If you ask most people about Orange County, they will likely describe it as a sun-drenched paradise.
However, if you ask the locals about some seemingly innocent-looking locations around the OC, they will be only too happy to tell you about the stranger side of the area.
Tales including apparitions, light anomalies, and even unexplained noises will soon have you seeing Orange County in an entirely different light.
Join us as we look more closely at the most haunted places in Orange County, California.
1. Red Cross, Anaheim
One of the most haunted places in OC is said to be Red Cross in Anaheim. What is particularly interesting about the paranormal activity is that these ghosts are far from scary.
The resident spirit here is said to be a bit of a matchmaker! If a man and woman walk upstairs to the second floor, the ghost – who is believed to be the original caretaker of the property – will push them together, but only if he believes them to be a good match!
Many couples have come to visit hoping to get a spooky seal of approval from the caretaker!
2. Yorba Cemetery, Yorba Linda
Yorba Cemetery is home to a spirit known as the Pink Lady Ghost, described as a 17-year-old girl dressed in a pink gown and is usually always crying. She has been spotted in the cemetery for many years now and is the spirit of a girl who died under tragic circumstances in a buggy accident on her way to prom sometime around 1910.
However, not everybody believes this particular tale. Some say she’s a local woman named Alvina de Los Reyes, who died of pneumonia. Whoever she is, most witnesses agree that she is distressed by her untimely demise.
The cemetery dates back to 1834, and although the pink lady is the most well-known spirit, others haunt here too. The gates have been closed since 1939, but tours are available by arrangement for those who would like the opportunity to explore.
3. El Adobe De Capistrano Restaurant, San Juan Capistrano
The El Adobe De Capistrano Restaurant is considered a historical landmark in Orange County and has a unique history. It is part old jail and courtroom and part 200-year-old residence. It has now been transformed into a restaurant.
Its most famous ghost story is an alarming one! Local legend states that a headless monk walks around the restaurant carrying an ax. No one is sure who he is or why he is carrying such a weapon, especially since there were never executions carried out while this was a jail.
Other reports from visitors state that they have also seen a spirit known as the White Lady of Rios Street peering in through the windows.
4. Katie Wheeler Library, Irvine
The reports of the mysterious lady in blue have been coming in for several decades at the Irvine Ranch House in Orange County.
It has been suggested that she is the spirit of Kathryn Helena Irvine Lillard, who is said to have died in the building at a relatively young age due to some severe complications in childbirth in1920.
The house burned down in the 1960s and was eventually replaced by the Irvine Katie Wheeler Library. Although Kathryn roamed the property for several decades, the librarian says she is unaware of any more recent reports.
Has Kathryn left her home, or is she just keeping out of sight, getting to know the new layout of the place, and waiting for an opportunity to return?
There is also a tall man that various people have seen. It’s believed he’s Kathryn Helena Irvine Lillard’s, Father James H. Irvine. Also, the staff often hear someone singing when no one is there.
5. Stanley Ranch Museum, Garden Grove
Stanley House is a historic home located in the Garden Grove area of the OC. It has long been one of the most haunted locations in Orange County, thanks to several ghostly inhabitants.
The most well-known specter is the house’s original owner Agnes Stanley. As she entered the later stages of life, she could not climb the stairs in her home, and her physical weakness made her very bitter.
She seems to have held onto this even after her death since she is known to appear in spirit on the staircase, blocking others from ascending. Guests sometimes find it difficult or even impossible to get past her and go upstairs.
6. Wild Goose Yacht, Newport Beach
Movie legend John Wayne aka ‘The Duke,’ loved Newport Beach so much that it seems like he may have decided to stick around even after his death. The Wild Goose is the luxury yacht he purchased in 1979, just a few short months before his cancer claimed his life.
It seems like he has decided to make the most of it in his afterlife since those who hire it often hear loud footsteps and experience lights that switch on and off on their own and doors in empty rooms mysteriously locking themselves.
These strange occurrences have been happening for decades and have been experienced by various people, some of whom even see John Wayne’s apparition.
7. Black Star Canyon, Silverado
Black Star Canyon sits in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. The area is known for its natural beauty daily, but things become very different at night.
After dark, those who have braved the canyon tell tales of horrifying deranged screaming, shadow figures that seem to shapeshift, ghostly apparitions, and even satanic rituals.
Some believe that a great deal of the paranormal activity is linked to the location at Black Star Canyon, as it used to be the site of an Indian massacre at the Spanish Conquistadors’ hands in 1831.
8. Disneyland, Anaheim
It may be the happiest place on Earth, but Disneyland also harbors a haunted reputation. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of Walt Disney himself, who likes to wander around the Magic Kingdom.
There have also been sightings of a female apparition around the Matterhorn, which is thought to be the ghost of a lady who died on the ride. There is also a little boy who has been seen weeping at the exit to the Haunted Mansion ride, apparently upset that his ashes were scattered here by his Mom.
The scattering of loved ones’ ashes has become something of a tradition at Disneyland, even though it is forbidden. Employees regularly have to clean up ashes and bone fragments.
There are also reports that some of the skulls and other bones decorating the Pirates of the Caribbean ride are real human ones! With all of these human remains around the park, it is no surprise that there are so many reports of paranormal activity.
9. Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
We have heard from one ghostly Monk in Orange County, but the one that is haunting Mission San Juan Capistrano still has his head firmly attached! However, witnesses claim that he doesn’t have a face! There are also reports of a headless soldier who stands guard over the grounds.
The mission’s bells are also known to ring all by themselves at random times during the night! Overall, this is just an all-around creepy type of place!
10. Plummer Auditorium, Fullerton
Plummer Auditorium is now part of Fullerton High School and is home to the Fullerton Civic Light Opera. However, this auditorium puts on a show of a different kind from time to time, and it is all thanks to its namesake Louis Plummer who seems in no hurry at all to leave even though he is dead!
Among the paranormal activity he is blamed for, there are instances of malfunctioning lighting, warped fixtures, and perhaps most disturbing, a spinning, floating head! However, others believe that the paranormal activity comes not from Mr. Plummer but from a secret that the auditorium is hiding.
It is the last remaining access point to some mysterious tunnels underneath Fullerton. These tunnels were open for exploration at one time, and many returned with stories of disembodied voices and disturbing sights and sounds.
11. Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana
The largest and oldest high school in Orange County, California, Santa Ana High School is prime territory for a haunting or two. Established in 1889 teachers and pupils have been experiencing strange paranormal occurrences for decades.
The most famous ghost of SAHS is Alice. She tragically died after falling to her death above the auditorium. Her spirit likes to give people a fright by running at them on stage, with many performers reporting disembodied footsteps and ghostly breaths.
Alice’s apparition is often seen late at night, and staff members have heard screams and strange sounds from the old maths building.