Riverside is a unique desert community in Southern California, not far south of Los Angeles. Riverside was first established in 1870, and it has a vibrant history. Not only does Riverside have California’s first golf course, but it is also a vital part of the citrus industry. Aside from all this, the town has a fascinating past that has left many spirits behind.
Join us as we explore the most haunted places in Riverside, CA.
1. Riverside Bridge
One of the strangest tales you will hear relating to Riverside will probably involve the Riverside Bridge Monster! The story has all the hallmarks of an urban legend, yet it seems like some elements genuinely tie in with actual events.
In November of 1958, the story states that a man called Charles Wetzel had an encounter on Main Street Bridge with a strange creature. He described this ‘monster’ as green and scaly with a pumpkin-shaped head, long thin arms, and claws.
He claims to have slowed down his vehicle as the Santa Ana River was swollen, and the creature came out of the brush and clawed at his windshield. He reported to police that he had hit the beast and noted that his car had scratches and green smears.
However, a body was not recovered, and other drivers reported similar encounters in the days that followed. Odd tracks were found when the river dried up, but no trace of the so-called monster!
2. The Gates of Hell, Redlands (near Riverside)
One of the most sinister ghost stories you will hear in Riverside, CA, relates to a pair of black iron gates that stood on Sunset Street. The gates led to a house occupied by Devil worshippers. This is how they got their nickname – the Gates of Hell.
Local legend claims that those who passed through the gates would be chased by a ghost carrying a headless cat! The house and its infamous gates have long since been removed and built over, but the tales of strange occurrences persist, with many witnesses claiming to see the ghost with the headless cat.
3. Riverside City College
Among the unexplained activity in the college, there are reports of doors that open and close all by themselves, often slamming shut with some force.
There are also reports of disembodied voices in the theatre and ghosts roaming the parking garage. It is said that a female apparition, in particular, haunts the lower parking lot next to the college’s Automotive Building.
There have been lots of EVP recordings captured all over the college! The most prominent ghost that has been reported frequently on the Riverside City College campus is a male spirit dressed in a smart suit. He’s usually seen wandering the Quad building.
4. Mount Rubidoux
Mount Rubidoux stands almost 500 feet above Riverside, on the border separating Jurupa Valley. It is a popular spot for hiking and serves as a station to view the fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Those who have been up on the trails at night say that they have seen shadowy figures and apparitions and have experienced cold spots and a feeling that they are not entirely alone!
5. Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the city of Riverside, and it is also a place steeped in history. Until it was refurbished a couple of years ago, Evergreen Cemetery was rundown and poorly maintained.
However, it is now restored to its former glory, and you can see the graves of the prominent citizens that have been laid to rest here, including city founders and civil war veterans, among others. It is also worth noting that there is an entrance to the Riverside Catacombs within Evergreen Cemetery, although they are all sealed up!
Many of the ghosts that are said to haunt there probably came from the high volume of deaths that occurred during the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919. There have been plenty of people who have captured EVP recordings in the cemetery, and many also claim to have seen a strange green fog!
6. Castle Park
Many amusement parks have attracted some paranormal activity, and Castle Park in Riverside, CA, is no exception. Castle Park is a long-standing roadside attraction built in 1976 by the same ride designer behind Knott’s Berry Farm.
However, it is believed that at least part of Castle Park is built on top of what was once a Native American Indian burial ground, which probably explains why it is considered so haunted.
You might expect this to mean that the spirits here are Natives, and perhaps some of them are, but the most commonly sighted spirit here is the ‘lady in white.’ Park employees have been reporting her presence on the Plaza Cafe balcony for several years.
There are also reports of doors slamming after hours and other unexplained activity. One interesting thing that should be noted is that only male employees ever experience paranormal activity because all resident ghosts are female, and they enjoy pranking the men!
7. Morey Mansion
Morey Mansion sits just outside Riverside, and you can spot it a mile away! The 1890 mansion is built in the Queen Ann Victorian style and has been described by many as particularly garish to look at! It was originally built by David and Sarah Morey but was once owned by Carol Lombard.
The Morey Mansion was turned into a bed and breakfast in 1985 and remained so until 2010 when it reverted to a private residence. However, it is still home to the original owners, who both died in the house!
Sarah Morley died under tragic circumstances in 1901, and David committed suicide shortly after her passing. Sarah’s initials appear in unexpected places, especially in the ornate decorations. There are also reports of strange orbs, ghostly lights, and unexplained hot and cold spots in various parts of the house.
8. The Mission Inn & Spa
It spans several blocks and is a stunning Mediterranean-style resort full of spiral staircases, towers, courtyards, and flying buttresses. It is a beautiful building in its own right before you even look at the ghosts!
The Mission Inn is haunted by Frank and Alice Miller, the son and the daughter of the original owner, C.C. Miller. It is claimed that both of them are wandering the Mission Inn hallways and that they haunt many of the rooms.
Alice’s room on the fourth floor and Frank’s room in the NorthEast corner are said to be particular hotspots for the paranormal activity, as are the bridal suite, room number 215, and the catacombs that run beneath the inn!
Some of the most common paranormal activity reported at The Mission Inn include guests being touched or pushed, cell phones failing, floating blue lights, and the sound of Alice singing! [BOOK A ROOM]
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