A mysterious chill in a warm room. The hair going up on the back of your neck like you’re being watched. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably experienced this phenomenon more than once. Cold spots are often encountered in haunted or psychically active locations.
They are thought to indicate the immediate presence of a ghost, spirit, other paranormal entity. Cold spots typically quite small, about the right size to pass through in a single step. They can be stationary or move around.
Most disturbingly, cold spots are generally not measurable by a traditional thermometer, although thermal imaging and laser thermometers may have more luck. Some believe that they are in fact ghosts themselves. The cold you feel is the literal touch of the spectral presence.
Others believe that they are the unintentional byproduct of a ghostly presence. Whether or not ghosts have the awareness and will to deliberately affect a living being is hotly debated. Some believe that a spirit is not capable of touching a person, but that their proximity will cause a perception of cold.
And of course, many others explain the phenomena away with talk of drafts and air convection. Regardless of your own beliefs, here are ten places in California where you can catch a chill.
If you dare.
These 10 Paranormal Cold Spots are California's Most Frightening
Table of Contents
- #10 - Zane Grey Mansion – Altadena
- #9 - Sunnyslope Cemetery – Beaumont
- #8 - Benicia Old Town Theater – Benicia
- #7 - Virginia’s Gift Shop, Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park
- #6 – Blue Sky Lodge, Carmel
- #5 – Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont
- #4– Dunlap Cemetery, Dunlap
- #3 – Linda Vista Community Hospital, East Los Angeles
- #2 – Hawthorne Lane – Freedom
- #1 – The Round Room, Grass Valley
#10 - Zane Grey Mansion – Altadena
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Zane Grey Estate was the residence of the famous Western adventure novelist.
Grey passed on in 1939, and residents and visitors to the mansion have often reported cold spots in the library and kitchen, as well as near several fireplaces.
These areas were favorite spots of the author in his day to day life, and it seems possible that his spirit still roams the mansion.
Cold spots aren’t the only spooky occurrences at the Zane Grey estate, and it’s a favorite spot of ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.
#9 - Sunnyslope Cemetery – Beaumont
Cemeteries are almost always hotbeds of paranormal activity, and Sunnyslope is no exception.
This particular cemetery is not visited often, making the creepy goings-on stand out even more.
Cold spots are commonplace near many of the graves, as are inexplicable noises and emotions of fear and stress.
If you see the groundskeeper walking around, be aware that all may not be as it seems.
Many have reported approaching the man, only to have him disappear without a trace.
It is thought that he is himself a spirit.
#8 - Benicia Old Town Theater – Benicia
As centers of emotion and drama, theaters are often very attractive to ghosts and spirits.
Benicia’s Old Town Theater, also called Portuguese Hall, is acknowledged to be quite haunted indeed.
Cold spots permeate the building, and are only the beginning of the theater’s troubles.
The back stairway seems to have a resident spirit who noisily stomps up and down.
Lights flicker and turn on and off, seemingly at random.
Some have even spoken of a strange glowing ball floating through the air, or of meeting the apparition of an old woman.
#7 - Virginia’s Gift Shop, Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park
The break room located on the 2nd floor of this theme park gift shop is thought to be inhabited by the ghost of a deceased employee.
Cold spots and chill winds are commonplace in the room.
Strange noises are often heard by employees and by customers downstairs, and a particular closet door has been known to open and shut.
The jury is out if this is all part of the Knott’s Berry Farm magic, but the fact that it takes place in a “Staff Only” room makes it unlikely.
#6 – Blue Sky Lodge, Carmel
Feelings of unease and even danger often go hand-in-hand with cold spots.
This is especially evident in the upstairs suites of this small hotel near Carmel’s wine tasting rooms.
Guests often complain of extreme cold, even when the heat is turned up.
On nights when the spirits are especially active, it can be difficult to sleep in the master bedrooms.
At these times, inexplicable fears, stress, and vivid nightmares make for a very restless evening.
#5 – Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont
The spirit of a Cauhillan Native American child haunts this beautiful garden.
She sits by the pond and watches the fish, and is often seen crying.
The girl visibly manifests herself quite frequently, and much has been written about her.
When she chooses not to make a visible appearance, cold spots infest the area along with gusts of wind and the sound of her sobs.
The ghost is not considered dangerous, and the garden is open to visitors.
#4– Dunlap Cemetery, Dunlap
Another cemetery with all the paranormal activity that entails.
The unmarked graves here show particular psychic activity, with cold spots felt all around them.
Other spectral happenings in include footsteps following close behind visitors, and a strange voice chanting “Leave us alone”, only audible on a recorded tape.
Most notably, three tall shadowy figures sometimes stand watch near a cluster of oak trees in the middle of the graveyard.
They have been reported by multiple witnesses, and are likely at the core of Dunlap’s ghostly occurrences.
#3 – Linda Vista Community Hospital, East Los Angeles
Abandoned buildings in general are commonly haunted, and hospitals of course have more than their share of the type of anguish and stress that brings spirits.
It’s no surprise then that an abandoned hospital would be positively riddled with cold spots.
It is a very large building, and anomalous cold and warm spots are common in many of the rooms.
Other inexplicable happenings include screams and cries, moaning, and lights turning on and off.
Doctors and nurses have been seen through the windows on occasion, even though Linda Vista has been closed since 1991.
#2 – Hawthorne Lane – Freedom
The town of Freedom in Santa Cruz County was the site of rather gruesome murder in the 1950s.
The victim was killed by her husband and then allegedly dumped into nearby Pinto Lake.
The body was never found and the case remained open for almost 30 years.
Their house was an active crime scene all that time, and so was vacant and very, very haunted.
Cold spots were most evident in the victim’s closet, where her clothes still hung.
Other spectral activity included the sounds of cars starting or their trunks slamming.
The victim was a piano player, and her music could also often be heard.
#1 – The Round Room, Grass Valley
Legendary in paranormal enthusiast circles, the so-called Round Room is an abandoned water tank located a short hike past the Grass Valley Fairgrounds.
Cold spots and visible apparitions are frequently encountered in the area, and it is said that Anton LaVey lived in the tank for several years.
The famous occultist was well-known for his séances and rituals, and he often made it his explicit goal to summon inhabitants of the beyond.
LaVey’s Church of Satan denies that he was ever present.
The residents of the town contradict this, though, claiming his visits were common knowledge.
Cold spots are one of the most common and most noticeable signs of paranormal disturbance.
Encountering a cold spot shouldn’t be cause for fear. Rather, enjoy the moment and look around for more signs of the unknowable.
The world is a much larger and stranger place than we can possibly imagine.
A brief glimpse into the supernatural is a gift, and a chance to gain a little greater understanding of the universe as a whole.