Haunted Essex: The Ghost Zombie With a Rope at Kelso Depot

Welcome to Essex, California, home of the old ghost town of Kelso.

This is a great travel destination, as the town has many points of historical interest, not the least of which is the old Kelso Depot.

Of course, there are quite a few people who say that the Kelso Depot is haunted.

Haunted Essex: The Ghost Zombie With a Rope at Kelso Depot

Photo credit: flickr/Vishal Majithia

The Kelso Depot Has a Dark and Frightening Secret From the Past

Updated 2/10/2020 – The Depot, which owes its origins to the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, came into its first form of existence in 1905.

Since then it has been overhauled and added to, rebuilt and renovated.

These days, it’s also home to the Mojave National Preserve Visitors Center.

But sometimes just cleaning a place up won’t remove the thing that haunts it.

Locals and tourists alike, down through the past few decades, have variously described coming across an apparition which many have labeled “The Ghost Zombie.”

A confusing moniker to be sure, this apparently describes the desiccated corpse of a man who hung himself in the depot’s hotel section – in Room 006, to be precise.

Those who have spotted him say that he wanders the hallways of the Depot, his head tilted grotesquely to one side, his eyes vacant.

Sightings of the Ghost Zombie at the Kelso Station

“I’ve never been so terrified in my whole life as I was the night I saw him,” says Gail, a seventy-three year-old retired hairdresser who originally hailed from Des Moines, Iowa before coming to Essex.

“Frank – that’s my husband – and I were just coming back from dinner at the Depot restaurant…you know the restored restaurant?”

She looks at me and I nod.

I do know it.

“Well, we were coming back from that and headed for our room; I was going to do a crossword puzzle and I think Frank was going to do a Sudoku puzzle or something – he likes weird things like that, you know.

“Anyway, just as we were exiting the elevator, we saw this man – only he wasn’t a man, he was too rotted for that – coming down the hallway, dragging behind him a long rope that was tied to his neck.

Here's what Gail described seeing that terrifying day at the Kelso Depot in Essex.

Photo credit: etsy/TheHouseofPaste

“He saw us right about the same time we saw him, I think, because he stopped dead in his tracks, just like we did.

“That was the longest moment of silence I’ve ever experienced in my life, even though it couldn’t have lasted more than a split second or two.”

She smiles a little sheepishly.

“Truth be told, I screamed like I did back when I was a little girl and would sneak in to see Shock Theater at the movies.”

She stops, and tears well up in her eyes; she dabs at them with a handkerchief.

“Only this wasn’t any movie.

“That thing disappeared, and we never saw it again; but I see it all the time in my dreams.”

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Kelso Cima Road
Essex, CA
United States