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The 7 MOST HAUNTED Places In California 🤯

Did anybody else just feel that?

From the eerie corridors of abandoned prisons to the ghostly echoes in historic hotels, California is a treasure trove of mysterious tales and spine-tingling legends.

Each location we’re about to explore holds a unique story, steeped in history and shrouded in paranormal intrigue.

Join us as we uncover the DISTURBING tales behind these haunted places in California!

1. The Queen Mary – Long Beach

hms queen mary long beach

What is it?

The Queen Mary is a historical ocean liner permanently moored in Long Beach, California.

Originally launched in 1936, this majestic ship offers a glimpse into a bygone era of maritime luxury.

Why is it Haunted?

The ship is renowned for its ghostly legends, particularly the story of ‘Jackie’, a young girl who supposedly drowned in the ship’s pool.

Visitors often report unexplained sounds and sightings, especially around the now-closed pool area, believed to be haunted by Jackie’s spirit.

What Can You See or Do?

Guests can explore the ship through guided tours, which highlight historical facts and alleged paranormal hotspots.

Nighttime ghost tours and paranormal investigations offer a more eerie experience for the brave-hearted.

The Queen Mary also features dining and shopping options, along with various events throughout the year.

For more information on visiting, including ticket prices and operational hours, check the Queen Mary’s official website.

The Halloween season is particularly popular for its themed events, but visitors should confirm any seasonal closures in advance.

2. The Whaley House – San Diego

whaley house

What is it?

The Whaley House stands in the heart of San Diego, California, as a classic example of mid-nineteenth-century Greek Revival architecture.

Built in 1857, it has served as a family residence, granary, courthouse, and even a theater.

Why is it Haunted?

The Whaley House is famed for its supernatural occurrences, believed to be one of the most haunted houses in America.

Stories suggest the presence of the Whaley family spirits and other ghostly figures, including a man who was hanged on the property before the house was built.

Visitors and staff have reported mysterious sounds, footsteps, and ghostly visions within its walls.

What Can You See or Do?

The house is open to the public as a museum, offering guided tours that explore its history and haunted lore.

Special night tours are available, highlighting the eerie tales and reported sightings.

For hours, ticket information, and event details, visit the Whaley House website.

It’s especially popular during Halloween, but it’s wise to check for seasonal hours or events in advance.

3. Winchester Mystery House – San Jose

Winchester Mystery House

What is it?

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is an architectural wonder and historic landmark.

Constructed by Sarah Winchester, widow of the Winchester rifle magnate, this sprawling mansion is famous for its size, architectural curiosities, and lack of any master building plan.

Why is it Haunted?

The house is renowned for its alleged supernatural occurrences.

Legend says Sarah Winchester built the house to appease the spirits of those harmed by Winchester rifles.

The mansion’s bizarre design, with doors and stairs leading nowhere, is said to confuse these spirits.

Visitors and staff have reported strange sounds, cold spots, and ghostly apparitions throughout the house.

What Can You See or Do?

The Winchester Mystery House offers guided tours, showcasing its unique architecture and sharing its mysterious history.

Specialty tours, including flashlight tours at night, provide a more haunting experience.

For tour schedules, ticket prices, and event information, visit the official Winchester Mystery House website.

The house is particularly intriguing during Halloween but check in advance for any special events or seasonal changes in operating hours.

4. Alcatraz Island – San Francisco

alcatraz island

What is it?

Alcatraz Island, located in San Francisco Bay, is famous for its historic and notorious federal prison.

Once a military fortification, it later became a maximum-security prison housing infamous criminals.

Today, it stands as a National Historic Landmark, attracting visitors from around the world.

Why is it Haunted?

Alcatraz is known for its eerie atmosphere and chilling tales of the paranormal.

The harsh history of the prison, with stories of isolation and despair, fuels its haunted reputation.

Inmates and guards alike have reported unexplainable noises, ghostly figures, and eerie sensations throughout the prison.

What Can You See or Do?

Visitors can take a ferry to explore Alcatraz Island and the prison.

Guided tours provide insights into the prison’s history, daily life of inmates, and infamous escape attempts.

Audio tours, often narrated by former guards and inmates, enhance the haunting experience.

