With Halloween looming, horror junkies across the city are stocking up on slasher films and paranormal thrillers in preparation for the big day. While these scary movies are fine for a hair-raising night, the real spine-chilling stories lay buried right in Sacramento’s own backyard. From an eerie beach to a haunted fast food joint, here is a list of the California capitol’s most bloodcurdling sites to brave if you dare.
- Sacramento Theater Company: While enjoying a performance at this local theater be sure to look out for Pinky, a glowing pink orb often seen roaming around the dressing rooms. While some say Pinky is an old stage manager others allege that she was once an actress. Other reported ghosts seen lurking the theater’s stage have been a stagehand, an opera singer and two Hungarian lovers. Flickering lights, mysterious buttons popping off costumes, eerie footsteps and whispers, and apparitions appearing in mirrors have also been witnessed at this spooky playhouse.
- Paradise Beach: According to this haunting tale, this beach resembles more closely to an eerie nightmare than a paradise-like seaside. Several beach goers report witnessing a man’s ghostly figure walking up and down the beach’s shoreline. It has been said that he is a victim of a violent drowning.
- California State Library: While ghost stories fill the shelves of this public library, a more daunting tale lies within the walls of the building itself. Visitors have been reported seeing the ghost of an elderly man in glasses peering over old books when browsing the California Section of the library. Library staff have also reported hearing the sound of Mylar rustling resembling the sound of when a book is being pulled out or shelved when there is no one there.
- Burger King on Florin Rd.: Those looking for a late night snack may get more than they order when eating at this fast food joint. It has been said that during a busy lunch hour, a gunman walked into the restaurant and shot the store manager before turning the gun on himself. Employees working late night shifts have reported hearing gunshots and screams as if the event is being reenacted by the spirits themselves.
- The Victim’s Houses of the Vampire of Sacramento: Beware when trick-or-treating at these houses on Halloween. In the 70s, Richard Trenton Chase murdered six people in their own homes over the span of a month. After murdering his victims, Chase was known to have drank their blood and consumed their remains in a form of cannibalism, thus being named The Vampire of Sacramento. New residents of the victim’s houses report witnessing reenactments of the murders occurring over and over again.
- Old City Cemetery: Naturally, this quintessential spooky location is bound to house some of the city’s eeriest spirits wandering amongst its tombstones. Several ghosts have been reported being witnessed lurking around the graveyard including a couple dressed entirely in black, a little girl playing near the headstone of a deceased child, and a pit bull who follows visitors around the cemetery despite there being no animals allowed beyond the gates.
- Hwy 50 Exit off W Street: In the 70s a woman was hitchhiking off this exit before she was murdered. While her murder has never been solved, several drivers say that every so often a silhouette of a woman can be seen late at night lurking around this area in the search for her next ride.
- Iceland Skating Rink: Skating around Sacramento’s oldest ice skating rink takes bone-chilling to another level. It’s been said that the rink’s original owner and builder, “Pops” Kerth, makes his rounds just as he always did along the cold, dark rink late at night, ensuring all is well before opening for the next day of business.
- Record Store on K Street Mall: Back when this place on 710 K St. was a record store, it was said to be haunted by an old woman dressed in Victorian clothing who told noisy patrons to keep it down. Legend had it that she haunted the basement and only went upstairs to reprimand customers. Anybody willing to reopen its doors and make a bunch of noise to see if it’s true?
- Freeport Factory: After the many employees who died on the job, it seems the only thing this factory will be making is making people shiver in fear. Be sure to hold open the door when entering this factory for it’s rumored that the door will lock and close behind you if left unattended. Once inside, it’s also said that one can hear the sound of children laughing as if they are using the abandoned machinery as their own personal playground.
Photo Courtesy of Sacramento Theatre company