Haunted houses California

The 7 Most Haunted Places In California

As if we didn’t have enough to be scared about, we love to freak ourselves out that bit more. It’s officially spooky season, so that means people are on the hunt for the most haunted houses in California and other scary places.

From famous haunted houses to ghost sightings in old jails, these places will make you shiver. Whether you believe in this stuff or not, we don’t suggest you visit any of these scary places alone…

Haunted Houses in California and Spooky SpotsHow do these rankings work?

1. Preston Castle – Ione

The castle’s foreboding facade looks straight out of a horror film. Once a reform school for unruly youth and abandoned children, the structure’s sinister history includes corporal punishment, toxic dunking baths, and a housekeeper’s murder. Open for tours year-round, the Amador County castle turns into a full-fledged haunted house come October.

Haunted houses California

2. Winchester Mystery House – San Jose

A door that leads to nowhere and a staircase that dead ends into the ceiling? It’s said that widow Sarah Winchester designed the house this peculiar way to confuse the ghosts: men killed by her late husband’s creation, the Winchester rifle.

Haunted houses California

3. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Los Angeles

Stay at this swanky hotel for a chance to glimpse one of the most glamorous ghosts of all time. It’s said that Marilyn Monroe herself still haunts the halls. Guests have also reported mysterious trumpet music believed to be the spirit of Montgomery Clift who liked to practice in suite 928.

4. The Queen Mary – Long Beach

Once known as the “Grey Ghost,” the Queen Mary serves up chills in the form of screams from a decapitated sailor in the boiler room and visions of a lady in white roaming the halls. Visitors can choose from a handful of haunted tours, or book a stay in Stateroom B340 for overnight thrills.

5. The Whaley House – San Diego

The Whaley House is one of the most haunted houses in California, in part due to its tragic history. The family’s daughter, Violet, committed suicide here, and there were numerous reported hangings on the property for years before it was even a home.

Now, visitors hear heavy footsteps and see floating apparitions. A few people have also even said they see Thomas Whaley himself at the top of the stairs. Spooky, right?

Haunted houses California

6. Point Sur Lighthouse – Big Sur

This picturesque lighthouse has been illuminating the waters off the coast of Big Sur since 1889. Perhaps it’s the original keeper who some believe still visits the site in his original uniform. Moonlight tours are available for the brave and the curious.

7. Bodie State Historic Park – Bodie

Spanning 500 acres in Mono County, about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe, Bodie is a Gold Rush–era ghost town frozen in time. More than 100 structures remain, as do the supposed spirits of prospectors. While dishware shards and nails can be found on the streets, anyone who takes home a souvenir risks the curse of Bodie (and it’s also against park rules).

Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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