Stephen King once asked in a novel, can an entire town be haunted? Welcome to Chowchilla, California, a place which might be just that.
While its population is only around fifteen thousand, Chowchilla nevertheless sports not one but two institutions of lower learning: the Central California Women's Facility and the Valley State Prison.
Furthermore, the name Chowchilla itself is derived from the Chaushila Yokut Indian tribe, and translates literally to "murderers."
The Save Mart on Robertson Boulevard.
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The Save Mart on Robertson Boulevard is Possibly The Most Haunted Location in Chowchilla, California
He is known as "The Clawed Man" by some, merely as the ghost by others, and one person even gave him the rakish nickname of "Freddy Krueger's Whetstone."
The ghost - which has been spotted numerous times in the middle of the night, sometimes on camera and sometimes in person, and usually in the vicinity of the frozen foods section - has the appearance of a man who has been attacked by something with sharp and vicious claws.
"The first time I saw him, I knew that he was dead," says Pete, a former employee of Save Mart.
"He just had these gashes in his face, and they weren't bleeding...and you just don't have gashes in your face like that without blood pouring out. They were read, you could see the flesh, but there wasn't nearly as much blood as you would expect.
"Unless, of course, you're dead, or a ghost, or whatever it is that he is," Pete continues.
The Ghost in Save Mart Has Gashes in His Face Which Do Not Bleed
"Me and Bobby (he was the other night shift guy I worked with a lot), we used to kind of play this game - stupid, I know now, but at the time we thought it was fun..."
He trails off, an a trace of a grin shows on his face.
"And I guess we sort of thought we'd impress Robyn - she was the night cashier.
"Anyway, we would wait until there were no customers in the store, and then we would run around talking out loud to the ghosts, trying to get them to come out.
"When one finally did - the man with the cuts in his face - it stopped our game for good, I can tell you.
What did he do when you encountered him?
Beware What You Ask For
"Well, it was the end of my shift, and I had gone to face all of the stuff in frozen foods - 'face' just means to pull it forward so everything looks full - and when I looked up he was there, staring at me.
"Then he opened his mouth, and the most awful stink came out of it, like he had been eating rotten meat for a thousand years or something.
"I screamed and ran out of the store.
"Later, I had my manager pull the security tape, and on it you could see me reacting and running, but there was nobody there."
1225 E Robertson Blvd
Chowchilla, CA 93610