Nothing could be nicer than spending your free time in the great outdoors, especially if you come across some wonderful locations for waterfall hikes. Having a picnic, taking photos and enjoying the fresh air is a lovely way to spend your day – provided that you don’t fall face first into a dark corner of the paranormal.
The added element of water means that the occurrence for hauntings and other scary phenomena is rife, due to the fact that water attracts paranormal activity. Read on to learn about the best waterfall hikes in California where ancient evil forces, terrifying spirits and other macabre entities like to taunt and torture the living.
Here Are The Ten Best Waterfall Hikes in California to See a Ghost
Table of Contents
- 10) Hungry Ghosts at Eaton Canyon Falls – Pasadena
- 9) Descent into a Bone Dry Grave at Sturtevant Falls - Arcadia
- 8) Mud Monsters at Century Lake near Escondido Falls – Malibu
- 7) Vengeful Spirit at Big Falls – Forest Falls
- 6) Suicide Leaper at Paradise Falls – Thousand Oaks
- 5) Bloodthirsty Hedgewitch at Dawn Falls – Larkspur
- 4) Creepy Ghost Children at Hidden Falls Regional Park – Auburn
- 3) Native Souls in the Alamere Falls – Bolinas
- 2) Under your Skin at Monrovia Falls – Monrovia
- 1) Junkie Ghost at the Graffiti Waterfall – Riverside
10) Hungry Ghosts at Eaton Canyon Falls – Pasadena
Care to meet evil entities starving for human souls? A retired Naval Officer reported his terrifying encounter with a hungry ghost, who was one of many hiding behind a waterfall when he decided to go behind to take photos. “I felt my flesh crawling but I’m tough, so I ignored it – at first.”
Immediately he saw a skeleton-thin apparition with a wide open mouth lunging at him, followed by many more who latched onto him while screeching. He screamed and nearly fainted. He stated that it felt like his soul was being torn out of his body and believed himself lucky to be able to escape in time.
“I’ve been in danger before, but this was metaphysical. I really thought I was soulless for a minute there.”
9) Descent into a Bone Dry Grave at Sturtevant Falls - Arcadia
Don’t visit when the waterfall is dry, especially if you’re pregnant. The desiccated souls who lurk under the soil are gasping for moisture. Many who’ve visited during the dry season report the sensation of claws coming up from underneath, trying to drag the unsuspecting victims down.
One pregnant woman advised, “I was eight months along and my husband had me pose for a photo, but I felt my feet sinking into the earth. At first, I laughed, but then I felt something sharp pierce my heel. I looked down and saw skeletal fingers around my foot and a creepy skull glaring up at me!
I screamed to my husband and he raced over to me, but then the creature disappeared. My heel took ages to recover, seeing as I had a deep slash – right to the bone.”
8) Mud Monsters at Century Lake near Escondido Falls – Malibu
One of the creepier waterfall hikes leads to Century Lake, where demonic souls hide in the mud. One hiker reported seeing a steaming head zipping along the surface. “I wondered if it was an animal, but then I saw the hideous face and mocking sneer as it surfaced a few feet away.”
Another hiker stated that, “I threw some rocks into the muddy lake, but then a terrifying creature rose up and skimmed over the lake to get me. I screamed and turned to run but tripped over a rock. I saw a brown figure with flesh dropping from its bones as it approached - so I bolted. I’m lucky to be alive.”
7) Vengeful Spirit at Big Falls – Forest Falls
An anguished mother reports, “I took my five year old son for a fun day but it ended in terror. The rocks were slippery but I was holding his hand when I felt him being yanked hard. He hit his head on one of the rocks and when I looked back I saw an old woman below us.
She was dripping wet, but I was horrified when I realized I could see right through her. My son screamed, ‘Mommy, she wants to eat me!’ The ghost laughed with rotten teeth as she bit into his calf. We got away but he still has the scars to prove it.”
