If the road takes you northwest of Santa Ana, you will find an unusual sight.
There are abandoned tracks from the line that ran from Anaheim to Santa Ana.
The tracks were originally built in the late 1870s – early 1880s.
The reason why the tracks were abandoned was that the line was relocated in the 1990s when construction on widening I-5 meant the line lost the right-of-way for the additional freeway lanes.
Updated 2/10/2020 – Today, the Anaheim-Santa Ana route is abandoned for the Santa Fe route.
Over time, a lot of the tracks were either dismantled or relocated, and today, only a few abandoned tracks can be found.
But, maybe you’d be better off not finding any of them.
Nightmares on the tracks near Santa Ana, California
Abandoned tracks can make a pretty intriguing sight.
You can stand on the tracks, imagine vintage trains belching white smoke into the sky, red locomotives looking as if they’d been made in Hell itself.
Or you might live through it.
“I was standing on the tracks, near midnight,” our source said, “when I heard laughter in the air.”
It was a sweet laugh, naughty without being childish, and yet, it caused shivers to run up and down his spine.
“I wanted to turn away and leave,” he said.
“My friends were all heading back into town; I got my photographs of the tracks.
After hours of shooting, I was ready to leave.”
That was when he found himself frozen to the ground.
“I was on my knees.
My camera fell to the ground.”
He tried to reach down again, but the camera seemed to move on its own, further away, each time he tried to grab it.
His knees were still locked to the ground, the rusty tracks on either side of him gleaming a dull red in the moonlight.
“The laughter got louder; the air got hotter.
Sweat broke along my spine, and my hands felt clammy.
I shivered despite the heat.”
Then, he heard the sound.
The unmistakable sound of wheels hitting metal.
“I did not want to look up, but I did not have a choice.
There was a bright light, and I fell to my elbows, protecting my head.
I couldn’t lie down.”
The rattling sound came closer.
He felt the searing heat over his head and back, pressure on either side of him.
“I was burning and suffocating,” he said.
“And then, it was gone.
It was the longest minute of my life.”
The ghost train, the spirits, and the violence
Most ghostly apparitions fall into two categories.
The sentient spirits who haunt for reasons of their own, or the haunting imprints left behind from vicious deeds and violent deaths.
But then, something happens, an almost alchemy-like blend between the two types of spirits, and a new apparition is formed.
The railroad tracks were built during a time of gambling and wildness when the gunslingers and cowboys left their mark on the land through violence.
Haunting imprints and spirits rose and fell as the years passed, combining into one.