With a history dating back to 1850, Sacramento is one of the oldest cities in the Golden State. It has endured countless hard times and devastation, particularly in its formative years.
This difficult history has led to the city earning quite a haunted reputation. You won’t just find ghosts in the usual spots like cemeteries and old buildings either.
Ghost stories seem to crop up in unexpected places, including a skating rink, an old record store, and even the local Burger King!
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the 13 most haunted places in Sacramento, CA!
1. Delta King Riverboat Hotel
Employees have reported seeing the Captain’s ghost sitting on the balcony watching the productions. They have also reported hearing phantom footsteps on deck when nobody is there – or at least nobody living!
On one occasion, the Captain seemed to make his presence known by knocking over a glass of water near the soundboard in the sound booth. [BOOK A ROOM]
2. Iceland Skating Rink
The Iceland Skating Rink in Sacramento gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘bone-chilling’! The ice rink is haunted by the original owner ‘Pops’ Kerth, who also built the ice rink. He still makes his rounds of the building at night, checking that everything is in order and ready for the next day.
3. Paradise Beach
If you ask locals, they will tell you that Sacramento’s Paradise Beach does not live up to its pretty name! It is more like a nightmare than a coastal paradise!
Many visitors have reported seeing the spirit of a ghastly drowned man walking up and down the shoreline. He is believed to be the restless spirit of a man who drowned there in a particularly violent fashion, and he is said to be very unsettling to witness!
4. Old Record Store, K Street Mall
One of the more unexpected haunted places in Sacramento is the old record store in the K Street Mall. It is said that the former store is haunted by the spirit of an older woman who is dressed in Victorian-style clothing.
She mainly seems to hang out down in the basement area. However, she has been known to make her way upstairs to reprimand customers who are too noisy!
On several occasions, customers visiting the store reported being told in no uncertain terms to keep the noise down by the old lady from Victorian times! It is unclear who she is or why she is so keen to keep things quiet on the property!
5. Highway 50 Exit off W Street
In the 1970s, a woman was hitchhiking at this exit when she was murdered. Police were never able to solve the crime; perhaps that is why her spirit cannot rest.
With some degree of regularity, drivers report seeing the silhouette of a woman lurking by the exit in search of a ride. Those who stopped to offer assistance soon realize she isn’t there!
6. Florin Road Burger King
The Burger King restaurant on Florin Road is a popular spot for those who feel like they need a late-night snack, but some end up with a little more than they bargained for.
This stems from the fact that a gunman entered the restaurant one day during the lunch rush and shot the store manager before turning the gun on himself.
This crime has been repeated because staff often report hearing the sound of gunshots and disembodied screaming.
7. The Vampire of Sacramento Victims’ Homes
In the 1970s, Sacramento was rocked by the murders of six people in their own homes by Richard Trenton Chase, aka The Vampire of Sacramento. Chase earned his gruesome nickname because he drank his victims’ blood and consumed some of their remains.
The murders took place over one month and left the neighborhood terrified. They also seem to have lost a permanent mark on the victims’ homes.
The new residents of the homes where the Vampire claimed his victims say they are haunted by ghastly re-enactments of the murders occurring repeatedly.
8. Old Sacramento Tunnels
Many people do not realize that Sacramento was rebuilt over the original town. This means there is a network of tunnels and a hidden town underneath Sacramento, which was buried because of rising water from the Sacramento River.
Many locals regard it as the most haunted place in Sacramento, so it’s easy to see why. The tunnels were even subject to an investigation from the TV paranormal show Ghost Adventures. Such is the vast amount of activity that has been reported here.
Countless sightings of full-body apparitions, shadow figures, and sounds of disembodied voices are just some of the occurrences. The city’s homeless community stays well away from the tunnels due to these very tales!
If that’s enough to pique your paranormal interest, there’s plenty more where that came from. The city offers regular tours of all the haunted hotspots around town, including these very tunnels.
Contact the Sacramento History Museum to book an underground tour! Fees are $22.00 for adults, $15.00 for ages 6-12, and children 5 or younger are free.
9. California State Library
Why is it that there is something creepy about libraries? Is it just the eerie silence? Perhaps, but in the case of California State Library, the fact that it is one of the most haunted places in Sacramento is also a significant factor!
Visitors to the library have reported seeing the apparition of an older man wearing glasses who peruses old books in the stacks’ California section and who will peer over them at anyone who disturbs him!
Staff at the library have also reported hearing the sound of rustling mylar, like the sound of a book being pulled from or returned to the shelves even though nobody is there.
There are also rumors that one of the Sacramento Tunnels, which we took a look at above, runs under the California State Library, linking it to the Capitol, which could be one reason why the building is now alleged to be haunted.
10. Sacramento Historic Old City Cemetery
Few places on Earth are spookier than an old cemetery, so it is no surprise that Old City Cemetery is one of the most haunted places in Sacramento. There are said to be several terrifying spirits lurking here in between the headstones.
Some of these ghostly apparitions include a couple that dresses entirely in black, a little girl who plays close to her gravestone, and even a ghostly pitbull who follows visitors beyond the gates.
11. The Leland Stanford Mansion
Located at the Leland Stanford Mansion State Park, the Leland Stanford House is a state and National Historic Landmark.
Built in 1857 and home to the state Governor, a U.S. Senator, railroad tycoon, member of the Big Four, and founder of Stanford University, the mansion is now used by the Government of California to host foreign dignitaries.
It’s said that the house is haunted by the ghost of Governor Stanford’s son, Leland Jr. The Stanfords tried desperately to have a child for 18 years when at the age of 39, Mrs. Jane Sanford fell pregnant and later gave birth to Leland Jr.
The Stanfords doted on their son, centering their entire lives around him. For his 15th birthday, they traveled to Europe with the idea of giving him a huge send-off before heading to college upon his return. While there, Leland Jr. contracted Typhoid Fever and tragically passed away.
The loss of their only child completely broke the Stanfords. It’s said they mourned day and night until their bodies would fall asleep from exhaustion. During this time, Leland Sr. says his son appeared to him, telling his father to give all that he wanted to give to him, instead devote his love and attention to all the California children.
Inspired, Leland Sr. set out to visit all the great colleges on the East Coast, Yale, and Harvard and then founded a university on land he purchased in Palo Alto, which his son used to enjoy visiting as a boy. Naming the university as a dedication to his son, Stanford University was born.
12. Sacramento Theater Company
There are said to be several ghosts that haunt the Sacramento Theater Company. Living by the motto the show must go on, the spirits that haunt here continue to do so.
The famous ghost that haunts the theater is affectionately known as “Pinky”, named after the pinky-colored aura that accompanies him. Pinky’s the spirit of a former stagehand, who likes to keep a check on things backstage.
Two apparitions have also been witnessed around the stage-left dressing room. One appears to be a tall thin man with a mustache, who’s been identified as a former volunteer.
The other apparition is of a Polish actress named Madame Modjeska. Her glum demeanor has been seen in one of the large mirrors in the dressing room.
13. The Citizen Hotel
Built in 1925, The Citizen Hotel is one of the most historic and haunted hotels in Sacramento. Staff and guests alike at this downtown Sacramento hotel are always reporting sightings of spirits. Dark shadows are often seen and disembodied footsteps are heard walking down the empty dark hallways.
Not much is known about who the ghosts could be or what they could want, but one hotel employee stated, “They’re, like, searching for a purpose”. [BOOK A ROOM]
That’s all for our thirteen most haunted places in Sacramento. If you’re feeling fearless, we’ve included a hotel search feature below to find the closest haunted hotels to you… Go ahead; we dare you!
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Recap of Haunted Locations