Does the idea of haunted camp sites in California interest you? Or perhaps they just scare the crap out of you?! haha. If camping with ghosts and unexplained phenomena is your idea of a good time, get ready. Because you’re about to discover the 10 most haunted camp sites in California.
Haunted Camp Sites
There are many different camp sites in California, but there’s more to some of them than meets the eye.
Many camp sites in California are near deserted or abandoned towns, and if you go you might see some of the old inhabitants…
Are you prepared to spend the night at a haunted camp site? Do you have any idea of what might be out there?
Read on for more details on the haunted camp sites in California where some people won’t go after dark.
There are plenty of places to visit where you won’t need to test ghost stories, since you’ll have your own!
Make sure to go with a friend so you are not alone, because some of these camp sites have true terrifying stories.
You have been warned.
10 Most Haunted Camp Sites in California
Table of Contents
- 1. Fernwood Campground, Big Sur
- 2. Calico Ghost Town, Calico
- 3. Lake Morena, Campo
- 4. Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Weott
- 5. Vallecito County Park, Julian
- 6. Crystal Lake Campground, Azusa
- 7. Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
- 8. Mount Madonna State Park, Watsonville
- 9. Alvarado Park, Richmond
- 10. Bodie Ghost Town, Bodie
- Your Next Step
1. Fernwood Campground, Big Sur
If you head out to Big Sur for an evening stay, you might want to visit this camp site.
It is on land that used to be sacred to the Esalen Indians, but it was taken over for commercial purposes.
Now former guests say that a mysterious figure stalks the camp ground late at night.
Campers report seeing the ghost of an Indian in a corn mask, and at night he walks around the cabins and watches you sleep.
Photo credit: flickr/spierisf
2. Calico Ghost Town, Calico
When you think about haunted camp sites in California…
…Calico Ghost Town should be first on your list.
There were lots of small mining towns in California that popped up during the silver rush.
Calico Ghost Town was one of those old towns. Hundreds of miners used to live here. Then, all of a sudden, people left. The town remains empty to this day, but you can still visit.
The scariest part of the camp site is that it is inside the Calico Ghost Town cemetery.
Even if you are brave enough to visit the ghost town, you might not be brave enough to spend the night.
Inside the town at night, people see ghost lights flicker on and off, even though no one lives there.
Some people have even seen floating balls of light above the deserted street.
If you make it through the night, spirits of the dead, may be spotted meandering through the trails.
Young ladies who lost their mining lovers and young men who died in the mines still appear in the town.
All of these apparitions pale in comparison to the town cemetery, where brave campers spend the night.
There were many mysterious diseases and disappearances while the town was still operating.
You can see how many people perished by taking a look at their tombstones and the dates on them.
Just be careful not to wake anyone – or anything – up if you decide to stay the night.
In fact, you may not want to sleep at all.
Male campers report waking in the morning with bruises and bite marks on their body.
Several female campers have reported the feeling of being molested in the night by something they can’t see.
There’s no telling what you might find in one of the most haunted camp sites in California.
Photo credit: flickr/tofu_minx
3. Lake Morena, Campo
If you visit the deserted eastern part of the Laguna Mountains, you can stay at the haunted campground.
You might see a young woman in a long, white dress.
Campers hear her laughing and singing from far away. Some people even report heavy footsteps in the night around their tents.
Photo credit: flickr/12182883@N06
4. Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Weott
The park is an ancient forest that was sacred to many Native Americans.
Some visitors see the spirits of these Indians late at night. Even more common is seeing a mysterious, large human figure rushing through the trees.
People say that it is Big Foot, but no one has even gotten close enough to be sure of what they have seen.
Photo credit: flickr/davidkiene
5. Vallecito County Park, Julian
This park has all manner of strange things that come out after dark.
Visitors swear they have seen the ghosts of former park managers in the desert.
There are strange lights that appear above the desert late at night and early in the morning.
If you decide to go, make sure that you do not go alone.
Photo credit: geogypsytraveler.com
6. Crystal Lake Campground, Azusa
Because sixty years ago an entire family was killed on this camp site by a grizzly bear.
Visitors to Crystal Lake swear that they can see the ghosts of the whole family on clear nights. Especially sensitive people report seeing red auras emanating from the ghosts.
Sometimes they can even hear voices talking to each other in the night.
Do not go to Crystal Lake if you get scared easily.
Photo credit: flickr/kanegledhill
7. Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen
The park is officially closed after dark, but many people visit at night. There are strange sounds in the park, and people report hearing footsteps behind them.
Sometimes there are even reports of feeling ghostly hands, even though no one else is in the park.
Campers often say they spot “creatures with lopsided heads” staring at them from the branches of Oak trees.
You have no idea what might happen if you go and visit.
Photo credit: flickr/harold_davis
8. Mount Madonna State Park, Watsonville
Sarah Miller was the daughter of a landowner who lost the land to a developer.
Sarah did not want the land to be sold, and now many believe she stalks the park at night.
Visitors state a shadowy young woman roams the grounds in the evenings. She often appears to beckon campers to follow her.
In 2013 a family reported their teenage daughter followed the apparition, thinking she needed help. Upon returning, the teenager was unable to speak, apparently traumatized and unwilling, or unable, to talk about the experience.
Photo credit: ziasus.com
9. Alvarado Park, Richmond
In Richmond, California you can find another one of the scary camp sites in California.
In 2011, a woman visiting the park was stopped on the trail to the camp site by an old Native America man. She reported to rangers that when she approached the man he let out a high pitched shriek. Started, the woman turned away and when she looked back the man was nowhere to be found.
That same night, another visitor was startled to see a dark figure, with the shape of a man, sitting in a tree, shrieking without end.
As the visitor approached, the dark figure slipped away into the night, and what was left in his place was a woman hanging by her neck.
Make sure to go with others if you visit this site.
Photo credit: flickr/efo
10. Bodie Ghost Town, Bodie
Out of all the camp sites in California, this ghost town had the fastest death.
It started as a few hundred people, then grew to over ten thousand. Everyone came for the gold rush, and the crime rate was out of control.
People in the town stole and murdered, encouraged by the hefty amounts of gold.
There were plenty of fights between angry miners. Even today you can still hear crashing sounds from some of the old bars.
The face of a woman appears on the second story of her old building. Noises come from all of the old houses.
Hikers and campers sometimes report seeing what appears to be a pile of bodies on fire.
In some of the areas where there was more crime, visitor’s report that they feel held down or as though they will suffocate.
Doors open and close on their own, without anyone touching them.
Sometimes you might feel a wave of fear, even though there is no reason for it.
Some people say that Bodie was cursed and that the spirits of people from Bodie will haunt any visitors who disturb the ghost town.
If you do visit, make sure not to take anything back with you. In 2009 a group of four campers decided to take rocks and pieces of metal as souvenirs.
Within weeks, two of the campers died in an automobile accident. One became paralyzed from the waist down, due to a work accident.
The last one went on a solo hike and wasn’t heard from again. The reason for the disappearance remains a mystery to this day.
Make sure to be careful if you visit this ghost town, because you do not want to disturb the spirits who remain.
If you walk carefully and do not touch anything you might survive without any negative effects.
Photo credit: flickr/jeffreysullivan
Your Next Step
Call up your friends and plan an overnight trip.
If a night hike doesn’t scare you, then staying the night at one of the places on this list is sure to terrify you.
Grab a map first.
Then ready your nerves!