Welcome back to another post during Blogtober! I have been so excited for this blogging event, that I have been scrambling to put together some amazing content for you all. But for today, I am going to dive into haunted places in the Bay Area to check out.
Random fact about me: I love ghosts, hauntings, and all things paranormal.
There are 2 places in the Bay Area that have documented several ghost sightings that I really want to go and experience all the paranormal activity they have to offer.
This is the very first haunted place I would like to check out. It is an old navy ship that is located in the harbor in Alameda. The USS Hornet has so many haunted secrets and stories to tell.
The USS Hornet offers overnight tours in addition to the daylight tours. They have an exhibit on the ship, collections of old ship parts, and even a flight simulator. They also rent out the ship for private events.
The USS Hornet was an aircraft carrier during WWII. The huge ship held 3 squadrons essential for aerial combat. During the 1950’s the ship transitioned into also being a home for search and rescue teams as it had full capabilities to house a few helicopters.
You can check out more about the history here.
The USS Hornet is full of ghostly haunts and spooky apparitions. Check below for 3 spooky recollections of what people have seen aboard this ship. Check out more stories at Its.Caltech.
In early February 2009, I was volunteering on USS Hornet with a group of my fellow US Coast Guardsmen. We were painting a compartment and a few of us were wearing white Tyvek paper suits. When our paint started running low I went off in search of the Hornet worker that was supplying our paint, getting lost in the process. As I wandered the passageways I came off a "side" passage onto the starboard main passageway, one deck below the hangar deck. I saw what I thought was one of my co-workers stepping off the main hall onto a side passage about 25 feet away from me. I called out to him but he kept walking and when I got to the hall he stepped into, there was a chain blocking the entrance and it was an empty compartment! Needless to say, I was confused, but kept walking and eventually found my way back to the room we were painting. When I saw the coworker I thought I had seen earlier, I mentioned to him that I had called him in the passageway but he told me that he hadn't left the room for about an hour. Later when I mentioned this to the Hornet employees, one lady said that I had seen the "Dress Whites Ghost", apparently an apparition of a sailor wearing his dress white uniform!
Coast Guard Island
I love ghost stories and shows on tv about ghost and ghost investigations. About 3 or 4 years ago, I visited the Hornet with my family and about 15 other people from our church. I knew stories about seeing soldiers at certain parts of the ship, and kept my eyes open, but didn't see anything. After the tour, before we were leaving, my mom and I stopped off at the bathroom. We were the only ones in there, and when we went to wash our hands we were chatting. When we got over to the sinks, we could hear two guys talking (one of them actually sounded like a kid perhaps) pretty loud; not loud enough to understand what they were saying, but loud enough that we noticed and had to talk over them. We figured that there was a men's restroom next door to the women's, but when we walked out there wasn't, so we just figured someone must have been outside talking and we just didn't see them. A few months later, we were watching a ghost show and they talked about the Hornet. Sure enough, they showed the bathroom we were in and talked about reports of men talking near the sinks! It was very creepy and I for sure will never go there at night for one of those overnighters!
I work on the Hornet for the live aboard program and part of the program involves telling ghost stories in the forecastle. Every now and then one of the other crew members decides to put on a sailor uniform and scare the kids, I'm used to seeing him, but one night as he walked out of the bullnose, I saw another man in a sailor uniform behind him,he was there for a split second and then vanished, later in the month on a different live aboard, I saw the same man on the catwalk, once again he vanished into thin air.
Cost of Admission
History Mystery Tour costs $35 per person. If you are interested in staying overnight the rates are $100 per person. Find out more about the cost of admission.
The USS Hornet is dipped in history and well a bit of paranormal mystery. But, as it is one of the closest haunted places to me in the Bay Area, I will definitely be checking it out. I may even be brave enough to try an overnight tour.
The Black Diamond Mines
The Black Diamond Mines are supposed to be one of the creepiest haunted places in the Bay Area. While during the day it is an ideal place to hike and enjoy nature, at night it becomes a place that will instill fear in you.
It was the home to the Chupcan, Volvon, and Ompin tribes. But with the arrival of Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers, most of the Native Americans were driven out of the land. It was then converted into Ranch lands. Not long after the discovery of coal, the land became used as a coal mining area. It turned into one of California’s largest coal mining operations.
As you know with most coal mining areas, there are often accidental deaths. The Black Diamond Mines were no exception. The now-regional park also houses a cemetery which holds the remains of many coal miners who died on the land from mining disasters as well as many children.
There seem to be many similar ghost sightings here at this regional park. The Concord Patch goes more in depth as to why so many people are spooked out by the mines.
The White Witches of the Black Diamond Mines
There are supposedly two women who are often seen wandering around the park, the spirit of Sarah Norton and Mary. Sarah was a midwife and widow who died tragically by being thrown from a buggy on the way to help deliver a baby.
Sarah was not a religious woman and forbade her children from giving her a funeral, but as she was a great help to the community they wanted to honor her memory.
As they were preparing to start the funeral a storm raised hell and lightning struck. The next day a huge storm appeared causing livestock to go a little crazy and run around the town. It is said that her spirit floats around Somersville and other local mining towns.
Mary, on the other hand, was employed as a nanny and to her misfortune, many of the children she cared for died from sudden illness. The town branded her as a witch and thought that the sudden deaths were a result of her enacting witchcraft.
She was unjustly hung for her nonexistent crimes. She is said to be seen around the entrance to the mines, and when people spot her, she hovers.
This last little tidbit of ghostly horror is not exactly located at the Black Diamond Mines but is right behind it, The Gates of Hell. This place is along Empire Mine Road in Antioch and is so inconspicuous that you may miss it. The gates aren’t exactly creepy looking but instead look like they were once the entrance to a ranch.
It is said that once you cross over the gate that you land in a world full of paranormal activity. The land beyond the gates actually belonged to a mental asylum, that probably performed pretty barbaric treatments. It is said that the spirits of the patients still roam the grounds.
At another point, it is also mentioned that the grounds were home to a horrific slaughterhouse. Many people feel that some angry animals spirits still roam the grounds as well.
Cost of Admission
While the Gates of Hell is a free place to visit, with caution, The Black Diamond Mines have a few admission fees. To get into the park and park your car is $5, but if you would like a mine tour that will cost you extra at $5 per person from March to November for a 90-minute tour.
Would you check these places out?
Do these two haunted places seem spooky enough for you to visit? Let me know in the comments below. Also, tell me what haunted places you may be interested in visiting that are near you!