Tucked away in the sunny, chaparral-covered landscape of Puente Hills, CA is the area known as Turnbull Canyon. It’s a popular spot for outdoor fun. Plenty of hiking trails, roads suitable for mountain biking, and even some wide open areas for off road vehicles makes it a gift to the people of Puente Hills.
The only thing that puts a damper on all the fun is that Turnbull Canyon is haunted by bloodthirsty ghosts.
Also the cultists.
Oh, and the UFOs. Don’t forget the Indian curses.
If you’re psychically sensitive, be ready for a metaphysical whack upside the head.
Ok, so this part of Puente Hills is actually pretty dangerous to those who have opened their eyes to the dark undercurrents of our world.
Of course, if you are one of those people who has delved into the supernatural, then you live for this kind of thing, right?
Here is a brief primer on the spectral horrors, stories, and Turnbull Canyon legends. If you’re brave and find yourself in the vicinity of Puente Hills, don’t miss this place.
Table of Contents
The Forbidden Grounds of Puente Hills
Locals have heard of the Turnbull Canyon murders over the last decade. However, the evil that permeates this place has a long history.
Centuries ago, the local Indian tribes called what is now Turnbull Canyon “Hutukgna”. This roughly translates to “the dark place”, which is an unusual name for such a bright and sunny region.
The name comes from the spectral residents of the canyon more than any lack of light. Indeed, the Indians considered it forbidden ground and refused to set foot there.
When the Spanish arrived with their missionaries and guns, they didn’t pay much mind to the warnings of the Indians. Calling them Gabrileños for their proximity to the local San Gabriel Mission, the Spanish forced the poor people kicking and screaming into the canyon they feared so much.
There, the Indians were made to either convert to Christianity, or be killed. Some thought that by making the Indians “face their fears”, they would be more willing to accept the faith that brought them there.
The opposite was true. The Indians seemed to give up, seeming to resign themselves to their fate.
“Now we are without hope. Now we remain for as long as the sun rises and sets in the sky,” said a particular shaman, according to one of the Spanish soldiers of the day.
Today, Puente Hills locals and visitors alike feel the gaze of hundreds of eyes on them as they explore Turnbull Canyon.
Hikers report that they most often get the feeling of being watched as they near Turnbull Canyon’s water tower.
It is thought that every Indian who was killed in this area remains to this day, waiting for the sun to go out.
Rise of the Cult
The next chapter in the dark history of this piece of Puente Hills begin during the Great Depression.
Those were desperate times, as Americans all over the country struggled to make ends meet. People died from starvation or disease, or at the hands of other people desperate to avoid that fate.
It was during these bleak years that the people of Puente Hills began to hear strange rumors of the new residents of Turnbull Canyon.
A large group of men and women, no children, wearing robes black as midnight and enacting strange rituals each night.
They were numerous and organized, and their business was horrifying.
One witness, carefully sneaking up on the camp, was able to take a close look at one of their rites and return to tell the tale.
A young boy, 12 years old at most, was strapped to a cross in the center of a circle of people.
Entranced and paralyzed with fear, the Puente Hills resident watched as the robed figures danced around and around, chanting in a language he could not recognize but sent a chill down his spine.
After a time, the chanting suddenly increased in intensity. The cross was hoisted upright, the child struggling but unable to cry out through the rough cloth that had been stuffed into his mouth.
Pulling the cross back down, and then hoisting it up the other way, the townsman finally truly realized what was happening.
An upside-down cross. But he could do nothing.
The cultists struck the boy again and again, blood flying out from every direction. Eventually, their fury subsided and so did the blows.
Peering close, the Puente Hills resident breathed a sigh of relief to see the boy was still breathing. But what happened next, he could never forget.
They took him away. They simply removed the boy, stuffing him into a large sack and tossing it roughly into a wagon.
The man returned to town to tell the tale, but he was not believed until some month later, when a rash of kidnapping and disappearances struck the area. By the time the townspeople gathered their weapons and rode out to Turnbull Canyon to put a stop to the horror, the cult had scattered. They were gone.
As for the boy, he was never seen again.
It is thought this cult supplied others like it around the country with sacrifices, sanctifying and preparing the children for their ultimate fate.
Recently, there have been some disturbing reports of very specific graffiti around Puente Hills.
“Die Jesus”, it says.
It might be nothing. Or it might signal the return of some very, very bad people.
Turnbull Canyon Deaths: Ghosts of the Old Asylum
Not too long after those dark days, in the 1930s, an insane asylum was opened in Turnbull Canyon. It took in patients from Puente Hills and the surrounding environs, and was meant as a place of healing.
It was not a place of healing. Nobody knows exactly what went on there, but the psychic scars of the place still haunt Puente Hills.
The asylum lasted less than ten years, burning down in a mysterious fire in the early 1940s.
Since that day, explorers visiting the ruins have reported intense feelings of fear and even panic.
For some people, especially the psychically gifted, it’s difficult to stand in the ruins.
You feel as though something is reaching inside your brain and gently caressing what they find there.
The most dramatic and terrifying evidence of the ghosts of this place comes from the early 1960s.
A group of Puente Hills teenagers was hiking through Turnbull Canyon and came across the asylum.
Giddy with youth and fun and probably a little chemical assistance, one of the boys found an old electric shock treatment device.
He put it on and strapped it to his head, shouting about how he was going to burn.
He wasn’t wrong. He got his wish.
Inexplicably turning on though there had been no electricity in the building in decades, the boy began to shriek as thousands of volts coursed through his body.
Standing by, unable to take action and helpless to save him, the boy’s friends watched as first his hair, then his clothes, and finally his eyes and skin began to smolder and burn.
They say it only took a few seconds for him to die, but it must have felt like an eternity to him and to the hapless onlookers.
Poltergeists are often able to exert small amounts of influence on physical objects, but this goes beyond the pale.
The ghosts here must be fantastically strong to have done this. And they must hate the living beyond measure.
Other ghosts have been seen in the area, as well. Children, possibly victims of the cult, sometimes appear swinging from trees. Stick around too long, and it is said they’ll open their eyes and stare at you with silent accusation.
Just as the town of Puente Hills did not help them, there is nothing modern day visitors can do, either.
The children, the teenager, the mental patients, and the Indians are all dead.
There is no hope for them. They will remain in Puente Hills for as long as the sun rises and sets in the sky.
The curse of Turnbull Canyon has claimed them all.
Will you be next?
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