Everyone loves a good ghost story, and here in the wild wild West, we’ve got many of them.
This time, we’re headed to the South Bay (with a stop in Moss Beach) to check out some of the haunted spots around San Jose, Santa Clara and beyond.
Here are seven locations around the South Bay that you can go visit (without having to trespass) to get your ghost story fill just in time for Halloween.
Built in 1927 and frequented by bootleggers, silent film stars and politicians, the Moss Beach Distillery (which was called Frank’s Place back then) drew in all sorts of characters. One, according to an old legend was “The Blue Lady” who in the 40s or 50s met a “dangerous” man and despite already being married fell in love with him. She frequently made trips to Frank’s to see him until one night when she was walking on the beach with her lover and someone attacked them, killing The Blue Lady and leaving her lover with injuries. Since then, the Distillery has received phone calls with no one on the line, seen room doors mysteriously locked rooms, and levitating items. Most curiously perhaps, is instances of women losing single earrings only for them to all turn up at once in a neat pile several days later.
Great America is rife with grotesque stories of theme park accidents (as most theme parks are), but one most frequently reported is the ghost of a boy who was killed on a ride near what is now the games section of the park. Allegedly, the games light up long after closing, as spotted by employees headed to the exit after work.
No list of Bay Area haunts would be complete without the Winchester Mystery House, the most notoriously odd home in the Bay Area (and maybe the country). The home of Sarah Winchester has long reported hauntings, from displaced breathing and footsteps to real-looking apparitions spotted throughout the grounds. Once, an employee arrived to work to find his desk completely soaked with water, while nothing else was wet.
This seemingly innocuous Toys R Us store was apparently once a ranch. According to legend, a young ranch hand fell in love with the owner’s daughter but lost his life when he got into a wood-chipping accident (eew). The ghost supposedly still haunts the store, occasionally making sounds or moving merchandise on the store’s shelves.
The former Agnews Insane Asylum (as it was called when it opened in 1885) was built for the mentally ill and mentally disabled. During the 1906 earthquake, one of the larger buildings on campus collapsed, killing over 100 people. It was rebuilt in 1911 and continued to operate, eventually being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It closed in 2011 but today it exists as an Oracle campus, which you can still visit in some respect.
During WWII, San Jose State’s Yoshihiro Uchida Hall was used as a processing center for Japanese internees. Students, staff and visitors have reported hearing faint crying sounds coming from the building in empty corners. The building itself was named for an SJSU alumni whose parents were internees registered in that very building.
As the legend goes, in the early 1930s, a young woman was to be married at the gorgeous South Bay hotel when her fiancée left her at the altar. She reportedly hung herself in the basement. One guest even reported seeing the famous apparition, though other guests disagree that it is haunted.