6) Suicide Leaper at Paradise Falls – Thousand Oaks
“It was terrifying.” Says a hiker who visited Mountclef Ridge at Paradise Falls. “I saw a woman standing on the ridge and I knew she was going to jump. When I ran up to stop her, she jumped after looking back with a mournful face. Then I felt the gloom in my soul.
I went up to the edge like a zombie, feeling like I had two minds. I could hear the woman telling me to jump. Sorrow was eating away at me. When I put my foot forward, my friend dragged me back. He screamed and asked why I nearly jumped. All I could think of was wanting to die.
Then the woman reappeared. She was angry that I didn’t jump and gave me a withering glance, injecting terrible images of death into my mind. It took ages to calm down after that. I’ll never forget it.”
5) Bloodthirsty Hedgewitch at Dawn Falls – Larkspur
When looking for waterfall hikes, you could do worse – but watch out for the hedgewitch with a taste for blood. One student told of his near death experience, when he came across this vampiric witch. “She was horrifying. I sensed her before I saw her – chilling my flesh.
From a distance, she looked like a beautiful Goth girl, but the closer she got, the more she appeared like a Hellish hag, with fangs and straggly black hair. When I tried to run away, she jumped into the air and landed on my back – sinking her teeth into my neck.
That did it. I ran as fast as I could while the blood poured out of my neck. The strange thing was, when I got back to camp – the wounds disappeared...”
4) Creepy Ghost Children at Hidden Falls Regional Park – Auburn
It’s ironic that these ghouls only appear in the warmer months, but if you love hiking trails with waterfalls, you’ll probably make an exception. Some visitors would advise you to steer clear. “Especially when the wildflowers bloom. That’s when you’ll see these little terrors.”
A grandmother took her granddaughter and lived to tell the tale. “She was picking wildflowers and I saw the other children. She came back and asked if she could go with them. When I looked over her head I saw them all staring at me with wide, dark eyes.
My blood ran cold when one of the boys smiled with such evil - my heart stopped for a moment. As I rushed my granddaughter away, she screamed, ‘I want to see the other side with my new friends.’ It was horrifying!”
3) Native Souls in the Alamere Falls – Bolinas
Some say that two Native American outcasts live in the waterfall. They’re believed to have betrayed their kin to murderous settlers for alcohol and white prostitutes. “I’ll never forget that day.” Says a retired policewoman. “I love standing in waterfalls but I haven’t done it since.
The water was pouring over me and then I felt an arm wrap around my waist. I opened my eyes and saw a Native warrior in the form of a water spirit, with another coming out of the waterfall trying to grab me. Their laughter was evil and I knew what they wanted, so I screamed.
One of them shoved his watery hand down my throat. I nearly drowned as they tried to keep me under the waterfall. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend dragging me out, I would have died.”
2) Under your Skin at Monrovia Falls – Monrovia
It’s bad enough to have to fight off bugs in the outdoors, but locals say you should fear the angry sprites who like to burrow into your flesh, to get to your soul. They’re believed to be angry spirits of the forest trying to ward off trespassers. One woman reports how she nearly succumbed.
“I love hikes with waterfalls, but I’ll never go back after those disgusting spirits tried to get to me. There was no warning. I was on a narrow trail when suddenly I felt like a thousand insects were creeping under my skin. I screamed and scratched but they were relentless.
I could actually feel them marching into my core. The demonic laughter in my ears was too much. I fainted, but I woke up later in my Dad’s car – back to normal. It was just too creepy.”
1) Junkie Ghost at the Graffiti Waterfall – Riverside
Locals report of a ghost who haunts the polluted waterfall, believed to have been a drug addict who wants his peace and quiet. “I saw him, but he looked so real. It wasn’t until he reached out his blackened arms which had lots of needles hanging out of his withered flesh that I yelled for help.”
A hiker reports, “It’s a short hike, but that freaky ghost can have the waterfall to himself. He likes to shock people so they won’t come back. Believe me, it works. He’s terrifying, with his sunken eye sockets and black arms. My brother came face to face with him. The ghost spat in his face.
The thing was, it felt like acid and he still has a nasty scar on his cheek. I say – let him alone – if you want to live.”