For ferry schedules, tour details, and ticket information, visit the Alcatraz Cruises website.

Early booking is recommended, especially in peak tourist seasons, and check for any seasonal changes in operating hours.

5. Hotel del Coronado – Coronado

Hotel del Coronado - Coronado, California

What is it?

Hotel del Coronado, situated on Coronado Island near San Diego, is a historic beachfront hotel known for its stunning Victorian architecture.

Opened in 1888, it has hosted numerous celebrities, presidents, and royalty, and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Why is it Haunted?

The hotel’s haunted reputation centers around the mysterious story of Kate Morgan, a guest who died there in 1892 under mysterious circumstances.

Her spirit is said to haunt her third-floor guestroom, with reports of ghostly sightings, flickering lights, and unexplained noises.

The legend of Kate Morgan adds a mystic allure to the hotel, intriguing guests and paranormal enthusiasts alike.

What Can You See or Do?

The Hotel del Coronado offers luxury accommodations, fine dining, and various beachfront activities.

Visitors can explore the grandeur of the hotel, learn about its history, and maybe even experience its paranormal side.

Guided tours are available, including those focusing on the hotel’s haunted history and the story of Kate Morgan.

For more information on accommodations, dining options, and tour bookings, visit the Hotel del Coronado’s official website.

While the hotel operates year-round, it’s wise to check for any special events or seasonal activities.

6. Bodie Ghost Town, Mono County


What is it?

Bodie Ghost Town, located in Mono County, California, is a preserved town from the late 19th-century gold rush era.

Once a bustling mining community, it’s now a State Historic Park, offering a rare, unaltered glimpse into California’s gold rush past.

The town, maintained in a state of “arrested decay,” showcases over 100 structures, including homes, a church, and a saloon.

Why is it Haunted?

Bodie’s reputation as a ghost town is not just figurative. Tales of hauntings and paranormal activity abound.

Visitors and park rangers have reported strange occurrences such as ghostly figures, unexplained sounds, and the sensation of being watched.

These stories are often attributed to the spirits of former residents, still lingering in the deserted town.

According to local legend, Evelyn was a young resident of Bodie during its boom years.

The tale recounts that she was accidentally killed by a miner’s pickaxe during a playful run through the town.

Ever since her tragic death, visitors and staff have reported eerie occurrences around the area where the incident happened.

These include the sound of a child’s laughter, the sight of a small, shadowy figure darting between buildings, and even the feeling of an invisible presence.

Evelyn’s story is a poignant reminder of the town’s vibrant past and is one of the many tales that contribute to Bodie’s haunted reputation.

What Can You See or Do?

Visitors can explore the town on self-guided tours, walking the deserted streets and peeking into the remnants of daily life.

Photography enthusiasts will find the town a rich subject, capturing the essence of a bygone era.

For a deeper understanding of Bodie’s history, guided tours are available, including ghost walks that delve into the town’s eerie lore.

For information on visiting hours, tour schedules, and events, check with the California State Parks website.

Remember, Bodie is located in a remote area with limited facilities, so planning ahead is essential.

7. Preston Castle – Ione

Preston Castle - Ione

What is it?

Preston Castle, situated in Ione, California, is a historic and imposing structure originally known as the Preston School of Industry.

Built in 1890, this castle-like building served as a reform school and is now a designated California Historical Landmark.

Its architectural grandeur and historical significance make it an intriguing site for visitors.

Why is it Haunted?

The castle’s haunting reputation stems from its past as a reform school, where many young inmates faced harsh conditions.

Ghost stories and paranormal claims include apparitions, unexplained noises, and eerie sensations throughout the building.

These tales are often linked to tragic events in the castle’s history, including the unsolved murder of a head housekeeper in the early 20th century.

What Can You See or Do?

Preston Castle offers historical tours, providing insights into its past and architecture.

For those interested in the supernatural, paranormal investigation tours are available, often leading to experiences of unexplained phenomena.

Special events, including photography tours and seasonal activities, are hosted throughout the year.

For tour schedules, event details, and ticket information, visit the Preston Castle Foundation’s official website.

Visiting hours and tour availability may vary, so it’s advisable to check in advance, especially for paranormal tours and special events.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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