Graveyard Shift 13 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from California  

Laura Allan
862.2k views 15 items

When you think of California, you probably don't think of creepiness. Hippies, surfers, beaches, Hollywood... it's all pretty weird, sure, but not scary or spooky, right? Well, believe it or not, creepy California does exist, if you know where to look. The state has ghosts murders, legends, and monsters, and you might be surprised to see that some of them are about as scary as you can get.

Between ghosts and creepy serial killers, California has a genuinely bloody history, dating back to its formation. It could be the home of Big Foot, and old west ghosts are around, shooting it out in some of the nation's finest ghost towns. If you're all about the weird and paranormal, look no further than the Golden State.

You don't have to read this at night, and you don't have to turn off your lights. But with the scary stories and terrifying urban legends in California that we're about to delve into, we definitely recommend it. 

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The Billiwhack Monster Would Send Big Foot Running for Cover


The Billiwhack Monster Would S... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 13 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from California
Photo:  Disney

It's been said Big Foot roams the hills of northern California, but the state has another monster with more fear factor. The legends dates to World War II. As the story goes, the Billiwhack Dairy was once a thriving, state-of-the-art farm with a dark secret. In rooms under the dairy, an OSS officer named August Rubel conducted horrifying experiments, trying to make a super-soldier to help the war effort. Unfortunately, he did not succeed, but created a monster, which was left behind when he went overseas to fight. 

The monster, left alone, escaped, and now terrorizes high school students in the area, or anyone who dares to stop their car on a farm road late at night. 

Gravity Doesn't Always Work Right in California


Gravity Doesn't Always Wor... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 13 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from California
Photo: Shiny Things/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

We're not just talking about the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, pictured. In California, there's a phenomena called a "gravity hill." For unknown reasons, gravity works differently in these spots. For example, on gravity hills in southern California, you can put a car in neutral on hill, and the car will inexplicably appear to roll uphill. Many gravity hills have spooky stories, such as horrific car accidents or road-side deaths. Is it some supernatural force at work? Or just a trick of perspective, as many suggest? Well, you'll just have to try it and find out.

Joshua Tree is Home to Skinwalkers


Joshua Tree is Home to Skinwal... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 13 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from California
Photo: matt knoth/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you ask Native Americans of Joshua Tree about Skinwalkers, you're unlikely to get answers. These not-quite-human exiles of the native faith are said to be malicious witches or medicine men who don't like being looked at, or intruded upon. Even speaking of them brings bad fortune, thus the silence on the matter. Sometimes they shape shift, taking the form of coyotes or wolves, or imitate injured children to lure people in. At night, they're known to terrorize campers and kill people. They've been rumored to frequent Joshua Tree National Park.

All this wouldn't be so terrifying if it wasn't for the fact people are found dead in Joshua Tree fairly regularly, and some go missing without a trace. Is it heatstroke, or maybe something a little darker. 

Don't Venture Into Turnbull Canyon Alone


Don't Venture Into Turnbul... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 13 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from California
Photo: Bruce W Martin II/flickr/CC-BY-ND 2.0

Turnbull Canyon is full of weird stuff. A gravity hill, an abandoned insane asylum, ghosts, and supernatural sightings pepper the landscape, thought it's an enticing locale for hikers. However, there's one legend that's creepier than the rest.

During the Great Depression, rumors circulated that Turnbull Canyon was a meeting place for a satanic cult. This cult did more than praise the devil; they were said to buy and sell babies, and kill them in dark rituals. To this day, you can supposedly see ghosts of children roaming the area, victims of the kidnapping cult that may still exist. One thing is for certain: this isn't a hike you want to make on your own.