By Cheri Sicard
California covers a lot of varied terrains. There are a lot of roads and a lot of them can be treacherous and/or scary. The video below covers five of the Golden State’s most reportedly haunted roads. In addition to the supernatural legends, the video goes into the actual history of each of the five roads profiled.
I was not surprised to see the Pacheco Pass Road, in Gilroy, CA, on the list. This road connects the town of Gilroy to the treacherous Route 152 mountainous pass.
While I can’t say I have ever personally experienced anything supernatural on this road, I will nonetheless go seriously out of my way in order to avoid it. Despite the fact that a stop at Casa de Fruta is always fun.
Throughout my decades of road life, I have had more close calls and near misses on the Pacheco Pass Road than anywhere else in the world. And it’s not like I travel the Pacheco Pass all that frequently. Maybe once every 5 to 7 years or so. But EVERY time I have, in both RVs and ordinary passenger cars, there has been some sort of scary incident and brush with accidental death that could have gone horribly wrong had the timing been off by seconds or the distance off by millimeters.
The Pacheco Pass is crazy!
But I had never known how much until this video. Turns out this road has more fatal car crashes than anywhere in the state and has been labeled one of the deadliest roads in the entire country.
The ghost stories start with the massacre of a native American tribe and continue picking up new participants through the years. This pass was used by nearly all of California’s settlers and explorers all the way to the present day.
At one point this stretch of road was known as “Robber’s Pass,” because of the ruthless highwaymen who robbed and murdered travelers on it.
In addition to many different ghost stories spanning the centuries, unexplained lights in the sky have been frequently reported, as well as time-warping—travelers losing large expanses of time with no memory of what took place.
So what other California haunted roads made the list?
Dogwood Road or Imperial County Road S-31 in El Centro, CA
The town of El Centro itself has its fair share of ghost stories, and this stretch of road adds to those legends.
Stretching largely through remote desert terrain, Dogwood Road has a reputation for frequent car accidents, many of which have been blamed on paranormal sightings.
Activity is supposedly at its height in late night and early morning hours when traffic is sparse. Shadowy figures along with a phantom shape-shifting female hitchhiker have been known to beg rides from motorists who stop to check on her. Mechanical and electronic malfunctions have also been reported.
Jicarilla Road, Apple Valley, CA
Now a residential suburban San Bernardino County street, this land was originally inhabited by Native American tribes. Through the years settlers, trappers, prospectors, Mormon wagon trains, and other traveling outfits crossed this land. A small log cabin built in 1860 was the first permanent resident here. Today 70,000 residents call Apple Valley home.
The spirit of a man killed in a hit-and-run accident reportedly haunts this road. The phantom has a missing face and body parts. He has startled both motorists and people walking. The pedestrians, rather than feeling threatened, felt the presence was trying to protect them and keep them out of traffic.
Those who live along the road have reported other strange phenomena here, including the ghost of a child with a bloody sack over her head.
Creek Road, Ojai, CA
The legend of Char-Man, the apparition of a man who was allegedly incinerated in a car accident, has haunted this stretch of Ojai Road for decades. At least that’s the way I had always heard it. The video gives two alternative Char-Man legends, all originating in 1948. One of the other hauntings is reportedly a victim of the first one, Char-Man.
A friend of mine did some recordings out there one night and picked up an odd voice on his recorder that was not there in person. He could not quite make out what it was saying.
I have hiked on Creek Road a few times. I have never personally experienced anything, but many people say they have. The video covers the numerous ghostly legends of Creek Road.
Proctor Valley Road, Jamul, CA
A back road from Jamul to Chula Vista, this mostly dirt road hosts a cornucopia of supernatural activity from ghosts and hauntings, to UFOs, to Bigfoot and Chupacabra sightings, to curses, to portals, to animal mutilations, and more.
The land has always been steeped in controversy and contentious land claims. And lately, extreme wildfires have ravaged it. The road itself winds through both desert and suburban areas.
As unassuming as it appears, it is reportedly one of the most haunted roads in the entire country, not just California.
In addition to the laundry list of strange sightings and apparitions, cars and electronic devices have been known to mysteriously die for no reason here, leaving their owners stranded.