California Culture


Ghosts of the California Coast

Pictured is the haunted Olivas Adobe in Ventura, Calif. Ghosts tours are conducted on Halloween by famed ghost expert, Richard Senate.

Ghosts of the Coast are abundant in history, lore and in real life tales from Californians and visitors who have experienced paranormal activity-- seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling things that seem real, then disappear. You need only ask locals the "ghost" question, but when you do, expect surprises. Sometimes there's no story at all, but when a tale unfolds, it can be shocking!

Here are some frequently reported ghost along the California coast:

  • GHOST TREE GHOST - Thousands of people on bus tours stop daily to look at the Ghost Tree on 17 Mile Drive, so named for its ghostly appearance and shape. If you linger on a foggy night, perhaps you'll catch a glimpse of the Lady in Lace ghost many have noticed, wandering along this stretch of highway. Draped in white lace and seen near the Ghost Tree, she looks sad, then disappears into emptiness.
  • BLUE LADY - At the Moss Beach Distillery north of Monterey in San Mateo County, The Blue Lady ghost featured on Unsolved Mysteries television show. When you dine at the restaurant that was once a speak-easy, you may see the lady dressed in blue as she disappears before your eyes.
  • GHOST SHIP - Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. is the most haunted ship you'll ever find. Many traveled across the Atlantic, injured and sometimes passing away during transport. The Queen Mary is recognized for its paranormal activity.
  • GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE - San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge has a reputation for more suicides than any bridge in the world! And with those suicides come consequence, say those who reportedly speak from the other side. Visit the bridge, walk on it and linger. It has a very eerie feeling!
  • VENTURA - At one of the most haunted cities along the California coast, there are ghosts at the Olivas Adobe, Ventura County Courthouse and Bella Maggiore Inn, to name a few spots. The city retains many historic buildings.
  • HAUNTED WHALEY HOUSE - San Diego's Old Town and red light district called Gaslmap Quarters are filled with history--and ghosts. Since its construction in 1857 on the site of the public gallows, The Whaley House has been the scene of many tragic events. The sound of long dead Yankee Jim's footsteps coming from the second floor, and the feel, smell and sight of strange and mysterious things are tantalizing and spooky.
  • SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - Visit any old buildings surrounding California missions and you're bound to experience a bit of the paranormal. San Juan Capistrano is no exception. I went with another reporter to a gift shop in an historic house next to Mission San Juan Capistrano. My writer friend stepped in the door and said to the owner, "Somebody died in that next room, didn't they?" The frantic shop owner came rushing over so other customers wouldn't hear the conversation and replied, "We had a priest come and cleansed it to remove the ghost." The shop owner was NOT happy. But it didn't bother my friend, and I didn't feel a thing.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info