attraction and is considered one of the most haunted places in the world.

This prison broke even the most rebellious criminals.

They were subject to some of the most cruel treatments ever.

One punishment, in particular, left the prisoners feeling mad and crazy.

Prisoners who broke the rules went to the “strip cell.”

They were all stripped naked before entering the cell.

The cell had no mattress, sink, lights, or windows.

Many believe that the spirits of those who died in Alcatraz cannot move on and still haunt the island today.

Address: Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, off the coast of California.

Also see our article on Hidden Gems in California.

Haunted Houses in Covina, California

1. Hollenbeck House Haunt (Halloween Spectacle)

Hollenbeck House Haunt started with a scare by a child wearing a Chucky doll costume.

The haunt features scary themes and backstories each year

It has been open for almost fifteen years.

The operators hire costumed actors and use scary dummies, animations, jump scares, and hidden doors to create the perfect Halloween scare.

This haunted house is a twenty minutes tour and is safe for little kids to partake in.

Some popular scares at the haunted house include clowns, Michael Myers, glowing skulls, zombies, demons, and the costume that started it all, Chucky.

These all create a haunt that is impossible to ignore.

There are surgery rooms, neon-dotted rooms, long hallways with moons, outdoor portions with skeletons placed in shrubbery and trees, and fenced-off areas with cannibalistic psychos with saws.

Hollenbeck House Haunt utilizes the element of surprise to startle and scare even the bravest and most stone-faced individuals.

Address: 17924 E Cypress St, Covina, California, United States

2. MacDevitt Manor (Haunted Setting)

MacDevitt Manor is a haunted house attraction that opened about twenty-five years ago.

K. Higgins created the haunt.

The scene of the haunted house will transport you to a different time and place.

It features crypts, witch cottages, ghost hauntings, and zombies.

Many visitors have commented that the witch haunt is the best part of this haunted house.

Even though there is no clear-cut narrative, the setting is enough for visitors to understand the storyline.

The witch has her cottage at the end of the house, where she sits with her boiling cauldron of flesh while her minions scare the visitors.

There are trap doors and secret rooms that actors use for jump scares.

The haunted house tour lasts for about ten minutes.

Families of all ages would enjoy this haunt, but be prepared for a long line this Halloween season.

Address: 2436 W Macdevitt St, West Covina, CA 91790, United States

Also see our article on Fun things to do in California.

Haunted Houses in Sacramento, California

1. Sacramento Scream Park (Thematic Horror)

Sacramento Scream Park is a Halloween haunted house attraction with different themes for visitors to explore.

The haunted house is a thirty-minute walk-through split into three parts, each filled with unique and different scares.

First is the Louisiana Catacombs; the main attraction is a story of a sorceress who has placed a curse on the whole city.

Visitors say it is the best of all three haunted houses.

Secondly, there is the Blind Asylum haunted house and the skull-ripper haunted mansion.

Other haunted houses include the Clown Chaos Maze, which features creepy clowns lurking in corners, and an even scarier carnival setting.

Keep your eyes open so you will not be snatched from the group or lured into a corner.

Visitors find their way out of the Forsaken Forest of evil creatures.

There is also a demon’s lair where the soul of sinners will be captured and haunted for all of eternity.

It does not matter which haunted house attractions you choose to explore; you will have fun.

Address: 4909 Auburn Blvd Suite 3, Sacramento, CA 95841, United States

2. Heartstoppers Haunted House (Ever-Changing Frights)

Heartstoppers is another haunted house attraction in Sacramento.

Visitors are bound to have once-in-a-lifetime scares and memories at this haunted house.

Every Halloween features different and new themes, so guests never know what to expect.

The novelty adds to the thrill of the haunted house experience.

Heartstoppers Haunted House features four scary haunted houses tied together with one terrifying story.

You will start at the Mineshaft and move on to the Deadlands, where zombies and the undead roam the streets.

Next comes the abandoned hospital; experiments are conducted on patients to cause pain.

Other attractions include the Muck and the Blightwoods.

Each of these terrifying haunts is sure to send shivers down your spine.

Address: 2300 Mine Shaft Ln, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742, United States

3. Cemetarium Haunted House (Decades of Scares)

Cemetarium Haunted House has been scaring residents of Sacramento for over 20 years.

The very entrance of the Crematorium transports visitors into a world of horror and terror.

It features three attractions: the Cemetarium, the Psycho Circus, and Zombie Heights.

Visitors journey through a maze of darkness, jump scares, and frightening creatures lurking around every corner.

The haunt features scary set designs, special effects, and actors that all come together to create a frightening storyline.

One unique feature of the Cemetarium Haunted House is that it offers a mini haunt for kids who cannot explore the scarier attractions.

Overall, the Cemetarium Haunted House is a must-visit attraction for horror fans in the Sacramento area.

With its immersive atmosphere, impressive special effects, and talented actors, it is sure to provide a thrilling and memorable experience.

Address: 6826 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, CA 95662, United States

If you liked this article, you may also like to read about the best Outdoor Activities, Festivals, and Indoor Activities in California.

Looking beyond California? Check out our article on the Scariest Haunted Houses in Texas and Florida’s Creepiest Haunted Houses.

23 Haunted Houses in CALIFORNIA (Eerie, Spooky, & Scary) (2024)


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