Beware Colma: The Town of the Dead

It’s ironic how Colma welcomes guests with the motto “It’s great to be alive in Colma.” After all, the City of the Silent, as it has come to be called, is haunted by the meager 1,700 people living in it.

Beware Colma: The Town of the Dead

Photo credit: flickr/44446587@N05

Considering the fact that it’s home to 17 cemeteries and 1.5 million burials, it’s a miracle that this California town isn’t bustling with even MORE ghostly activity.

The Paranormal Mysteries of Colma

Over the years, members of the Colma police (including psychic detectives) have reported many paranormal instances that continue to baffle them till this day. Some of the incidents former Police Sgt. Tim Mackie revealed are:

  • Virgin Mary in Olivet Memorial Park – In 1997, the sap of a pine tree in the cemetery created the image of the Virgin Mary. Hundreds visited the tree, decorating it with wreaths and praying there.
  • The Blood Dripping Zombie – A Colma police officer passed an old man with sunken eyes. However, he took a U-turn immediately when he noticed that blood was dripping from his ear to his mouth. The man had disappeared without a trace.

Interestingly, the former and long-forgotten residents of Colma are more active in their new locations.

Deciding to get rid of the town’s reputation as a necropolis, San Francisco’s officials moved many of the graves across the city.

Unfortunately, disturbing the dead during their eternal rest comes with a price.

Niobe in Tears, at the spot of paranormal activity in Colma California

Photo credit: flickr/clydes_friend

The San Francisco Arts Institute built in 1925 is a prime example.

It was built on the grounds of a mission cemetery in Russian Hill. As this was one of the cemeteries that welcomed many of Colma’s former residents, it was only natural that they retaliate when the building was constructed.

Bill Morehouse, a night watchman and student, reported strange nocturnal events at the SF Arts Institute.

One night, he heard the street level doors he had locked open and close. He then heard footsteps climb three sets of stairs before the door to his room opened. Though frozen with fear, he almost jumped and ran away when he saw no one enter.

Many students reported a variety of manifestations over the years, including flickering lights, power tools turning on and off, and near fatal incidents during the renovation of bell tower.

Though the institute sealed the latter because they deemed it unsafe, many believe that Colma’s reawakened spirits are to blame.

So, if you’re ever in Colma, pay your respects and move on.

You never know; your hotel or home (if you’re in San Francisco) may be close to one of the 700+ bodies which officials didn’t dig out.