Sometimes the loveliest places can end up harboring a terrifying secret. No one can dispute that the rivers in California are beautiful, but what would you say if you discovered for yourself that there’s darkness and horror lurking when dusk becomes night, at these haunted locations?
What’s worse is that many have lived to tell the tales that range from frightening encounters to horrifying accounts of malicious attacks from beyond the grave. Some want blood, others want your soul. Which one would you rather give up – if it meant that you could continue breathing?
10 Rivers In California As Beautiful As They Are Haunted
Table of Contents
- 10) Klamath River - Siskiyou County
- 9) Owens River – Mono County
- 8) Salinas River – Salinas
- 7) Stanislaus River – Stanislaus County
- 6) Coachella Canal – Riverside County
- 5) Sacramento River - Tehama County
- 4) Kern River – Kern County
- 3) Russian River – Mendocino County
- 2) Pit River – Modoc County
- 1) Feather River – Butte County
10) Klamath River - Siskiyou County
Thought of as one of the prettiest rivers in California, a lesser known aspect is the macabre and freaky weather patterns which seem to only affect a chosen few. Some locals advise that it all depends on your frame of mind, as the sinister storms appear to target those already in a dark emotional state.
One victim advised that he was going through a bleak phase in his life when he visited this river and was terrified when a sudden storm whipped up, with turbo-powered winds that scratched him and threw him in the water. When he screamed for help as he climbed out of the river, his rescuers advised that there were no storms that day.
9) Owens River – Mono County
One of the most popular rivers in California, the pretty grasslands along the banks harbor strange paranormal activity, where mini whirlwinds appear winding through the grass. Visitors report how a deep sense of evil is accompanied by the winds that whip up suddenly and without warning.
Some say that creepy laughter can be heard if you’re caught up in one of the whirlwinds and once they dump you on the ground, all the hatred you’ve ever felt rolls into a huge desire to attack yourself - until you've drawn blood. Locals say they never go near the grasslands as many have suffered by their own hands - directed by the evil winds.
8) Salinas River – Salinas
Witnesses say that there are shapeshifting spirits lurking in the river, who infiltrate and possess you if you dare to go in for a swim. Once you’ve been taken over, it’s said that animalistic tendencies rise up and force you to stalk the young and innocent – with a horrifying thirst for blood.
A young woman reports that she was skinny dipping with her boyfriend when she suddenly blanked out. It was only after her boyfriend received multiple gashes in his neck and chest area that she came to. She was horrified to feel his flesh and hair in her mouth. Even though he survived, their relationship did not.
7) Stanislaus River – Stanislaus County
Some say that in Stanislaus River, there are entities hiding in the shallows – especially around rocky areas – who like to bite the feet, ankles and calves of those who dare to wade in the water. Victims advise that it starts with little splashes near the rocks, which at first, seems delightful to those who see them.
Then the terror begins, particularly when children are involved. It’s believed that these unholy spirits love the taste of young flesh and the deep cuts and horrifying teeth marks leave people in an almost catatonic state – muttering about demons trying to eat them alive.
6) Coachella Canal – Riverside County
Several visitors have reported strange phenomena at the Coachella Canal, including people’s shadows taking on a life of their own. A couple who decided to walk along the waterway to snap photos advised that they noticed their shadows separating from their bodies and acting out horrifying acts on the concrete banks of the canal.
The wife reported that she was nearly sick when she saw her husband’s shadow strangling hers and instantly felt her throat constricting. As he raced her back to their car, he saw her shadow with a silhouette of a large carving knife stabbing his chest. They nearly didn’t make it, as their pain was so severe.
5) Sacramento River - Tehama County
Visitors to Sacramento River usually ignore the warnings from the locals, who say that there are angry Native spirits in the woods. An old man who experienced the nightmare first hand, advises that he was enjoying a walk in the woods behind the river bank, when he saw Native apparitions staring from behind the trees.
Normally a happy-go-lucky person, he was suddenly filled with rage over all the people who’d done him wrong in the past. Not only did he seek them out and attempt to attack them – he also tried to stab another visitor to the river – stating that he was protecting the land. It took a lot of explaining before the victims decided not to go to the police.
4) Kern River – Kern County
Many visitors enjoy hiking to the white boulders on the side of some parts of Kern River, but a few have reported seeing what appear to be white, skeletal ghosts swarming the area – doing their best to trip people over in order to ensure they smash their heads on the rocks.
A small group of campers told of the time they were clowning around, when one of them pointed and said that she saw a creepy spirit slithering like a snake over one of the boulders. Then more appeared and the girl fell over and hit her head. When she woke up, all she could do was scream in terror for hours. She also needed thirteen stitches.
3) Russian River – Mendocino County
There are hushed whispers about the terrifying ghosts who appear at Russian river – after twilight. They are small children who have a thing for knocking the teeth out of their victims. Locals deny the rumors, but a witness advised that his own mother was a victim when she tried to help one of them.
Hearing the lonely cries of a child, she found a little girl who was wearing a necklace made of human teeth. When she yelled for help, she was knocked over from behind and fell face first on something sharp. She lost all her front teeth and still swears that somewhere, a ghost child has them strung around her little, creepy neck.
2) Pit River – Modoc County
Witnesses report that your worst nightmares come true when visiting this seemingly calm and quiet river. It is believed that something dark lives in the water – like an ancient spirit who materializes whatever haunts you if you trespass on its lair. One young fisherman advises to steer clear at all costs.
He reports that his manic fear of snakes became too real when he set up to fish one early morning. There was a mist over the river and he felt like he was being watched. Then suddenly he saw snakes spiraling up his body and covering him completely. He was found screaming blue murder in his car, several hours later - covered in scratches.
1) Feather River – Butte County
Few like to talk about the bizarre, high-pitched screaming that has the capacity to burst your eardrums when visiting this river. One retired nurse advises that she had always wanted to set up her easel and paint this lovely river, until the day she took a walk to find the right spot and nearly lost her mind - as well as a total loss of hearing.
It apparently started with whispering that sounded like a kettle slowly building up to whistle. When she realized that it was a cacophony of blood-curdling screams, it was too late. She staggered back to safety with blood pouring out of her ears, and was lucky to have only suffered partial loss of hearing.