Not far from the University of California, Berkeley, there is a beautiful little stretch of public space known as Strawberry Creek Park. Featuring playground equipment, sports courts and – as the name suggests – a creek which runs through it, this park would seem to be the ideal place to spend an afternoon. Of course, that’s what you’re meant to think…
Do Dangerous Ghosts Roam Strawberry Park?
Over the years, residents of the area – and even a few students passing through – have noted the strange things that go on in Strawberry Park after the sun goes down. The part of the park which is open to the public seems fairly immune to these goings-on, but there is another part of the park of which most people are ignorant. This is the part which is closed off by a padlocked fence, and it may be that way for a good reason.
The area behind the gate is populated by a thick copse of closely placed trees, dark leafy foliage, and an unmistakably weird vibe. Local legend has it that people who venture over the gate after dark have experienced vicious – and perhaps occasionally even fatal – attacks by unseen or barely-seen forces. Some people, especially those attuned to psychic phenomena, report feeling a crushing emotional heaviness once they get past the gate, while others have stated they came away with actual bloody wounds.
Sometimes You Can Hear Them Scream
“It used to be a lot bigger deal to try to cover it up,” says one former professor, who has studied phenomena at the park for a number of years. “Back in the seventies, the kids were really into trying to go down there in groups at night and see what was in there; a lot of them came away hurt, and one girl even disappeared and was never heard from again. The good news,” he says with a smile which doesn’t quite reach his eyes, “is that back then you could just say – and you’d have a fifty-fifty shot of being right – that anyone who had an experience there was probably on LSD.”
LSD or no LSD, though, it’s hard to deny that something is occurring in this secluded little section of woods after dark. Speculation varies about the beings which roam the park, and there is no one clear story which rises above the rest as most likely to be true. In one version of the tale, for instance, the hauntings are perpetuated by the victims of a killer who, in the forties, would drown his victims in Strawberry Creek – those who will tell you that they have often heard bone-chilling screams coming from the park late at night tend to be fans of this particular theory.
Whatever the case may be, the former professor states that there has been a deliberate effort – mostly in the wide academic shadow cast by the university – to keep this whole thing covered up. “It’s not natural, whatever’s happening there,” he says, “and that bothers a lot of people, particularly in the collegiate establishment. It’s in their best interest to keep the world from looking at it too much.”
One wonders if he might be right.