Up and down the California coastline, piers are a common sight. While many of these historic wooden piers are closed for safety issues, some, such as the Ventura Pier, are still in use today. First built in 1872, the Ventura Pier cost a whopping 45,000 dollars.
Ventura Pier was Once the Longest Pier in California
In 1914, a wayward ship collided with the pier, breaking a large portion of it off. The pier was rebuilt within three years, but was significantly shorter than it had been before. For sixty-four years the pier stood without any major incidents.
However, a severe storm hit the coastline in 1995. Approximately 420 feet of the pier was destroyed as a consequence. Concerned about the structural integrity of the pier, the city of Ventura had it reinforced with steel pilings to prevent further damage.
Today, many Ventura residents believe the pier to be haunted. It’s said that during that severe storm a man was swept into the sea and drowned. Those who claim the pier to be haunted have said that during storms, an apparition of the man can be seen standing on the pier, warning people to stay away.
A few months ago, Fred and some of his friends were off the coast fishing when they began to see storm clouds rolling in from across the sea. “Towering black-grey clouds started gliding toward us, and we realized we’d have to book it if we wanted to make it back to the shore in time,” Fred said. We grabbed our fishing gear, and started up the boat.
Ghost Man in the Mist
“The storm clouds were incredibly fast, and we were just barely out of reach as we saw a glimpse of Ventura. The sea started getting incredibly choppy, which slowed us down considerably. Despite the fact that we were so close, the storm managed to out chase us,” he reminisced.
“At that point we didn’t care that we were getting soaked—we just wanted to make it back to dry land in one piece. I watched as the pier came into view, looking old and decrepit as the waves began to crash. The rain came down in torrents, making everything hard to see.
“We used the pier as if it were a lighthouse, guiding us to the shore. I looked at it, and I thought I saw someone moving toward the end of it,” Fred said, squinting. I helped the crew pull our things away from the sides, as water came crashing into the boat.
“But something in the pit of my gut told me to keep looking at that pier, and not just as a navigation tool,” he said. “I leaned as far out of the boat as I dared. I begin to make out the silhouette of a man, waving his arms in the air.
“’Hey!’ I shouted at him, waving my hands back and forth in a mirror image. ‘Get off the pier, it isn’t safe!’ But the man either ignored me or couldn’t hear me.
“Finally we were close enough that I could make out details of his person. He looked like he was wearing very old clothing, and as he waved his hands I could tell that his gesture was a warning, telling people to stay out of the dangerous swells. I rubbed my eyes and looked again, but the man was nowhere to be seen.
“It wasn’t until after that storm that I heard about a man who drowned off the Ventura Pier,” Fred said. “I’m a practical man, but I can’t help but think that I saw his ghost, trying to keep others safe during the squall.”