Well, I have begun to seriously work on the catalog, and here is what I have so far...
Santa Cruz Paranormal Research Society
Catalogue of Haunted Places In and Around Santa Cruz County:
1. Evergreen Cemetery, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
This cemetery is one of Santa Cruz’s oldest. There are graves that date back to the civil war era, and include men from Santa Cruz who died fighting in the civil war. There is a house that borders the graveyard on one side, which is rumored to be built on top of the graves of the Chinese railroad workers. The house is also rumored to be haunted. The main ghost that people have claimed to have seen at the graveyard over the years is called, “the white lady”. The White Lady is supposed to be the ghost of a mail order bride from Massachusetts, who lived on what is now the cemetery property. Her husband was a terrible drunk who would beat her constantly and make her wear her wedding dress every night. She was planning on leaving him, and when he found out about her plan he killed and beheaded her, then buried her body beneath the house. There are reports that she walks the length of the graveyard, and also walk up and down a large walkway that turns into a staircase as it goes uphill into the redwoods. There have also been reports of her sweeping the porch of a shack that is non-existent, at the top of the walkway/staircase. The apparition is said to be an old lady with gray or white hair and wears a long white dress or robe over her very pale skin. She has not seriously harmed anyone as far as I know, but she has been reported to scream obscenities, and slap at people who come too near while she sweeps her porch. It has been advised that she should be avoided if encountered.
2. Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale CA. 950
The Brookdale lodge is one of California’s most famous haunted spots and is only a few miles outside of the city of Santa Cruz. The lodge has a restaurant in a room named “the Brook Room”, because it has a brook running through the middle of the room. This room is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl named Sarah Logan who supposedly drowned in the brook that runs through the room. Hundreds of people have seen the ghost girl over the years including both guests and employees. The ghost girl is not supposed to be a malicious ghost, and has not been reported to have harmed anyone aside from the typical fear that comes from witnessing a spirit. The spirit is reported to play and laugh, as well as run about the room and move objects in a playful manner. She has been seen running across a bridge that used to be in the dining room, and the phantom smell of gardenias emanates at times where there are none anywhere on the property. Another part of this hotel is haunted; a room in the hotel, room # ( ). This room is reported to be haunted by the ghosts of two people who were killed or committed suicide in this room. Some guests specifically request this room, hoping to catch a glimpse of these spirits. Little is known about these spirits, but they are not supposed to be malicious, but rather are confused and ask for help, reliving the night of their deaths. There are also rumors of many bodies being buried on the property, left there by the swarms of gangsters that used to frequent the famous lodge in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. This hotel has had many investigators, and psychics explore the site, all cocluding that the Brookdale Lodge is indeed haunted. In fact, psychics have identified 49 separate paranormal entities on this property! The owners of the hotel have been offered help in removing the spirit of the little girl, but refuse, claiming that she causes no harm and brings in customers.
3. Rispin Mansion, Capitola, CA. 95003
This mansion was once owned by the wealthy Rispin family, and after them, the mansion became a Jesuit mission, a police dog training school and is now a historical landmark, but now is abandoned and dilapidated. The mansion sits behind a large stone wall that was once a border to the Rispin’s property, on Wharf rd. in Capitola. The mansions outer walls are made of stone, or some type of plaster, and is three stories tall, including a basement. The mansion is said to have a negative energy, or a “curse” as some call it, in which anyone who resides in the mansion loses all their money. There are rumored to be several spirits that roam the mansion. In the basement, there is the spirit of a dog, which supposedly barks and growls at those who enter the basement. This spirit is supposed to be the spirit of a dog that may have lived in the basement when it was used by the Capitola Police Department as a training school for police dogs. On the other levels of the mansion are two or more other known spirits. One is a man who walks the halls, and is claimed to have a menacing presence that does not like people being in his house. The other spirit is that of an old woman who sits on the upper porch and reads a book while rocking back and forth in her rocking chair. This female spirit is famously known as the “lady in black”, and is dressed like the Jesuit nuns who once lived there. The book she reads and carries is said to be a bible. This spirit is also often seen looking out of the top window down onto the back courtyard; there have been some photos that apparently show her looking out of the window. She also is said to tell visitors to leave. After the house was abandoned a man fell through a rotting floor and died of his injuries after being stuck there for some time. It is said that you can hear someone screaming for help from the basement of the house. And finally, people have seen the spirit of a man with glasses standing in the main fireplace. It is unknown, however, who these spirits are. They could be some of the Rispin family, or possibly other tenants who have lived there over the years, possibly a transient who was rumored to have died in the house while sleeping there, years after it was abandoned. Other activity in the house includes hearing disembodied voices, loud footsteps, windows and doors opening, and also cold spots. Unfortunately, research here is limited because the house is boarded up, and fenced off. Lots of teens go there on dark nights to explore and have broken in, but this may not happen for much longer. The city council is fighting to have the mansion torn down, while others want it restored as a historical landmark.
4. Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery, Ocean St. Extension, Santa Cruz, CA. 95060
The Ocean St. extension area is an interesting place because of the rich history of that area. The St. goes back into the redwood forest and turns into a dirt road which actually connects to highway 9, but is not open to cars. Once the road reaches the river there is a very large barbed wire fence which keeps people out of a Masonic camp and a historical landmark called Paradise Park. The camp was once a gunpowder facility of some kind, but was closed due to a horrific accidental fire and explosion at the facility that killed 9 Irishmen and a bride more than a mile away who was hit by debris fro mthe explosion. The Freemasons bought it at one point as a vacation getaway for their members, and still own the property today. This camp is also home to a historical landmark Covered Bridge. The camp has been rumored to be haunted by the spirits of men who died in the explosion. Back down the road toward Ocean St. there is another camp that was built along the San Lorenzo River. This camp is an illegal camp that was built and inhabited by homeless people in Santa Cruz. This camp is called Camp Paradise, and was home to hundreds of homeless people over the years. A few homeless people have died here over the years, and since the camp is no longer there, the area along the river where the camp was is said to be haunted by the homeless who died here. There are a few rustic farmhouses along the road, a few of which are rumored to be haunted. One house on the street was verified to be haunted, and then cleansed by a Psychic who removed the spirit because of its malicious intentions. The graveyard and mortuary there, however, are the main center of Paranormal activity in this area. There is supposed to be a “white lady” who walks the graveyard, but I believe that people may be confusing this spirit with the “white lady” who supposedly haunts the Evergreen Cemetery, which is less than ½ a mile away. There are supposed to be many other spirits here including those who appear to be male, female, young, old, in Victorian clothes, and some look like homeless people. These spirits haunt various areas of the cemetery, some are said to be peaceful, where as others are said to be malicious. It is said that if you drive up to the main gate and shine your headlights into the cemetery a spirit will appear in front of your headlights, and will then chase you away, even scratching your car and opening your doors. There are faces seen in the dark, as well as on headstones, voices in the dark, orbs that can be seen by the naked eye, and dark figures that roam the grounds. The mortuary sits across the street from the cemetery, and looks like a temple out of an Indiana Jones movie, and is also reported to have some paranormal activity. Overall, a lot going on here.
5. Tyler House, La Selva Beach, CA. 95076.
The Tyler House is currently a drug and alcohol rehabilitation home for teens, but the home is over 100 years old. The home has had many residents, and where the house now stands used to be both an Ohlone burial ground, and a Jesuit mission, home to many priests. The Tyler House gets its name from the founders’ son, Tyler, who committed suicide, due to depression from being a closeted heroin addict. He thought there was no help available to him, so his parents founded the Tyler house so that teens in his situation can get free help with their drug or alcohol problems. I do not know whether he lived in this house, or killed himself at the house. There is, however, some type of paranormal activity in the home. It is reported that doors and windows will open and close on their own. Lights will turn on and off. Cold spots are felt, footsteps are heard, and so are voices, both by employees and residents. The beach adjacent to the house (Manresa Beach State Park), is also supposed to be haunted by the spirit of a young boy who drowned their in the 1960’s. At night people have heard a young boy yelling for help from the waters near shore, as well as thrashing sounds in the water. Also, there have been a few rumors that the train trestle and surrounding area, less than 400 meters from the Tyler House is haunted by the spirit of a mentally ill man who killed himself by jumping off the trestle about 6 years ago, although this has not been investigated very much.
