California offers amateur ghost hunters and professional paranormal investigators alike a slew of hot spots to check out. Hollywood’s history with actors and drama lends itself well to paranormal activities. Alcatraz Island, home to the notorious prison, has its own ghost lore. The Winchester mystery house, ghosts of Disneyland and numerous haunted hotels call to ghost hunters. Hauntings are also abundant in California’s schools. Across the state, students and faculty of high schools and colleges experience paranormal activities that creep them out.
Fallsvale Elementary School
Fallsvale Elementary School is surrounded by a forest. This forest is home to what locals have dubbed "the ghost children." These children are often either seen or heard by students, who for the most part have no problem with the ghost children. Paranormal investigators think that the children may be connected to a historical abandoned school situated on the same property as the elementary school.
Fallsvale Elementary School 40600 Valley of the Falls Drive Forest Falls, CA 92339 909-794-8630 fves.bvusd.ca.schoolloop.com
Ramona Convent Secondary School
The white nun of Ramona Convent Secondary School haunts the school library. This ghost is one of several that students have reported on the campus. In addition to the nun, phantom piano playing fills the air from time to time. Not long after a student accidentally drowned in the pool on campus, students swimming in the pool began reporting feelings of someone beneath the water grabbing at their legs.
Ramona Convent Secondary School 1701 West Ramona Road Alhambra, CA 91803-3099 626-282-4151 ramonaconvent.org
San Francisco Art Institute
Russian Hill sees plenty of haunting activity within San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute is built right in the thick of it. Sitting on top of a former graveyard, the Institute sees activity such as lights flickering, phantom footsteps, and doors mysteriously opening and closing of their own accord. The hauntings died down for a time, but once the bell tower began to be renovated, hauntings picked up again. Some construction workers quit working on the site out of fear after several serious accidents with seemingly supernatural sources occurred. The bell tower has since been closed.
San Francisco Art Institute 800 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94133 415-771-7020 sfai.edu
Santa Clara University
Being built on top of an ancient Native American burial ground rarely bodes well for an establishment, and Santa Clara University is no exception. At least twenty bodies, believed to belong to ancestors of the Ohlone tribe, have been found beneath the campus. The campus, the oldest school west of the Mississippi River, is home to the oldest mission in the United States. Ghosts of Jesuit priests are seen praying in the bell tower, and the sounds of moaning waft from the mission’s cemetery. Even a few dorms on campus are purported to be haunted.
Santa Clara University 500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053 408-554-4000 scu.edu
Virgil Middle School
Virgil Middle School’s auditorium dressing rooms are reportedly haunted by students who once committed suicide there. Doors in the school open and close on their own, and students report hearing moans in empty rooms. Some students have seen apparitions of a rope hanging from bathroom pipes in an area where a student supposedly hanged himself. Others note the existence of a glowing clown entity within the school.
Virgil Middle School 152 North Vermont Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90004 213-368-2800 virgilms.net
Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.