If you live in the Santa Cruz, California area its easy to find a real haunted location to visit for Halloween! Check out some of the best places in Santa Cruz to experience a ghostly haunting for yourself.
One of the most famous haunted places in the area is the Brookdale lodge, located in the Santa Cruz mountains in Brookdale, California on Highway 9. I went to high school just a few miles down the road from this spooky motel. The Brookdale lodge was originally opened in 1870 as the headquarters of the Grover Lumber Mill. It has been a hotel since 1900, and has had many owners since that time. At one time, it was one of the most popular resorts in California and had quite a few famous guests, including Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford and Mae West. In the 1940’s and 50’s, many gangsters began to frequent the lodge. Secret passageways and rooms were built throughout the lodge and rumors of buried bodies under the floors began. About this time, the owner’s niece, six year old Sarah Logan, drowned in the dining room creek. There have been many sightings of Sarah over the years. Typically, she is described as wearing a formal dress from the 1940’s. Many people have said that Sarah has come to them crying and asking for help in finding her mother, and then she disappears. I have not seen Sarah myself; however, my Mother’s wedding took place here some years ago, and when exploring the lodge I could hear music that sounded like it was from the 1940’s coming out of a room, and when opening the door, the room was empty. As I shut the door, I felt a strange chill I had not experienced before. I found out many years later that many visitors hear music coming from an empty room, or voices heard as if coming from a crowded dinner table. It has been said by psychics that as many as 49 spirits are residing at the Brookdale Lodge. If you want to increase your chancing of experiencing the paranormal, this would be the first place I would visit in the Santa Cruz area!
To experience a haunted beach, you might visit the Red, White and Blue Beach in Santa Cruz. There have been many sightings of a woman wondering the beach at night. When she is confronted, she suddenly disappears. Supposedly, the woman was killed by her boyfriend at the beach. I had many friends, and friends of friends, who have seen her both on the beach and on Highway 1 nearby.
Another haunting seems to take place at Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton (just north of Santa Cruz), where hikers have recently found human remains. Ever since the find, the trains on night excursions keep stalling where the body was found, and conductors have seen a woman crossing the tracks. Each time this brings the train to a halt, only to find no one there. If you’d like to take a journey yourself, there is a “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Ghost Train event held at the Roaring Camp Railroad on October 29th and 30th.
A local legend that has been around for years, is the legend of the “White Lady”. The story goes, “An old drunkard sent away for a mail order bride from Massachusetts and received a beautiful young girl. They married and moved into his small house overlooking Ocean Street Extension in Santa Cruz (now just off Graham Hill Road). The old man got drunk every night and would force her into wearing her wedding dress and ruthlessly beat her. When he found out about her plans to leave him, he beat her to death, decapitated her and then burned the house down with her body in it. Right after she disappeared, numerous people began reporting the sight of a glowing ghost in a wedding gown.” Sometimes she is now seen walking through the nearby woods. Remnants of the house still sit on the hill and some say the “White Lady” floats along the road from the cemetery to Paradise Park Club seeking her revenge.
If you talk to locals, you’ll find many more ghostly tales in Santa Cruz, then decide for yourself if they are fact or legend!