Haunted Places in California

Haunted Places in California

Kylee Bumpus (10th), Reporter

Haunted places are always being investigated and unexplained phenomena are always happening all over the world; and this doesn’t exclude California. Here in California there are many places rumored to be haunted and mysterious occurrences nobody can explain, and I’m here to tell you about a few places in California that are believed to be haunted.

The first place is The Queen Mary, harbored in Long Beach, CA. The Queen Mary, built in Clydebank Scotland, was designed to be a luxury transatlantic super ocean liner. During WWII, The Queen Mary was transitioned into a troopship, painted grey, and renamed ‘The Grey Ghost.’ The Queen Mary transported over 15,000 troops across the ocean, and at least 49 passengers and crew members died during her time as a transatlantic liner, the number of troop members who died on the ship is unknown because it’s classified by the U.S government. In 1967, The Queen Mary was sold for $3.45 million dollars to Long Beach, CA. 

One of the most haunted places on the ship is the pool room, where one of the most well known spirits of the ship is said to roam. A little girl, known as Jacqueline “Jackie” Torin, is believed to have drowned at the age of 5 on the ship, and she is often heard calling out for her parents. Another one of the most haunted places on the ship is the boiler room. The apparition of John Henry, a former employee on the ship, can be found there, ever since he passed away on the job. 

Top paranormal investigator, parapsychologist, and anomalist, Christopher Chacon, investigated the ship in the early 90s. He spent 18 months investigating the ship, and over 12,000 events were documented, 60% contained explainable factors, while 30% contained anomalous or paranormal phenomena. Using a parapsychological approach, he concluded that the data suggests phenomena with fluctuating composite characteristics. 

During the investigation, Chacon said, “As there have been countless haunt and poltergeist cases that are in reality some combination of one or more of any of these, as in the case of the Queen Mary.”

The second haunted location is the famous Winchester Mystery House, located in San Jose, CA. Sarah Lockwood Winchester married William Wirt Winchester, son of the man who manufactured the Winchester rifle. In 1866, the Winchester’s only child passed away due to illness, and later in 1880, William’s father, Oliver Winchester, passed away, leaving the company to his son William. However, in 1881, just one year after his father’s death, William died from tuberculosis. Sarah was left with a fortune from William, as well as half ownership of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. 

In 1884, she left her home in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to San Jose, California after talking to a medium. She moved into the house known today as the Winchester Mystery House, which at the time was an 8 room farmhouse. From then on, until she died in 1922, the house was always under construction. It was rumored that she built this house to appease the spirits killed by the Winchester Rifles, while other people thought she was just crazy. 

The final mansion measures 24,000 square feet, and features 10,000 windows. However, many of the most beautiful stained glass windows were hidden away where no light could reach them. The mansion is also filled with 2,000 doors, 160 rooms, 52 skylights, 47 staircases, some of which lead to nowhere, 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. 

Many paranormal sightings were reported in the mansion, one of the most commonly seen apparitions being a man named Clyde. He has been spotted by many employees and even a few guests. 

Clyde is described as wearing white overalls with a white Victorian boater hat, and he is known to tug shirts and skirts gently. Zak Bagans and his team, from Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” investigated the house, and medium James Van Praagh channeled Sarah Winchester’s spirit during a séance dinner and he reported that she is happy the house has so many visitors.

There are many more lesser known haunted locations in California, and if you enjoyed reading about the Winchester Mystery house and The Queen Mary, then you should definitely check out some articles about other places with paranormal activity.