Want to visit the most haunted forests in California?
Does the idea of meeting ghosts excite you?
Want to take your chances of coming face to face with dark-eyed Izu?
Then read on…
Updated 2/9/2020 – The next time you head to the wild yonder, see if any of these haunted spots are on your list.
There are so many mysterious woodlands in California, and plenty of them have stories that you would not believe.
Are you brave enough to visit these places?
Some of these forests were the site of mysterious disappearances, and others have even scarier stories behind lost people.
What might you find if you decide to visit some of these Golden State forests?
Everyone knows about the scary ghost towns in California, but these forests can be even creepier if you stay after dark.
Will you be able to keep your wits about you if you see strange lights, hear noises, or notice dark figures running through the woods?
Visit these forests in California to find out.
10 California Forests Filled With Sinister Spirits
Table of Contents
1. Angeles National Forest
In Altadena, you will find one of the haunted forest areas.
Many visitors have gone missing in this forest over the years.
The apparitions that people see in this forest are believed to be the spirits of those who go missing, somehow trapped within the boundaries of the forest.
Some people have reported the bulb in their most reliable flashlights suddenly bursting when shining the light towards an apparition.
Screams are often heard coming from an unknown source.
Stick close to your buddy if you go here late at night.
Photo credit: flickr/thomashawk
2. John Anson Ford Park
In the 1970s, two boys went out at night through the park to go fishing, but they never came home.
Their bodies were discovered with their throats slashed.
The murderer was never found.
Reports state the crime scene covered in blood, showing signs of an intense struggle.
The bodies went undiscovered for nearly thirty years.
Leads in the case were scarce so the police consulted a medium, getting a psychic reading over the phone.
They acted on the advice from the psychic and were able to recover the bodies.
To this day, there is still no news on the murderer or what the motives might have been.
Locals believe the spirits of the dead boys still wander around the small forest inside the John Anson Park.
Visitors have reported strange sounds and running footsteps in the dark, as well as distant screams.
If you do decide to stop by this park, be careful about what time of day you choose to visit.
And you might not want to go alone…considering the killer was never caught.
Photo credit: panoramio.com
3. Sheraton Hotel Forest
In the City of Industry, one of the hidden woodlands is near the Sheraton Hotel.
There is a forest between the hotel complex and the next series of apartment buildings.
Visitors have seen two large shadowy figures running through this forest late at night, but the security guards have never caught the figures.
Residents in the hotel report hearing voices in the late night hours, but they never seem to come from an identifiable person.
Photo credit: flickr/pj757
4. Thompson Creek Trail
This trail through one of California’s forests will take you through a haunted part of Claremont.
The east path on this trail has all kinds of paranormal activity that hikers report.
People hear footsteps behind them and have the sense that they are being followed.
Sometimes the clouds form the shape of a skull before storms.
Other people say they feel they are being watched by something in the bushes.
Photo credit: flickr/cymagen
5. Thompson Creek Woods
If the Thompson Creek Trail is not scary enough for you, then go to the Woods at Thompson Creek.
In the trees of this forest, visitors have reported dripping blood coming from the trunks.
Other hikers have horrifying visions of gruesome scenes when they stay in the woods.
Think you could handle staying the night here by yourself?
Photo credit: flickr/mwest
6. Fallsvale Elementary School Forest
Many visitors to this school have reported seeing ghost children in these woods.
Old tales tell of the “Izu” – dark spirits taking the form of children to trick the unwary.
The Izu have cherub-like features with jagged teeth, and large black eyes that have been described as “pools of blood”.
Looking the child in the eyes is said to place you into a trance state, paralyzing you.
At which point several Izu slowly gnaw holes into your toes and suck the blood from your body.
Even more horrifying is that, though paralyzed, victims are said to be fully conscious during the bloodletting.
Important Note: This school prohibits public visitors.
Left photo credit: flickr/radoslawpujan
Right photo credit: flickr/jhhwild
7. DeForest Park
Within this forest in Long Beach, there are many reported paranormal occurrences.
There are cold spots in different parts of the forest for no apparent reason.
Some visitors report hearing voices begging for help, but no one is ever there when visitors rush to give aid.
If you go into some of the foggy areas you can hear people whispering, without a soul around you.
Photo credit: flickr/bamawester
8. Hayward Plunge
Tales tell of a horrible murder and kidnapping that took place at Hayward Plunge in the Hayward forest in the 1960s.
Supposedly, a swimming coach who taught children in the area took all of the children in his class up to Hayward Plunge one day.
They walked up the winding trail near a creek in the forest, and then the coach left all of the children, telling them he would return soon.
The children waited in the park all night for him to return, even after the park was closed for the evening.
Once everyone had left the park, the swim coach returned and snuck up on the children.
The stories say he killed all of the children and dragged their bodies to the creek and left them there.
People say that the restless bodies of the children still haunt Hayward Plunge.
Visitors have seen rock slides occurring in weird places in the forest for no apparent reason.
They hear footsteps of children running around in circles and playing, then other voices shouting and screaming for help.
There are many cold spots throughout this forest, and dark shadows that move around in the trees.
Because the children were not properly laid to rest, they remain angry and their spirits still wander through the woods, hoping to exact revenge on visitors.
If you do visit, make sure that you keep your eyes open and that you stay alert.
Photo credit: flickr/diogioscuro
9. San Marcos Elfin Forest
Here is another of the haunted forests in California.
If you make the trip to San Diego and go to the Elfin Forest, you might run into the ghost many visitors see behind the forest gates.
He only has one arm, and he guards the gate of the forest against any visitors who might do harm to the woods.
No one is sure why he is missing an arm, but some say that something in the forest killed him, which is why he returned as a ghost.
Photo credit: flickr/shutterjack
10. California Pines
Take a trip to one of these spots and stop at Yosemite National Park.
The California pines section has many different resident spirits.
Visitors to these forests in CA have seen and spoken to a ghost of a Native American man late at night.
Some people say that he used to live in the California pines region before it became a national park, but he still cannot bring himself to leave.
Photo credit: flickr/85128884@N00
Your Next Step
Ready your nerves and round up your friends.
Then make your way to the forests on this list.
But I have to ask…
Do you think you could make it through the night by yourself?