As you say goodbye to summer and fall in love with Sixt this autumn, what better time to get in one last road trip? The weather isn’t too cold and the trees are vibrant shades of orange, yellow, and brown, there’s no reason to stay indoors. But rather than discover more of America’s most stunning places, let’s go for something more frighteningly memorable. After all, America’s towns are filled with grisly tales of suffering, spooky stories, and paranormal activity. With Halloween is just around the corner, let’s add some spark to those moody autumn feelings with a haunted road trip of a lifetime.
Haunted Road Trip California
|Driving Time||21 Hours and 27 Minutes|
Stop 1: Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles area truly has it all. While people know it as a hub for entertainment, artists, technology companies, and businesses, it’s also a hotspot for paranormal activity. From the “Suicide Bridge” on the hauntingly beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena to the Rosenheim mansion that has been featured on season 1 of American Horror Story, there’s no shortage of spooky places to visit while in Los Angeles. Even the iconic Hollywood Sign has a haunted history due to the infamous suicide of Peg Entwistle, an aspiring starlet who jumped of the “H” back in 1932. Some say that you can still see her ghost on the Hollywoods sign, especially on foggy nights. And if you’re up for a night of paranormal activity, then spend a night in one of the many haunted hotels throughout the city, such as:
- The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This hotel still features some of the elite from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s not uncommon to see the ghost of Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe roaming its halls.
- The Stay on Main hotel: If that’s a little out of your budget, you can choose this hotel, which was previously known as the Cecil Hotel. Throughout the years, it has become the site of countless crimes and tragedies and has even housed a few serial killers, such as Richard “The Nightstalker” Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.
- The Millennium Biltmore Hotel: This is another place that is considered to be one of the most haunted hotels in Los Angeles. This is due to reports of young children that seem to haunt the hotel. The ghost of Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia, also continues spending her time there.
Stop 2: Bakersfield, CA
Our next stop on this haunted road trip through California is the Padre Hotel in Bakersfield. It’s considered to be a beautiful landmark with a haunted past. This luxury Western-themed hotel started off as a hub for the famous nightlight back in the 1920s. Today, it’s forever home to the many souls that took their last breath there. Back in the 1950s, many children died here during a fire on the 7th floor and an earthquake that trapped a few in the basement. In the decades since, people have heard the giggles of children and have even encountered the ghostly children of The Padre Hotel. In particular, the ghost of a little girl from the 1920s is particularly active and has even left a child-sized handprint in the hotel’s lobby cafe.
Stop 3: San Jose, California
As we continue our road trip into the supernatural, we visit the Winchester House. It is one of America’s strangest and most haunted houses. Its story began in September 1839 in New Haven, Connecticut. A young man named William Wirt Winchester invented the Henry Rifle. It became the “gun that won the West” during the American Civil War and amassed a large fortune as a result. After his tragic death in 1881, his wife Sarah moved west to San Jose. There, she worked 38 years until her death to construct the infamous Winchester Mystery House. Today, the 161 room mansion’s history is wrought with mystery, tragedy, and ghosts of anyone killed by a Winchester rifle. So much so, it has inspired a horror movie, Winchester, which came out earlier this year.
Stop 4: San Francisco
No California road trip is complete without a visit to San Francisco. The Bay Area is chocked full of apparent paranormal activity. The Golden Gate Bridge itself is said to be haunted due to the number of suicides committed there over the years. On the outside, the Hayward Plunge may seem like any ordinary recreational facility. Until you learn the story behind why it and a nearby trail are haunted. No paranormal trip is complete without a visit to America’s most haunted prison on Alcatraz Island. Nicknamed The Rock, it was originally built as a military fortress and later converted to a prison. For almost a century, the island surrounded by shark-infested waters confined dangerous and violent criminals. This includes Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, and murderer Robert Stroud. It has since earned its haunted legacy due to a number of events and paranormal activity.
Stop 5: Bridgeport, CA
Our next stop on this California haunted road trip is the Bodie State Historic Park. Nestled in the vast California wilderness, it’s located in the Basin Range of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The once bustling mining town from the 1800s and once attracted legions of prospectors during the Gold Rush. It officially became a ghost town in 1915 and is now a crumbling shell of its former self and tourist attraction for paranormally inclined visitors. Legend has it that anyone who takes anything from the town, even something as small as a rock or nail, is cursed with bad luck until it’s returned.
Stop 6: Death Valley National Park
Our final stop on our Haunted California road trip is the hauntingly beautiful Amargosa Opera House. Located on the eastern outskirts of the Death Valley National Park, it has a fully functional opera house and hotel. The worn out buildings give it a ghostly feel and the deserted area enhances its eerie solitude. Although there have been no known tragedies, there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity, for example:
- The unfinished portion of the hotel has been nicknamed “Spooky Hollow” due to a number of strange happenings there.
- A mysterious cat that interrupts performances at the opera house.
- The sounds of a crying child at in Room 24.