6. Woodstock Home, Woodstock Way, Campbell CA. 950xx
This home is a group home for mentally challenged adults on Woodstock way in San Jose. The home was once owned by a man who lived there alone. One night the home caught fire, and as a result the man living there was killed. Because he had no family, the state took the home and turned it into a group home. It is the spirit of this man that supposedly haunts this home. Interestingly, some of the paranormal activity here includes the smell of smoke, people waking up screaming from having dreams that the home is on fire (residents have actually woken up to a fire filled room and ran out the door or jumped out windows, but upon returning find no evidence of any type of fire or flame), hearing voices, being touched, phantom footsteps, bangs and other noises. Some employees and residents have even seen the apparition. One employee saw the reflection of the man in the TV, while others have seen someone walk past the windows on the sie of the house. At the moment, two autistic men who live there (likely in the former master bedroom, where the man died), see the spirit on a dialy basis, and even have other contact due to their disability. It is said that people who have autism are much more able to see and hear spirits than normal, non-psychic people. They are both nearly non-verbal, but in this case they offered up a lot of details about the spirit. Hey claim, as was verified by sightings from other people, that the man has black hair, and burnt clothes, with gray skin. He touches the two autistic men’s blankets, and with a raspy voice will repeatedly ask them for water.
7. 177 Mission St. (private residence), Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Mr. and Mrs. Neary, famous Santa Cruzans who were responsible for rebuilding the Santa Cruz mission across the street, once owned and lived in this very old Victorian era house. The house is currently painted gray and is two stories tall. At one point there were supposedly occultists living here who conducted many rituals here, and even put up sheets in the house to make the rooms into the shape of a pyramid. It is possible that they may have invited spirits into this home, or the spirits that reside here could be the ghost of former owners. Activity in the house has included hearing voices call out your name, a child’s mobile spinning and playing music very rapidly by itself, and framed paintings being turned on their side and upside down. There are also strange secret compartments all throughout the home.
8. The Capitola Theater, 120 Monterey St. Capitola, 950xx
This long standing movie theater was converted from a movie theater into an opera house and performing arts center. The building rests only 100 feet from the beach in Capitola Village. There have been many reports of activity here, with a high frequency of occurrences happening during the transformation from theater to opera house. A construction worker was in the lobby and heard the sounds of an audience watching a movie, when he went in no one was there, and the sound seemed to lift into the air. Another person working on the transformation of the theater received a telephone call for the seamstress working on the theater, thinking the seamstress was upstairs the woman yelled up the stairs and heard a loud woman’s voice reply, “I’ll get it”. The seamstress, it turned out was not there, and when the woman went upstairs to see why no one had picked up the phone she found the upstairs completely empty. Voices have also been heard throughout the theater.
9. Red, White and Blue Nude Beach, Highway 1, Santa Cruz CA. 95060.
Not much is known about the paranormal activity here, but many people have seen and heard the spirit of a woman who was murdered by her boyfriend at this beach. In the parking area people report that when they return to their cars at night they find many strange hand prints all over their car when there are very few, sometimes no one around.
10. Sunshine Villa Retirement Home, Beach Hill, Santa Cruz CA 95062.
This mansion, that is now called, Sunshine Villa, is a retirement home for the elderly. It used be, however a private residence, with a long history, dating back to the Victorian era. The mansion was even one of the inspirations for the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s, “Psycho”. This site is notoriously haunted and there are many rumors about why the spirits are here. One rumor is that a man once lived here, and would kill women and keep a collection of their heads in his room. At one point, the smell was so terrible that other residents called the police and the man was arrested. Another theory about the cause of the paranormal activity is that the home was built on top of an Ohlone Indian sacred site. Other theories about the paranormal activity here include, haunting by the many elderly people who die in the home, and haunting by the former owners. It is, however, not known for sure who the spirits are. There is no doubt though that there is some kind of paranormal activity here. Residents of the retirement home, as well as employees have long reported windows opening and closing on their own, doors opening and shutting, footsteps going up and down the stairs and halls, disembodied voices, moving shadows, motion sensor soap dispensers going off by themselves and even an occasional apparition appearance.