When most people think of Kenwood, California, their mind naturally wanders to Sugarloaf Ridge. The state park holds a diverse set of natural formations, including a large waterfall, breathtaking canyons and Sonoma Creek.
People who pine for adventure enjoy hiking up Bald Mountain, where you can catch glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge if the day is a sunny one.
More than Kenwood Urban Legend?
But Bald Mountain contains secrets that have been long forgotten by most, if not all, Kenwood residents. During the early 1700s, a local woman was accused of witchcraft, as many people were during that time. Fearing the inevitable impromptu trial and likely execution, the witch escaped to the mountain, where the townsfolk couldn’t find her.
As time passed and the witch realized that the villagers had given up their search for her, she decided she would seek revenge. Late at night, the witch would descend from the mountain, climbing through the terrain by the soft moonlight. One by one she would visit the local cottages and smear goat’s blood on their front doors—a warning of what was to come.
The townsfolk cowered in fear at the sight, certain it was the witch, but unsure of her whereabouts. The villages flooded into the local church, begging their pastor for protection. At a loss, the holy man blessed them, and sprinkled them with holy water.
But that would not be enough to protect them from the witch’s sorcery. Over the course of the following month, the witch continued to visit the village at night. She would sneak into the cottages, and would use potions and curses to bring sickness and disease into the house.
Some of the villagers thought the sickness was natural, but others were certain it was the witch’s doing. This went on for a few years, and over time the villagers forgot all about the witch…but one family passed down a warning of her evil presence from generation to generation.
Discovering the Awful Truth...
Today, Katelyn (Name changed for privacy) is a local from Kenwood, and she recalls hearing scary tales of the witch from her grandmother. And she decided to look for where the witch might have lived on Bald Mountain. “I’m not the most athletic individual, but I try to be active,” she told us.
“I spent an entire day on that mountain, trying to discern where it might have been safe for a person to create a makeshift home. I feel like I looked over every crevice, turned up every rock, looking for a clue, any clue, that she might have existed. Finally, I gave up.
"I was descending down the mountain when I came across a rock that had a long scratch mark going right down the center of it in a straight line. I made my way to the rock and found that there was a narrow opening into a shallow, dark, cave just beyond it. I slowly crawled inside and found a series of objects I'm positive belonged to the witch,” she nodded.
“There were glass vials everywhere, and a huge rusted out pot. I even found some animal bones in a corner of the cave. I don’t think anyone in Kenwood is aware of this cave, and that the legend of the witch is not a legend at all—it’s history.”